Rome: Italy is renowned for its breathtaking cities and historic sites, drawing in millions of visitors every year.
And while there are heaps of incredible things to see and do in Italy, its pretty beaches can sometimes get overlooked in favour of city breaks. However, the Italian coast boasts some pretty incredible beaches.
We’re talking picture-perfect golden sands, crystalline waters ideal for swimming, lush green landscapes and backdrops ranging from towering mountains to charming villages.
We take a look at the best beaches in Italy that need to be on your radar, as well as where to find cheap hotels if you’re looking to stay nearby.
Baia dei Turchi, Puglia: Just a short bike ride away from Otranto (or you can get the shuttle bus), this beautiful beach looks like something out of a postcard. We’re talking fine sands and turquoise waters which are ideal for swimming. The beach can get quite busy so if you’re not looking to do a full beach day head here at sunset for the views.
Procchio Beach, Elba: Elba Island’s long stretch of sand is ideal for families as there’s plenty of space for sunloungers and sandcastles, while the shallow waters are great if you fancy a dip. There are local shops and a supermarket a short walk away too so if you are staying for the day you can stock up on snacks.
Tropea Beach, Calabria: Tropea boasts quite a rocky coastline but you’ll still find plenty of sandy beaches, with swim-friendly waters sure to be a hit with families. Head to the end of the beach and you can enjoy the backdrop of the spectacular Tropea Castle. Meanwhile, Tropea itself has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.
Tuerredda beach, Sardinia: This beach boasts approximately 400m of sandy shores right by crystal-clear waters, so it tends to be popular with families after a fun day at the beach. There are sunbeds on offer to rent but you may want to book in advance as the beach can get quite busy during the peak summer seasons.
There are snack bars for those who are feeling peckish or simply just fancy some of that world-famous Italian gelato.
Cala Goloritze, Sardinia: Cala Goloritze has ridiculously pretty lush green surroundings, sandy shores and turquoise waters – but be warned that the paths leading to the beach itself can be a little tricky to navigate, so pack some sturdy shoes.
The beach is quite small but you can also visit with boat tours if you fancy a short time exploring.
Marina Grande, Positano: More of a sightseeing spot than a place to laze on the beach (although there are sunloungers), Marina Grande offers up some pretty incredible views of Positano and the Amalfi Coast.
There are plenty of restaurants nearby so it can be quite a nice dinner spot, while the harbour is where you’ll find plenty of boat trips for your next adventure.
Camogli Beach, Liguria: The small fishing village of Camogli is a must-visit if you’re enjoying a wider tour of Italy.
Located between Genoa and Portofino, this charming town has beautiful buildings and restaurants serving up seriously good food, while the beach can be a great spot for basking in the sunshine and taking a dip.
Polignano a Mare beach, Puglia: The small town of Polignano a Mare boasts a cosy sandy bay that tends to be a hit with locals and tourists alike (so it can get quite busy).
The town has plenty of attractions from museums to Romanesque churches so it’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re thinking of only spending an hour or two on the sandy shores.
Meta di Sorrento Beach, Sorrento: The longest sandy beach on the Sorrento coast, this public beach sits about four kilometres away from the town of Sorrento itself.
It tends to be popular with families as there’s plenty of space, with the likes of sunbeds up for hire, while the swim-friendly waters are ideal for taking a dip when it gets a little too hot.
Fornillo Beach, Positano: Fornillo Beach is one of those beaches where you can enjoy uninterrupted views.
In fact it often tends to be quieter than some of the main beaches so it’s ideal for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy the scenery.