Eurotrip Vacation Review: Santa Margherita Ligure

Our third stop on the Eurotrip was Santa Margherita Ligure. This was a destination Katy had been to before but to which I had never been. We transferred to Santa Margherita by train, purchasing our tickets through self-service kiosk at the main train station in Florence (S.M.N.). This actually proved to be a fairly easy way to travel, even though we had to transfer twice. The total cost for the tickets was around 40 Euro apiece, which is much cheaper than any other alternative to get from Florence to the Northern Italian coast.

Here are a few of our favorite spots:

  • Hike to San Fruttuoso (& Giorgio Restaurant!):This was easily one of our most memorable outdoor activities of the trip! All in, it’s somewhere around a 4 mile hike, that we were very much excited to do, because the promise at the end of it was an Aperol Spritz and some of the finest white sardines you’ll ever eat at this small local restaurant in the town of San Fruttuoso. The hike had a fair amount of elevation, and some stunning views along the way:

Hike Views

Giorgio Restaurant Sardines

  • Portofino: a great destination in its own right; Portofino is the lap of luxury when it comes to fancy Northwestern Italian Coastal Getaways. It’s a pretty fun town with lots of (somewhat overpriced, as expected) dining and shopping options. We saw several massive yachts, including one worth several hundred million dollars – Zeus:

Zeus Yacht

  • Capo Nord: this was a fairly upscale dining spot literally right on the Mediterranean Ocean. One of the coolest places we’ve ever dined outdoors, I could actually stick my foot in the sea from our table. This was the view from our table:

Capo Nord View with Yacht

  • (The Train to) Punta Chiappa: this is a very cool little spot a few miles away from where we stayed. We could have hiked to it, but we had been fairly active for a few days before so we opted to take the train. It cost us around a couple Euro, and was super fast and easy. Plus – an added bonus – train station views (and beers!):

Beer and View at SML Train Station

The hotel we stayed at in Santa Margherita was Blu di Te House. It was boutiquey and chic, and we very much enjoyed the accommodation as well as the price (it was about middle of the road – not too expensive, but definitely not a hostel). As to be expected, the common area amenities, snacks, apertifs, and breakfast (buffet style, included in the rate), were all outstanding. Here is a picture of the lobby to give a frame of reference for how warm and friendly the room (and the staff!) was:

Blu di Te Lobby

Til Next Time,


Eurotrip 2018 (Memorial Day Vacation)

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In order to maximize time off, we decided to do a Memorial Day trip to Europe this year to do our big trip for the year. While we weren’t able to take (quite) as much time off as we wanted, it was still a great way to get away for nearly two weeks while only having to use only ~6 days of PTO. Capitalizing on a late Friday departure and a return stateside the Tuesday after Memorial Day, we were able to achieve a 12 day vacation and hit three total destinations that were of huge interest to us: Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands.

We departed late on a Friday (4/19), flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Zurich, Switzerland (ATL>ZUR). The cheapest option to get us across the Atlantic was to fly into Zurich, and we didn’t mind since it was a destination we had always been interested in. We ended up paying 40k Skymiles apiece for a one-way Delta Comfort Plus fare (not First Class, but more room than Economy), which we found to be fair.

The flight from ATL>ZUR was an overnight flight for us, meaning we took off in the evening on 4/19 (Atlanta time) and landed in Switzerland in the morning on 4/20 local time. We had a wonderful time in Zurich, and wish we had more time to explore and enjoy the culture. Given we only had a short time away, though, we were interested to get to Italy as quick as possible, so we only opted for one night in Zurich.

Sunday, around noon, we departed on a train from Zurich to Florence, Italy. The train through the Swiss Alps proved to be quite the preferable option, not only because we got great views of the Alps (and Lake Como), but even more so because it runs you around the same amount of time as it would to fly. As an added benefit, it was actually significantly cheaper to head South via train as well, which was a plus for us. Intra-Europe travel via train couldn’t be easier either. More to come on that at a later date!

In Florence, we spent 3+ days touring around and generally enjoying ourselves. We even opted for a private chauffeur to take us on a day excursion to Tuscany, and ended up finding a lot of wonderful places, including several vineyards. We stopped in San Gimignano, which was a recommendation from Katy’s parents, and then continued onward to three vineyards, our favorite of which was ….

From Florence, we took another train Northwest to Santa Margherita, a quaint beach town where to locals go to vacation, near Portofino and Cinque Terre. We hiked around quite a bit and relaxed quite a bit, exploring the surrounding beach towns over our 3+ days there. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there, and will share many more memories of that time in a future post.

To round out our trip, we took a taxi from Santa Margherita to Genoa, to catch a flight up to Amsterdam. We spent our last two nights in Amsterdam, soaking up every minute of the Dutch culture that we could!

Our flight home from AMS>ATL may have been just a touch more enjoyable than the Easterly long-haul, primarily because we were in Delta One+. As always, it was an extremely professional and top notch experience.

Needless to say, it was quite a journey, and we are very excited to share more in future posts!

Til Next Time,