Find the best beach holidays in Italy

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 08.01.2022

Find beach holidays in Italy with Natasha Foges who shares her favourites from peaceful beaches in Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia to seaside breaks in Tuscany and south of the Amalfi Coast. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your travel guide for visiting Italy.

1. Beach holidays in Italy for families

When you're travelling in Italy with kids in tow looking for small-town beaches like Santa Maria di Castellabate in the quieter Cilento region just south of the always-crowded Amalfi Coast.

Here, the jolly seafront, stunning crescent-shaped bay and clear seas are ideal for family holidays. And the beachy vibe is balanced by Santa Maria's World Heritage old town and the fact that the Paestum Temples are just a short drive away.

If you're tempted to base a kid-friendly Italy trip in Santa Maria di Castellabate, think about booking Residenza Fontanelle Resort which is wonderfully welcoming to families and also right on the beach.


Santa Maria di Castellabate, family holidays in Italy with beach vibes © Gimas/Shutterstock

2. Best beach holidays in Italy for nightlife

Coastal resorts in Rimini are the ones to choose from for nightlife. This is the area for waterfront bars, summer beach parties and clubs with long sea views, set into the hilltop above Rimini itself.

Play all night and you can soothe away your hangover by day on Rimini's 15km long beach. The nearby resort of Riccione is another nightlife hub and, if you want to stay on the seafront, book Hotel Baia in Rimini.


Rimini, best beach holidays in Italy for nightlife © Nikolay Antonov/Shutterstock

3. Best for a variety of beaches

For some of the country's best beaches, do as the Italians do and head for Sardinia. The island's lovely coastline gives you the choice of rocky coves and white sand beaches and they're easy to hop between by car or moped.

In the south, Chia Beach should be on your wish list and no visitor to Sardinia should miss at least a few hours on Piscina Rei. Alternatively, stay put, chill and book a few nights at beachfront Aloe & Cactus in Chia.


Chia Beach, one of the best beaches in Sardinia Italy © Elisa Locci/Shutterstock

4. Best Italian beach holidays for old-world charm

If you're looking for a classic Italian seaside holiday, choose Viareggio on the very popular coast of Tuscany. It's the resort for faded vintage glamour backed by lively nights and a fondness for traditions like evening passeggiata.

Viareggio's lovely Art Nouveau promenade is surpassed only by its remarkably broad, sandy beaches. But to really get into the spirit of the place, spend some time being cared for beautifully at one of the resort's private beach clubs.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Italy and Italy Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.


Pick Viareggio for vintage beach holidays in Tuscany © dav76/Shutterstock

5. Best in Italy for remote beaches

Salento is made for beach lovers who don't love tourists too much. It's a peninsula in the boot of Italy and home to some of the country's loveliest beaches on both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts.

Head east for dramatic shorelines and west for white sand beaches, Moorish fishing villages and underwater grottoes. Try not to miss romantic Otranto and make a point of seeing Santa Maria di Leuca, even just for an afternoon.

But the area highlight has to be Marina di Pesculouse, often called the Salento Maldives with very good reason. To hang out longer and do Salento justice, stay in Otranto, at Hotel Bellavista on the seafront.

Looking for more remote beach holiday destinations? Take a look at our guide to Ischia, an island not overcrowded but still filled with unique charm and gorgeous beaches.


The Salento Peninsula has some of the best beaches in Italy © Marco Fine/Shutterstock

6. Best for urban beaches in Italy

Almost nowhere in Italy combines mesmerising city breaks and chilled beach holidays as well as Sicily and even the briefest stay at B&B Hotels in Palermo old town proves that perfectly.

Tour the city in the morning and then head for Mondello Beach where pastel-changing cabins and an Art Nouveau pier create a fun, retro vibe. Locals love it here at the weekend so the atmosphere is lively and it's always tourist-light.


Art Nouveau 'Charleston' building in Mondello, Sicily © SarnaFoto/Shutterstock

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places in Italy as well as the best things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from our Italy Travel Guides and our local travel agents in Italy. A bit more hands-on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay in Italy once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 08.01.2022

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