Sea hike from Portofino to San Fruttuoso

Technical Information

Distance: 4,4km (one way)
Uphill: 457m (one way)
Estimated time: 2 h and 30 minutes (excluding stops)
Difficulty: Middle (Good level of physical training and some hiking experience requested)
Path Signals: Two full red dots

Additional notes: Good hiking or trail shoes (or well fit training shoes) are needed. You should also take with you at least 1L of water per person. The path is almost entirely uncovered. It is highly reccommended to take with you a hat and sun cream. During the warmest months (especially July and August) it might be very hard to walk out in the sun. Consider that before starting the hike.

The path

We start our hike at the Oratory of Nostra Signora dell’Assunta, just behind the well known piazzetta di Portofino. Portofino is still today a peculiar location. In this same place you’ll see melting together the old spirit of the millenary village and the modern worldly essence of today mass and luxury tourism. We turn our backs to the village and we first move to Piazza della Libertà and keep on straight to Via del Fondaco. We cross the parkings and the Carabinieri station. Here we start walking uphill. Soon, on the left, a small path departs from the bigger concrete road. We take that path. Here we will face the most significant climb of the entire way (if you are just going one way).

Once getting to the end of the stairway we keep left at the crossings, always following the signs to San Fruttuoso. Then, after passing a wooden gate we turn right and follow the mountain side. At the next small crossing we leave the paved street and we turn left (signs for Località Prato or Base 0 and San Fruttuoso). After walking next to terraces, mediterranean forests and some rural houses and villas at "località Olmi", we get in front of an artificial pond designated to the reproduction of amphibious species. At the next crossing our way continue to the left. If we want to take a break here, instead of turning left we can divert the way and turn right. There, we will soon find a pick-nick area and the Mulino del Gassetta with restaurant and bar (keep an eye at their opening time and days here:

We go back to our path and keep on walking on a dirt road surrounded by the Mediterranean scrub and an astonishing sea view. We also find luxuriant bushes of Erba Lisca (Ampelodesmos mauritanicus), once used to produce fabric and ropes resistant to salt. The same ropes were made and used for centuries by the local inhabitants for producing fishing nets and pursue fishing activities (you can find more information in Italian about Erba Lisca and ropes production here ->

Once at "Base 0" we can divert from the main road to get to the panoramic viewpoint that is just down a steep descent. We might have to use the ropes to help ourselves to get down, but it is worth the small additional effort. Back on track we start to descent to San Fruttuoso within a forest. We will first encounter the heliport and then we will soon get to the small village of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte (or San Fruttuoso di Camogli) and its magnificent Abbey.

Going back

When in San Fruttuoso we have two alternative options to get back. There are many excursionist trails on the Mountain of Portofino that can take you to Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure or back to Portofino. You can find more detailed information on If you are instead to choose a more comfortable way back you can get a ferry or if you have a wider budget book a private taxi boat. But BE CAREFUL! In case of adverse sea conditions, ferries might be suspended. This means that you will have to walk back all the way. Therefore, I suggest you to get in touch with the ferry companies before leaving for your hike to ensure to be able to get back by sea. The two ferry companies operating in San Fruttuoso are Compagnia di navigazione Golfo Paradiso (, operating mainly from Recco and Camogli, and Consorzio marittimo del Tigullio ( operating from Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo.

This article was written by Alberto Romano, environmental and excursionist guide on the 10/4/2023. © What is written is protected by copyright, all rights reserved. The path described is the result of my personal hiking experience on the territory. The reader embrace the responsibility to verify the information reported with official maps and websites and to make a personal evaluation of his/her own adequate preparation before starting the hike. If you have interested to get in touch or suggest corrections feel free to write me an email to:

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