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Carl Ottersen 3 Days Italian Riviera

  • Three Days in the Italian Riviera

    Riviera di Levante • Riviera del Ponente

July - September

Actual start dates are flexible so that we can fit in with your own travel intentions. Once we have the first confirmed participant, we will block the date.

€300 per participant

€120 discount for a companion. To view the terms of booking and to reserve a place, please scroll down to the form at the end of this page.

Group Size

The target group size is from 4 to 6 participants, so that the experience and training is personal. But we only need 1 participant to confirm the tour is a 'go'.

Tour Only

This is a tour only offer. All lodging, meals and beverages are at your expense. We will suggest good local places to eat in along the way, with varied menus to suit all palates.

Photo tour led by Carl Ottersen

The Italian Riviera is a great arc of olive-green hills that curves around the northwestern coastline of Italy from Tuscany to France. It has a spectacular and famed coastline, with places like Portofino and the Cinque Terre the most prized of its many fishing villages, pitched atop steep hills that cascade to the sea.

Everyone who travels to the Italian Riviera stays by or near to the sea, because its golden sand beaches are so welcoming, the water is so inviting and the colorful lanes of bistros and boutiques are so enticing. For those who venture into the narrow valleys behind those beaches, along the winding gullies and over long-fingered ridges that splice the land into ribbons, another Liguria awaits. For here are the hill-towns and mountain villages, hidden among olive groves and resplendent in tumbling bougainvillea, the fresh ripple of a stream beside them and lazy smoke coming from the chimneys of country taverns.


Of course you can bring your companion with you! With our local partners we have created a number of interesting and rewarding activities for them to fully enjoy the time too.


This is the dry season so, though it does rain from time to time. In the plains it is hot, but up high, as we will be, it is very cold at night, even close to freezing, so bring a mix of clothes.


Energetic but not mountain climbing. You do have to be in reasonable health, capable of one hour hikes up hills. Do bring good walking shoes.

Tour Program

Touring the Italian Riviera is ideal for the photographer, with the light and shadow playing off hills, trees, stone buildings and the eternally present sea. These three day photo tours are as much about stopping to photograph the natural scenery and local life as it is to see the places mentioned. You will learn and practice several photographic techniques: composition, street photography, unusual angles, portraits, film/shutter/aperture combinations, depth of field, using light and many others.

Start time is 7:00am. Lunch is from 12:30 to 14:30 (time to relax, review photos and let the sun pass overhead). Photo skills will be reviewed "as-you-go" and also at the end of the day so you get the best from these opportunities. After dinner you will also have something to see and enjoy, always with photography in mind. Remember that the final itinerary can always vary on the day, thanks to weather conditions, traffic, time of day, interesting events or any mix of the four.

Option A: Riviera di Levante

This three day tour lets you see and learn about beautiful places in the Riviera di Levante, which is the eastern side of the Italian Riviera, running from the border with Tuscany to Genova, and including the spectacular Cinque Terre and Portofino.

Day One
The tour begins in Genova, going inland to the hill towns of Crocefieschi, Savignone and Vobbia, returning through Ceranesi to then spend the late afternoon and early evening in the beautiful fishing town of Camogli.

Day Two
The tour begins in Rapallo, to get to Portofino and, if possible, to San Fruttuoso, then inland to Carasco, Ne and the Gamaba Tesa mine before spending the late afternoon and early evening evening in Sestri Levante.

Day Three
The tour begins in La Spezia, going inland to Pignone and Brugnato before turning back to the coast to drop in on one or two of the Cinque Terre, before finishing the late afternoon and early evening in romantic Portovenere.

Option B: Riviera del Ponente

This three day tour lets you see and learn about beautiful places in the Riviera del Ponente, which is the western side of the Italian Riviera, running from Genova to the border with France and Monaco, including the lovely Alassio and fabulous hill towns that cling to their rocky crags.

Day One
The tour begins in Sanremo, we go inland to the hill towns behind Bordighera, including Dolceacqua, Pigna, Apricale and Seborga. After lunch we travel the valley behind Sanremo to visit places like Bussana and Lucinasco, spending the late afternoon in Imperia and the rest of the day in Sanremo.

Day Two
The tour begins in Albenga, we head inland to the villages of Castelvecchio, Castelbianco and Zucarrello, then back to Albenga and Alassio before finishing in romantic Cervo, overlooking the sea.

Day Three
The tour begins in Savona, we go deep inland to Sasello, Cairo Montenotte and Melliesimo, returning to the coast for lunch. In the afternoon, visits to the villages of Bergeggi and Finalborgo before finishing in Noli.


We provide shuttle from/to Genova airport or train station, tour transport, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, light refreshments and soft drinks, museum passes and other related tickets. For indoor photography we have reflectors and light boxes. All fees quoted are inclusive of taxes.

Don't forget!

Other than your digital camera (any type will do) you should bring some lenses, a sturdy tripod and ideally a shutter release cable. There is a fair amount of walking, some in rough patches, so wear 'sensible' shoes and casual clothes with lots of pockets. The sun can be strong; light headgear might be good for some.


If you don’t bring a tripod we have some spares. If you are using a Canon DSLR then we also have some extra lenses.

Photos from tours in the Italian Riviera

Reserve your place on this tour

Once we receive your request we will call and email you to confirm details.


Bookings are made directly with the photographer. For more details please contact Carl Ottersen by email to carl.ottersen@gmail.com.


  • Fees exclusive of your own travel to/from the pick-up point
  • Fees do not cover international travel or medical insurance


  • 50% on confirmed booking, by PayPal or wire transfer
  • 50% paid at the start of the tour, in cash


  • 50% refund or reschedule in the event of prolonged rain
  • 50% refund if cancelled 3+ days before the tour date
  • No refund for late arrival

Registration Form

Just to be clear, filling in and sending this form does not commit you to anything or any payment until the booking is confirmed, which will be done with the photographer directly after you both have spoken and agreed everything.

Please fill in all the fields.

Your Name

Your eMail address

Your telephone number

Select the tour option(s) you would like to join:

Your ideal start date for the Tour

Do you need us to arrange accommodation?

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Carl Ottersen

Carl offers photo tours in Italy and Indonesia. He is the author of six books, mostly on travel, which are full of wonderful photographs. His photographs and articles have been published in several travel magazines and travel related websites. Carl also has an ongoing exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia in partnership with JW Marriott to promote educational support for children.

Read more about Carl and his photo tours
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