Italy’s coastline is a stunning medley of quaint fishing villages, long swatches of sand and small coves. There are many summer spots to choose from to keep all beach enthusiasts happy, from the white sands of Sardinia to the rugged unique bays on the Neapolitan Riviera. Here are six of the best beaches in Italy.
Best beaches for couples
Punta Prosciutto, Puglia
One of only 20 protected marina areas in Italy, Punta Prosciutto Beach is unspoilt, peaceful and one of Puglia’s best. Boasting some of the clearest waters this side of the Indian Ocean and enjoying sand dunes as its backdrop, this beach stands out for its beauty.
- How to get to Punta Prosciutto: 40-minute drive south from Lecce
- Where to stay: the luxurious Risorgimento Resort, Lecce
- What next: explore more of the best beaches in Puglia
Furore Beach, Neapolitan Riviera
The Neapolitan Riviera proves that sometimes bigger isn’t always better. Take Furore Beach for example, stretching just 25 metres in length, nestled halfway between Amalfi and Positano and within one of Italy’s only fjords. Overlooked by towering rocks and lined with pastel-coloured fishermen’s cottages, the beach is anything but just bucket-and-spade.
- How to get to Furore Beach: it’s right next to the fishing village of Conca dei Marini
- Where to stay: Hotel La Conca Azzurra is one of the closest (and prettiest) hotels
- What next: explore more of the best beaches on the Neapolitan Riviera
Monterosso, Cinque Terre
Not typically visited for its beaches, but still one of Italy’s most famous coastlines, Cinque Terre surprisingly has some lovely patches of sand. Monterosso al Mare not only lays claim to one of the prettiest backdrops, Monterosso al Mare village itself, it is also the perfect place to rest after exploration of the area. Make sure you take a dip here, as you won’t get a view back to the beach as unique as here.
- How to get to Monterosso beach: it’s footsteps away from Monterosso train station
- Where to stay: the clifftop Hotel Porto Roca
- What next: see some of the other best beaches in Liguria
Best beaches for families
Chia Beach, Sardinia
With over 1,800 kilometres of coastline in Sardinia to choose from, Chia Beach still wins the title with us as one of Italy’s best. Light gold sands enjoy a backdrop of protected sand dunes and juniper trees, offering the beach a little shelter. It’s beautiful but also very family-friendly, thanks to shallow waters, soft sands and the option to bring your own family picnic.
- How to get to Chia Beach: it’s on the southern tip of Sardinia, so we recommend staying in Chia town. Or you could make the 10-minute drive down from Santa Margherita di Pula
- Where to stay: Chia Laguna Resort for a free shuttle bus to the beach
- What next: check out more of our best beaches in Sardinia
San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily
Stretching three kilometres, San Vito Lo Capo’s sands are loved by all beach enthusiasts. This beach will get families’ seal of approval in particular not only for its lovely golden sands, but for its shallow waters that come as clear as those in the Caribbean. The beach is not only pretty, but enjoys a location next to San Vito Lo Capo town, were you can take a break from the sun in its restaurants and shops.
- How to get to San Vito Lo Capo: it’s almost a two-hour drive away from big cities like Palermo, so it’s easiest to stay in town
- Where to stay: stylish Baglio La Porta di San Gerardo
- What next: swing by the other best beaches in Sicily
Tropea Beach, Calabria
Not only is this coastline one of the prettiest in Calabria, but the sands of Tropea are some of the loveliest in Italy. Located beneath the Santa Maria dell’Isola monastery, the beach comes complete with those desirable white sands, with facilities ready-made for summer afternoons – think umbrellas and loungers available for hire, and pedalos and watersports.
- How to get to Tropea beach: just head for the Santa Maria dell’Isola monastery next to the historic heart of Tropea – the beaches start from there
- Where to stay: Hotel Tirreno is a 30-minute walk away from the beach
- What next: tick off the other best beaches in Calabria
We’d love to hear about your favourite Italian beaches. Do they feature on our list?