A few weeks ago I listed some ways to cool off in the city by visiting a pool. But if you are willing to travel a little bit more, you can find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Italy is a country surrounded by water, so you are never more than three hours away from the sea no matter what part of the country you are in. The beaches here range from the rough and rugged, to wide and expansive. The question remains, which beach to visit? Decisions, decisions. Clearly impossible to choose because everyone has different tastes and preferences, but below are some of the best beaches Italy has to offer.
Sansone, Elba, Tuscany
Most people probably don’t associate Elba with Tuscany and are more likely are thinking of Napoleon when they hear Elba. Lucky him to be exiled to Elba! Crystal clear beaches can be found all over Elba, and Sansone is one of the best. Hourly ferries from Piombe leave for Elba and arrive at Portoferraio. From there you are only about five miles away. However, you will have to find parking and hike down a narrow path to get to the beach. All worth the work as you sit below the steep white cliffs on this white pebbled beach.
Punta Prosciutto, Puglia
Puglia is a lesser known region – at least to Americans. When we think of Italy, we usually first think of places such as Tuscany, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Rome and Venice. But for Italians, Puglia is a very popular summer region and for good reason: excellent food, wine and beaches. The entire area of Salento has pristine beaches, below see the crystal clear waters of Punta Prosciutto.
Conero Riviera, Le Marche
If Puglia is a lesser known region to Americans, Le Marche might be completely unknown. This region is full of rolling hills and sunflower fields similar to Tuscany, but with the sea as a backdrop. Head over to the Conero Riviera, about a half-hour drive south of Ancona and you will find a rugged coastline with steep cliffs that descend into the sea. There are cove-like beaches in this area that you can hike down to, however, to get to Due Sorrelle, (one of the most famous beaches) you must take a boat. I have heard you CAN hike, but it is a long walk down. If you take a boat, make sure to reserve a place early, otherwise you will be out of luck.
Right next door to Puglia is Calabria, again beautiful beaches to be found everywhere, but perhaps the most striking is Tropea. Crystalline waters and a clifftop town in the background make this beach unique. The view from the cliff is truly something spectacular to see. Swimming in those blue waters is something spectacular to feel.
Scala dei Turchi, Sicily
Home to the cannoli and Don Corleone, but also home to some amazing beaches as well. I guess that is obvious – it IS an island after all. Have a look at the Scala dei Turchi beach. This “cliff” that is made of limestone and clay with its striking pure white color stands in between two beaches.
Cala Goloritzé, Sardinia
The ultimate Italian beach location. You basically cannot go wrong with Sardinia. The most difficult part is deciding which beach to go to! So many options, so little time. Your best bet is to rent a car and try to see as many as you can – because the beaches change characteristics. Some are rocky, some are sandy. Some do not have access by car and you must hike or take a boat to get to them, like Cala Goloritzé. But doesn’t the hike look worth it to you?
Of course, there are many more spectacular beaches in Italy and this is just a sampling. What beaches have I left out?! Which are your favorites?