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The 20 Best Beaches in Italy in 2024 [Adriatic & West Coasts, Sicily, Sardinia]

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

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Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Italy is at the top of nearly everyone’s travel bucket list. Its history, culture, food, and art make it a haven for all sorts of travelers. The country’s beaches are also a huge draw for tourists who flock to the country.

However, figuring out which beach to go to can be overwhelming. As a peninsula, much of the country’s territory is coastal, so there are nearly countless options. Any one of them could be perfect for you, but it all depends on the type of traveler you are and what you’re looking for from your Mediterranean vacation.

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve surveyed every Italian beach vacation spot and picked the best.

Map of the 20 Best Beaches in Italy

The 10 Best Adriatic Coast Beaches in Italy (East)

1. Baia delle Zagare

Baia delle Zagare
Image Credit: photolupi via Flickr

In Italy’s south, you’ll find Baia delle Zagare. This beach has gained notoriety worldwide for being one of the most photogenic beaches in the world, let alone the country. The beach is tucked away in a part of the protected Gargano National Park. The park is lush green, which only serves to make the blue water stand out even more.

The beach’s shore is made up of soft, white sand that seems to stretch out for miles. However, there are also patches of pebbles leading down to the water. The end result is an interesting and dramatic landscape that gives this stretch of coast a one-of-a-kind look.

Unlike many of Italy’s beaches, Baia delle Zagare is pristine and natural without suffering from over-commercialization.

Bottom Line: Despite its popularity, the beach never seems that crowded, nor does it seem too affected by tourism.

2. Campomarino

Campomarino
Image Credit: Umbria ws via Wikimedia Commons (license)

If you like being where the action is, Campomarino is a perfect place to spend your beach vacation. This beach has definitely taken its rise in popularity with tourists in stride. The city has jumped on, making sure that the beach is well-maintained and ready for visitors.

There are multiple beach establishments and clubs lining the Campomarino coast, so you have plenty of options to choose from. Each place will has a selection of amenities, from an on-site restaurant to recreational activities.

However, you will have to pay a fee if you want to enjoy the sand at one of these locations. If not, there are always free and public stretches of the beach where you can lay your towel. You can also typically use the beach establishment walkways to get down to the sand.

3. Costa dei Trabocchi

Costa dei Trabocchi
Image Credit: maury3001 via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Dramatic cliffs and clear, blue water are what you’ll find at Costa dei Trabocchi in Abruzzo. This is the beach to visit if you want to feel like you’ve entered pirate lore.

The wooden pier and structure are the focal point of this stretch of the Italian coast, which you can access from one of the lower cliff ridges. The structure gives the beach an adventurous sort of quality that visitors have come to love.

Rather than sand, the beach is covered in smooth pebbles that add to the wild and untamed feel of the shoreline. Just remember to wear shoes if you want to go for walks along the beach. The water is clean and clear all day as well. Since there’s no sand, there’s nothing to be kicked up when crowd levels are higher.

4. Grado

Grado
Gabriele Merlino Photographer via Unsplash

Between Trieste and Venice, you’ll find the small tourist town of Grado. While not a secret spot, it’s still managed to fly under the radar of many visitors to Italy’s east coast.

If you visit during the summer months, you might have deal with some crowds, but you won’t notice it too much while you’re on the sand. Grado has a combination of free and paid beach spots, so you can choose the option that best suits you.

If you plan to spend most of your time in the water, the free beach is a great choice. The water on the eastern side of the country tends to be colder, but it’s nice and comfortable from June until September. If you’d prefer to just soak up the sun, you can do so by renting a beach umbrella for the day.

5. Jesolo

Jesolo
Image Credit: Michael Kroul via Unsplash

With 25,000 year-round residents, Jesolo is a nice mix of small-town charm and city luxury. If you’d like to break up a trip to Venice with a beach day or 2, this is the place to go.

Jesolo is one of the most popular beach destinations in Italy among Italians and foreigners, and for a good reason. The water is nice and cool, which helps combat the heat and humidity that comes with the summer months.

Not only that, but you can let your young swimmers splash around without any worry. There are plenty of lifeguards on duty, even at the free beaches, so you and your travel party will be in good hands. The beach is also just a short walk from the city streets, so you’re never far away from anything you might need.

6. Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia
Image Credit: Riccardo Lo Re via Unsplash

Lido di Venezia is a tourist haven all year, but a surprising amount of people seem to overlook this little town during the summer. The entire island is less than 7 miles long, so no matter where you are, you’re never far from the water.

If you’re a sandy beach kind of person, Lido di Venezia is perfect for you. The sand is soft enough to lay out on, but it’s also firm enough that walking isn’t difficult or uncomfortable.

If you’re staying on the island, make sure you head out to the sand for sunset or sunrise before you head into Venice. The beach even has multiple walkways that jut out into the water so you can surround yourself with the soothing sound of the waves. If you head out during the week, you might even avoid the worst of the crowds.

7. Lignano Sabbiadoro

Lignano Sabbiadoro
Image Credit: Giuseppe Milo via Flickr

When most people think about the Italian coast, they tend to think of the spots in the peninsula’s southern regions. However, northern Italy has plenty of worthwhile beach locations you should add to your travel bucket list.

Lignano Sabbiadoro was overlooked by tourists for years, but it’s recently started to gain popularity thanks to the revitalization of the country’s eastern coast. The water in Lignano Sabbiadoro tends to be on the chillier side, but by July, it’s usually warm and comfortable.

The place literally has “golden sand” in its name, so you can expect long expanses of soft, tan beaches that are great for both lounging and walking. You’re also within walking distance of lush green areas, so you can turn your beach vacation into a natural getaway.

8. Rocca San Giovanni

Rocca San Giovanni
Image Credit: Ra Boe / Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Rocca San Giovanni isn’t always tourists’ first choice when it comes to Italian beach destinations, but that’s part of its charm.

Rocca San Giovanni isn’t a beach town in itself, but it’s just 1.5 miles away from the water. You can easily cover the distance in a few minutes on foot. Since the town isn’t right on the beach, a lot of tourists tend to overlook it, so you’ll mostly share the beach with locals.

The beach has a more natural feel to it as well since it’s a bit further removed from the city. It’s naturally well-maintained, and you’ll find a few businesses around the water. However, you’ll also get to enjoy the natural plant life that grows around the area’s water. It’s an ideal mix of wild nature and comfort.

9. Rodi Garganico

Rodi Garganico
Image Credit: Giuseppe Phoenix via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Gargano National Park is home to multiple beaches, each prettier than the next. Rodi Garganico is one of them. Take a walk on the sand so you can get a scenic view of the city constructed into the area’s cliffside as it comes down to meet the water.

The water is unbelievably blue thanks to the beach’s protected status. Boats can’t come too close to the shore, so you can swim knowing the water is clean and clear. The water is also quite shallow, making it perfect for wading or for young or inexperienced swimmers to explore safely.

Though the beach is in the country’s south, the water gets cold after September. If you plan on going in the water after then or before May, make sure you pack a wetsuit so you don’t get too cold.

10. Torre dell’Orso

Torre dellOrso
Image Credit: Biagio Paruolo via Unsplash

If you’re looking for a beach that doesn’t just come with great water but also a dramatic view, Torre dell’Orso is the place for you. What sets Torre dell’Orso apart from other beaches in the country is its sand — it’s fine and soft like velvet.

Thanks to the rock cliff sediment, the sand is practically silver in color. Contrasted with the bright blue water of the sea, you’re left with a unique, striking, and unforgettable view.

The coast’s shape and landscape might make your trip a bit breezy. Wind tends to get diverted to the beach, thanks to the cliffs. While that can help if you plan to surf, it can sometimes make walks on the beach less than ideal.

The 10 Best West Coast Beaches in Italy

1. Acquafredda di Maratea

Acquafredda di Maratea
Image Credit: Luke18389 via Wikimedia Commons (license)

If you prefer to spend your beach days in semi-seclusion, you should consider a trip to Acquafredda di Maratea. The beach has a combination of sand and rocks that give it an enclosed, wild feel that makes it a favorite among locals.

While you’re there, you might notice the water’s temperature change depending on where you’re swimming. The beach gets its name from being a freshwater river delta. The cold water mixes with the sea, which can make some areas cooler even in the middle of the summer.

If you’re up for a swim, you can even explore the rock formations and caves around the coast formed by the cliffs that come right up to the water’s edge in certain areas. Since the beach is a bit small, you’ll want to grab a spot early.

2. Cala Gonone

Cala Gonone
Image Credit: Luca Cassani via Unsplash

Sardinia is a small island region in Italy that is known for many things, from its history to its culture and, of course, its beaches. Cala Gonone is one of the island’s best examples of a beachy paradise.

Even though the water is a short walk away from the street and some buildings even directly overlook the water, you’ll still feel like you’re far removed from the town’s stresses.

This beach is considered one of the most family-friendly places in the country thanks to its clean and shallow waters that allow people of all ages to have hours of fun.

Cala Gonone is also a top spot for romantic getaways. The beach offers long stretches of sand for romantic sunset and sunrise walks, and the sand is soft and comfortable to lay out on for tanning.

3. Cala Goloritzé

Cala Goloritze
Image Credit: Mentnafunangann via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Cala Goloritzé is another paradise in Sardinia, but it’s unique among other beach locations in the region and in the country as a whole.

While many Italian beaches are fairly new, they typically have their roots in pre-existing areas. That’s not the case here. Before 1963, Cala Goloritzé didn’t exist.

The beach was formed by a landslide that hit the territory that year. However, you wouldn’t know it by the natural cliffside and lush greenery surrounding the beach. Through natural erosion and a lot of hard work, the beach was cleaned up enough to welcome swimmers.

What was initially a natural disaster was turned into a hotspot that locals and foreigners alike flock to during the summer.

4. Campo all’Aia

Procchio
Image Credit: Jean-François Renaud via Flickr

When people think of Tuscany, they usually think of Florence, Pisa, or rolling hills full of vineyards. However, the region is also home to its fair share of beautiful beaches. It even has an island to its name.

Elba is an island city under Tuscany, and it’s where you’ll find Campo all’Aia. Since many foreign tourists tend to stick to the mainland or the island regions, this beach never feels overcrowded. You’ll mostly be on the sand with locals and other Italians.

The beach is known for its packed sand that keeps the coastline nice and even. That makes it a great spot for runners seeking a scenic view. The beach is also curved in a way that you’re protected from strong winds and currents.

5. Marina Grande

Marina Grande Sorrento
Image Credit: colorist48 via Flickr

Marina Grande may not be the calmest beach in Italy, but it’s one of the most picturesque. With its clear, rocky waters, seaside cliffs, and tan sand, the shoreline here looks like it belongs in a movie. And it’s no secret. During the high season for tourism (May to September), the beach can see high crowd levels.

That means if you’re looking for a place to unwind with some peace and quiet, and you want that place to be Marina Grande, you’ll have to do some planning.

The quietest and calmest times on the beach will be during the low tourist seasons, though that also means the water is generally too cold to swim in.

Hot Tip: You can also try to head onto the beach in the early morning to beat the day’s crowds.

6. Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi
Image Credit: Claudio Poggio via Unsplash

Do you want to feel like you’re spending your beach days in the lap of luxury? Then you should set aside a few days to head to Forte dei Marmi. This little area is one of the country’s most sought-after rivieras. In fact, it’s common to spot a celebrity hanging out on the sand or in town.

Forte dei Marmi is known for being a ritzy town with fancy shops and restaurants, which makes spending the day here feel like a real treat. The sand is soft and cushiony thanks to the diligent work of the staff at the beach establishments. You can easily walk on it for miles comfortably.

There aren’t many boats that sail close to Forte dei Marmi’s stretch of coast, so the water is much cleaner compared to some of the surrounding areas.

7. Riserva Naturale de Vendicari

Vendicari Nature Reserve Calamosche Beach
Image Credit: WiggyToo via Flickr

Are you a nature lover looking for a way to combine your love of Mother Earth with a relaxing day at the beach? Then the Riserva Naturale de Vendicari is the place for you. This nature reserve is quite literally referred to as an oasis, so expect it to feel like you’ve stepped out of the modern world and into something much more relaxing.

You’ll be surrounded by beautiful greenery and wildlife while you make your way to the beach, which is a short trek that separates the coastline from the busy car areas.

What you’ll find when you hit the beach is bright blue water that almost looks unreal. Even in the middle of winter, you’ll be tempted to dip your toe in because it’s just that inviting and refreshing looking all year.

8. Sant’Andrea Beach

SantAndrea Beach
Image Credit: Visit Elba

Surprisingly, not many of Italy’s beaches offer much variety in the way of water recreation. Sure, you can surf, sail, and swim, but not much more than that. That is, unless you visit Sant’Andrea Beach on Elba.

This beach offers snorkeling and paddle boats, filling a gap in the country’s water recreation options. You can explore the colorful underwater world around some of the rocky outcrops.

The beach is also known for its refreshment accessibility. You can stay in your swimsuit all day while enjoying food and drinks, thanks to the outdoor cafes and bars around the beach.

Since the water is clean and shallow, and there are so many amenities available to you, Sant’Andrea is widely recommended as a great vacation spot for families.

9. Spiaggia dei Due Mari

Isola di Caprera spiaggia dei due mar
Image Credit: Samanera88 via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Since Italy is a peninsula, it’s almost entirely surrounded by water. But did you know that water comes from multiple seas?

On the country’s west coast, you’ll find the Mediterranean Sea, which is what you typically think about when you think of Italy. The east coast is made up of the Ionian Sea in the south and the Adriatic in the north.

Spiaggia dei Due Mari is famous as the spot where the Ionian and the Mediterranean mix.

Even though the beach itself is quite small, the water is a beautiful mix of different blues as the 2 seas mix together. Since the water is clean, you can see this coloration well. The beach is also secluded. There’s a cafe nearby and the road to arrive, but otherwise, you’re fully removed from the bustle of city life.

10. Tonnara di Scopello

Tonnara di Scopello
Image Credit: Samuel Ferrara via Unsplash

The final entry on this list brings us to Trapani in Sicily. Sicily is known for being a beachy hot spot, but while Tonnara di Scopello is gorgeous, it’s managed to stay underrated.

While this particular beach isn’t free to visit, it’s for a good reason. The landscape makes it a bit of a natural wonder, and having an admission cost helps keep it pristine and preserved. The bay is one of the most beautiful in the country and is worth its entry fee just to be able to get a view of the jewel-toned water in person.

Though getting to the water might seem intimidating, don’t worry, there’s an easy path to follow that will lead you right down to the shore. It’s so simple and safe that children can easily do it without any difficulty.

Final Thoughts

Italy is that’s full of beautiful beaches. From the west coast to the east coast to the country’s islands, there is no shortage of sunny stretches of coastline.

There are literally hundreds of places you could go to get some time by the water. You can’t go wrong visiting any of these spots, but you might have preferences that make some beaches more ideal than others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the nicest beaches in Italy?

Italy has nice beaches all over the country. The west coast is best for warm water. However, the east coast’s beaches tend to be more natural and pristine. Where to go in Italy for a beach vacation will depend on your personal preferences.

Does Italy have any sandy beaches?

Italy has a lot of sandy beaches. While some areas of the country’s coast are rocky, plenty of places have soft sand. Typically, you can easily look up what sort of beach an area has so you can best prepare before you arrive.

Does Italy have warm beaches?

Since Italy is a southern-European country, it has some of the warmest beaches on the continent. The west coast’s beaches are on the Mediterranean and tend to have warmer water compared to the east coast, particularly between the months of June and September.

What is the best month to travel to Italy?

The best time to travel to Italy will depend on what you want to do while you’re visiting. If you plan to visit the beach, the summer months offer the best weather and temperatures. However, these are also the most crowded and humid months.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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