Cross the border from the French Riviera and the diverse Italian region of Liguria sprawls out along the coast waiting to be explored. The most popular destination along the Italian Riviera is the iconic Cinque Terre, but there is so much more discover with a beach hotel in Liguria. If you’re looking for miles of sandy beaches, you’re better off checking out Italy’s east coast, whereas the Italian Riviera is made up of hundreds hidden coves, cliffs that plunge into the Ligurian Sea and pebbled beaches lined with sun loungers in the bays of gorgeous medieval seaside towns.
Beach Hotels in Liguria: One-of-a-kind Destinations along the Northern Italian Coast
La Spezia & the Cinque Terre: Discover the Best of the Liguria Coast
Protected from the elements and famous for its illustrious maritime history, La Spezia boasts an exciting harbor, atmospheric old town and is located only minutes from the gorgeous Cinque Terre. Beach hotels in Liguria’s second largest city are all about harbor views and romantic strolls through Italian streets. You’ll also have access to the region’s best anchovies and mussels fished straight out of the adjacent Ligurian Sea. To inject a little of the local culture and tradition into your vacation, book a hotel in La Spezia during the city’s San Giuseppe (St Joseph) celebrations. Lasting three days in March, La Spezia throws open its doors to foodies from around the world for a celebration of the city’s patron saint, with streets lined with merchants selling everything from clothing to home-made dishes. A beach hotel here is also a great way to access Liguria’s most popular attraction – the Cinque Terre. Five colorful and dramatic fishing villages cling to the cliff-sides, shaped by a long history giving this destination a timeless allure. Beach hotels near Liguria’s Cinque Terre is the best way to spend some time exploring this exceptional place. Cars have been banned, so you’re better off parking in La Spezia and taking the train into Riomaggiore – the unofficial capital of the five villages. For hikers, the area is a wonderland of walking trails and coastal scenery, ideal for a variety of experience levels. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a proper stretch of beach in the Cinque Terre, but that doesn’t mean those who look are not rewarded. Take the train to Monterosso for a sandy haven with deck chairs to relax upon.
Rapallo & Sestri Levante: Lesser Explored Beach Locations
With a palm tree-lined beach and medieval wonders all within walking distance of your hotel, the city of Rapallo is the perfect seaside retreat on in Liguria. Beach hotels in this classic Italian setting makes for a great base when exploring the rest of the coast, as it’s only a short train journey from Portofino and Sestri Levante (among other smaller seaside towns). Having said this, Rapallo plays host to many attractions that make it a worthwhile place to spend some time. The closest stretch of sand to the city center is Lido beach, which is easily accessible but due to its location becomes quite crowded in the summer. On the other side of the harbor you’ll find San Michele, a shingle beach with a protected shore in the shadow of Rapallo’s pastel-colored villas. Further unique attractions accessible from Rapallo include the nearby 10th century San Fruttuoso abbey and beguiling Christ of the Abyss – a dramatic statue of Jesus submerged deep beneath the waves. Beach hotels in central Liguria make it easy to discover tucked away villages for some serious peace and quiet. A crescent of golden sand tempt visitors to Sestri Levante, a picturesque town lying adjacent to the Baia del Silenzio (Bay of Silence).
San Remo: The Italian Monte Carlo
If Italy had its very own Monte Carlo, San Remo would be it. Only a stone’s throw from the French border, San Remo conducts itself much like the hotspots of the French Riviera but with a distinctly Italian atmosphere. Casino’s and opulent five-star beach hotels line the promenade of this gem of the eastern Liguria coastline, tempting Italy’s trendiest individuals. Alongside the luxurious yachts that frequent the harbor, San Remo’s tree-lined promenade is a great place to take a stroll and breathe in the charms of this buzzing city. Known as the City of Flowers, central San Remo (also known as La Pigna) is a jumble of buildings marked by the city’s long history; including 14th century vestiges such as the Porta di Santo Stefano and the 16th century Oratory of Saint Sebastian decorated with 18th century frescoes. What’s more, San Remo is a picturesque location for a beach hotel in Liguria. The Province of Imperia is littered with beaches to enjoy, including both paid access such as Lido Fontana beach or public hideaways with views over the city like those found in Bussana.