Portofino Park by Kayak or Sup (paddle board): our 4 favorite spots

The sea of ​​Portofino Park lived with our eyes. By kayak or paddle board to discover the pristine sea between Portofino (Paraggi) and Camogli. Beaches, caves and secret spots to paddle as we like among cliffs, luxuriant marine fauna and glimpses of history!

Niasca – Paraggi, Outdoor Portofino’n Headquarter

Why on a Kayak or  Stand Up Paddle Board?

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding is not just about fitness. Above all, they are like boats that we use to move around the sea and continuously explore the environment around us. Among the various nautical means available, these, thanks to their agility and small size, are the most suitable for observing the coast up close among rocks and hidden ravines.

Discover our activities!

Today we will talk about some of our favorite places in the Portofino Marine Protected Area, most of which can only be reached by paddling. Particular places for beauty and naturalistic interest, far from the most popular tourist routes.

Paddles in hand we start from Niasca (home of our nautical base) for our virtual journey to Camogli, to discover the coast of the Portofino Park.

NB: This itinerary is practicable 12 months a year!

Paddle boarding at the lighthouse of Portofino

Olivetta Beach (Portofino):

After crossing the port of Portofino the first inlet we spot is the small bay of Olivetta. This beach can also be reached on foot on a path that connects the church of San Giorgio to the Lighthouse of Portofino. The cape, reachable only by sea, is dominated by the beautiful tower erected in medieval times which, together with the Brown Castle, forms the ancient fortification system that defended the Ligurian village by naval incursion in medieval times.

When the sea is calm we can paddle close to the rocky coastline and observe closely every detail of the rocks and the wildlife that populates it.

Approaching Olivetta

Between Portofino and San Fruttuoso: the “Vitrale”

Passed Punta Faro we enter  the B zone of the Marine Protected Area of Portofino. In this area, also called “partial reserve”, only small boats can navigate at very low speeds. The mere fact of traveling with kayaks and Paddle Boards, being able to be very close to the coast, makes us privileged explorers!

Paddling along the wild cliffs we come across a set of large boulders which, masterfully arranged by Mother Nature, form a tiny natural harbor. Punta Giasso (also known as Vitrale) could also be reached by land with a steep path which is now however impracticable.

This place is ideal for stretching your legs and swimming undisturbed before starting to paddle again. Attention is needed! Many times the landing is difficult due to the combination of waves and rocks that create insidious current games.

the “Vitrale”

Cala Colombara (San Fruttuoso):

After passing the “Cala degli Inglesi”, we reach a small inlet called “Colombara”. This site is very popular also between divers thanks to the presence of an underwater cave.

Entering the inlet you will be surprised by the architecture of the cliff that forms a high roof with a curious hole through which you can see the sky.

Cave of the “Eremita”:

Continuing our exploration of the southern slope of the promontory, we pass: the crowded San Fruttuoso Bay (famous for the statue of the Christ of the abyss) and Cala dell’Oro (zone A and integral protected reserve, here it is forbidden to enter without special permits!

With a few more paddles, near Punta Chiappa, we arrive at the beautiful and uncrowded Cave of the “Eremita”.

Punta Chiappa from above

According to popular tradition, stories have been handed down about the identity of the hermit to whom the name of the cave is owed. Here history and legend mingle, increasing the charm and mystery of this place.

Once you get here, you must disembark from the kayak or board and explore the cave by foot. This is in fact the only cave in the Portofino AMP that can be visited from the surface. From a naturalistic point of view this place has a lot to offer. Anemones, algae of different colors, sea tomatoes, limpets and different species of fish offer a great biodiversity.

Here we come to the end of our short virtual tour of the hidden pearls of the Portofino Park. You just have to prepare kayaks, sup and paddles and start the real one! For your safety before leaving listen to our advice:

Safety advice:

To explore these areas it’s necessary to have a proper kayaking or Sup technique, and a good knowledge of the area. Here the marine weather conditions change quickly and the escape routes are almost none. The B zone (from Portofino Lighthouse cape to Punta Chiappa) is exposed to both Libeccio (SW wind) and Scirocco (SE wind), while the area between Niasca and Portofino’s lighthouse is sheltered by the South Westerly swell and wind.

If you want to deepen your knowledge and navigate safely, join our courses or excursions.

If you are a PRO you can rent a Kayak (both sit on top and sea kayak) or a Sup at our centers in Niasca and Santa Margherita (here more info).

For more info, do not hesitate to contact us and … once you’ve tried it, leave a comment indicating your favorite spot!



Author: Giulia,  Kayak, Sup and Snorkeling guide // physical therapist // 12 months at sea

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