With its white cliffs, blanched pebble beaches, thick protected forests and easy-going resorts, the Conero Riviera to the south of Ancona is the northern Adriatic’s most spectacular and enjoyable stretch of coastline. This tranquil holiday paradise is centred around Monte Conero, which plunges straight into the sea from an altitude of 572m. The area is easily accessible, with the seaside villages of Portonovo, Sirolo and Numana all linked by bus from Ancona. Sirolo and Numana are now as crowded in July and August as the rest of the Adriatic resorts, the main difference being that their cliff-backed beaches are more picturesque. The most stunning stretch of coast, a series of tiny coves at the base of Monte Conero between Portonovo and Sirolo, is best explored by boat – they leave from both bays. You can go just for the scenery or ask to be dropped off somewhere along the way and be picked up a few hours later.

This stretch of coast is the home of Rosso Conero wine, made from the same Montepulciano grape as Chianti, though less well known than its Tuscan counterpart and rarely found outside Italy. There’s a chance to sample it at the Rosso Conero festival (w festadelrossoconero.it) at Camerano, 8km inland from Monte Conero, in the first week of September.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

Ticked off Rome’s big sights and wondering where to go next? Natasha Foges picks some of the city’s off-the-beaten track highlights. Lose yourself in the Q…

25 Jan 2017 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month