Get to Know Italy's Most Famous Beaches
Surrounded by both the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, Italy is lucky to claim some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. From crystalline lagoons and secluded bays, to sandy shores flanked by soaring cliff faces and colourful coastal towns, travellers are truly spoilt for choice.
If you're planning a beach-filled Italian trip, the best times to go are in Spring (April and June) and Autumn (September and October). This is when the temperature is nice and moderate, but there are less tourists and prices are cheaper. Win, win, win!
You could likely spend years trekking around the Italian coast and still come across new hidden beach gems every day. So, to make your life a little easier, and in no particular order, we've listed 11 of the best beaches in Italy.
1. Cala Granara, Spargi
Only accessible by boat, this remote slice of paradise can be found tucked away on the Isola di Spargi, a part of the Maddalena Archipelago. This added seclusion makes the location all the more alluring, and offers a welcome escape from the popular beaches often overflowing with tourists. Either lounge under the palms to catch some shade, or stretch out on the powdery sand to soak up some rays. It goes without saying that once you step foot on this remote oasis beach, all others will pale in comparison.
2. Chiaia di Luna, Ponza
This skinny crescent beach is comprised of silky sands built up against the base of a towering volcanic rock wall that curves in a half moon shape. The end result is one of the most visually pleasing beaches throughout Italy. You can find this beautiful spot on the largest island in the Pontine Archipelago - Ponza.
3. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa
If the sparkling topaz waves and arresting views from the rocky coastline aren't enough to grab you, then you'll want to stick around to catch a glimpse of the loggerhead turtles that return to this beach each year to lay their eggs. The beach closes in the evening so the turtles can return undisturbed, but if you snorkel out into the waters during the day, you may be lucky enough to spy one.
4. La Pelosa, Stintino
Marked by a 16th Century watchtower, the Torre della Pelosa sits on a rocky bed just out to sea. This beach is a favoured spot by locals and tourists alike. You'll need to travel for it though, as it's situated at the very north-west tip of Sardinia. Float blissfully in the translucent shallow seas, or simply stretch out on the sun washed sand and relax.
5. Cala Goloritzé, Sardinia
If you're prepared for an hour or so hike down to the bottom of a rocky ravine, you will be rewarded with one of the smallest, yet most remarkable beaches gracing Sardinia's north-eastern coast. Cala Goloritzé is said to be one of the best snorkelling locations in the region. So, make sure to pack your swimwear and snorkel!
6. Marasusa Beach, Tropea, Calabria
Hugging the La Costa degli Dei, or the Coast of the Gods, this picturesque beach is graced with cool, calm waters and vegetation-studded, white cliffs. The picturesque town also has plenty to offer, such as exploring the Santa Maria dell'Isola monastery, the historic centre, including the Norman Cathedral, and don't forget to try the town's renowned red onions - you'll see them everywhere! Alternatively, you can sit and enjoy a refreshing beverage at one of the lido bars, or dabble in some shopping to fully immerse yourself in the Italian culture.
7. Cavoli Beach, Elba
While most of Elba's coast easily qualifies as among some of the best beaches in Italy, Cavoli Beach in particular is a standout. With stunning turquoise waters straight off a postcard, warm, gentle breezes and protected by the craggy cliffs, you'd be hard pressed to find a more idyllic beach spot.
8. Isola Bella, Sicily
Just off the coast of Sicily, this little slice of heaven can be reached by cable car from the mainland, affording commanding views of the island. Home to several species of bird, the island is now a protected site packed full of nature.
9. Baia dei Turchi, Puglia
Backed by a lush pine forest, this beach is comprised of miles of beautiful white sand and crystal-clear waters. Baia dei Turchi is rather remote and hard to access, however, hidden away in a protected nature reserve in Puglia. It's well worth the hike for those seeking an adventure capped off with relaxation.
10. Cala di Volpe, Sardinia
This beach is located on possibly one of the most expensive Italian coast lines. The spot is particularly famous for the ever-glamorous Hotel Cala di Volpe resort which resides behind it. Don't sweat though, you don't need to be a paying guest to swim at this beautiful beach located at its doorstep.
11. Cala Rossa, Favignana, Sicily
While this beach might lack pure white sands, it has some rather interesting rock formations that are great for lounging and basking in the sun. Our travel tip is to make sure to get here early, though, as the strikingly blue waters contrasted against the rusty red rocks make this a popular tourist destination.
We could go on and on about all the spectacular beaches lining the Italian coast, but we hope this guide has given you a solid head start. Make sure you also check out our top 10 Best Beaches in the World if you want to continue exploring breathtaking beaches globally.