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From Portofino to Cala Inglesi

Hiking above the beautiful sea of the Italian Riviera
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

Among the many scenic trails near Portofino, the one for Cala degli Inglesi (Englishmen's Bay) is unique because it allows you to reach the sea amidst the imposing cliffs of the promontory. On this page we also present the short detour to Punta del Giasso, a panoramic rock halfway between Portofino and Cala degli Inglesi.

Punta del Giasso, Portofino
The cliffs between Punta del Giasso and Portofino
Both paths, although spectacular and not too long, are little frequented because they are quite difficult. In particular, the trek to Cala degli Inglesi is signalled as "very demanding" due to the various slippery and steep stretches (where some chains help the hikers). Nothing too impossible, but it is good to get information about this path and then carefully evaluate what to do.
Path from Portofino to Cala degli Inglesi
One of the most complicated sections (note the chain on the right) of the path towards Cala degli Inglesi
The start of the path for Cala degli Inglesi is at the top, between Portofino and San Fruttuoso. There are several ways to reach it, the shortest one being from Portofino (where you can get by public transport). As an alternative you can start walking directly from Santa Margherita Ligure. In the latter case, you can start by following the beautiful walk along the sea between Santa Margherita and Paraggi.
Sea promenade Santa Margherita Portofino
View from the promenade between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino

Just before the famous Cervara, you can decide to go up along a path in the woods.
Sea promenade Santa Margherita Portofino
View from the promenade between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino
Alternatively, you can go up later, from Paraggi, along the wild path of the mills (with some remains of old stone buildings) or along the valley of the Niasca stream. Finally, you can simply start from Portofino along one of the paths to San Fruttuoso... it is incredible how many alternative trekking routes there are in the park of Portofino.
Path Portofino San Fruttuoso
The main path above Portofino, towards San Fruttuoso before the detour to Cala degli Inglesi
The important thing, to get to the start of the path for Cala degli Inglesi, is to arrive in the La Cappelletta - Olmi area. Here, from the path 113C, part, indicated by a wooden sign, the path 110C for Cala degli Inglesi. The first part is quite simple and only becomes a little precipituous when you reach the sea.
Path Portofino Cala degli Inglesi Path Portofino Cala degli Inglesi
Two simple passages, but exposed, and above all very panoramic, towards Cala degli Inglesi

When it starts to go down, the situation becomes a little more slippery and the first chains start to appear, with a solid appearance. With due calm and attention, you should not be in danger. The views continue to be splendid.
Path Portofino Cala degli Inglesi
Path to Cala degli Inglesi
The required time for the paths always depends on the abilities of people, especially on a path like this. From Portofino, a couple of hours should be more than enough to reach Cala degli Inglesi. The very last part of the itinerary takes place in the middle of the trees and then on huge boulders on which, always with the help of the chains, you can go down to the sea.
Sentiero Portofino Cala degli Inglesi Cala degli Inglesi
The arrival on the sea at Cala degli Inglesi, between the cliffs of the Portofino Promontory
The climb takes place on the same route and is certainly simpler, and perhaps even faster, than the descent.
Sentiero Portofino Cala degli Inglesi
A chain along the path to Cala degli Inglesi
Back in La Cappelletta, you can lengthen the hike with a detour to Punta del Giasso. This trail, identified as 114C, requires no more than an hour including descent to the sea, ascent, and quiet admiration of the beautiful landscape. Obviously, it implies adding about 200 meters of elevation gain to the walk already made.
Punta del Giasso, Portofino
A view from the path to Punta del Giasso, Portofino

The itinerary to Punta del Giasso is simpler and faster than that for Cala degli Inglesi, but it does not allow you to diveo the sea, unless you dangerously climb down dizzying rocks. In fact, this excursion ends on a beautiful group of large rocks.
Punta del Giasso, Portofino
Among the rocks of Punta del Giasso
The return can take place on one of the various paths already mentioned. If from Punta del Giasso you want to return, walking, towards Paraggi and Santa Margherita, the fastest solution is probably to head towards San Sebastiano and from here to Niasca... a smart move also because before arriving at San Sebastiano you can admire this panorama on Portofino.
Portofino Bay
Portofino Bay
Depending on the itinerary covered among those proposed, and depending on the speed of the hiker (but obviously excluding the hypothesis of running!), from La Cappelletta to Santa Margherita it can take an hour and a half to two. Buses and ferries to / from Portofino can save you a lot of effort. The following map gives an idea of ​​the routes, click on it to access the album with maps and photos.
Cartina dei sentieri sul mare di Portofino
This map of Google Maps can help locate the path :)
So... have a good trip!! With caution, and if you are an experience hiker, this path from Portofino to Cala degli Inglesi (and Punta del Giasso) is an experience to be lived with enthusiasm, especially in spring and autumn.
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