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The 10 Best Beaches in Italy

Italy is a breathtaking country, surrounded by water on three of its four sides, making it quite the spectacle.

When you think of Italy, you think about mouthwatering cuisine, the Vatican Church, fashion, and various luxury car brands; beaches aren’t your first thought.

However, there is a vast variety of beaches that stretch from the north to the south of Italy — from rocky cliffside beaches to never-ending sandy strips scattered with your typical blue or red pinstriped umbrellas.

Where else in the world is an Aperol Spritz with a nice focaccia panino more acceptable? ... I'll wait.

What's Unique about Italy’s Beaches?

While Greece offers an amazing experience and rivals many of the beaches that Italy has to offer, it is the diversity of ecosystems and towns surrounding beaches in Italy that makes them so special and worth visiting.

Besides the fantastic wine, culture, and cuisine that accompanies each region.

The best time of year for much of Italy, especially the beaches and seaside towns, is from April to October, with June through August being the hottest and busiest, as tourists will be everywhere.

Best Beaches in Italy

#1: Scala dei Turchi, Sicily

Photo Credit: Andrea Caruso 

Located on the coast of Realmonte near Porto Empedocle in southern Sicily, this towering pearly white cliffside is a spectacle to behold.

Composed predominantly of salt, calcareous, and marl, it is about a 20-minute car ride from Agrigento and is a must-see for anyone visiting Sicily.

Park near the restaurant of Lido Scala dei Turchi, walk through the restaurant, and you will find a naturally made staircase made of rocks.

Not only can you grab a bite to eat, but it is also only a five-minute walk from the restaurant. 

#2: Cala Goloritze, Sardinia

Photo Credit: Ciro Perna

A 143-meter-tall limestone pinnacle towers over the bay.

On the east coast of Sardinia, it is located south of the port town of Cala Gonone near Capo Monte Santo.

In 1993, Cala Goloritzé was named a national monument of Sardinia, and in 1995, a national monument of Italy.

You can either hike in through the Altopiano del Golgo, which is about a four and a half-kilometer hike, or you can take a boat ride from the main touristic harbors: Santa Maria Navarrese, Arbatax, or Cala Gonone.

The turquoise crystal waters make it a snorkel paradise and something out of Pirates of The Caribbean.

#3: Le Dune di Porto Pino, Sardinia (H3)

Located in the southeastern portion of Sardinia near the town of Sant’Anna Arresi, Le Dune di Porto Pino, also called Is Arenas Biancas, is a sand dune beach paradise situated about four kilometers from the beach of Porto Pino.

To arrive, park near Porto Pino beach and walk south to Le Dune.

Locals can also help you reach it, so don’t be shy—just ask.

After traversing through some dunes that reach over 40 feet in height, you will find yourself on a three-kilometer-long beach flanked by dunes and pine forests.

Did I forget to mention?

You will come across some wild flamingos that reside here from spring until the end of summer.

And yes, I did say flamingos, as in those pink birds you saw as a kid at the zoo.

#4: Spiagge Due Sorelle, Marche

Photo Credit: Francesco Capitani

Translated to "two sisters beach," Spiagge Due Sorelle is in the Marches on the eastern coast of Italy, south of San Marino.

This is another beach that simply takes your breath away. While only accessible by boat, it is more than worth your time and hard-earned money.

Take a boat ride from Numana and bring plenty of snacks and water as it is quite isolated.

May I recommend bringing a nice bottle of Prosecco or a bottle of white if you want to get romantic.

You will most likely have either of the two neighboring beaches practically to yourself, as the accessibility steers away tourists and locals.  

#5: Baia delle Zagare, Puglia

Photo credit: Fabrizio Raimondo

Only about an hour's drive from Foggia and 30 minutes from Vieste, this is the gem of Puglia.

There are two beaches in the Baia delle Zagare: la Spiaggia dei Faraglioni and Spiaggia dei Mergoli.

To arrive here, you can park at the Hotel Baia delle Zagare; it costs 10 euros but is worth it, as the hike to get down can be tiring and takes about one hour to walk two kilometers.

The walk is beautiful as you have views of the Adriatic Sea while being surrounded by Aleppo pines.

If you choose to walk, the trail is called il sentiero dell’amore, meaning the path of love.

Be sure to get here early, as there are limited parking spots and limits to how many people can access the beach. Bring some snorkels as it is a perfect spot to take a dive with the family.

#6: Spiaggia dell Arcomagno, Calabria

Photo credit: Antonio Calvagno

Located in the Gulf of Policastro in the province of Cosenza is this magical cavern, Spiaggia dell'Arcomagno, also known as Spiaggia di Enea (Aeneas), as legend says Aeneas passed through here after the fall of Troy.

It is also said that sirens would lure spellbound sailors to this private beach. The hiking path begins in San Nicola Arcella and takes about an hour; you can also swim from the neighboring beaches.

If you want to go the easy route, you can rent a pedal boat from Marinella Beach and make your way over.

Flanked by cliffs and crystal-clear water, this is the perfect getaway spot to reset and recharge while on your vacation.

#7: Bagni della Regina, Sorrento

Photo Credit: Bhashi

This irregular heart-shaped cove is practically attached to Sorrento near Naples. Walking is your best bet here, as it is only 30 minutes from the heart of Sorrento near the cliff of Capo di Sorrento.

Legend says that Queen Giovanna II D’Angio of Naples would discreetly meet her lovers here in the 15th century.

It is also attached to the ancient villa of Pollio Felice, which was constructed in the 1st century BC.

Love is definitely in the air at this natural pool cove.

#8: Castiglione di Ravello, Sorrento (H3)

Photo Credit: @Ravello

This gem of a quiet beach is located between Amalfi and Ravello, about 30 km from Sorrento.

If you are arriving by bus, be sure to stop at Atrani Santa Maria Misericordia.

From here, you will find a 200-step staircase that leads down to the beach.

Not only is it unique for its views and cliffside backdrop, but the church of Maria Maddalena sits as the bell tower on the edge of the cliffside.

#9: Torre Saracena, Capri

One of the oldest establishments on Capri, Torre Saracena, is very close to the center of Capri, near the Piazza.

You can either walk or take the bus to this majestic seaside beach.

If you choose to take the bus, head towards Marina Piccola, stop at Torre Saracena.

This welcoming beach has a restaurant attached, while you enjoy the sea, you can grab some locally caught fresh fish at the Torre Saracena Ristorante.

#10: Tonnara di Scopello, Sicily

Photo Credit: Gandolfo Cannatella 

Tonnara di Scopello could have easily been in the top five, not by looks alone, but also due to the surrounding buildings dating back to the 13th century.

It is located near La Riserva dello Zingaro in the province of Trapani and is open until 7 pm if you do not stay the night.

To arrive here, pass Baia di Guidaloca. You will reach the road for Scopello, and after about 800 meters, you will find a small road for Tonnara.

Majestic blue waters and various seaside cliffs to explore.

Don’t leave the snorkel at home!

The Bottom Line: Best Beaches in Italy

The most challenging thing is only choosing 10 beaches.

Italy has so many gorgeous beaches and seaside towns that could have easily made this list.

Sardinia and Sicily, especially, are full of exceptional beaches that have their own uniqueness to offer.

Go out and explore some of these lesser-known destinations; you will, without a doubt, return with lifelong memories!


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