Blessed with cloudless skies and endless sunshine in summer and a more-than-mild climate in winter, the coasts of Italy are some of the world’s best vacation destinations. Characterized by coves and inlets, sand and pebble beaches, islands and cliffs, there’s plenty of variety there for you. It’s easy to see why—in general—so many people head to Italy in summer, but its spectacular beaches certainly have something to do with that. With summer well on its way in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve selected the five best beach destinations in Italy.
5 Best Beach Destinations in Italy
First of all, you’ll find excellent beaches pretty much anywhere around Italy’s boot and on its main islands. Besides a wealth of culture, architecture and history, this sensational country doesn’t lack any beautiful natural features either. So, while you can go basically to any stretch of coast and soak up the Mediterranean sun rays, the following best beach destinations in Italy do stick out above the rest. They’re absolutely gorgeous, all unique in their own way.
Located off the Tuscan coast, the island of Elba is home to no fewer than 150 beaches. And they’re all different, from tiny pebble beaches hidden in a cove to long stretches of white sand. Some of the beaches on Elba can get very crowded in the peak season, but with such a large number of options, there are definitely several quiet spots, too. No matter what you’re after—sunbathing, water sports, shallow waters, beautiful scenery,…—chances are you’ll find it here with some great accommodation.
Another relatively small Italian island, Capri is without question one of the best beach destinations in Italy and has been for many decades. Off the southern coast, this rocky island is a favorite summer destination among celebrities and “people of importance”. Capri boasts several awesome beaches, many of which have their own beach club. So, expect to pay a small fee for beach access and the use of their facilities.
Sardinia is Italy’s second-largest island and, actually, also the second-largest island in the entire Mediterranean. The island is a fantastic destination for a summer vacation for various reasons. There are beautiful coastal towns, lots of history and stunning landscapes. It’s its breathtaking coastlines, however, that make it so attractive as one of the best beach destinations in Italy. There are several beach areas on this large island. Focus on the Costa Verde and Costa Sud or hop aboard a ferry a visit the Maddalena Islands.
4. Cinque Terre National Park
Set in the heart of the Italian Riviera, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cinque Terre National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring coastal landscapes in the Mediterranean. Made up of five picturesque villages, all connected by trails and rails, it’s a superb place to spend a few days. Monterosso is the main resort village of the five, home to welcoming hotels and free public sand beaches. The other four villages also have beaches, but they’re much smaller and/or not made up of rocks.
5. Amalfi Coast
Another truly extraordinary beach destination in Italy is the Amalfi Coast. One of the country’s most famous regions, it features almost impossibly beautiful coastal towns, scenic drives and beaches. It must be said, though, that the beaches here are not that large, especially when compared with the island beaches above. The best beaches on the Amalfi Coast are in the town of Positano, arguably the most beautiful small town in Italy. Both beaches in town are public.