Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, bordering France and surrounded by The Alps, The Apennines Mountains and The Ligurian Sea. The region, which offers a variety of landscape and architecture, is quite famous as a tourist destination. Liguria has a wide stretch of uninhabited land which is full of greenery. The extensive woods in this region are full of Mediterranean vegetation which adds to the beauty of the place. The rocky beaches, culturally rich towns, impressive mountains, peaceful villages and lively atmosphere of Liguria attract tourists for different kinds of holidays. Some of the better-known destinations are Cinque Terre, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and Riviera di Levante.
Liguria’s 300-kilometre coastline is populated with some of the most well-known beaches like Finale Ligure, Baia dei Saraceni, Balzi Rossi, Riviera di Levante, to name a few. These beaches have been attracting tourists to their long and clean shores since the 19th century. Many of these beaches are blue flag beaches, which means they are safe for swimming and adventure sports. Snorkelling and surfing are among the most famous water sports that tourists enjoy in this region. Liguria is also known to attract a number of sea animals such as a wide variety of whales and dolphins. In fact, whale watching tours are very famous here. The Gulf of Genova belongs to an internationally protected area where whales and dolphins can be easily observed in their natural habitat.
The towns and villages leading to the shore are marked by narrow lanes lined by fishing boats and little shops. The multi-coloured buildings populate these sea-side towns and villages and make them look like a fine piece of mosaic painting.Although a very well-known destination and often crowded, it is not very difficult to find secluded hamlets in Liguria which offer equally spectacular views, amazing beaches, pebbly turquoise coves and exciting landscape but in a more peaceful and unspoiled surrounding.
Genova, the capital of Liguria and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, is a unique destination which combines modern with ancient. The city was a very important maritime port during the Middle Ages. The place retains its old world charm through narrow alleys, elegant and impressive buildings, villas, historical shops and wonderful churches while the urban center is always bustling with energy and vibrancy. Adjacent to Genova is the picturesque village of Portofino which attracts tourists in large numbers. The place is known for its spectacular landscape and seascape, antique shops and wonderful weather. Some of the churches here are seven or eight centuries old. The fishing village has also become famous because it is generally frequented by celebrities and artists.
Cinque Terre is another very famous destination. It is a string of five villages along the Italian Riviera which are known for their cuisine, ancient vineyards and colourful houses. These villages look aesthetically very pleasing with their palm trees and dramatic landscape. There are no cars, no museums, just sandy pebbly beaches and a lot of sun.
On the western Riviera is the town of Alassio, a beautiful town that would tempt you to sit by the beach, and unwind with a book in your hand. With long beaches, historic monuments and scenic views, Alassio is a brilliant holiday destination. The town owes its beauty to its geographical location which offers panoramic sea views and the clean sea air.
Alassio is perfect for tourists who enjoy a good mix of relaxing and exploring. For the relaxing part, the four-kilometre-long and continuous beach is a good place to start. The beach is characterized by the finest quartz and calcareous sand, blending gently into the sea with minimal incline. The beach is safe to take a dip in the sea or enjoy water sports. The streets run parallel to the beach and are lined with restaurants, bars and shops. The town is crossed by a pedestrian cobbled road known as the Budello. It also happens to be the best place when it comes to shopping as the Budello is lined with shops ranging from modern brands to shops that sell the most precious antiques. The hills are home to several small villages like Moglio, Solva and Vegliasco which make a good day trip. Trying out the local dishes at these villages are a must do, especially for foodies. For hikers, the green path is a great place to hike as it is not only pleasant but also gives you panoramic views of the town.
Alassio became a tourist hotspot thanks to the influx of British tourists and they have played a major role in the development of this town. This is evident from the presence of villas and gardens. The most notable of the villas is the Villa della Pergola along with its exotic garden and a glinting dome covered in rainbow-hued majolica tiles. The rainbow coloured dome can be easily recognised no matter which part of the town you are at. Other places of interest include the Romanesque style Parish church of Sant'Ambrogio whose central vault is frescoed with scenes from the life of Sant'Ambrogio. The Saracen tower was built to defend the town from outside attacks from the sea. Another interesting place of interest is the Muretto, which is a wall of 1000 tiles signed by local and international celebrities.