Bordighera is one of the most charming villages on the Riviera dei Fiori. Just a few kilometers from the French border, from here you can admire the stretch of coastline leading to the Principality of Monaco, where Ventimiglia (4 km), Menton, and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin follow one another.

Frequented both in summer and winter, Bordighera is famous for flower cultivation and the beautiful Lungomare Argentina, the longest pedestrian promenade on the Ligurian Riviera, which offers a breathtaking view towards Montecarlo.

In the nineteenth century, Bordighera was a sought-after tourist destination for English nobility; today, it is a lively center in all seasons, perfect for a day trip or a longer vacation. Let’s discover together the most beautiful things to see and the experiences not to be missed.

The History of Bordighera

What to See in Bordighera in 1 Day
Overview of Bordighera Photo Canva Pro

Bordighera is a famous location for its good climate, attracting many tourists from all over the world.

The first to stay in Bordighera and fall in love with the area were the English. They truly loved the mild temperatures for most of the year, the breathtaking views of the sea, and the abundance of plants that acclimated perfectly here.

It is said that it was thanks to them that the Impressionist artist Claude Monet stopped here for several years, attempting to capture on canvas (he made 34) the typical light of the area.

Even the first queen of Italy fell in love with Bordighera and built her residence here.

What to See in Bordighera in 1 Day
Historic Center of Bordighera Photo Canva Pro

Bordighera is a beautiful village of Roman origin; however, the city is divided into two areas, namely the historic center, which is a beautiful ancient fortified village with countless narrow streets, and a part dating back to the nineteenth century that overlooks the sea.

But let’s head straight to Bordighera and find out what to see in 1 day.

1. Lungomare Argentina

Inaugurated by Evita Perón in 1947, Lungomare Argentina is the longest pedestrian promenade on the Riviera di Ponente, measuring 2 kilometers. The promenade develops between the sea and gardens. In the evening, it transforms into the main and most fashionable street as it is populated by both tourists and locals.

Lungomare Argentina

2. Giardino Esotico Pallanca

The Giardino Esotico Pallanca is a meticulously curated botanical garden specializing in cacti and succulent plants. It is privately owned but open to the public. The garden has one of the most important collections of plants of this kind and covers an area of 10,000 square meters. Here you will also find shaded areas and a belvedere where you can rest while admiring a truly stunning scenery. For more information, visit the official website of the garden.

Giardino Esotico Pallanca in Bordighera, a must-see on a 1-day trip
Typical Succulent Plant of the Giardino Esotico Pallanca Photo Canva Pro

3. Villa Margherita

Villa Margherita owes its name to Queen Margherita of Savoy. The queen indeed had the residence built in 1914 and returned very often, dying here in 1926. The villa is in neobaroque style and is located halfway up the hill.

The view from this residence is truly enviable. Currently, however, the villa is closed to the public and, therefore, can only be visited from the outside… what to say except that we hope it will reopen soon… A small clarification, however, do not confuse this villa with a hotel that bears the same name and has nothing to do with the queen’s villa.

Bordighera in 1 Day: view from above (via dei Colli) and Villa Margherita
Bordighera in 1 Day: view from above (via dei Colli) and Villa Margherita. Photo by AlfromLig via Wikimedia Common

4. Bicknell Museum Library

As mentioned, Bordighera was much loved by the English, and among the many, Clarence Bicknell must certainly be mentioned. He was a versatile character who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was a great botany enthusiast and, in 1888, founded a museum library bearing his name.

The Bicknell Museum Library was born as a true oasis of peace and can be visited either alone or with a guide. You will walk through the villa where he lived, now the seat of the International Institute of Ligurian Studies, but above all through the magnificent garden.

The garden of the Bicknell museum
The garden of the Bicknell museum, photo via Facebook

5. Sant’Ampelio Church

The Sant’Ampelio Church in Romanesque style is located at the eastern end of Lungomare Argentina. It is a very small and simple church with nothing special, but it is very dear to the local people because here, every May 14th, the local patron saint is celebrated.

This small church is also very popular with tourists because of its seaside location; that’s why this sacred building, recently restored, is definitely worth a visit.

Sant Ampelio Church, Bordighera
Sant Ampelio Church, photo by Chiara Saffioti via Wikimedia

6. Marabutto

Walking along the Bordighera promenade, you cannot fail to see an old powder magazine called Marabutto, and it is one of the most characteristic places in Bordighera. Here there are still three cannons called Butafoegu, Tiralogni, and Cagastrasse.

What to See in Bordighera in 1 Day
Walking in Bordighera Photo Canva Pro

7. Beodo Trail

If you like walking, I have something for you, namely the Beodo Trail just outside the Città Alta. It is a walk really within everyone’s reach (and I am sure of it since even a friend of mine who really hates walking did it!).

This trail runs along the canal of the ancient aqueduct called beodo by the locals. Throughout the journey, you can admire broom, olive trees, succulent plants, and magnificent views of the sea. In the first stretch of the walk, there are also the typical dry stone walls.

Map of the Beodo Trail
Map of the Beodo Trail, via walking in Liguria

8. Song Museum in Vallecrosia

The Song Museum is located in Vallecrosia, less than 5 kilometers from Bordighera. It was born from an idea by Elio Tripodi and was inaugurated in 1987 by Pavarotti.

The museum is located inside the Parco delle Sette Note, which preserves wonders of bygone times such as carillons, jukeboxes, radios, and much more. But not only that: here are also preserved memorabilia of singers and musicians such as Puccini’s passport and Celentano’s guitar.

The peculiarity of this museum is its location, as it is an authentic steam train from the early twentieth century.

Song Museum in Vallecrosia
Song Museum in Vallecrosia, photo by Patafisik via Wikimedia

9. Beaches

And how can we not conclude by talking about the beaches? In Bordighera, you will find several beaches, some even open to our 4-legged friends. Some beaches run parallel to the historic center, while others are a bit further out, namely to the east of the city station.

No matter which beach you choose, as they are all characterized by the presence of stones with stretches of sand and coarse-grained stones.

Beach in Bordighera
Image via Canva PRO

With its perfect blend of maritime charm, rich history, and natural beauty, Bordighera is a hidden gem on the Ligurian coast, ready to capture your heart. A 1-day trip will be enough to make you fall in love with this location in the Riviera dei Fiori.

Cover Photo via Canva Pro

Original article written by Monica Palazzi

Author: Viktoria Szabo

Sono una ragazza di 22 anni che sta vivendo il sogno d'infanzia studiando in Italia e facendo viaggi in tutta Europa mentre scoprendo se stessa e il nostro bellissimo pianeta. Ho sempre avuto una passione per l'ambientalismo, quindi viaggiare in modo sostenibile è sempre stato importante per me. Sono pronta a fare gite in bicicletta, cammini, dormire in tenda o prendere semplicemente un viaggio in autobus di quattordici ore invece di prendere un volo.
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