Top 10 beaches in Italy

It's no surprise that Italy is considered one Europe's best beach destinations given that it's surrounded by water on all sides. With over 5,000 miles of unique coastline there are an abundance of rocky coves, sandy stretches and secluded bays to be discovered.

Many of Italy's beaches are surrounded by stunning backdrops thanks to the natural scenic beauty whether it's a bustling, charming resort or a panoramic cliff location. Italy is also one of the few places where, on occasion, the human world actually enhances this natural beauty. There are a plethora of picturesque villages and ancient towns that spill down to the coast providing a living picture postcard and wonderful places to explore or grab a bite to eat after a hard day on the beach. Many tourists return every year to the beaches in Italy and although they are popular during the busy summer months, there are so many large golden sandy beaches and secluded coves that they never feel crowded.

  • Cala Goloritze, Itlay Yesuitus2001 / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en">CC BY</a>

    Cala Goloritze // Sardinia

    Perhaps one of Italy’s most iconic beaches, Cala Goloritzè is beautifully positioned at the base of a ravine on the north eastern coast of Sardinia. As with other beaches in the vicinity, the water here is a brilliant azure blue and crystal clear whilst the beach is bleached white by the sun. But it is the stunning limestone cliffside and rock... read more »

  • Rabbit beach, Lampedusa Island, Italy

    Rabbit Beach // Sicily

    Located on the little island of Lampedusa, 176 km (109 miles) south west of Sicily, Rabbit beach is named after its original inhabitants. Lampedusa is actually closer to the coast of North Africa than it is any other part of Italy and the weather certainly reflects this; rain is rare and summer temperatures can reach 40°C, that's well over 100°F.... read more »

  • Cefalù beach, Sicily, Italy

    Cefalu Beach // Sicily

    Cefalù beach is a long golden stretch of sand which follows the gentle curve of the bay and culminates in the medieval old town with its towering 12th-century cathedral. Whilst the beach here is no secret and it does get busy in the summer months, compared to resort towns such as Taormina it has not been over-developed and retains plenty of charm... read more »

  • Tonnara di Scopello, Sicily, Italy Gandolfo Cannatella

    Tonnara di Scopello // Sicily

    This little cove is hidden away near the village of Scopello in the Zingaro nature reserve. It is the prefect meeting of a beautiful natural location with some fine old crumbling buildings. Just off the coast, rising dramatically out of the crystal clear waters are the faraglioni, a series of natural rock towers. These are echoed by the ruins of... read more »

  • Tropea beach, Calabria, Italy Ron Lima

    Tropea Beach // Calabria

    Located in the "toe" of Italy as it dips into the Mediterranean Sea is the pretty old town of Tropea. Here you will find the lovely Marasusa Beach with its gently shelving white sands, calm crystal clear aqua waters and stunning cliffs. It is these cliffs and the ancient dwellings that perch on them that really set this beach off. Here you have... read more »

  • Minori beach - Amalfi Coast, Italy Perseo Medusa

    Minori and Maiori beach // Amalfi

    For some reason these two neigbouring beaches on Italy's Amalfi Coast are always mentioned in the same breath. So, here you get two fantastic Italian beaches for the price of one!

    Now, my limited knowledge of all things Latin tells me Maiori means something bigger and Minori something smaller, which sums up these beaches. The beach at Maiori is... read more »

  • La Pelosa beach, Sardinia

    La Pelosa // Sardinia

    Lying at the foot of Capo Falcone on the north-western tip of Sardinia is one of the islands most stunning beaches. A stretch of white sand and shallow, turquoise waters make La Pelosa everything you could desire from a Mediterranean beach. In addition to all this the beach has a secure enclosed feeling with the island of Piana just offshore and... read more »

  • Isola Bella, Taormina, Sicily

    Isola Bella // Sicily

    Also known as the "Pearl of the Ionian Sea", Isola Bella is a tiny island in a protected bay on Sicily's west coast. With crystal clear azul waters and a backdrop of mountains and pine forests this is a truly beautiful spot.

    The beach here is a pair of coarse, stony sand crescents either side of the island which meet to form a narrow spit of... read more »

  • Forno beach, Elba, Italy Luciano Mortula

    Forno Beach // Elba

    The third and smallest of three beaches in Biodola Bay, Forno beach is also the best. Set in a picturesque little cove surrounded by forested hillsides and overlooked by fine villas this little beach also manages to escape the worst of the summer crowds.

    The beach here is fine golden sand and the warm Mediterranean water crystal clear, but what... read more »

  • Cala Mariolu Elisa Locci

    Cala Mariolu // Sardinia

    Not far along the coast from the stunning cove and rock formations of Cala Goloritze is another Sardinian gem, Cala Mariolu. This little beach is set at the foot of plunging limestone cliffs which contrast with the stunningly clear blue water of the Gulf of Orosei. So alluring is the water here that I challenge anyone to not take a dip. Given how... read more »