Looking for a beach holiday in the land of La Dolce Vita? Italy will spoil you for choice, as the country’s vast coastline offers some magical beaches that open up a stunning canvas of sky, sand and waves. Here’s a pick of ten pretty ones.
1. Marina Grande Beach, Positano, Amalfi Coast
Gorgeous stretches of fine sand and the green-blue sea of the Amalfi Coast, brought alive with neatly laid out beach umbrellas and lounge chairs in hues of orange and blue, are a highlight of a trip to Positano. Stunning rows of pastel houses straddling the cliff-face make it a shutterbug’s delight. Take a boat ride to some of the islands of the protected sea reserve of Punta Campanella.
2. Monterosso Al Mare, Italian Riviera
There’s just one word to describe this swathe of sun and sand that is part of the Cinque Terre – enchanting. Facing the Ligurian sea, the warm crystalline waters and gentle surf of this beach together with a lovely seaside boardwalk make it worth a visit. You can also rent out day beds and umbrellas and let life slow to a crawl for a truly relaxing time here.
3. Bay of Silence, Sestri Levante
In Liguria in north west Italy lies the Bay of Silence, where you can enjoy a golden sandy beach, serene blue waters, lush vegetation, rows of multi-coloured houses and lines of picturesque fishing boats. Besides a leisurely walk down the sandy stretch, have a dekko at its quaint and pretty alleys.
4. Spiaggia di Sansone (Beach of Samson), Elba, Tuscany
Topping the list of the most beautiful beaches on Tuscany’s Elba Island, Sansone enchants with its mix of white sand, pebbles and shingles besides, of course, the most transparent water you might ever see. A worthwhile experience awaits those interested in snorkelling – a white sea bed with numerous rocky vistas and grottos, and a colourful schools of fish gliding past. Its large cliffs offer a perfect backdrop for canoe and kayak excursions.
5. Cala Goloritze, Sardinia island
Nestling at the base of a breathtaking ravine on Sardinia’s idyllic north-eastern coast, Cala Goloritze’s limestone cliffs and soft ivory sands enthrall from the moment you set eyes on it. There are stunning vistas for those who enjoy the world that lies under water. Little wonder then that this watery paradise was chosen as a UNESCO site in 1995.
6. Cala Granara, Spargi island
Located in the island of Spargi, this beautiful beach, known for its fine white sand and crystal-clear waters, is accessible by boat that gives you a fascinating ride around the archipelago of Maddalena. Its myriad charms are irresistible – the three white beach sections interspersed by maccia, small mountains and clear waters are a balm for the eyes.
7. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Sicily
This one’s often counted among the world’s most beautiful beaches for its picture-perfect combination of a rugged coastline, soft sands and resplendent hues of the sea. Go snorkelling and enjoy the variety of life in the crystal clear waters. Although most visitors who land here hope for cute encounters with rabbits, the name is more of a misnomer – they are more likely to come face-to-face with loggerhead turtles and other such species amongst rocky surfaces.
8. Spiaggia di Chiaia di Luna, Ponza
A sense of timelessness pervades this charming Italian beach. Its vistas are breathtaking – rocky surfaces plummeting into the sea with a white frothy ring on the water surface. Besides swimming and snorkeling, you can rent a motorboat and spend time relaxing in one of the windless alcoves surrounding Ponza. The island houses interesting Roman and Etruscan ruins that you can explore.
9. Porto Badisco, Otranto
The sheltered waters of this bay on Italy’s Puglia Coast make it an excellent spot for swimming and water sports like snorkelling. Carry a picnic hamper and spend a relaxed time in the pretty pine grove on the promontory on the north side of the bay. Also take a look at the elaborate mosaics in a 12th-century cathedral and the Grotta dei Cervi (Cave of the Deer) that has cave paintings going back almost 4,000 years.
10. Lido Beach, Lido di Venezia
This picturesque seven-mile long island that stretches out languorously on the edge of the Venetian Lagoon offers a delightful ‘beach-y’ experience. Spend the day taking a stroll or, with a cocktail in hand, just admire the enticing aqua colours of the upper Adriatic Sea. Options of renting a cabana are also available.