It’s hard to pin down the best stretches of sand in Italy, but if we had to pick it’d be Puglia. Get sand between your toes on Baia dei Turchi, a stunning beach tucked away in a protected nature reserve. Backed by a pine forest, it offers up gin-clear water that’s said to be some of the cleanest in the country. The fact it’s got a Blue Flag under its belt comes as no surprise, either. Or, if you’re after something a little more exclusive, you’ll find Baia delle Zagare is as secluded and exclusive as they come.
If there’s one name you need to know when it comes to Tuscany and beaches it’s Elba Island. Home to several contenders for the best swathe of sand list, you’ll find Spiaggia di Sansone, also known as Beach of Samson, confidently sitting at the top of the chart thanks to glossy turquoise waters and sand the colour of icing sugar. The clear water here is super shallow too, making it perfect for little ones and keen snorkelers alike. And, if you’re looking for something quieter, head to Forno. This crowd-free beach is nestled in a sleepy cove cocooned by villas and lush vegetation.
It’s hard to tear your eyes, and heart, away from Calda Goloritzé. One of Italy’s most iconic beaches, it’s hidden at the bottom of a ravine. And, while it’s tiny, this is all part of its appeal. Snuggled in between two limestone cliffs, its raw beauty bagged UNESCO status back in 1995 and it hasn’t stopped impressing us since. If you’re after something bigger, the deluxe La Pelosa has plenty of sand to share, too. With views out on to the Isles of Piana and Asinara and sand the shade of milky tea, you’ll find it pretty hard to leave.
Looking for something a little different to white sand and turquoise waters? Try Scala dei Turchi on the south coast of Sicily. Sprinkled by fiery bronze sand, the beach is backed by marble-like limestone cliffs which are considered as a natural wonder in the area. Another photo-favourite stretch of sand is Sicily’s Mazzaro. The closest beach to the seaside town of Taormina, it’s speckled with fish trattorias where you can toast the days catches with a glass of aperol spritz.
If beautiful beaches without the crowds are on your agenda, the Amalfi Coast's will more than fit the bill. Try Marina Grande for a beach hidden away in cliffs studded with limoncello houses. From here, you can also take a boat to nearby Capri for the day. Procida is another beach haven for your list. Set against a background of pastel-hued houses in probably the prettiest town in Italy, you’ll find a spiral of Medieval steps leading to a tonne of must-visit beaches, including Lingua and Chiraccio.
Standout views and a romantic rooftop bar set this hotel apart from the crowd. It’s no wonder it’s a TripAdvisor award winner.
is located right in the heart of Sorrento, and has a rooftop pool with top-drawer views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The stylish Grand Hotel President boasts a well-equipped spa and outstanding coastal views.
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