Best beaches on Sicily, Italy

by Kelly

Sicily is such an amazing region of Italy and one you have to visit. The beaches are beautiful and worth checking out, these are the best beaches on Sicily!

What are beaches like in Sicily?

Sicilian beaches can be anything from full pebbles to sandy. You just have to make sure you are prepared for the pebbly ones! They are truly stunning and it really doesn’t matter which type you will end up falling in love with them. I love the Italians ability to call anything a beach, even a set of stairs in to the ocean from a rocky outcrop! You will see the word ‘spiaggia’ on google maps, it means beach. Just remember that not all beaches are sandy and you will be fine. This was something we as Australians had to get used to! The Italian beaches are really different to Australian beaches.

The aboslute best thing about Italian beaches are the great beach set ups! Honestly it may be the photographer in me but there is nothing more charming that the lidos set up with their colourful umbrellas and matching sunbeds.

What is a lido in Italy?

Lido means a beathing beach in Italy, it could mean a free beach or a paid beach. Privately owned lidos will have a bagno which is a beach club. You will enter paying a fee which can include the sunbed and umbrella. Sometimes where you will be seated depends on what you pay. The first rows are more expensive with the cheaper options in the back. There will be food available and drink service to your lounger. They really are lovely!

This is such a typical Italian set up and you will see them everywhere! I love them and think they are incredibly beautiful but it can become expensive. Look for the free beach options if you are travelling on a budget.

Lido can sometimes indicate that there is a beach club present but it does not mean beach club. Lido means the stretch of coastline or swimmable area.

Are beaches free in Italy?

Beaches are all free in Italy but there are some areas that can be privately owned. This is where you will find the bagno, ‘beach clubs’. The beach will be kept clean and organised by the owner who then charges beach goers for the beach space. From all accounts it is expensive to do this which is why you will be charged. Usually between 10€-40€ for your sunbed depending on the season and location.

The coastline is always free and you can walk along it even if there is a bagno there. However you can not put your towel down or sit in this area without paying the beach club.

Look for the area that will be signed public beach or where you see others sitting on their towels. You have found the free beach!

Spiaggia Grande Beach-how to visit Positano on a budget

What are the Italian bagno, beach clubs, like?

They are really great actually. Firstly they’re gorgeous and the photo opportunities are endless but they make a beach day feel so much more exciting. The matching umbrella and sunbeds are worth their weight in gold! The days can get really hot and that little bit of shade is amazing. It also saves you lugging around an umbrella. The sunbeds are particularly great when it is a pebbly beach, so you aren’t laying on the rocks.

The options to buy drinks and get them delivered to you is awesome as are the meal choices. There are restaurants that are usually attached to the beach club. Just check out the menus when deciding on a beach club. This way you can make sure it is in your price range.

Often there will be lifesavers on patrol in these areas and the beaches will be cleaned. They will also usually be on the prettiest parts of the beach.

There should be toilets, showers there sometimes for an extra charge as well as towels to rent.

Do I need a car to get to the best beaches on Sicily?

While you can travel Sicily by public transport, for some of the beaches having a car will be easier. We always book through Rental Cars. They have great options and are easy to use.

What to bring for a day at a beach in Italy?

This depends on if you are visiting a beach club or the free beach. This is the list of things I would take to my Italian beach day! The star indicates that it is not essential if visiting at a beach club. These items will be provided, or available for purchase.

  • beach towel
  • thongs
  • water shoes (so your feet don’t get cut on the sharp pebbles)
  • water bottle
  • umbrella*
  • snacks/food*
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • a coverup if you want to enter a beach café or restaurant for lunch
  • cards if you want some entertainment
  • any beach toys such as a floatie etc
  • music, speaker or headphones

Best beaches on Sicily

These are the beaches we think are the best on Sicily. We will continue to add to this list as we return to gorgeous Sicily.

Ortigia, Siracusa area-

Ortigia, Siracusa is one of our favourite places in Sicily. Check out our blog on what to do while you are there. The beaches are lovely but so is the town!

Spiaggia di Fonte Aretusa – lovely beach, half sand and pebble. Right near the main area of Ortigia and easy to access. Very busy due to location in the high season.

Fontane Bianche – beautiful sandy beach, great for families and easily accessible by public transport as well as car.

Cala Rossa Beach – a pebble beach that is right on the walls of Ortigia. The location is stunning, there is a staircase leading down to the swimming area. No bagno here.

Our top pick of where to stay in Ortigia –

Hotel Gutkowski – Simply designed rooms that are clean and fresh, perfect location on the waterfront lungomare in Ortigia. Good breakfast and some rooms with sea view.

Cefalù area-

Cefalù is one that we can’t wait to visit as soon as we return to Sicily. The best beach here is the main Cefalù beach, Spiaggia di Cefalù. It is a long sandy beach and packed with beach clubs. There is free beach space but you need to get there early in the high season to snag a spot. This is one beauitiful beach, we plan to spend at least 4 days here.

Our top pick for where to stay in Cefalù –

Salemare Rooms & Suites – walk to the water, excellent breakfast included, great host, great room.

Taormina area-

One of the most charming areas of Sicily. These are our favourite beaches. You have to spend a couple of days here to soak up the gorgeous town as well! Check out our Taormina blog for all the information you need to know.

Isola Bella – this is an incredibly photogenic spot and a day spent here is lovely. There is both a beach club and free beach area. To access it from Taormina you can ge tthe cable car or walk. Alternatively you can drive there.

Naxos Beach – a little out of Taormina although it is easy to access by bus or car. It is a lovely sandy beach which is a nice change from the pebble beaches.

Our top pick for where to stay in Taormina –

Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina – Wonderful rooms, service, breakfast and location! Beautiful castle like hotel.

The Scala dei Turchi

The Scala dei Turchi translates to ‘The Turkish Stairs’. This is a beautiful white cliff like area. I have seen so many stunning images of it I can’t wait to visit myself. It reminds me of Sarakiniko beach in Milos, Greece.

To go there it is easier to have a car, it is located outside of the town of Agrigento. This is a great town to visit itself as well. At the time of writing, Spetember 2023, we have heard that access to the beach is currently limited and a guard is posted there. I will update when I hear of further news regarding this.

Our top pick for where to stay in Agrigento –

B&B Batarà – “La Terrazza del Centro” – Great rooms, breakfast included, great staff and location in perfectly central.

B&B Donna Teresa – so charming, clewan and great host as well as breakfast. Price is good and there is parking available.


Another destination I can’t wait to visit, this one can be busy but worth it! Just spectacular beaches as well as the vilalge.

Avoid Cala di Scopello and head to Cala Baialuce. This is a lesser visited little cove. There are no facilities and the water looks perfect! At Cala di Scopello you will pay €5 for parking and €15 to enter the beach. It is busy and not as lovely as the other little coves around the area. However the Cala di Scopello is where the Torre della Tonnara di Scopello is located. It is a well known landmark of the area.

Cala Li Arbi – is another little cover that has great reviews of crystal clear water. This area is perfect to explore as many coves as possible.

Spiaggia di Guidaloca – this is along pebble beach with a little more room to spread out. There are beach clubs available as well as free beach.

Our top pick for where to stay in Scopello –

Tenute Plaia Agriturismo – fabulous breakfast included, great pool, charming clean rooms, location was quiet and beautiful, walk into Scopello village.

Torre di Scopello – lovely traditional style villas with kitchen, views of water, walk to water and a swimming spot, private secluded feeling.

Favignana Island

Favignana island is reportedly an amazing place. It’s beaches are so good it will make you want to extend your time there. The top two are below however there are many more coves to explore around the island. You can cycle, taxi or drive around the island.

Cala Rossa – close to the town and stunningly beautiful. Popular as it is easily accessed.

Scogliera Cala Azzurra – go for the magnificent azure blue waters. Great swimming and while it gets busy with locals, it doesn’t feel it.

Our top pick for where to stay in Favignana Island –

Mazzini Accommodation – beautiful rooms, great breakfast and excellent location.

If you are looking for an excellent tour of Sicily that organises everything for you check out this one from Palermo to Catania.

Where to next:

Sicily Itinerary

Things to do in Taormina

Ragusa Ibla, Sicily – A guide to the city split in half.

Things to do in Ortigia Siracusa, Sicily

Visit Locorotondo, the prettiest town in Puglia

Best 10 day Puglia Itinerary

Gluten free in Italy

A short guide to Cisternino the most charming town in Puglia

Amalfi Coast

Best things to do in Amalfi

How to visit Positano on a budget

How to plan a perfect day trip to Capri from Sorrento

Is 3 days in Sorrento Italy enough?

Our ultimate 5 day Itinerary for the Amalfi Coast

Positano Travel Guide: Is Positano worth visiting in 2023?

Why Casa Marino is the best accommodation in Sorrento!

Lake Como

How to travel Lake Como on a budget

Perfect Lake Como two day itinerary

Why you should go to Menaggio when visiting Lake Como

Hotel Garni Corona in Menaggio is your dream Lake Como stay!

Como city everything you need to know for your Lake Como trip

Sheraton Lake Como is the best place to stay for your perfect Lake Como trip!

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