Calabria Beaches are often referred as the European Caribbean, because its warm climate and sun drenched coastline. These beaches are world famous especially among fellow Europeans from the north.
Calabria, in southwest Italy, occupies the "toe" of the country’s boot-shaped peninsula. Reggio Calabria is its largest city facing the Messina Strait that separates the mainland from the Island of Sicily.
Calabria offers an endless selection of beautiful beaches for sun lovers, most featuring cafes, restaurants and hotels as well as all kind of water sports. Here are our favorites.
Caminia Beach is located on the Ionian Sea side of Calabria
Is popular with locals. Located on the Ionian coast near Catanzaro, this a curve shaped underdeveloped beach surrounded by dramatic cliffs with pebble sand and warm clear waters. It lacks the main amenities but compensates with an amazing beauty and the laid back ambiance for a relaxed day at the beach.
For more action visit the nearby town of Soverato. During summer holidays it gets very busy, but until then, just pack a picnic bag and enjoy this piece of paradise.
Caminia, along with neighboring Pietragrande and Copanello beaches are a competition to the more developed of the west coast of Calabria beaches.
Diamante Beach in Calabria called the Thyrrhenian Pearl
Called the “Tyrrhenian Pearl” this is an amazing jewel on the Riviera Dei Cedri on the Tyrrhenian coast. This is a long white sands beach surrounded by spectacular cliffs and olive groves. This is the place for windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving and water skiing.
Diamante is famous throughout Italy for its annual Peperoncini Festival where local vendors spice things up by creating dishes such as chili pepper shrimp, chili pepper chocolate, even chili pepper liquor.
Located on the Riviera dei Cedri and surrounded by clear blue waters and rugged mountains, lies Scalea. From here you may enjoy panoramic views over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Its unspoiled beaches range from soft, gray to rocky sand overlooked by the old medieval town of Scalea above the hilltop. The beach has all amenities for the visitors, including watersports, restaurants, hotel and cafes. It is near the famous Pollino National Park which means you can go hiking, camping, mountain biking and swimming all in one day.
This is one of the best places in the Mediterranean for divers due to its abundant marine life. Snorkelers and Scuba Divers flock from all corners of Europe to these marvels.
Enjoy the beautiful sea fauna, the dolphins and even barracudas. But above all, enjoy the red sand beaches, the cliffs and the bays.
At this moment is still a secret for many tourists, but it is changing rapidly due to the construction of many resorts in the vicinity.
Dino Island off the coast of Praia a Mare
Praia a Mare
Here the main attraction is Dino Island a World Heritage Site famous for its six magnificent sea caves that shoot underwater lights that magically illuminate the iridescent blue waters.
It is a 4 km in perimeter small beach, and reaches 65 meter above the sea. Since it has no beaches, visitors spend the day on the island exploring the island’s sea caves, being the most important the Lion’s Grotto, where lights magically glimmer from beneath the cave.
The sands at Praia a Mare are black volcanic are fully equipped at no cost. Located on the northwest coast of Calabria, this is a 2 km sand and pebble beach.
Scuba Divers, trekkers and para-gliders enjoy all the facilities of nearby Pollino National Park.
Scilla Beach in Calabria mentioned in Homer's Odyssey
Located between the slopes of the Aspromonte mountain and the Tyrrhenian Sea is this picturesque fishing village immortalized in Greek mythology and featured in Homer’s Odyssey. According to Homer, a six-headed sea monster names Scylla slept on the shores of this town and attacked sailors as they attempted to pass the Straits of Messina
This warm water beach is overlooked by the 11th century Ruffo Castle. The castle sits on top a steep cliff from where you may enjoy a fantastic view of the Sicilian coast and the Aeolian Islands.
Located just 22 kilometers north of Reggio Calabria on Calabria’s west coast, this soft-sand beach is one-kilometer-long and 60 meters wide.
It is located in Costa Viola, named after the purple color of its warm waters. Poets have called it the “Terrace of the Straits of Messina”.
This beach lies on the coast of Palmi, at the slopes of Sant’Elia’s mountain bordered by palms, orange gardens and olive trees. This beautiful cove of rocky beach is surrounded by spectacular cliffs and nearby camping sites, hotels and restaurants enjoyed by locals. This is the type of beach how Mother Nature intended it to be, warm, inviting, full of fish and secluded from hordes of tourists.
The white sands the crystal clear waters offer vistas of Capo Vaticano. It is located on the Tyrrhenian coast across the Aeolian Islands and Stromboli. It is considered one of the Mediterranean's most gorgeous beaches and boasts incomparable natural beauty with its massive rock formations, small bays and secluded beaches.
Several bays can only be reached by sea and many remain totally isolated. Rich in flora, fauna and fish, its iridescent waters are perfect for scuba diving.
Simply referred as Pizzo, this is an extensive beachfront always packed with tourists enjoying its gorgeous sandy beaches surrounded by impressive cliffs.
One of its attractions is tucked below the road just outside Pizzo, Chiesetta di Piedigrotta a cave chapel carved centuries ago near the beach by a group of sailors in gratitude for surviving a storm. The famed Tartufo di Pizzo, a chocolate and hazelnut ice cream ball containing chocolate fudge sauce can be enjoyed at any one of the local cafes, bars or restaurants.
Tropea Beach the most famous of Calabria Beaches
I left for the end the most famous of Calabria Beaches, Tropea, home of Italy’s most spectacular white sand beaches with turquoise and blue crystal waters. It can only be compared to the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.
Located between the Gioia Tauro and Sant’Eufemia Gulfs, this is a 40 km coastline, named the “Coast of the Gods” by Ancient Greeks. On a clear day you may see the Aeolian volcanic island of Stromboli.
Tropea is by far, the # 1 beach of the Calabria region and is visited by flocks of tourists looking to get a sun tan during the hours of sun. In peak season, the beach is packed with wooden bungalows selling sandwiches, gelato and drinks and there are a dozens of pizzerias, seafood restaurants and bars lining the beach front.
Map of Calabria showing the best Calabria Beaches
credits for images of calabria beaches
caminia by salvatore migdiari
diamante by eugenio mogurno
scalea by helenkeit
capo rizzuto n/a
praia a mare by don gatley
capo vaticano by norbert nagel
pizzo calabro by ucesareo
all courtesy of wikimedia commons