Finale Ligure - A coastal jewel between history and beauty

Mara Noveni | Live the World

May 29, 2024

Situated along the beautiful Italian "Riviera Ligure di Ponente", the city of Finale Ligure in the Liguria region, in Italy is a charming coastal paradise, combining a rich historical heritage with breathtaking nature.

Known for its pristine beaches, spectacular landscapes and rich medieval history, Finale Ligure is a must-see destination for those who want to immerse themselves in a unique mix of culture, relaxation and outdoor adventures.

Finale Ligure boasts a millenary history, dating back to Roman times, testified by the ancient palaces, the majestic walls and the many streets that wind through the historic centre, and has kept its timeless charm intact. Walking through these historic alleys means reliving the past, admiring ancient churches, buildings and medieval towers that bear witness to the great strategic importance that Finale Ligure has had over the centuries.

© iStock / FedevPhoto

But Finale Ligure offers much more than the classic seaside experience. Its privileged position between the sea and the mountains makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the splendid surrounding landscapes. The hinterland, characterized by green hills and charming medieval villages, invites you to pleasant excursions on foot or by bicycle along the numerous panoramic paths. Furthermore, the famous cliffs of Finale Ligure are a true paradise for sport climbing enthusiasts, with walls that attract climbers from all over the world.

© iStock / diego_cervo

In this article, we'll delve into the wonders of Finale Ligure, exploring its hidden treasures, historical places of interest and the outdoor activities that make this city so special. We will thus discover all that it is ready to offer us to make us fall in love with the city of Finale Ligure - A coastal jewel between history and beauty.


These are the three districts together with Varigotti which, with their peculiarities, make up Finale Ligure. Finalmarina, with its beaches, and its large open-air shopping centre; Finalborgo, with its historic centre which preserves the ancient glory of the Marquisate; Finalpia, the district of spirituality, but also a link between the sea and the hills; Varigotti, a fairy-tale agglomeration bordering the sea…


Today Finalmarina is one of the shopping capitals on the Riviera, its elegant historic centre, full of shops, traditional bars, futuristic clubs, tasteful restaurants, and trendy boutiques, is one of the favourite destinations for demanding and detail-oriented tourists.

© iStock / MicheleVacchiano

Thanks also to its beaches, of course, but also to its seafront, not only a place to stroll and be enchanted by the ever-changing beauty of the sea but also a flower garden in every season, with play areas for children and spaces to breathe the stories that the Mediterranean brings.

© iStock / Faabi

A walk in Finalmarina is a cultural journey to discover precious details, which takes us between majestic palaces, churches and imposing portals. An alternative to an afternoon at the beach, in the cool of the alleys to take pictures or take a tasty break in a small bar... away from the crowds.

An ideal itinerary to visit Finalmarina includes the Queen Margherita Arc, erected in 1666 to celebrate the arrival of Margherita of Spain; then continues with a visit to the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista, with its majestic Baroque facade and the surrounding noble palaces; still in Via Roma, to admire the prestigious black stone portal, attributable to the historic Del Carretto and Malvasia families, who made their fortune with maritime traffic; and ends with the Loggia Mercantile della Platea Magna, a splendid vaulted portico, which forms the backdrop to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

© iStock / ale72


Finalborgo surprises at every step, sometimes intimidating if one remembers its past, the seat of the Marquisate of the Del Carrettos. Already from the outside, contemplating the mighty walls, one has the sensation of the glorious past.

The bars, restaurants, artisan shops, and specialized shops for outdoor sports scattered among the alleys, squares and small squares make it a lively, welcoming village, where we meet bikers from all over the world to ride along the paths of history and nature, as well as lovers of art and culture.

© iStock / SurkovDimitri

The walking route to visit this village starts from the Cloisters of Santa Caterina, built at the end of the 15th century, a perfect example of Renaissance architecture; then continues by visiting the Chapel of Santa Maria degli Olivieri, in the Church of Santa Caterina, which houses one of the most important examples of medieval painting in Liguria; continues to the Palazzo del Tribunal, a beautiful example of the architecture of the past, now home to a museum where theatre activities and workshops are held; then we meet the Aycardi Theatre, a small jewel, the oldest nineteenth-century theatre in Liguria; the itinerary ends with a visit to the splendid Basilica of San Biagio, one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Ponente Ligure, rich in marble and works of art, such as the original white marble pulpit and the balustrade with angels.

© iStock / Alessandro Tortora


Finalpia is like this, double-faced, seafaring on its wide beach, fashionable in the waterfront and historic centre clubs, but also agricultural and adventurous along its paths leading trekking and mountain bike enthusiasts to Calvisio or the Manie plateau. I also have to mention the spirituality of the village, with its symbolic place, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Pia and the nearby Benedictine Monastery, a religious hub, of course, but also a centre of wisdom, with its apiary where honey, propolis and Ligurian-flavoured liqueurs are still produced today.

© Visit Finale / unknown

To discover the village of Finalpia, relax and enjoy your free time, immersing yourself in its atmosphere between history, spirituality and nature, you can think of a "slow" route. This slow route starts from the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria with its majestic stone bell tower dating back to the 13th century, one of the most important monastic centres in Liguria; continue to discover the Torre di Capo San Donato, a small watchtower built to protect against the frequent Barbary invasions; then we arrive at the Chapel of Sant'Antonio, with its bell tower with a rare triangular shape, which houses two valuable bas-reliefs.

© Visit Finale / unknown


And finally Varigotti, a place where everything is unique, starting with the Mediterranean architecture of its town which betrays a history of Turkish and Barbary pirates. In fact, these chose this strip of the Riviera, once difficult to reach by land, to take advantage of the inlet that protected them from winds and waves. It is no coincidence that the inhabitants of Varigotti are still nicknamed "Saracens" today! Getting lost, in thought, in its alleys and in its suggestive little squares is not difficult, just as it is not difficult to come across celebrities or cultural figures who choose the village as a "buen retiro" to spend the summer.

© iStock / Simona Sirio

The visit itinerary can begin with the Cloisters of San Lorenzo, a medieval church suspended between sea, sky and rock, dating back to the 15th century. Continue to the Torre di Varigotti, built on the ruins of the medieval castle, whose remains can be dated to the early 19th century; later, we can witness the spectacle of the villages suspended over the sea: small hamlets set in the Mediterranean scrub with the characteristic "Moorish houses" such as Pino, Chien and Isasco; as the last part of this itinerary, nature gives us the Sentiero del Pellegrino, one of the most fascinating and practicable routes in the Finale area which, starting from Varigotti, climbs up to the Mànie plateau to reach Noli. Between paths overlooking the sea, breathtaking views, intense scents along which you meet caves, towers and fascinating places, traces of an ancient past.

MTB itineraries

Known for its beaches and MTB trails, Finale Ligure is considered one of the world centres of MTB. It is no coincidence that one of the stages of the International Enduro World Series mountain bike race takes place here every year.

The mountains of Finale Ligure rise sheer above the sea and are crossed by over 1000 km of paths and forest roads descending from the ridges to the clear waters of the coast. Among these, there are more than 160 routes dedicated to mountain biking!

Furthermore, the area is rich in nature and dotted with gems of medieval villages. The most famous of these is Finalborgo, where bikers gather in the evening to have a drink and a bite to eat and to discuss their successes on the MTB trails of Finale Ligure.

© iStock / mel-nik

Staying in Finale Ligure

My advice is to spend at least 3-4 days in Finale Ligure, to visit all the places I have told you about, to spend a few days in total relaxation and also for its strategic position which allows you to visit many places nearby. For example, the Hotel del Golfo offers private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a large terrace overlooking the sea, has a fantastic location and offers rooms with a beautiful view of the sea, with an excellent breakfast and an equally excellent restaurant service.

© Booking / unknown

If, on the other hand, you prefer an independent solution, I suggest the charming Caterina Apartment, recently renovated, with a terrace and balcony offering a beautiful view of the sea, two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a living area and a bathroom.

© Booking / unknown

Or, again, I propose an exhilarating experience to spend in an eighteenth-century factory for the processing of anchovies located on the beach and transformed into a hotel. The Hotel San Pietro Palace has a refined restaurant and offers design accommodations and an excellent breakfast buffet. Possibility to rent bikes for mountain bikes. Highly recommended!

© Booking / unknown

In conclusion, if you are looking for a destination that combines natural wonders, fascinating history and an enchanting atmosphere, you cannot do without a visit to Finale Ligure. This quaint coastal town offers everything you could want from an unforgettable vacation. Its beaches are perfect for relaxing in the sun or enjoying a refreshing swim. But Finale Ligure is not just about the sea: the city boasts a rich historical heritage, with its ancient village full of cobbled streets, medieval buildings and charming churches.

Lovers of outdoor activities will find countless opportunities for entertainment: from panoramic excursions along the coastal paths to mountain bike adventures among the suggestive hilly landscapes of the hinterland, up to climbing the famous rocky walls of Finale. There is something for all tastes!

So, don't miss the opportunity to visit Finale Ligure and let yourself be conquered by its unique charm. Whether you are looking for relaxation, adventure or simply a holiday full of beauty, this city will give you unforgettable moments. Pack your bags and leave for an unforgettable journey to discover Finale Ligure - A coastal jewel between history and beauty. You will not regret it!

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