Secluded sandy coves, lively seaside resorts and picturesque seascapes, Southern Italy is overflowing with first-class beaches. Picking our favourites from a never-ending list was no easy task – but we’ve just about cracked it.
From the Italian region of the moment, Puglia to the luxuries of the Amalfi Coast we’ve applied sun cream by the bottles to pick and present the best 7 beaches in Southern Italy. And with a sun lounger waiting for you at every single one, you’re totally spoilt for choice.
1. Cala Brandinchi, Sardinia
Where: Better known as ‘Little Tahiti’, Cala Brandinchi steals the show instantaneously. From the vodka-clear waters to its fine, crisp white sand, this beach is pure nirvana.
What to do: Thoroughly recommended for families with little ones in tow, but yet equally supreme for couples looking for a relaxing stroll along the waterline – it’s a haven for all. This 700-metre long beach is a hot spot during summer, but don’t let that stop you, it’s sheer bliss all year round.
2. Torre Pali, Puglia
Where: Considered one of the prettiest beaches in Puglia, Torre Pali Beach is a must for your bucket-list.
What to do: The water is turquoise-hued, the beach is toe-curlingly golden and there’s even a cute harbour – so expect to tuck into the freshest catch of the day at any of the local restaurants nearby. The unmissable landmark, Torre Pali, was once an important watch tower, but today you can take a pretty pic of the partially submerged ruin. And in case you hadn’t already guess, it’s where the beach got its name!
3. Scala Dei Turchi, Sicily
Where: Though Scala Dei Turchi (also known as the Turkish Steps) is technically a cliff, if you pass the opportunity to visit this beauty, you’ll live to regret it. The beach underneath is tremendously unique, thanks to its natural white staircase that leads you to the sparkling aquamarine beach.
What to do: The staircase itself is a little challenging to climb, but totally worth it – it’ll feel as though you’re standing on top of a huge white meringue. And once you’ve nabbed a spot to observe the surroundings, you’ll truly understand the definition of ‘sea views’.
4. Cala Biriola, Sardinia
Where: Plotted on the East Coast of Sardinia, Cala Biriola is one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern Italy.
What to do: Snorkelling here is just delightful (hello, just look at that water!!), but if you’re not a thalassophile, you can also lend your hand to mountain climbing and trekking along the rocks. It’s a win-win either way. And anywho, who could resist these perfect pristine vistas?
5. Torre Dell’Orso, Puglia
What: One of the quirkiest beaches in Southern Italy, Torre Dell’Orso is best known for the ‘Due Sorelle’ (two sisters), a pair of gorgeous natural rocks that poke out of the sea.
What to do: This beach makes a great day out, especially in the scorching Puglian heat. The beach has over a kilometre of white sand, dunes and a surrounding pine forest – so wherever you turn your eyes are in for a treat.
6. Marina di Cetara, Amalfi Coast
What: Cetara is the subject of many a postcard; this cosy fishing village is uber dainty and visitors are without a doubt drawn to the little beaches dotted around the village.
What to do: The Marina di Cetera is framed with little cottages, the fishing port and tower – but although the beach is right by the town, it’s maintained in tip top shape and the water is oh so clean. Honestly, an afternoon spent here with a glass of vino is the stuff of dreams.
7. Mondello, Sicily
Where: Modello is a gorgeous seaside resort, just a hop away from the Sicilian capital Palmero.
What to do: Known for its wonderful beach, holidaymakers will find soft, fine sand sloping gently into the blue abyss. Besides pretty views, there are pedal boats for hire, chiringuitos along the sand and an electric atmosphere to match. Claim your little area of sand with your towels and then let the fun begin.
Where to next? Explore the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia