Our sailing notes
Our vessels embark in Spezia, which is very well sheltered and close to the delightful village of Lerici on the east coast and ideal stop for the first night.
Portovenere is along the other end of the gulf and, even if not officially in the Cinqueterre, is not a lesser marvel, and easier to reach by boat. Great anchorages between Portovenere and the wild Isola Palmaria, and close to Tino Island.
The Cinqueterre is a dramatic and very steep stretch of Coast comprising the villages of Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. There are no anchorages between Portovenere and Levanzo, but the view remains spectacular. The coast is incredibly steep and still shows the wounds of the 2012 flood that nearly submerged Vernazza. The road up the hill is still closed (as of Jan 2014) so the only ways to reach the villages are the train and the boat.
Another 15 miles or so will take you to the Portofino peninsula, the poshiest and better preserved stretch of coast of Liguria. Excellent restaurants, great villas, the unique Portofino Harbour and the villages of Rapallo and Santa Margherita are the pearls of the Gulf, a very popular destination. You can also dive in San Fruttuoso to find 2 strange sights: a Christ made of stone and a cage full of 60000 bottles of italian champagne that a producer decided to place there to obtain a more stable temperature...