Where to stay Portofino and the Saint George festival

We want to travel to Portofino for the Feast Day of Saint George which starts on April 23rd with a "bonfire" on the beach and a procession of St. George the next day. Here want I need help on: We will be in Cinque Terre for 3 nights, than want to travel north to Portofino. We won't have a car for this portion of our trip- so is the train a option to get us to Portofino??
Renting a car could be an option as we are traveling from Cinque Terre to Portofino for two nights than returning back south to Lucca in Tuscanny. Sounds like back tracking, but we want to experience this festival. Also has anyone heard of this festival? Little info is on the web for it. I found it my accident. Lastly, I know Portofino is expensive- but in April we won't have the summer crowds. Can you recommend a place to stay in Portofino that is not over $200 a night and is near the "beach" and "town", with balcony. (pool not important) Thanks, Mary

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5678 posts

The train doesn't go to Portofino, but you can travel by train to Santa Margherita Ligure and catch a bus to Portofino. I don't know how long it would take from S Margherita to Portofino by bus, but by car it would generally take me about 10 min in no traffic (or forever and a week on a Summer weekend, when I would drive right back since I could never find parking). I've never stayed in a hotel in Portofino, so I can't help you there, but with the requirements you described (balcony with vista, in town, and during thei patron saint feast), 150 euros is probably not enough. I don't know what beach you are talking about, the only beach (if you can call it that) in Portofino is a piece of junk full of garbage down the path from the lighthouse. Maybe you meant near the boat harbour. If you want a balcony overlooking the harbour and the piazzetta (which is where they set the fire), 150 euros is definitely not enough. Lastly, I've never gone there for the bonfire, but my Italian friends who went there weren't particularly impressed. It's just a bonfire. I'm sure you can search on YouTube and see it. Search: Festa patrono San Giorgio Portofino. The Italian word for bonfire is FALO'.