From hidden Italian lagoons to eccentric Spanish playas. Passing through the rocky banks of France. Here’s our selection of the 15 top Mediterranean beaches.
Baia del Silenzio – Liguria, Italy
Surrounded by small pastel-coloured houses and animated by the fishermen’s boats, the Bay of Silence (Baia del Silenzio) is a picturesque corner on the Ligure coast.
The white sand and the clear sea bed contribute to the creation of a heavenly scenario. A temple of relax by day, the location turns into a perfect stage for nowadays romantics by night, with the breaking of waves on the rocks as the only sound.
The Bay promotes numerous cultural events and offers a variety of restaurants where you can try the many local culinary specialties.
Among these, a special mention goes to Cutter Cucca, a unique terrace with sea view, where you can enjoy a quick coffee, stop for lunch or just getting together with friends for a drink.
Via Penisola Levante 25, 16039 Sestri Levante, Italy
+39 0185 187 1231
Pink beach of Budelli – Sardinia, Italy
Thanks to the Miniacina miniacea, a fragmented natural microorganism, the Budelli beach, Sardinia, astonishes for the pink hues of its sand. This is a real natural oasis, part of the National Park of La Maddalena, where you can enjoy peace and wild nature.
Inhabited only by its keeper, since a few years the beach is no longer open to the public, as it’s considered a natural heritage of inestimable value; still, it can be visited from the nearby beach of Knight, if accompanied by a guide of the Maddalena Park.
Even in a wild scenario, you can’t say no to a coffee break. Why we suggest taking one at Il Baretto, a tropical-style cocktail bar, suitable for those seeking new flavors and a hint of originality in the drinks’ presentation.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele 23, 07028 Santa Teresa Gallura, Italy
+39 338 804 1501
Maltezi – Amorgos Island, Greece
Maltezi is probably the best beach on the northern side of the island of Amorgos (Greece), north-west of the port of Katapola. It is a beautiful sandy beach that offers all the most picturesque views of Amorgos.
Not subject to the Meltemi, the beach is sheltered from this dry and clean wind blowing in the Aegean Sea, and it is washed by a sea that takes beautiful colours, from green to blue. Also, it’s inhabited by a colorful fauna.
The beach cannot accommodate many tourists, letting peace and quiet reign supreme. Maltezi is well connected to the center thanks to rapid and economic taxi boat, or simply through pedestrian routes that take about 30 minutes.
If a special refreshment is needed, go visit the nearby kiosk Meli & Kanella, considered one of the best bakeries and cafes over there.
Meli & Kanella
+30 2285 071485
Punta Prosciutto – Apulia, Italy
Punta Prosciutto (literally Ham Tip), also known as Prisuti or Swamp of the Count, is a wonderful stretch on the Salento coastline, part of the municipality of Porto Cesareo, on the extreme boundary between Taranto and Lecce.
Pure nature, long white beach and crystal clear waters: all these make Punta Prosciutto a corner of paradise in the heart of Salento. The humidity generated by the lifting of the seabed has created a perfect habitat for a particular flora and fauna, which made it necessary to constitute the Regional Natural Park “Swamp of the Count”.
Despite the large landing of tourists in summer season, the breadth of the coast is good enough to guarantee ample space to all visitors. Punta Prosciutto is a favorite destination for family tourism; the eternal low tide allows good “surveillance” of the youngest, but at the same time it’s appreciated by young and sporty people, who can go windsurfing, sailing and diving.
The lazy, on the other hand, would love to be pampered at the Lido Oasis Beach Cafè, where they can enjoy exquisite granite, delicious ice creams, sip coffee or stop for a light lunch.
Lido Oasis Beach Cafè
Via 277, 5156, 73010 Punta Prosciutto, Porto Cesareo, Italy
Luke Beach – Murter Island, Croatia
Luke Beach is considered one of the finest beaches on Murter Island. The clarity of the water contrasts with the gravel and the concrete emplacements on which it is possible to lie down to sunbathe.
It is a very popular seaside area, suitable for children, the elderly and non-swimmers. The beach and its surroundings are easily reachable by public transport or by car, with public parking. An active holiday is also around the corner, with facilities for sailing, diving, tennis, running, cycling, bowling, wind-surfing, jogging and boat rentals.
Again we recommend a particular kiosk, the Pipo Restaurant. The typical dishes will leave you speechless.
Božidar Eterović “Pipo”
Trg Ciprijana Žuvetića 2, 21412 Pučišća, isola di Luke, Hrvatska (Croatia)
Cala Azzurra – Favignana, Italy
Featuring crystal clear and refreshing water characterised by a white backdrop with pink hues, Cala Azzurra (Blue Bay) is one of the most popular beaches in Favignana. It’s easy to reach coming from the town on a bike, but it is also suggestive to get there by boat.
Suitable for all types of swimmers, including children, it should be visited in the early morning or at dusk, thus guaranteeing an intimate and personal atmosphere. Unfortunately, the many storms over the years have greatly reduced the beach, but they haven’t influenced the spectacular place.
A tip to face the scorching heat of the wonderful Egadi Islands is to head down at Bar Cala Riviera, a basic place, ideal for a lunch break made of traditional local delicacies.
Bar Cala Azzurra
S.P. Punta Marsala, Cala Azzurra, Italy
+39 0923 922044
Chiaia di Luna – Ponza, Italy
Definitely one of the most famous beaches of the island of Ponza, it’s also one of the most spectacular in Italy.A steep cliff overlooking the beach and bay, with different minerals that make up the rock, give an astounding chromatic effect. To access the Chiaia di Luna you must pass through an ancient Roman tunnel, at the end of which the beautiful landscape awaits you.
The 500 meters of clear sand create a natural amphitheater, marked by yellow and white tuff cliffs overhanging the sea. The name Luna (Moon) refers to the peculiar curvature of the beach, the natural conformation of the geological territory. Also, the term Chiaia refers to the beach in Neapolitan dialect.
Archaeological findings in the area attest that already Greeks and Romans used the Chiaia di Luna as a natural harbor. The waters are turquoise, transparent and clear; the beach has a sandy bottom, ideal for bathing and swimming. It is important to recall that the beach service is only permitted along the eastern side, while the western one is not accessible.
And when it’s time for the long-awaited happy hour, we recommend the restaurant Chiaia di Luna, perfect for a simple and relaxing aperitif. The view of the sea, the wind breeze, the flavours of Neapolitan tradition and the music will introduce you into a parallel universe of dream and imagination.
Ristorante Chiaia di Luna
Via Panoramica snc, 04027 Isola di Ponza, Italy
Playa de Ses Illetes – Formentera, Spain
The name means “beach of the little islands“, because the bay is protected by numerous islets. Located about 4 km from La Savina, the tourist center of Formentera, between Punta des Pas and Platgeta des Carregador, on the charming peninsula de Trucadors, Playa de Ses Illetes is one of the busiest beaches in Spain.
It features a coastline of almost 500 meters, completely surrounded by turquoise, crystal clear and transparent sea, with sandy and gently sloping seabed. The sand is fine and white, and it is accompanied by the so-called Posidonia located on the seabed, considered a Unesco World Heritage site.
It should be remembered that this, like many other beaches on the island of Formentera, is often attended by naturists who, due to the permissive Spanish legislation, do not hesitate to return to the wild and primitive state, almost imagining themselves as Adam and Eve.
The beach offers the service of a wonderful bar named Juan y Andrea, ideal for a coffee, a refreshing snack or a healthy lunch.
Juan y Andrea
Playa Illetas, 07860, Formentera, Spain
+34 971 18 71 30
Elafonissi – Crete, Greece
Elafonissi, Ελαφόνησος in Greek, is a lagoon of a disarming beauty and it is the most beautiful beach in Crete.In true Caribbean style, Elafonissi has white sand with pink hues and crystal clear turquoise waters, deep and very warm.
One of the main destination for every tourist who travels to Crete, the pristine beach has in front of itself a small island of sand dunes dotted with bushes and sea lilies, connected to the mainland by a sandy walkway.
Moderately equipped with umbrellas and chairs, the beach is easily accessible and is only 5 km from the Chrissoskalitissa monastery.
Do not miss the spectacle of the sunset, when the sun caresses the waters of the lagoon and radiates its light with beautiful color play.
Not far from there there’s the Panorama Restaurant, where you can cool off and comfortably enjoy the magnificence of nature.
Elafonissi, Crete 73012, Greece
Rabbits Beach – Lampedusa, Italy
First ranked among the most beautiful beaches in Italy, the Rabbit Beach (Spiaggia dei Conigli) in Lampedusa is definitely breathtaking. It’s also habitat of some of the most important endangered species, such as the herring gull and a particular species of lizard, the large psammodromus.
The crystal clear waters and fine sand contribute to the creation of a Caribbean landscape. Never too crowded – it’s difficult to reach the beach due to the not too smooth path that precedes it – it is an ideal place for children and adults, but not recommended for the elderly.
Of particular interest are the most typical souvenirs of the island: the sponges, the manufacturing of which was once one of the main economic resources of the island.
Just 3km from the beach, you should relax at the table of the Portu ‘Ntoni, one of the most popular local restaurants. With its seafood or meat menu, you’ll love the Sicilian atmosphere even more.
Contrada Cala Croce, Spiaggia di Portu ‘Ntoni, 92010, Italy
+39 338 105 0892
Cala Rossa – Favignana, Italy
Set within beautiful limestone caves, Cala Rossa (Red Bay) hosts another beautiful beach of Favignana Island. The cliffs that surround the beach let admire an almost surreal landscape. Stand out is certainly the clear water that characterises the place. Also, among the coves created by the reefs, little beaches were naturally created with recently formed sand.
You can reach it by boat or by land, but the latter option is not recommend to families with young children or anyone with mobility problems, considering the long descent and consequently an equally rising. Renting a bike is a good idea, so as to get there more easily.
The beach is not well equipped, so you need to provide what you need own, but is wide enough to accommodate a large number of tourists.
Not far from there you will find U bar du Marinaru. Probably not trendy, but definitely one of the best servants of coffee pistachio throughout the island.
U Bar du Marinaru
Via Molo San Leonardo, 91023, Italy
+39 0923 921792
Marina dell’Isola – Calabria, Italy
Crystal clear waters and white sands are the main features of this charming place that attracts tourists from all over the world, and not surprisingly it’s called “The pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea”.
The natural beauty is in perfect harmony with the shape of the village perched on the tufa rock, which in turn sustains the wonderful Convent of Santa Maria.
Capriccioli – Sardinia, Italy
The beach of Capriccioli (goats in Gallurese), is located in the municipality of Arzachena. Characterised by fine sand with greyish hues, alternating with large granite rocks, it is surrounded by abundant Mediterranean vegetation with mastic, cysts, olive trees and pines, and is divided into two parts by huge boulders.
With small boats you can reach the island of Mortorio, a natural oasis rich in vegetation, dotted with rocks with forms and colours of great beauty. The Capriccioli beach has shallow sandy waters, allowing children to play safely. In this regard, the beach is accessible to the disabled, with a large car park and a bar. You can also rent umbrellas and beach chairs.
For the ritual summer refreshments, we recommend Sabbiamare, a true beach house where you can enjoy high quality food at reasonable prices while surrounded by the Sardinian landscape.
Località Capriccioli, Spiaggia La Celvia, 07021 Arzachena, Italy
+39 392 983 8710
Plage de Saleccia – Corsica, France
Saleccia is one of the most famous beaches in Corsica. And surely for a good reason. Even considered its fame and popularity, it’s quite hard to reach. And maybe that is why it still remains sufficiently wild. The easiest way to get there is by a boat: that goes from Saint Florent to Plage du Lotu, later taking a jeep (booked at the embarkation of Saint Florent) across the desert Des Agriates.
From the entrance of a pine forest, which has a well-marked path to reach the sea, step by step you can admire the beauty of unspoiled nature, while in the distance you start to glimpse the azure waters. The beach is white and swept by a light and pleasant breeze, with emerald and turquoise water and plenty of space to get a personal spot without invading the privacy of others.
At sunset, when the colours are gilded and the beach is even less crowded, everything turns into pure magic.
For a short break from the sun, we recommend the Bar & Grill A Piniccia Saleccia. Light simple drinks will be served with the greatest pleasure.
A Piniccia di Saleccia
Lieu Dit Acqua Dolce, 20246 Santo-Pietro-di-Tenda, France
+33 6 14 21 14 14
Plage de la Paloma – Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
Home of the international jet-set, the Paloma Beach of Cap Ferrat is located southeast of the peninsula. In front of Beaulieu sur Mer, halfway to the tip of Saint- Hospice.
This beach, at the feet of the road, extends for 150 meters and is composed predominantly of pebbles. A private beach occupies most of the sandy space. While the public beach is located on both sides. You can carry out many activities, such as reserving a pedalo or go jet skiing. La plage is not very big, so you have to get there early in the morning if you want to properly enjoy it. Well equipped, it offers deck chairs and umbrellas. There is a small bar on the shore: the Paloma Beach Restaurant, where you can taste fish dishes and pasta or sip cool drinks..
Paloma Beach Restaurant
Chemin Saint Hospice, 06230 St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
+33 4 93 01 64 71
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