The holiday season is well and truly underway, and many of us have already had fun in the sun. But there are those of us who have left our summer holiday planning to the last minute and those of us with no clue where to start…

The key purpose of a summer getaway is relaxation – something we need more now than ever, thanks to a uniquely stressful year. The perfect destination, then, can be found in the Italian Riviera. This loosely defined region describes a particular kind of retreat, defined by unbelievable coastal vistas and luxurious jaunts to restaurants, cafes, and beautiful plazas.

But which destinations stand out for a relaxing getaway?

Charming Portofino

Portofino is one of the leading Italian Riviera destinations, and for a good reason. Relatively speaking, it is minuscule; well below a thousand people live there permanently, and it bears more resemblance to a fishing settlement than an international coastal destination. This is something of a theme amongst the better places to visit on the Italian coast, but Portofino ranks particularly high amongst them for the unique form of its landscape cuts.

A major draw for Portofino is the picturesque nature of its coastal architecture. The trademark pastel hues of Portofino’s buildings make the coastline a beautiful sight to behold, the coastline itself playing host to some of the most aesthetic café locations you will ever find in the Mediterranean.

italian riviera camogli

Stunning Amalfi

While Portofino is a deeply popular coastal location in the Italian Riviera, it is arguably the Amalfi coast that well and truly defines it. The Amalfi coast encompasses 30 miles of the Campania region’s coast, along which lie numerous amazing locales – from quaint villages to imposing cliff faces and brilliant beaches besides.

The Amalfi coast is a regular fixture in Italy tours for these reasons, being a stunning stretch of Tyrrhenian coastline with a great deal to offer the discerning tourist. Myriad places in Amalfi suit the laid-back visitor, from quiet restaurants to the rich leisure of beachside palazzos.

Pastel Perfection at Santa Margherita Ligure

North of Portofino, the Liguria region hosts one of the most quietly elegant Riviera resorts on Italy’s eastern coast: Santa Margherita Ligure. This harbour resort is a beautiful place for rest and relaxation, combining the soft hubbub of a thriving harbour town with the pomp and romance of an exclusive European getaway. Its restaurants are arguably its biggest draw, offering the freshest seafood produce in a characterful seaside location.

Tranquil Camogli

Finally, we come to the understated and criminally underrated Camogli. Camogli is another destination on the Portofino peninsula, but it stands apart from other resort destinations for being something of a secret… Camogli is a fishing village with beautiful housefronts that have become the Italian Riviera’s trademark, but one with much lower tourist traffic. While its popularity is increasing, there is still time to find yourself in one of the quieter and more relaxing resorts on this popular peninsula.