Best beaches in Italy

With thousands of miles of coastline, and typically warm and dry weather along its coastal areas from April to September, Italy is a great country in which to head to the beach. From Sardinia and Sicily to Liguria and the Tyrrhenian coast, here is our guide to the best beaches in Italy.
Cala dell'Uzzo beach in Sicily. Photo: StockdelD/Shutterstock
Cala dell'Uzzo beach in Sicily. Photo: StockdelD/Shutterstock

Cala Goloritzé, Sardinia 

Sardinia is famed for the many beaches along its dazzling coastline. Cala Goloritzé on the island’s northeastern coast is one of the most spectacular. Set at the bottom of a scenic ravine, this diminutive sand and white pebble beach is backed by dramatic craggy mountain ridges covered in intensely green Mediterranean scrub. A limestone spire towers over the cove and a natural rock arch plunges into the transparent turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Until the 1980s, the beach was primarily frequented by free climbers who came to scale the rugged rock faces surrounding it. A significantly more popular destination today, it is forbidden for boats to anchor less than 300 metres from the shore, so the only way to reach the beach is by an hour-long hike along the Baccu Goloritzè trail from the car park. You will need good walking shoes and plenty of water, but it’s worth it!

Cala Goloritzé beach, Sardinia. Photo: Marcin Krzyzak/Shutterstock


Cala dell’Uzzo, Sicily

Another Italian island with no shortage of idyllic secluded beaches, Sicily is home to the breathtaking Cala dell’Uzzo. Located within the beautifully wild surroundings of the Zingaro Nature Reserve near the northwestern tip of the island, Cala dell’Uzzo is inaccessible by road. To get here, you need to follow the signs along the hiking trail from the reserve’s southern car park, which takes about one hour. The beach itself has a distinctly tropical feel, with a relatively small spread of smooth white pebbles and sand framed by low cliffs and lapped by crystalline shallow Mediterranean waters. Bring water and a picnic, as well as snorkelling equipment if you have it.


Sansone, Elba

In the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Tuscany, Italy’s third-largest island, Elba, has more than 150 beaches dotting its rocky shoreline. Exceptionally clear waters enhance broad white stretches of sand and sheltered pebbly coves. The island’s most popular beaches, such as Procchio, Fetovaia and Cavoli, can become packed in high season but there are other coastal locations where you can avoid the worst of the crowds. On the island’s north coast, Sansone is an enchanting short stretch of shingle enclosed by steep rocky ridges and lapped by clear blue waters. A small bar restaurant hires sun loungers and parasols, and it’s just a 10-minute walk along a dirt path from the nearest car park to the beach.

Sansone beach, Elba. Photo: Balate Dorin/Shutterstock

 

Levanto, Liguria

A short drive up the coast from the tiny seaside villages of Cinque Terre, the compact resort town of Levanto has a charming sandy beach stretching between two wooded headlands. There are public areas, in-between the private sections, where you can rent sunbeds and parasols before lying back to watch surfers catching waves in the clear waters off the beach. Kayaks and pedal boats are available for reasonable hourly rates and there are several restaurants overlooking the beach where you can enjoy lunch while taking in sweeping sea views.

Levanto beach, Liguria. Photo: fokke baarssen/Shutterstock


Torre Guaceto, Puglia

Set within a nature reserve and protected marine area in southern Italy, sandy Torre Guaceto beach occupies a little bay near a 16th-century tower on a promontory jutting out into the translucent emerald waters. It’s within easy reach of the port city of Brindisi and makes a lovely spot for snorkelling over sea grass and small coral reefs, strolling through the surrounding olive groves, or simply stretching out on the sand and soaking up the sunshine.


Maratea

Southern Italy’s visually ravishing Tyrrhenian coast is characterised by steep cliffs rising high above rocky coves and some excellent beaches. The dispersed commune of Maratea stretches for around 20km along the coastline encompassing a number of villages. At its heart, Fiumicello has a fine shingle beach with wonderfully clear water that makes it great for snorkelling. It’s easily accessible and there are a couple of bars where you can order drinks and snacks. A short drive up the coast, Acquafredda beach is set in a beautiful cove backed by wooded hills. Its calm, clear waters over shingle and pebbles are shallow close to the beach making it ideal for swimming, even for families with young children.

Aerial view of Acquafredda village in Italy. Photo: Tatiana Dyuvbanova/Shutterstock


Ready to take a trip to the beaches in Italy?

Simply get in touch with us to share ideas for your trip and let us know when you would like to travel. Our local experts will then create an itinerary for you based on your personal preferences, which you can amend until you're completely happy with every detail before booking. Our existing itineraries in Italy can offer inspiration, and keep in mind that all of our planned itineraries can be tailored to suit your specific requirements.