A palm-lined harbor, nice beach, and a friendly ambience make Santa Margherita Ligure a fine place to settle down for a few days of sun and relaxation.
Santa Margherita is much frequented by Milaneses, many retired people from Milan have a winter residence here.
Life in Santa Margherita Ligure centers on its palm-fringed waterfront, a pleasant string of marinas, docks for pleasure and fishing boats, and pebbly beaches. Landlubbers congregate in the cafes that spill out into the town’s two seaside squares, Piazza Martiri della Liberta and Piazza Vittorio Veneto.
The train stationof Santa Margherita Ligure is on a hill above the waterfront, and a staircase in front of the entrance will lead you down into the heart of town.
Side trips from Santa Margherita
An Excursion to San Fruttuoso Abbey– -Much of the Monte Portofino Promontory can be approached only on foot or by boat , making it a prime destination for hikers. If you want to combine some excellent exercise with the pleasure of glimpsing magnificent views of the sea through a lush forest, arm yourself with a map from the tourist offices in Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, or Rapallo and set out for Abbazia di San Fruttuoso (tel. 0185-772-703).
You can also visit San Fruttuoso with one of the boats that run almost every hour during the summer months from Camogli. A round-trip costs 8€ and takes about 30 minutes each way. For more information, contact Golfo Paradiso (tel. 0185-772-091). Note: You can also reach it by hourly (in summer) Tigullio boats (tel. 0185-284-670) from Portofino (20 min.; 8€), Santa Margherita (35 min.; 12€), and Rapallo (50 min.; 13€).
By Train — Between two and three coastal trains per hour of the Trenitalia state train company connect Santa Margherita with Genoa (regional: 35 min.; high-speed: 25 min.), Camogli (5 min.), Rapallo (3 min.), and Monterosso (regional: 55 min.; high-speed: 40 min.) of the Cinque Terre, and further South, La Spezia and Pisa. There are two train categories: select “TUTTI I TRENI” because “LE FRECCE”, the default selection on the site, don’t go to Santa Margherita.
By Bus — There is at least one Tigullio (tel. 0185-288-834) bus an hour to Camogli (30-35 min.) and to Rapallo (10 min.), leaving from Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Buses also ply the stunningly beautiful coast road to Portofino, leaving every 20 minutes from the train station and Piazza Vittorio Veneto (25 min.).
By Boat — Tigullio ferries (tel. 0185-284-670) make hourly trips to Portofino (15 min.) and Rapallo (15 min.). In summer, there is a boat about 4 days a week to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. Hours of service vary considerably with season; the schedules are posted on the docks at Piazza Martiri della Liberta.
By Car — The fastest route into Santa Margherita is the A12 Autostrada dei Fiori from Genoa or from La Spezia from the South; the trip takes about half an hour from Genoa. The Route S1 Aurelia along the coast from Genoa is much slower but more scenic.
Where to stay in Santa Margherita Ligure
Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and villas in Santa Margherita Ligure: search and make a reservation here.
Information on Santa Margherita Ligure
Festivals & Markets — Santa Margherita Ligure’s winters are delightfully mild, making it a favorite destination for retired milaneses winter residence, but even so, the town rushes to usher in spring with a Festa di Primavera, held on moveable dates in February.
Like the Sagra del Pesce in neighboring Camogli, this festival also features food — in this case fritters are prepared on the beach and served around roaring bonfires.
Do not miss the fish market on Lungomare Marconi; this colorful event transpires from 8am to 12:30pm, and on Fridays Corso Matteotti, Santa Margherita Ligure major street for food shopping when it is turned into an open-air food market.