From the golden sands of Sicily, to the unspoiled shores of Puglia and the striking Amalfi Coast, there's plenty to choose from when looking for the best beaches in Italy.
Whether you're looking for somewhere to soak up the natural beauty, a family-friendly spot or a seaside village to potter around, our expert Travel Specialists have rounded up some of the top spots for you to take your pick from for your next luxury beach holiday.
17 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in Italy
Sardinia & Costa Smeralda
Sardinia is home to some of Italy's most unbelievably beautiful beaches. In particular, the stretch of sand along the north east of the island, known as Costa Smeralda, is highly sought after for its fine white sands and untouched natural beauty.
"The beaches in Sardinia are absoloutely stunning. If you're looking for Italy's best white sand beaches, then they're the perfect place for you. They really are beautiful." - Gabrielle, Europe Product Manager
1. Capriccioli Beach, Costa Smeralda
Often said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Smeralda, Capriccioli Beach is a true gem of Italy. While it may be a relatively small stretch of sand, the waters are perfectly blue and calm, making this a great snorkelling spot for families. Cupped by scenic olive groves, pine trees and picturesque granite boulders, you can also look out over the bay for views across the off-shore islands in the distance.
2. Grand Pevero Beach, Costa Smeralda
If you're staying in the trendy hub of Porto Cervo, often said to be the 'capital' of Costa Smeralda, you're bound to head out to Grand Pevero Beach. One of the most exclusive and famous beaches in Italy, you'll be able to lie back and watch the super yachts glide by in the distance during the summer months. Just a short distance from the beach is the renowned Pevero Golf Club, which only adds to the glamourous appeal of this beautiful Italian beach.
3. Spiaggia Cala Granu, Costa Smeralda
Located less than a 10-minute drive outside of Porto Cervo, Spiaggia Cala Granu is not only conviently located. It's also a lovely Italian beach, with striking aquamarine sea views and calm, shallow waters for paddling. During summer, you can hire a beach umbrella and sit down for refreshments at the nearby cafe as you lazily watch the sailing boats hover in the bay.
4. Romazzino Beach, Costa Smeralda
If you want to be steps away from one of Italy's best beaches during your holiday, look to Romazzino Beach. Sitting along the front of the luxurious Hotel Romazzino, if you stay at the resort you can enjoy a private stretch of the beach's soft sands, plus amazing sea views of Costa Smeralda from your room. Sheltered by rocky coves, you can walk the rustic wooden pier to make the most of the views.
5. Su Giudeu Beach, Chia
It's not just Costa Smeralda that boasts Italy's most incredible beaches. In the south of Sardinia you'll find the stunning golden sands of Spiagga Su Giudeu. With a reef off shore, this beach is great for scuba diving, with Chia Laguna resort offering an excellent diving centre for those who want to explore beneath the waves. It's also a popular surf spot, plus there's a good selection of bars and restaurants to pick from, while the 18-hole Chia Golf Club is also just over the dunes.
The historic island of Sicily offers a bounty of top beaches in Italy. Sandwiched between the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, the coastline is characterised by its impressive rock formations. This is the perfect spot in Italy if you want to explore the country's history while enjoying the beautiful beaches.
6. Cala Capreria, Trapani
As part of the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, Cala Capreria is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Located between Palermo and Trapani, you'll find this picturesque pebble beach tucked away in peace and quiet. Sheltered in its rocky cove, the waters are exceptionally clear, creating a stunning display of aquamarine waters to admire from the pathway above.
7. Scala dei Turchi, Agrigento
One of Italy's most famous beaches, Scala dei Turchi is a popular spot with visitors to Sicily. Tucked away on the southwest coast of the island, it's easily accessed from the luxurious Verdura Resort, plus the fascinating Valley of the Temples is also nearby. The beach runs along striking white cliffs, which have been shaped from limestone from the salty sea breeze, and is a top must-see in the area.
8. Isola Bella, Taormina
Located just off the coast of Taormina, the pretty island of Isola Bella is perhaps one of Italy's prettiest beaches. It has a fascinating history, having once been owned by a rich English noblewoman, Florence Trevelyan, who planted an array of tropical plants among the existing greenery. If you stay at the luxurious Villa Sant'Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare, you can take a private boat tour past the shores to Catania, complete with a traditional Sicilian lunch.
9. Mondello Beach, Palermo
If you're staying in Palermo, you might choose to head out to the charming village of Mondello, home to one of Italy's nicest beaches. Overlooked by two 15th century watch towers, the 1.5km stretch of Mondello Beach offers plenty of space along its fine white sands. After relaxing and enjoying the unspoiled sea views, you can explore the piazza and settle in at one of the beach bars or restaurants. If you stay at the nearby Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel, you can take a cycling tour of the coast, too.
For some of the top beaches in Italy, you won't be disappointed by Puglia. The 'heel' in the boot shape of Italy, Puglia boasts some wonderful sandy beaches along its glittering Adriatic coastine.
"I might be biased as I got married there, but I love the beaches of Puglia most of all in Italy. They're very rustic and charming, some with stunning backdrops of the rocky cliffs, and the water is as clear as you could imagine." - Gabrielle, Europe Product Manager
10. Baia dei Turchi, Otranto
Just outside the historic town of Otranto, you'll find Italy's beautiful beach of Baia dei Turchi. Awarded a Blue Flag and protected as part of the equally stunning Alimini Lakes, you'll have a choice of sandy spots to enjoy. The waters and surrounding pine forest is also an important site for many migratory birds, such as white stalks and flamingos, so keep an eye out for them!
11. Torre dell’Orso, Salento
One of the largest sandy beaches in Puglia's Salento area, Torre dell'Orso is a beautiful Blue Flag-awarded beach. With 900m of silver white sands lapped by the crystalline waters of the Adriatic, this bay is a favourite for many. Just off the coast, you'll spot two natural rock towers named 'the two sisters', which according to Greek legend were created by the gods after two devoted sisters drowned in the waters.
12. Tremiti Islands, Gargano
To find a trove of the nicest beaches in Italy, take a look at the Gargano Peninsula. With much of it covered by a National Park, this unspoiled region is a little off the beaten track, but worth it for the views of dramatic cliffs peppered by pine and olive trees. Just off the coast, you can visit the picturesque Tremiti Islands, perfect for enjoying boat rides along the rocky coves, taking a picnic on the pebbled bay and snorkelling the pretty caves.
13. Spiaggia di Pescoluse, Lecce
The Lecce province is another hotspot for finding some top beaches At the very tip of the country's 'boot' shape, you'll find the stunning, Spiaggia di Pescoluse, a beach that wouldn't look out of place in the Maldives. With turquoise waters and the softest of sands, there are plenty of places to hire sun loungers and watersports equipment, making it a favourite for families and couple alike.
They might not boast the long stretches of powdery sands of other area, but Amalfi still offers some of the best beaches in Italy. Renowned for having a chic sense of style that's long been loved by Hollywood royalty, this rugged coastline is just as scenic, with plenty of trendy beach bars, restaurants and boutiques to enjoy.
14. Marina Grande Beach, Capri
Once a charming fishing village on the island of Capri, Marina Grande Beach is now one of the most popular spots. As the largest beach in the area, it can draw in big crowds in the summer months, though with good reason. Along with lounging on the pebbled shore, you can explore the town with its candy-coloured houses, wander past the fishing boats in the dock, visit the 5th century church and climb the 921 stone steps to soak in the views.
If you're not staying on the island of Capri itself, you can easily take a boat ride from Amalfi, Sorrento or Positano.
15. Marina di Praia, Praiano
Another of the most iconic beaches in Italy is the striking Marina di Praia in Positano. Nestled between two dramatic cliffs, this spot has a long history as being an important part of the village's fishing industry. Today, there are still plenty of pretty coloured boats lining the rocky bay, where you can relax and admire the scenery. To stretch your legs, head out along the walkway and take rest at one of the restaurants. Nearby, you can stay at the ever chic Le Sirenuse.
16. Bagni Regina Giovanna, Sorrento
While it may not be a beach in the traditional sense, Bagni Regina Giovanna is still one of Italy's best coastal areas. Translating as 'the baths of Queen Giovanna', this natural pool is truly beautiful, with a staircase leading down to the clear blue waters. Perfect for a spot of swimming, there's also remains of a once grand Roman villa to explore, not to mention sweeping views over the sea. Even better, if you stay at Grand hotel Excelsior Vittoria, you'll be less than an hour's walk away.
17. Maiori Beach
As the largest beach on the Amalfi Coast, and one of the few that are sandy, Maiori Beach is one of Italy's finest. Add to this the fact that the sun shines on the bay long into the evening, and its slightly further afield location resulting in fewer crowds, this beach is a great choice. Take your pick from the private beach clubs or embark on a boat trip to see more of Italy's most beautiful coastline.
If you'd like to know more about discovering some of Italy's best beaches on your holiday, contact us to speak to our Travel Specialists.
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