Santa Margherita – Beautiful Destination in Liguria

Santa Margherita Photo by Margie MiklasMy visit to Santa Margherita on the Ligurian coast of Italy came quite by accident.  I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to actually spend a little time in this beautiful seaside town several years ago.

Santa Margherita - photo by Margie Miklas

Roughly ten thousand Italians call Santa Margherita their home and they lovingly refer to this port city as “Santa.”

Santa Margherita - photo by Margie Miklas

Surrounded by hills and the Ligurian Sea, Santa Margherita lays claim to some of the most beautiful views in Italy.  Approach this port from the sea as I did, and you will feel as if you are looking at a postcard. The stunning marina to the left and the long pebble beach with the colorful houses and buildings along the shore create a magnificent panorama.

In fact, you may recognize the feature photo as the same scene I use at the top of my blog and also for the cover of my first book, Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy.

Santa Margherita - photo by Margie Miklas

So here’s the story of how I came to Santa Margherita by accident. I arrived here aboard a ferry boat from the nearby resort town of Portofino.

photo by Margie Miklas

I had spent part of a day in Portofino  while I was on a Mediterranean cruise.

Portofino photo by Margie Miklas

The circumstances were such that the deteriorating weather conditions would no longer allow small ferry boat tenders to operate between Portofino, and our cruise ship which was anchored offshore.

photo by Margie Miklas

So as a result, I was the beneficiary of an nonscheduled visit to Santa Margherita, where we were dropped off to await  a bus to transport myself and the other cruise passengers to the port of Genoa. If there is one thing that I have learned  in Italy,  it’s that flexibility is important, since things can change and that’s the way it is. As the Italians say, “boh.”

photo by Margie Miklas

One of the fascinating landmarks for me  in Santa Margherita was the huge statue of Christopher Columbus on the waterfront near the harbor. Although he was born in Genoa, there are stories attesting to the fact that he lived some of his early years in Santa Margherita. This monument was created by the Italian sculptor Tabacchi in 1892.

Ever since the 17th century, this seaside resort town has became a favorite summer residence for vacationing Italians from the larger city of Genoa, which is less than 15 miles away.

The harbor at Santa Margherita is a popular spot for tourists with  boats available for rental. Huge yachts owned by local Italians also dock in this harbor. Santa Margherita is well known for its prestigious international sailing regattas such as “Coppa Guido Prina” and the “Trofeo Pirelli.”

photo by Margie MiklasUnfortuately I was not in Santa Margherita in the morning, so I didn’t get to visit the famous fish market on Lungomare Marconi to watch the fishermen haul in their catches of the local red prawns. These are found in many of the regional dishes and they are some of the best and freshest anywhere.

photo by Margie Miklas

Italy is full of charming villages along its coast and Santa Margherita ranks as one of the best despite not being the most touristy.

Have you visited Santa Margherita? What did you like about this coastal town? I love feedback so please leave a comment.

Grazie and ciao.

11 Responses

  1. diane

    hi, we are going to italy next year for th first time, and santa margherita and portofino are on our list to see. we are going to La Spezia first for 4 days to see the cinque terre area, then to the above. it looks an sounds beutiful. we are looking at where to have accomadation to see these 2 gorgess places. any suggestions please diane

  2. margieinitaly

    Thanks Tony, and yes I agree about the time and money constraints! The Ligurian coast is a beautiful area of Italy…Always a reason to return, right?

  3. Tony

    Beautiful! Yet another location to add to my ever-growing list of places to see and things to do in Italy. If only time and money were not factors. 🙂

  4. imarancher

    I love all the scenery and maybe especially the windows with the hint of family life that goes on within their walls. One of the beach hotel/condo sites reminds me of Miami Beach back in the days of Art Deco.

  5. Patty Berwald

    Hi Marge – My husband and I stayed for 4 days in Santa Maria Liguria in 2013 at the Metropole Hotel on the water. They had a beautiful rock landing/beach to swim off of and a great luncheon place with amazing water views as is the Italian custom. I loved the lack of crowds and the relaxed pace. We didn’t have a single bad meal of course. It was so perfect we never walked the 5 kilometers to Portofino. We try to travel to Italy annually. BTW… are you planning a girls’ trip to Puglia this year or was that another blogger?

    • margieinitaly

      Your time there sounds lovely Patty. I just returned from a trip to Puglia, which was fabulous. I did a tour with Victoria De Maio and she is going back in the spring and fall of 2016. Details are here~

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