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near Camogli, Liguria (Italia)
Hike (15 km) from the picturesque village of Camogli to the picturesque village of Portofino via the abbey of San Fruttuoso. In Portofino you take the boat back, first to San Fruttuoso, and then on to Camogli. Hiking times: Camogli to San Fruttuoso 2.5 hours; San Fruttuoso to Portofino 1.5 hours; roundtrip from Portofino harbor to lighthouse 0.5 hours. The boat takes 0.5 hour for both the stretches between Portofino and San Fruttuoso and San Fruttuoso and Camogli.
The hike starts outside the train station in Camogli where you go down the stairs to the starting point. From there you first climb to San Rocco at 221 m where you have a beautiful view of the coast towards Genova. From there you follow trails through the woods to the highest point of the Portofino promontory: the Monte di Portofino at 612 m. There is an old lighthouse ('Semaforo vecchio') there, but not much of a view as the trees have grown too high. From there, the path descends, first to the Pietre Strette, and then further down to San Fruttuoso. This beautiful little hamlet centers around the former Benedictine abbey and can only be reached by boat or on foot. You can visit the abbey (opened at 10.00) and there are bars and restaurants and a beach. When you arrive here before the first boatload of tourists, as I did (9.20), it is serenely quiet and beautiful. From San Fruttuoso, a path goes up to 'Base 0' and from there to Prato and then down to Portofino. Here the route continues to the lighthouse and then back to the harbor. Portofino is a picturesque and expensive village with big yachts in it's harbor.
In Portofino you can take the boat back in two stages, first to San Fruttuoso and then to Camogli (see waypoints for more information). It is a nice way to finish a beautiful walk: sitting in the sun with the sea breeze in your face watching where you walked.
The walk was inspired by but is slightly different than walks 4 and 5 in the german book "Rother Wanderführer: Cinque Terre" by Martin Locher. I saw some wild pigs with young in the woods near Pietre Strette. A gate with sign near Portofino, which you have to close to avoid wild pigs going off in the gardens near Portofino, indicates that they are quite abundant in the Parco Naturale di Portofino.
Here the boat from San Fruttuoso docks. See the website http://www.golfoparadiso.it/public/index.htm for more information on the boat. Camogli is a beautiful town with colorful houses on the harbor and on the beach. There are parking lots near the station if you come by car.
Monte di Portofino is the highest point (610 m) of the walk and of the Portofino promontory. Unfortunately there is not much of a view because of the trees. There are some picnic tables. There are the remains of the old lighthouse and a mast.
The picturesque town of Portofino is snugly arranged around a natural harbor. Portofino has a lot of villas for the rich and famous and consequently prices are rather steep.
This is where the boat to San Fruttuoso docks. See the website http://www1.traghettiportofino.it for more information on the boat. The boat does not continue to Camogli so you have to get off at San Fruttuoso. A single ticket to San Fruttuoso costs 7.50 €.
The lighthouse is at the end of the Punta di Portofino and you have to take the same paved path to get there and back. The path passes by a church (San Giorgio) and the Castello Brown.
Here the boat from San Fruttuoso to Camogli has a stopover. See the website http://www.golfoparadiso.it/public/index.htm for more information on the boat. You could also get off here and walk back via San Rocco.
Apart from the abbey and the Doria tower, there are pebble beaches, restaurants, bars and the jetties for the boats to Camogli and Portofino here.
Here the boats from Portofino and to Camogli dock. See the website http://www.golfoparadiso.it/public/index.htm for more information on the boat to Camogli and the website http://www1.traghettiportofino.it for more information on the boat from Portofino. The boat to Camogli costed me 8 euros. The boat to Camogli departed immediately after I got off the boat from Portofino, but you might miss the connection.
This town at 221 meter gives a beautiful view of the bay towards Genova.