They can be found all over, from Liguria to Sicily and from Calabria to Puglia, passing through Tuscany and making a detour in Campania – not forgetting fabulous Sardinia. There are lots of other regions, however, that will surprise you. From north to south, Italy is an explosion of beaches of all different types. From the classic picture-postcard beaches that remind us of Caribbean atmospheres, to hidden coves offering breathtaking views to stretches of sand surrounded by majestic cliffs or by lush vegetation. Let’s discover together the most beautiful Italian beaches with a Costa excursion, not forgetting the wonders of the most beautiful Italian islands.

  • Punta Chiappa
  • San Vito beach
  • Baia dei Saraceni
  • Cala Violina
  • Scala dei Turchi
  • Su Giudeu
  • Tonnarella dell'Uzzo
  • Cala Feola
  • Plemmirio Marine Protected Area
  • Torre Sant'Andrea beach
  • Cala Luna
  • Is Aruttas
  • Tropea beaches
  • Marina di Camerota
  • Bay of Silence
  • Porto Giunco
  • La Pelosa
  • Cala Rossa
  • Cala Goloritzè
  • Cala Mariolu
  • Conigli beach
  • Due Sorelle beach
  • Ghiaie beach
  • Buon Dormire bay
  • Punta Prosciutto
  • Cala Spalmatore beach
  • Cala del Bue Marino
  • Valle dell’Erica beach
  • Sabaudia beach
  • Pietragrande lido
  • San Pietro in Bevagna beach
  • Cala Bianca

Punta Chiappa

Punta Chiappa is a little jewel located in the Portofino marine reserve. It can be reached by ferry or on foot from Camogli, and is an enchanting place suspended in time and full of magic. There’s a strip of rock sunk under the crystal-clear water, and a lively village with brightly-coloured houses and fishermen’s nets hung over the railings. There are paths to walk along to enjoy natural surroundings that are leafy and wild at the same time. It could be the perfect place for a relaxing dip but also an opportunity to eat in the typical restaurants of the area, which sometimes have a view over the sea. It’s a place that offers lots of buildings and churches to discover, starting with the Romanesque jewel that is San Nicolò di Capodimonte.

San Vito beach

Sicily never ceases to amaze, especially as far as its beaches are concerned. The north-west coastline in particular is a succession of small coves set in an uncontaminated sea and studded with typical Mediterranean vegetation. San Vito Lo Capo is a picturesque borough north of Trapani, with beaches that are famous for their Caribbean beauty. The village is located between two of the wonders of Italy: the Zingaro Reserve and the Monte Cofano Reserve.

The beach in the middle of San Vito Lo Capo stretches for three kilometres and is an explosion of colours: from the white of the sand to the blue – tending to green – of the sea. There are at least ten beaches in the area, all worth a visit, including Macari and Castelluzzo. Sea, sun and relaxation, but also the chance to go for walks in a fascinating, luxuriant and rugged landscape.

Baia dei Saraceni

We return to Liguria, and to Varigotti, a district of Finale Ligure, to sample this little beach that’s full of surprises. Imagine a sand-and-pebble beach stretching for 400 metres. The context is spectacular, being a bay highlighted by a crystal-clear sea with a wealth of colour-tones. Baia dei Saraceni offers the chance to relax in the midst of natural surroundings. Over the years, this jewel has inspired poets and writers alike.

Cala Violina

It has been defined as “one of the most beautiful beaches in the Maremma” and it’s certainly one of the most picturesque in the whole of Tuscany. The elements that make it stand out, in fact, are the light-coloured sand, uncontaminated sea and a natural landscape to be explored. Cala Violina is part of the Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve. Enjoy the Mediterranean scrubland vegetation, the paths that give you a foretaste of some unique sights and a beach composed of tiny quartz fragments. According to legend, the name derives from the sound conjured up by the sand when it comes into contact with footsteps: the sweet, gentle sound of a violin.

Scala dei Turchi

Sicily is once more the location for this beach characterized by white cliffs, which has now become enormously popular. Scala dei Turchi is not far from the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento. The lovely beach, with its fine sand and crystal-clear sea – also ideal for those who want to do snorkelling – is reached on foot. The long sandy shore is served by bars and kiosks, and while you can enjoy a unique view from the cliffs, many people take advantage of this place simply to sunbathe and relax.

Su Giudeu

This wonderful beach in southwestern Sardinia offers crystal-clear waters, white sand and also some interesting features, starting with the name. Su Giudeu derives from the name of the octopus living in the waters around a couple of rocks. The beach is particularly suitable for children, with its shallow water and calm sea. This broad stretch of beach is the continuation of another jewel in the same bay, S’Aqua Durci. It’s located at Chia, in the Domus de Maria municipality.

Tonnarella dell'Uzzo

This is the widest and most popular beach in Sicily’s Zingaro Reserve. Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo can also be reached along a footpath. It’s a wonderful spot, suspended between sea and sky, and was chosen as one of the 15 most beautiful places in Italy. And it’s not just the sea that’s exciting here, especially in the morning when there are fewer people around, but also the backdrop of gardens and woodlands to be admired. Another treat offered in this area is the picturesque Museum of Marine Activities, where you can find out information and secrets of the history of fishing.

Cala Feola

A child-friendly beach, entirely comprising sand and with calm waters, popular because of its natural pools that also attract the tourists: Cala Feola, located on Ponza island, takes its name from the settlers who lived there in the past. Until 1940, monk seals had their home there. On the rocky cliff you can see some unusual houses: the so-called “Case tartufo”, built into the tufo rock, have been enlarged with rooms constructed in masonry, painted in pastel shades and given domed roofs. The beach is reached along a footpath leading to more than 200 steps offering direct access to the beach. There are also facilities for canoe and pedalo rental in the area.

Plemmirio Marine Protected Area

In the Plemmirio Marine Protected Area there’s a bit of everything. Over the centuries the sea has managed to preserve a site that’s rich in historic evidence, including the remains of Greek and Roman ships. Visualize, too, the enchanting landscapes, breathtaking seabeds, a succession of coastlines, small inlets, caves and unique flora and fauna. We’re in Siracusa, in the Maddalena Peninsula locality. It’s an area of particular interest for those who like scuba diving. There’s an itinerary that enables you to observe the sunken ships or gives you the chance to explore the caves in the white rock, inhabited by all the marine species that populate the Mediterranean.

Torre Sant'Andrea beach

It’s commonly known as the “sea-stack beach”, one of the jewels adding to the beauty of Puglia, north of Otranto. Here you’ll find some lovely views and corners to lose yourself in, as well as a crystal-clear sea, winner of a Blue Flag award with a beach of soft sand outlining a magic scenario. The coast offers inlets and caves to be discovered. In the cliffs on the northern side of the bay, there are small open spaces that you can dive from. There’s a fourteenth-century tower looking down over the beach. Torre Sant’Andrea has a little harbour and is a pretty locality that retains its rustic appearance. Among the attractions in the area there’s also the San Cristoforo cave, with its augural engravings.

Cala Luna

For many, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. And indeed, one glimpse of it is enough to confirm this. Oleander trees provide the backdrop for six caves opening onto the beach, a strip of sand extending for 800 metres. Cala Luna is located in the wonderful Gulf of Orosei, in Nuoro province. Apart from the fantastic sea, you’ll find a cove studded with splendid caves, offering an ideal refuge from the sun in the hottest months. You can also go trekking through the woods into the Mediterranean scrubland, in the midst of wild animals.

Is Aruttas

We go over to the Gulf of Oristano on the Sinis peninsula where this precious gem shines forth in the turquoise-blue sea, and the sand is mixed with small grains of very fine quartz. The colour shading creates nuances that range from white to green, passing by way of pink. This is an ideal beach to relax on, but also a place to go snorkelling or scuba-diving. The seabed becomes rapidly deep and the waters are green, tending to blue. The clear waters allow you to meet fish and discover marine elements such as Posidonia formations. Sport is a common activity, too, with many people practising windsurf and kitesurf. There’s a sister beach, Mari Ermi, north of Is Aruttas.

Tropea beaches

The western coast of Calabria has some really spectacular beaches. It’s a place where the sea meets a rocky coastline, forming a framework for some beaches of very fine sand. One place that’s not-to-be-missed is the famous Grotta Azzurra in Tropea, which can be reached by land or by sea across the Riaci Bay. It’s a wonderful sight, located near Petri i Mulinu beach, a small private beach that owes its name to an ancient tradition. There was a natural quarry here where stone-cutters created the grindstones for the olive presses and mills in the neighbourhood farmsteads.

Another unmissable beach, again in Vibo Valentia province, is Rotonda beach, with a sheer drop to the sea. The ‘A linguata beach is the largest one and offers a crystal-clear sea and very fine sand. Another pearl is the Convento beach, ideal for those who want to devote themselves to snorkelling and scuba-diving, with transparent water and a deep seabed.

Marina di Camerota

The Cilento is one of the most beautiful areas and the one most admired by tourists because of its lovely scenery and its crystal-clear waters. Marina di Camerota offers various alternatives for relaxation. Calanca beach is one of the most famous beaches, owing to the long coastline and soft sand. The beach is in a bay surrounded by rocky cliffs and the sea is clear blue in colour.

Another not-to-be-missed beach here is that of Lentiscelle; it has a long seafront, of sand mixed with gravel, and clear waters. There’s a very deep seabed so it isn’t suitable for children. Close by there’s also the popular Cala degli Infreschi, which can be reached by means of a hiking trail. It’s part of a protected nature reserve, offering wonderful, light-coloured sand, a sandy seabed and turquoise-blue waters.

Bay of Silence

This place has long inspired artists and poets. The Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante is a site full of enchantment, listed in the ratings for the best Italian beaches. Its merit lies in its fine sand and the sea, but especially in its backdrop of delightful brightly-coloured houses. The colours, at sunset and in the evening, are picture-perfect. And when the colours start to fade, absolute silence reigns and the vegetation all around makes this a place much-loved by couples seeking a landscape in which to walk hand-in-hand or to contemplate the sunset or simply the sea and its reflections.

Porto Giunco

This is one of the loveliest places in the whole of Sardinia: Porto Giunco is the beach of Villasimius, a locality to the south of Cagliari. Enjoy the water’s limpid colours or the very fine white sand, full of pink nuances caused by rock erosions. The beach is unusually wide, and even at times when tourist presence is at its height, there is enough room for everyone. The breathtaking views have been exploited several times for TV commercials or photo-shoots. Forming a backdrop is a promontory topped by a tower dating back to the 16th century. There are some exceptional views to be had from here.

La Pelosa

Universally acknowledged to be one of the “film-set” beaches, La Pelosa is located at Stintino in northern Sardinia, protected by sea-stacks. You feel you’ve disembarked in the Caribbean, with its fine sand, turquoise-blue waters, lush vegetation concealing juniper-trees, and also an incomparable panorama offered by the towers that overlook it. Piana island lies opposite. You’ll discover even more wonders in the area, with small inlets such as “La Pelosetta”, located near the beach that acts as its big sister.

Cala Rossa

Sicily is adept at offering us corners of paradise. In this case we just need to go beyond Trapani and onto the wonderful Favignana island, one of the most enchanting islands in the Mediterranean. It’s a place of a thousand colours, between stone quarries, footpaths through green, natural surroundings, and the limestone contrasting with the blue of the sea. Prepare to find crystal-clear waters and heavenly beaches where you can chill out and relax. The name “Cala Rossa” refers to a ferocious battle that set Romans and Carthaginians against each other and stained the beach blood-red. Today, you’ll find yourself on a quiet beach, studded with wonderful tufo quarries. The sea is an explosion of azure-blue, surrounded by cliffs from which you can enjoy stunning views.

Cala Goloritzè

When sea and mountains meet, a masterpiece may emerge. This is true of Cala Goritzè in the Gulf of Orosei, one of the most photographed and best-loved spots in Sardinia. It’s been a protected national monument since 1995. The seashore is made up of a myriad white pebbles, and was created after a landslide that originated in the sandstone cliff in the 1960s. To the south of the bay, you can admire a stone arch that drops directly onto the sea and is the result of the erosive action of the wind. There’s also a limestone spur acting as “guardian”, which is one of the most appreciated attractions for people who go rock-climbing. The beach is also a popular place for hiking; it’s the favourite habitat of the Eleonora’s falcon. For enthusiasts there’s the chance to take a walk through the Mediterranean scrubland.

Cala Mariolu

Another pearl in the Gulf of Orosei is located at Baunei and owes its name, Cala Mariolu, to a curious fact. They say that the monk seal stole the fish from the fishing nets, and it was therefore named “Mariolo” (thief). The scenery is difficult to describe, starting with the water: its blue colour-tones tend to green and to azure. The sand is coloured and comprises a mix of pink and white pebbles (known as “snow fleas”). For fans of snorkelling or scuba-diving, the seabed offers a world full of surprises. Even dolphins can sometimes be seen offshore, paying a quick visit. If you look upwards, you might see a golden eagle, a cormorant, an Eleanor’s falcon or a peregrine falcon.

Bunny beach

According to Trip Advisor travellers, this is the most beautiful beach in the world. On Conigli Island, off Lampedusa, you’ll experience an enchanted atmosphere, lit up with the limpid colours of the water and enhanced by an impressive marine fauna. It’s no wonder that tourists come here from all over the world. This is a small island located in a larger bay, where the beach is a paradise formed of pure white sand and uncontaminated waters, and is part of a protected environmental area. You can devote yourself to snorkelling and scuba-diving or to walks along the footpaths adjacent to the cliffs as far as Cala Pulcino, or on the other side to the cave of Tabaccara bay.

Two sisters beach

An iconic place on the Conero Riviera is located at Sirolo and can be reached only by sea from the port of Numana. Two sisters beach owes its name to two twin rocks that you can see rising out of the water. It’s a completely unpolluted beach of white sand and clear sea, and the atmosphere is wild with simple features. It’s a place to relax and recharge the batteries, since there are no amenities at all here. It’s the first beach on the south face of Mount Conero and has been defined as “a white handkerchief wetted by the Adriatic sea”.

Ghiaie beach

As well as the beautiful seabed and water, there’s also a hint of legend attached to Ghiaie beach, at Portoferraio on the Isle of Elba. According to myth, the almost dazzling white pebbles of eurite rock were stained by the sweat of the Argonauts who were searching for the Golden Fleece. The truth, as we can all see very clearly, is that the place is indescribable. In days when the scirocco blows, and when the reflections and colour nuances are exaggerated, you feel like you’re swimming in a swimming pool.

This is a protected biological area because of the variety of marine flora, which makes it one of the most suitable places for scuba-diving or snorkelling. The beach has also been equipped with a lighting system to allow people to be able to swim at night in complete safety. The view extends to the little island of Scoglietto.

Buon Dormire bay

The name tells you in advance what you’re going to find here: peace and relaxation to make your holiday special. An uncontaminated oasis in the Cilento area, and a mixture of different colours, from the gold of the sand to the green of the sea. It can only be reached by sea, with boats leaving from Palinuro harbour. It’s a little beach of soft sand, washed by crystal-clear waters and framed by natural surroundings that are gorgeous to look at. The rocks directly overlooking the sea seem to have been deliberately designed and suspended there, and are adorned with a little vegetation. The place is particularly suited to families and children since the waters are very shallow. And there’s one more curious feature: a rock with a very unusual and recognizable shape, known as the Rabbit Rock.

Punta Prosciutto

High dunes of soft sand, an unpolluted sea and a sky that’s almost always a deep blue colour. Punta Prosciutto is loved not just by the Salento inhabitants, but by all tourists as well. It’s located in the Porto Cesareo marine protected area. With relaxing scenery – there are practically no houses – soft sand, and a view stretching to infinity, this is also a public beach with shallow water, allowing children to splash around freely. You’ll feel a tropical atmosphere and enjoy sunbathing or a taking a dip in the sea. The broad shoreline is broken up by dunes on which Mediterranean scrubland vegetation prevails, and you can find some unusual natural caves occurring on the land. Offshore, you’ll also see scuba-divers and windsurfers. The area merges with the Palude del Conte and coastal dunes nature reserve.

Cala Spalmatore beach

This is a treasure within a treasure: Cala Spalmatore beach is located on the island of La Maddalena. The sand is fine and white, the sea transparent and the place, situated between two promontories, is always sheltered from the winds. The backdrop comprises lush Mediterranean vegetation, with the addition of the pink colours of the rocks rubbed smooth by the water and the wind. Added to this, the sea is shallow, allowing you to swim in safety, while the beauty of the beach attracts lots of visitors. There are several facilities in the area for chilling out and relaxing, or to rent various types of equipment, including pedalos.

Cala del Bue Marino

Cala del Bue Marino is located at Favignana between Cala Rossa and Punta Marsala. You can plunge into a splendid sea, with bright colours, transparent waters and a crystal-clear seabed. There’s also an extra attraction since the bay is located in an area where tufo rock is extracted: you can visit the fascinating tunnels with the aid of torches. The beach offers the opportunity for a relaxing day and for discovering the seabed with its wealth of marine flora and fauna, but paying special attention to the marine currents which are always very strong. This was once the undisputed realm of the monk seal.

Valle dell’Erica beach

Charming and picturesque, offering the chance to enjoy an incomparable panorama over Spargi island with the La Maddalena island archipelago in the background, Valle dell’Erica beach is around fifteen kilometres from the centre of Santa Teresa di Gallura. The rocks, rubbed smooth by the wind, have created some small natural pools which you can relax in. The sea is clear, transparent and has colour shades varying between azure and cobalt blue. The seabed is fairly deep, and granite rocks protect the beach from the winds. 

Sabaudia beach

A narrow stretch of vegetation, a strip of sand extending right to Nettuno, Sabaudia beach in Latina province is now less of a resort just for Rome residents and is becoming a very popular beach, also frequented by celebrities. The sea is perfect for relaxing and devoting oneself to water sports, especially surfing, and the seashore is one of the loveliest in the Lazio region. Dunes alternate with luxuriant Mediterranean scrubland vegetation, where there are many protected species. Part of the territory of the borough lies within the Circeo National Park.

Pietragrande lido

Here’s a chance to relax in another corner of the wonderful Italian coastline, in the gulf of Squillace, province of Catanzaro. Two panoramic cliffs enclose the beach, made up of sand mixed with gravel, and a limpid sea with a seabed that quickly drops away. The name comes from the famous rock that rises up, 13 metres high, in the middle of the sea. It’s an irresistible attraction for diving enthusiasts. For several years now, the world cliff diving championships have been held here, on the model of those in the Mexican city of Acapulco. The beach is particularly suitable for fans of scuba-diving.

San Pietro in Bevagna beach

We go back to Salento, north of Porto Cesareo, and we’re in the province of Taranto. This stretch of coastline is famous for its long beach, soft white dunes and low cliffs and it’s especially suitable for those with small children. The sea is wonderful and transparent, and the beach gently slopes away. One part of San Pietro in Bevagna beach is public, and in others you can rent loungers and beach umbrellas. There are plenty of amenities and kiosks where you can get snacks. This is an ideal beach to relax on or spend a day chilling out in the company of friends, even just for the time to get a suntan.

Cala Bianca

An uncontaminated jewel, difficult to reach but once you’re there and you look around, you’ll find it’s a wonderful place. Cala Bianca di Camerota, in Salerno province, is one of the most delightful beaches in Italy, having managed to maintain its rather wild appearance. The reason for this is simple: it’s much easier to reach it by sea, since going by land requires using the footpaths for hikers. The water is crystal-clear and the seabed is a paradise for scuba-divers. It has frequently been named as the “Queen of the summer” beach. You’ll see a white oasis before you, embedded between two green spurs – a perfect place to breathe in the natural surroundings and relax. The name derives from its beach of white pebbles.

Experience the wonders of Italy with Costa

 

Our homeland of Italy has the constant ability to offer new opportunities to amaze you with its beauty. A holiday comprises not only art, culture and history; there’s also nature, an asset which needs to be protected more and more. And this is why discovering the treasures of the Italian seaside may be a chance to do this, with picturesque lidos, enchanting bays and beaches with quaint names where you can relax, have a swim or do some sporting activities. Choose your holiday, discover your sea and adopt your beach – and maybe start planning your summer trip now.

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