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Photo of Liguria

About Liguria

The Cote d'Azur gets all the hype but just across the border in Italy is Liguria, a region with the same dramatic cascade of Alps tumbling directly into a crenelated Mediterranean coastline. Amazingly, the region is well known for its locally farmed cuisine despite the almost total lack of flat land, and it is the home of both focaccia and pesto. The capital of Liguria is Genoa, a maritime powerhouse which once ruled the Mediterranean. The region's best-known town is probably Portofino, followed by the villages of the Cinque Terre, which are definitely some of the best places to stay in Liguria.

Maybe it's the terraced farming which makes everything so tasty, or the accompanying fresh seafood? The mountainous landscape of Liguria influences everything about this region.

What To Expect

Housing is stacked high, on narrow streets, and some of the villages even seem to be laid on top of each other, sharing the same little harbours. The five villages of the Cinque Terre aren't the only places in Liguria which seem like they're so precariously nestled into the hillside that they could tumble into the sea at any moment. If you're driving through the region you will see all sorts of slightly dangerous looking architecture and town planning!

Behind the seaside resorts clinging onto the cliffs are the tiny medieval mountain towns, equally precariously positioned, but these are virtually unknown by tourists. This is where you can find some of the most delicious food anywhere in Italy. But you have to work for it, as many of these towns began as fortified garrisons, and within the ramparts the narrow lanes are designed to confuse invaders - which of course confuse visitors as well!

Genoa, the region's great port, isn't one of the most elegant of Italian cities. It is however a vibrant, lively place, ageing with style, with a gritty ancient maze of narrow streets at its heart, a reputation for excellent cuisine and some very well done regeneration work - including one of Europe's largest aquariums.

Spreading out from Genoa in both directions are dozens of sandy, and/or pebbly beaches, some of which have little resorts or fishing towns behind them. Driving between them is a great way to see more of the region than just the highlights.

Between Genoa and the French border is the Riviera di Ponente, which translates to 'of the setting sun'. Possibly an apt moniker, as this region feels like a charmingly fading seaside playground.

In the other direction from Genoa is the Riviera de Levante: 'of the rising sun', and this is the more popular stretch now, where you'll find the newest resorts and Portofino, Santa Margherita Liguria and Camogli which house many of the best places to stay in Liguria.

What Not To Miss

  • Spend the afternoon at the beautiful Portovenere or Boccadasse villages, both of which are filled with lots of lovely colourful houses and offer wonderful sea views. Charming spots.
  • Take a cable car up to the lovely Santuario di Montallegro church, boasting splendid interiors behind an impressive facade and with panoramic views of the area.
  • The 17th century Museo di Palazzo Reale's interiors are dripping with opulence, featuring a magnificent window room and various stone sculptures dotted around. Enjoy a picnic in the gardens after touring the property.
  • If that's whetted your appetite for architectural splendour then be sure to check out the Palazzi dei Rolli, a group of UNESCO heritage palaces in Genoa.
  • Hike around the Footpath Monterosso for a great way to experience the region's rustic beauty.

Don't forget that this region of Italy is incredibly busy during the peak summer months. So if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Liguria in July or August, get organised and book well ahead.

The best places to stay in Liguria

For Genoa city style

  • The Hotel Le Nuvole is a beautiful, traditional townhouse in central Genoa not far from the beach. The architecture is a Renaissance wonder, while the rooms are sleek and contemporary. One of the best places to stay in Liguria if you want a city break.
  • The 18th century Locanda Di Palazzo Cicala is a lovely building which expertly mixes old with new. Their large rooms feature French windows and simple yet chic decor. There are also apartments with full kitchens available. A top base from which to explore the city.

For stunning views

  • For old fashioned Cinque Terre charm try the Hotel Porto Roca - with its stunning views over the bay of Monterosso from large private balconies and a charming sun terrace.
  • Hotel Punta Est is a terrific 4* spot offering direct beach access via romantic, flower-filled terraces. Boasting large rooms with gorgeous views and various antique furnishings, there's also an outdoor pool and superb al fresco dining.
  • Palazzo Vescovile boats terrific sea views and there's even a lift to take you straight to the beach! Their rooms are classic in style and you can tuck into meals from the Il Vescovado restaurant. What's more, it's all set amid lovely gardens.

For Romantics

  • The Villa della Pergola is a beautifully renovated Byzantine villa, hidden out-of-the-way in hills perched almost on top of the beach. Historic and very romantic.
  • The Abbadia San Giorgio offers romantic accommodation complete with four posters, terracotta tiling and opulent furnishings. Enjoy a good book in the pretty courtyard and bask in the afternoon sun, or head down to the beach for the day. An intimate spot.
  • Domina Home Piccolo is set in a picturesque period villa with luscious surroundings. With minimalist contemporary accommodation, plus great views and traditional Ligurian meals served up, it's a top romantic getaway.
  • La Meridiana is a charming 5* spot, offering traditional rooms with antiques and artwork adorning the walls. Plus, there's an outdoor pool, a sauna in which to unwind and lovely gardens with views of the surrounding vineyards.
  • Hotel Eight, set in a farmhouse perched atop a hill, provides contemporary chic accommodation with all the mod cons. Relax in the garden jacuzzi and enjoy al fresco breakfasts on the charming veranda.
  • Hotel Splendido is a truly luxurious hotel overlooking Portofino harbour. Stay in timelessly elegant rooms with great views and enjoy meals at any one of their three sophisticated restaurants. With a swimming pool and a spa to boot, what's not to love?
  • Relais Del Maro is situated in beautifully peaceful rural surroundings, offering whitewashed rooms complete with antiques. This wonderfully restored property oozes rustic tranquillity - you'll leave feeling truly rejuvenated!

For Beach Breaks

  • Hotel Del Lido is a beach-side spot, boasting simple whitewashed accommodation with private balconies. Perfectly located for both sunbathing and exploring the historic centre of Lerici, it's an ideal getaway.
  • Hotel Astigiana is an elegant stay, with lovely traditional rooms featuring plenty of antiques and the beach just 50 metres away. Head off sailing, surfing or whale watching nearby.
  • Eight Hotel Paraggi is a typical Ligurian villa which enjoys a splendid location, nestled in a stunning private bay and boasting modern accommodation with balconies and hot tubs. Enjoy private candle lit dinners on the beach!

For Local Exploring

  • Ca'd'Andrean is a traditional property overlooking the sea. Offering unfussy accommodation from just £49, in a perfect location to head off exploring the Cinque Terre villages. A basic but charming getaway.
  • Hotel Marina Piccola is a contemporary chic hotel with accommodation mixing exposed brick walls and contemporary furnishings. Tuck into splendid Ligurian cuisine in the seafood restaurant and spend your days wandering around the surrounding villages.
  • La Madonnetta is an intimate B&B with amazing views over the Tyrrhenian sea. Their delightful rooms, featuring ornate furnishings, ooze historical charm.
  • Grand Hotel Villa Balbi, set in a gorgeous historic property, boasts truly elegant accommodation with chandeliers and antiques. Spend your days taking in the sight the of Riviera di Levante before coming back to traditional cuisine.
  • Hotel Suisse Bellevue is an unfussy spot, boasting simple accommodation and modern bathrooms. Relax on the private beach, wander around the gardens or head off exploring all over the Cinque Terre.

Intimate Stays

  • La Sosta Di Ottone III is nestled in the Levanto Valley, offering four well-styled rooms combining traditional and contemporary elements. With glorious sea views and a Michelin starred chef (as well as a top wine list!), you're bound to fall in love with the place.
  • Agriturismo Villanova is a B&B villa with 9 simple yet charming rustic rooms. Apartments are also available. There is a children's playground, making it a great choice for families, plus you can work up a sweat on their tennis courts.
  • Villa Rosmarino boasts just six modernist, fuss-free rooms. Set in a restored historic property, it is well located to explore all over the coast or head off on hikes through the surrounding forests.

For Total Relaxation

  • Hotel Cenobi Dei Dogi enjoys a wonderful location overooking the Camogli Gulf. Stay in crisp white, beach chic rooms and forget about all your worries in their spoiling spa.
  • Hotel Vis A Vis boasts traditional rooms with soft hues, wood panelling and sea views. Spend your days at the beach or by the pool before returning to unwind in the spa.

For a holiday villa or apartment

  • If you've decided that you'd rather the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • You may be best off visiting Liguria in the summer months with the temperature rising as high as 37°C in August! Don't worry though, most days are not that hot - on average, it is around 25-28°C.
  • That said, this is the busiest time of year, so be sure to book ahead if you're looking for one of the best places to stay in Liguria. If you want to avoid fellow tourists then September may be your best bet, when the weather is still lovely but the school holidays are over.
  • International guests can fly into Genova Airport - Ryanair offer direct flights from London Stansted and British Airways from Gatwick.
  • From the airport, take the bus or train on to your final destination.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Liguria

  • Ca'D'Andrean 10 rooms from $63

    Cinque Terre

    A traditional hotel overlooking the Ligurian sea. Charming, light-filled rooms with views and all the modcons. Lemon trees in the garden terrace add to the tranquil atmosphere. An ideal spot to explore the Cinque Terre villages and enjoy the scenery. Basic, but excellently positioned.

    Hideaway  -  Quiet location, views over the sea from the lemon tree garden, walkable seafood restaurants and the other Cinque Terre villages
    Great walks  -  Walks between the Cinque Terre villages; path between Corniglia and Vernazza has olive groves, rosemary and vines
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
    Check prices
  • Hotel Suisse Bellevue 30 rooms from $98

    Cinque Terre

    A charming hotel overlooking Ligurian sea. Rooms are delightfully simple, some with balconies, all with new bathrooms and brightly painted walls. Stunning views across the bay. Private beach, gardens and sun terrace to enjoy. A perfect choice for a beach break.

    Hideaway  -  Outstanding views over the Cinque Terre, plenty of beaches and surf spots to explore, walking paths and fresh seafood
    Sights nearby  -  Fegina Beach, Monterosso Beach, and Vernazza Beach, Bonassola Beach and Porticciolo Di Framura.
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the Ligurian Sea
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check prices
  • Hotel Marina Piccola 13 rooms from $98

    Cinque Terre

    A contemporary chic hotel with bags of style in Cinque Terre. Rooms are modern with exposed bricks, white lines and all the mod cons. Excellent Liguirian cuisine in the seafood restaurant and stunning sea views. Beaches and other villages walking distance away. Perfect for a beach holiday.

    Beach Life  -  Beaches, coastal walks with aloe and prickly pear plants. Fresh seafood throughout the 5 villages and stunning views
    Sights nearby  -  From Manarola, head to Punto Bonfiglio. Find a pretty park with a summer bar and children's play area
    Great walks  -  The coastal path which links all five villages is a wonderful route
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Hotel Le Nuvole from $97


    A beautiful traditional townhouse in central Genoa and not far from the beach. Wonderful Renaissance architecture. Contemporary sleek rooms, suites and family suites, some with mezzanine levels. Murals and frescoes on the ceilings as well as marble floors. City style with the old and new.

    City Style
    Sights nearby  -  Throughout the city you'll find marble Renaissance portals and niches with statues Virgin or of ancient columns.
    Traditional  -  Beautiful and traditional architecture.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Check prices
  • La Madonnetta 8 rooms from $103

    Levanto,, Liguria

    Delightful, small B&B with amazing views out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Brimming with historical charm, rooms include beautiful ornate furnishings and many sea views. Enjoy a tasty continental breakfast and take in gorgeous views from the veranda by eve. A great little find.

    Local exploring  -  A central stay within walking distance of coast and town
    Sailing  -  Perfect place to stay on a sailing trip around the Tyrrhenian Sea.
    Great walks  -  Great walking trails along the coast around Levante.
    Sights nearby  -  Cinque Terre is six miles away.
    Check prices
  • Agriturismo Villanova 9 rooms from $103

    Levanto, Cinque Terre

    B&B villa. Rooms have rustic furnishings with wrought iron beds, terracotta tiled floors and pretty fabrics. Apartments are in separate farmhouse, very secluded. Breakfast is served in charming dining room or sunny terrace. Children's playground, making a wonderful choice for young families.

    Families  -  Lovely place for children with a play area, tennis courts and gardens, and with the coast just a short drive away
    Cooking classes  -  Villanova offers 1 day cooking classes in traditional Ligurian cuisine
    Great walks  -  Wide choice of paths that lead from Levanto to Cinque Terre
    Surfing  -  Great surf beaches and rental in Levanto
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Locanda di Palazzo Cicala 20 rooms from $113


    Unique hotel in city centre. Behind the 18th century facade, large rooms are blend of contemporary and traditional, with big bathrooms and French windows. Apartments have full kitchens and living areas. Sensational decor, central location and chic atmosphere. Very family friendly.

    Families  -  Very family friendly; suite is big enough for extra beds and apartments have full kitchens to prepare dinner after sight seeing
    Romantic Break  -  Opposite the picturesque Catherdral, with murals and antiques in the rooms, opulent bathrooms and romantic mood
    Sights nearby  -  Porto Antico area (with Aquarium, Galata Museum of the Sea and Bigo the panoramic lift)
    Local markets  -  In the little and narrow streets in the old part of the city
    Check prices
  • Hotel Punta Est 40 rooms from $114

    Finale Ligure Savona, Liguria

    A fabulous Four Star hotel with direct access to the beach. Romantic stepped terraces leading down to the sea, a large swimming pool, billiards rooms, excellent al fresco dining, and large rooms, suites and family suites. An ideal spot for a summer holiday as a couple or family.

    Beach Life  -  Private beach and spectacular views.
    Views  -  Stunning sea views from all angles.
    Romantic Break
    Romantic  -  A romantic setting.
    Check prices
  • Relais del maro 14 rooms from $114

    Borgomaro - Imperia, Liguria

    A lovingly converted property in a quiet corner of rural Italy. Beautifully decorated rooms have white washed walls set against gentle pastel colours and antique furniture. Sumptuous breakfasts are served on the terrace or in the domed breakfast rooms. Close to gorgeous sandy beaches. A real treat.

    Hideaway  -  Just 20 minutes from the Italian Riviera yet find complete tranquility in this sleepy village.
    Families  -  Families are made to feel very welcome - babsitting is available too.
    Sights nearby  -  Borgomaro itself is lovely to explore with crumbling houses and an impressive 17th-century church.
    Great walks  -  Gorgeous walks along the coast and through mountain paths.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Abbadia San Giorgio 6 rooms from $121

    Genoa, Liguria

    Romantic hotel close to the beach. Elegant rooms have wrought-iron four posters, terracotta tiles and opulent gold furnishings. The quiet courtyard contains a garden, access to hotel pool next door. Authentic, pretty and good value.

    Romantic Break  -  Wake up to church bells, potter down to the private beach, a day trip to Cinque Terre or read in the pretty courtyard
    Great walks  -  To the private sandy beach nearby
    Sights nearby  -  Castle of Villafranca
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Grand Hotel Villa Balbi 105 rooms from $168

    Sestri Levante, Liguria

    A traditional hotel overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio. Elegant bedrooms have antique furniture and curtains with all mod cons. Flower gardens, pool, and beach a short walk away. Great Italian cuisine and bar complete with chandeliers. An ideal choice for families.

    Local exploring  -  Destinations of the Riviera di Levante nearby: Portofino, San Fruttuoso, Genoa which can be reached by boat, train or car
    Families  -  Plenty of child friendly spots with the pool, safe beaches, playgrounds and gardens
    Seaside  -  Seaside of Sestri Levante
    Views  -  Gulf of Tigullio
    Check prices
  • Hotel Cenobio Dei Dogi 105 rooms from $149


    A picturesque hotel, ideally located overlooking the Camogli Gulf. Beach chic rooms decorated in crisp white palettes with splashes of colour and excellent views. The on site restaurant serves superb regional cuisine, and the spa offers an extensive range of treatments. A delightful stay.

    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in style with massages and beauty treatments, an outdoor saltwater pool and suites boasting whirlpool tubs.
    Beach Life  -  With private beach access, pool, sea-food restaurant and stunning views over the Camogli Gulf.
    Cooking classes  -  The hotel offers cooking classes in ancient Ligurian cooking traditions and haute patisserie.
    Great walks  -  There are a range of hiking paths starting right from your front door.
    Check prices
  • Villa Rosmarino 6 rooms from $160

    Camogli, Liguria

    'Hidden gem' is an oft overused cliche; however this property, one of a kind in the Italian Riveria is just that. Those who favour modernist, fuss-free decor will love its' clean lines, light filled rooms and retro furniture pieces. Breakfast is served and charming restaurants are walking distance.

    Great walks  -  Through forest and along hill tops to the impressive 13th century San Fruttuoso Abbey.
    Sailing  -  Take a boat trip to the sleepy and almost untouched fishing village of Portofino.
    Sights nearby  -  The basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is within walking distance.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 8 are welcome.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check prices
  • Hotel Astigiana 24 rooms from $160

    Varazze, Liguria

    An elegant and traditional seaside hotel. Rooms are luxurious with antique finishings and bathrooms. Restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Italian coastline just metres away for swimming, sailing and sunbathing. Ideal for families or a couple.

    Historic  -  Hotel established in 1919
    Beach nearby  -  50 metres from the beach
    Golf  -  The Filanda Golf Club
    Sights nearby  -  Church of Sant’Ambrogio and the palace of Beato Jacopo
    Check prices
  • Palazzo Vescovile 8 rooms from $174

    Noli, Liguria

    Once home to bishops, Palazzo Vescovile has stunning panoramic views and its own lift taking guests straight down to the beach. Rooms are simply decorated with classic wooden furniture. Enjoy meals at the Il Vescovado restaurant and dine with sea views. A truly relaxing Italian hideaway.

    Great walks  -  Hike up to the Marquis Del Carretto Castle or reach the town of Spotorno on the medieval Dantean trail
    Sights nearby  -  Noli is renowned for its fascinating medieval and renaissance architecture
    Local markets  -  Explore local Italian street markets
    Views  -  Stunning views over the Bay of Noli
    Check prices
  • Hotel Porto Roca 40 rooms from $206

    Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre

    Charming old fashioned hotel in the Cinque Terre. Stunning views from every bedroom most with a large balcony. Relax on a lounger by the pool and pretend you're part of the Portofino set.

    Views  -  Stunning views over the bay of Monterosso
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check prices
  • Domina Home Piccolo 22 rooms from $257


    A refined period villa immersed in lush vegetation, typical of the Ligurian Riviera. In contrast, rooms are modern with minimalist furnishings and stunning views. Enjoy breakfasts on the terrace, fresh fish and traditional Ligurian cuisine in the hotel restaurant. Truly romantic.

    Views  -  Stunning views over the bay
    Sights nearby  -  Just 450m from the centre of town
    Local markets  -  Enjoy local street market
    Swimming Pool  -  Private beach access
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices
  • La Sosta di Ottone III 6 rooms from $263

    Cinque Terre

    Nestled in the Levanto Valley, La Sosta offers traditional & contemporary rooms with exposed wooden beams and stonework alongside incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea. Soak up the local history and sights or simply relax on the terrace and enjoy the culinary excellence of Luca Palmero Scatena.

    Good wine list  -  Chef and Sommelier Luca Palmero Scatena joined in 2013
    Cooking classes  -  Luca Palmero Scatena offers 'jam sessions'; personalised cooking classes to guests based on their interests and experience
    Sights nearby  -  The perfect base for exploring the villages that make up the Cinque Terre
    Views  -  Stunning views over the Levanto Valley towards the Med
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Hotel del Lido 12 rooms from $263

    Lerici, Liguria

    A beach-side luxury hotel with gorgeous sea views. Simple white-washed rooms boast private balconies. Unwind in the large hot tub or stroll down to the beach. Numerous activities in the surrounding area from historical sights to epic hikes. An Ideal spot for holidays in the sun.

    Beach Life  -  Situated right on the beach in a picturesque area of Liguria.
    Sights nearby  -  Situated near the historical centre of Lerici. Wander round the pretty streets and visit the striking castle.
    Great walks  -  Explore the scenic hiking trails through the surrounding hills.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check prices
  • La Meridiana 28 rooms from $274

    Garlenda Savona, Liguria

    Charming 5* hotel on golf course. Traditional bedrooms have antiques, artworks and characterful fabrics. Outdoor pool, sauna, hot tub, pet friendly gardens. Excellent Ligurian cuisine in both restaurants and elegant bar. Peaceful, casual and friendly.

    Romantic Break  -  Views across vineyards, trips to Italian medieval villages, beaches close by, riding trips and relax by the quiet pool
    Sights nearby  -  Via Iulia Augusta is an ancient Roman road
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • Hotel Vis a Vis 46 rooms from $285

    Levante, Liguria

    A charming property complete with large pool, within walking distance of the beach. Traditional rooms are decorated in soft hues with wood panelling and large windows, boasting fabulous sea views. Simple Italian cuisine is served in the terraced restaurant. An excellent base for seaside holidays.

    Total relaxation  -  The ideal spot to unwind, with a deluxe spa, lovely outdoor pool and just a few minutes walk from the beach.
    Great walks  -  Go for long walks in the picturesque Cinque Terre National Park.
    Diving  -  Wonderful diving opportunities at the nearby centre.
    Sailing  -  Take a boat ride to the Portofino Resort.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens
    Check prices
  • Villa della Pergola 13 rooms from $365

    Alassio Savona, Liguria

    A beautifully renovated Byzantine villa set in the hills just above the beach. Gorgeous rooms have elegant furnishings and lots of natural light. Fabulous wisteria clad gardens, spectacular views, pool, and lovely terraces filled with flowers. A romantic spot for couples or honeymooners.

    Views  -  Stunning hilltop views of the Ligurian sea.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Romantic Break
    Check prices
  • Eight Hotel Paraggi 13 rooms from $491


    A Ligurian villa nestled in a private bay on the Italian Riviera. Stunning modern rooms and suites with balconies and hot tubs, fabulous Italian cuisine, private candle lit dinners on the beach, and plenty of sun traps to bathe in. An ideal choice for a romantic beach holiday.

    Foodies  -  Meticulous Italian cuisine.
    Beach Life
    Outstanding location  -  Set in a private bay on the Italian Riviera.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices
  • Hotel Eight 17 rooms from $617


    A Ligurian farmhouse perched on a hill just above Portofino village with a charming private garden with jacuzzi. Contemporary chic rooms and suites have all the mod cons, balconies, and attractive furnishings. Charming breakfast verandah and walking distance to restaurants. Romantic, picturesque.

    Traditional  -  A traditional Ligurian house.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Fodors
    Hotel Website
  • Hotel Splendido 85 rooms from $777


    A luxurious Italian hotel set on a stunning hillside, overlooking Portofino harbour. Rooms are timelessly elegant and boast impressive sea views. A choice of three sophisticated restaurants, serving traditional Italian cuisine. Swimming pool, spa and health centre. Quintessential Italian splendour.

    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Kayaking  -  Explore the wonders of the Italian Riviera aboard a kayak.
    Fishing  -  The hotel fishing boat: "Castel Dragone”
    Diving  -  Hotel's own Scuba Diving programme.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices