Tired of the usual holidays on overcrowded beaches? Discover the 14 best Italian beaches that you can only reach by boat!
Overcrowded beaches and no space to relax. Fights over who gets there first thing in the morning to get the best spot on the beach. Many hours by car, only to arrive in the blazing sun and with the sand burning your feet...and nothing, not even a place to relax.
Some say that the most beautiful things are often difficult to achieve. You could say that this applies to everything, especially to the unique places. And beaches that you can only reach by sea are certainly no exception to this rule.
Hoist your sails and get ready to dive into one of these paradises on earth that you can only reach by boat!
14. Cala Granara, La Maddalena Archipelago (Sardinia)
Sardinia could not be left on this list, as it offers some beautiful beaches. One of those that you can only reach by sea is Cala Granara on the island of Spargi in the Maddalena Archipelago.
Fine, white sand and crystal-clear water. The perfect place for diving enthusiasts, with more than 15 metres of seabed depth!
It is a deserted beach, with no accommodation facilities nearby. And where, precisely, for this reason, you need to go there equipped with water and food from home.
Surrounded by rich vegetation, you can shelter from the sun during peak hours. Accessible only by sea, by motorboat or by dinghy in 15 minutes from the island of La Maddalena.
13. Chiaia di Luna, Ponza (Lazio)
It has been closed to the public for many years due to its unsafe road conditions. Chiaia di Luna beach is in the Pontine Archipelago (opposite the Latium coast). You can currently only reach it by sea. It has white sand that emerges between high tuff cliffs.
Ancient Romans and Greeks used to go there, who reached it by land (the same road now closed) through a tunnel. Therefore, it is currently only possible to get there by boat, even a small one (rented from the small port of Ponza), to enjoy its blue sea and its small beach.
Be careful, though, because lying down to sunbathe on the beach has risks. Still, there is nothing to stop you from taking a nice swim in its crystal clear waters and letting yourself lulled by the movement of the sea on the boat or dinghy.
12. Punta Crena, Finale Ligure (Liguria)
In Varigotti, a hamlet of Finale Ligure in Savona, there is the tiny beach of Punta Crena (about 40x50 metres). There are cliffs overlooking the sea, clear, turquoise water, fascinating seabed, and clear water.
It is ideal for those looking for a bit of privacy—one of the least crowded bathing spots on the Riviera di Ponente in Liguria. Reserved and isolated, it can only be reached by sea and is popular with naturists.
On Punta Crena, you can enjoy a personal nautical experience with a different perspective: a place from which to observe the horizon in all serenity, directly onboard your boat!
The more courageous could also reach it "by land" through a complicated and dangerous route. You have to lower yourself with a rope (fixed and available to everyone). A good compromise would be to reach it by pedalo or canoe, which can be rented on the nearby beach of Varigotti: a trip of about 10-15 minutes.
11. Golfo della Mezzaluna, island of San Pietro in Carloforte (Sardinia)
Let's go back to Sardinia to propose the Golfo della Mezzaluna on the island of San Pietro in Carloforte. It is a real jewel of nature, characterised by very high rocky cliffs overlooking the sea. A pure spectacle for those who love barren landscapes and tranquillity!
The beach is of pebbles and rocks. There is the Bue Marino cliff on the eastern side of the gulf, where there are Mezzaluna caves, submerged and at sea level, therefore also easily accessible. You can only reach the coves by sea: this is an unmissable place for those who love scuba diving.
The best way to enjoy this natural spectacle is to visit it with your boat or rent one in Cagliari or directly in Carloforte.
10. Cala della Sanguinaria, Vieste (Apulia)
At 140 km long, the Gargano coastline is home to some of Italy's most beautiful beaches. The Gargano National Park is a protected national area that coincides with the mountainous cape of the same name in the eastern part of the province of Foggia in northern Apulia.
One of the most beautiful bays in the Gargano is Cala della Sanguinaria, 12 km from Vieste. With a white pebble seabed plunging into the turquoise sea: a milky-white Karst cliff protects the bay.
It is the perfect beach for those who love solitude, and you can reach it by boat from nearby beaches. However, the beach can also be reached on foot, starting from the car park on the SP54 road. The walk takes about 15 minutes and is rather steep, so it is advisable to wear suitable shoes.
9. Cala dei Frati, Elba Island (Tuscany)
On the splendid island of Elba, there is a genuinely suggestive cove. Cala di Frati can only be reached by sea (but can also be reached on foot, if you wish), starting from the nearby Ghiaie beach, which is larger and better equipped.
It is a tiny bay of golden sand, with a high rocky promontory behind it that shields it from the sun for most of the day.
8. Cala Luna, Gulf of Orosei (Sardinia)
To propose the beautiful Cala di Luna, let's go back to Sardinia one last time (although that would never be enough). The name comes from its crescent moon shape.
It is in the Gulf of Orosei, on the east coast of Sardinia. Between the municipalities of Dorgali and Baunei, of which it marks the border.
Cala Luna is a peculiar white sandy beach that stretches between the blue sea and the freshwater lake. It frames by caves and inlets formed by sea erosion on rocks of calcareous origin.
Over the years, the beach has also been the setting for several Italian and international films. Among them, the cult film of the 1970s "Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto" (Swept away by an unusual destiny in the blue sea of August), starring Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini.
The sea at Cala Luna is ideal for snorkelling, given its shallow waters accessible to tourists of all ages. In short, a beach that is a bit romantic and wild where you can take your time to sway on the waves.
It can be reached by boat from the ports of Portisco, Cala Gonone, Santa Maria Navarrese, La Caletta and Arbatax. There is also the possibility to get there on foot but through long and difficult paths.
7. Grotta Campana, Vieste (Apulia)
Let's return to the great treasure chest of beauty, the Gargano. We are still not far from Vieste, and in its turquoise sea, the splendid Grotta Campana opens up before our eyes.
Its inner walls cover with wild green moss, which gives the water extraordinary shades, especially when the sun shines its brilliant rays from the mouth of the cave.
6. Due Sorelle Beach, Ancona (Marche)
In the Marche region, a few nautical miles from Ancona, in the shadow of the imposing Monte Conero, along the rugged Adriatic coast, and only accessible by boat, lies the Due Sorelle beach. It owes its name to the two white stacks that rise from the blue sea a few steps from the shore and dominate the landscape.
The beach is a beautiful cove with a wild charm. Currently, you can only reach it by sea. There is a footpath, but access is now not allowed due to its danger.
Imagine: the sun is setting, and the reflection of the sunset intoxicates your eyes. Enjoy your aperitif at the stern and let the waves rock you. Can there be anything better?!
5. Cala Felce, Ponza (Lazio)
Back to Ponza: the largest island of the Pontine Islands. Suppose you want to discover this island and the entire Latium archipelago in an unusual way. In that case, there is nothing better than a sailing boat. It is from the sea that reveals inaccessible beaches (or almost inaccessible) on foot.
One such beach is Cala Felce, on the island's northern tip and just a few minutes' sailing away. It is a clear beach that enchants with its mix of sand and stones and a landscape that makes the surrounding area magical. An overwhelming nature envelops you with its intense colours, offering a contrast that makes you dream.
4. Buondormire Beach, Palinuro (Campania)
The Buondormire beach is one of the most beautiful in Cilento, just a short distance from Palinuro. It is a destination for many tourists who want to enjoy its uncontaminated nature.
It looks like a small crescent made of white pebbles and surrounded by immense cliffs that plunge sheer into the sea, in transparent waters of a thousand different shades.
3. Marinella di Palmi, Costa Viola (Calabria)
From the sea, Calabria also offers gems of great beauty. The northern part of Costa Viola hides the bluest sea in the region.
It is where we find Palmi's Marinella Beach. Its seabed is much loved by those who decide to dive or snorkel right from their boat. It is the perfect place for those looking for a bit of quiet and relaxation because, although it is easily accessible, it is still little frequented.
If you would like to reach the shore from the boat, consider going to the nearby Amphitheatre, where they organize many events, concerts and shows in the summer.
2. Cala dei Pagliai, Tremiti Islands (Apulia)
After talking about two of the most beautiful beaches in the Gargano, we return to Puglia to admire the splendid Cala dei Pagliai beach. On the island of San Domino, the largest of the Tremiti Islands. Here, the rocky coastline has created an infinite number of charming coves.
The beach is a golden crescent that opens not far from the island's main port—surrounded by impressive cliffs that rise from the sea and offer an incredible panorama.
1. La Tabaccara, Lampedusa (Sicily)
And it is here that we conclude our journey by sea. Lampedusa in Sicily is home to one of Italy's most fascinating beaches.
We are talking about La Tabaccara, an actual natural swimming pool set between rocky and imposing promontories covered in thick vegetation. Just a stone's throw away is the famous Conigli beach, one of the most popular destinations on the island.