Liguria is very often chosen as the destination of the family holidays. There are many different reasons why it is so. Here you can find fantastic beaches, parks and many other attractions that will make crazy your kids. That’s why I decided to prepare a little guide for all of you who want to come in Liguria with kids 🙂
Stroller or baby carrier?
Well, it depends … Liguria is very mountainous. In many fishermen and hinterland hamlet as well as in Genoa will you find numerous stairs, hills, rises etc. They make quite difficult any stroll with a stroller. I think that the best solution is to have them both, a stroller and a baby carrier 😉 Of course, if it is possible. In any case, I don’t recommend you to come with a stroller to Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Tellaro, Sanremo, Cervo, Bussana Vecchia or Apricale. That places have definitely too many stairs, narrow streets and hills.
In Liguria, there is no restaurant that forbids the children’s entrance. What is more, the majority of them have high chairs and toys like crayons etc.
Ligurian public toilets are not prepared for very young tourists. Apart from few, rare exceptions, the public bathrooms in Liguria have no space where you can change your baby. That’s why you should be prepared for extreme conditions when you are going to change your baby.
You have to be quite careful when you are choosing a beach for staying with your kids. In Liguria, you can find many rocky beaches, with a very deep water. Moreover, the rocks are very often slippery so it is very easy to slip on them. That’s why below I list the beaches that are perfect for resting with children:
Beaches of Ponente Ligure (on the west from Genoa)
– Alassio – sandy, long and large beaches. The water here is very shallow even several meters from the shore. Moreover, every year in Alassio is organised sandcastles competition 😉
–Diano Marina – 3 kilometres long, sandy beach. It is one of the most important, sea resort in western Liguria. Also here the water is very shallow. Along the shore, you will find numerous playgrounds.
–Finale Ligure – here you can find the longest, sandy beach in whole Liguria (more than 4 km). What is more, Bagni Ondina offers a nice swimming pool with a slide. They also organise swimming courses for children.
–Andora – sandy beach with shallow water. From the local harbour, you can have a cruise of whale watching that is definitely an amazing experience.
I add also the following hamlets in western Liguria that are perfect for a stay with children: Loano, Pietra Ligure, Albissola Marina, Noli, Celle Ligure, Varrazze.
Beaches of Levante Ligure (on the east from Genoa)
–Lavagna-it is the longest beach in eastern Liguria. It is a gravelly/pebbled beach. The water here is quite shallow, not as much as in western Liguria but it is safe. In Lavagna, you will find also a sea promenade that connects it with Cavi, another small hamlet. This sea promenade is a perfect place for strolling with a stroller 😉
–Sestri Levante – here you can find some gravelly beach, however, the majority of them are sandy. Water is very shallow. From Sestri Levante departure ferries to Cinque Terre and Portofino.
–Moneglia– sandy beaches, very large. The town is very peaceful and quiet. It is separated from the rest of the world by two tunnels 😉 All private beaches that you can find here are prepared for receiving the smallest tourists.
–Lerici – here you can find a long, sandy beach. The water remains shallow for several meters from the shore. From Lerici, you can go through very picturesque sea promenade and reach a charming hamlet of San Terenzo. In Lerici, you can also visit a very nice, medieval castle.
All these sea resorts have Bandiera Blue (blue flag). It means that beaches and sea in these places are clean and it is safe to swim and stay there.
Exists also Bandiera Verde (green flag). This indication was given by society od paediatricians and indicates the best places to stay in with children. In Liguria, the beaches that have Bandiera Verde are Finale Ligure, Noli, Lerici and Lavagna.
In Liguria, you can find a lot of trails! They have different levels of difficulty and everybody can find something for himself/herself. Important warning: from June to August the weather in Liguria is really, very hot. The best time for trekking is April, May, September and October. Below I listed the places where can go even 10 years old children.
Parco Naturale del Beigua – it is the biggest, protected area of Liguria. The landscapes here are so awesome that the park was inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List. The park’s highlights are waterfalls, the medieval castle of Campo Ligure and even petroglyphs (!!!). For sure it is a very interesting alternative to laying on the beach all day long 😉 More about the park here.
Parco Naturale di Portofino – Its surface includes the whole peninsula of Portofino. There is a lot of trails here and generally, all of them are suitable for children. However, you have to remember that majority of them start with a very steep climb. Ones reached altitude, the trails are easy and lead on a plain surface. More about the park here.
Parco Naturale Regionale dell’Aveto – it is an area that includes mountains, numerous lakes and medieval monuments. Trails are not very difficult here, however, the summits reach 1800 meters above sea level. The most incredible place here is Giacopiane mountain lake where you can see wild horses that live in that zone (!!!). Another advantage of this place is that temperature here is always about 10º C lower than in the Ligurian seaside. More about the park here.
Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre – for sure this is a “star” of Liguria. You can find here many trails that are adapted for trekking with children. Definitely, the most popular and the easiest one is Sentiero Azzurro. It is the trail that connects all five villages. Unfortunately, nowadays is opened only a part from Monterosso to Corniglia. Ticket for the trail costs 7,50€/pers. (CT Card holders, free of charge). Other trails are more difficult and take much more time. The most typical characteristic of these trails is their steep rises. However, once you reach altitude you continue trekking on a plain surface. For example, the rise of Sentiero Azzurro takes about 25/40 minutes. Another important thing is that during the summer season, the trails of Cinque Terre are very crowded … very often even congested. (!!!) More info about Cinque Terre trails here.
It is a meeting of the best street artist from all over the world. Every year street theatres come to Sestri Levante and show their performances on the streets of the town. It is a great attraction, especially for children. They become crazy during the festival 😉 More info about the festival here.
Aquarium in Genoa
It is the biggest aquarium in Italy and the third, biggest in Europe. The pools that make the children crazy are the dolphins’ pool, the sharks’ pool and the penguins’ pool. Entrance costs 23€/pers. More info about aquarium here and here.
Galleon of Polański
It is a ship that is moored next to the Aquarium of Genoa. This is a full scale, ship replica of a 17-the Spanish galleon. It was constructed in for the film “Pirates” directed by Roman Polanski. It is a real ship that is able to cruise across the sea. After shooting, it was moved to a promotional tour in Cannes and then moved to Genoa where it can be admired nowadays. Entrance 6€/children 4€. More info about galleon here.
Good luck and good choices! 😉