5 beaches near Naples: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf
The Italian city of Naples, or Napoli as it's known in Italian, is one of the most beautiful cities in the country - which is really saying a lot when that country is Italy. Naples is full of historic charm, incredible monuments dating back to the Greek and Roman periods, galleries packed with beautiful art, and some of the most incredible food you're likely to experience.
Naples also couldn't ask for a more spectacular setting. Built on a series of hills overlooking the Gulf of Naples with the volcano of Mount Vesuvius as a backdrop, you can't ignore the sea while you're in the city. So if you're looking for the best beaches in Naples, you're in luck, you don't have to go very far at all to experience some of the best beaches you're ever likely to encounter.
The seashore in the city itself is mostly rocky, so while you won't find acres of sand to stretch out on, you will get incredible water clarity. And just a short journey from the city, you can find some of the best beaches in some of the most iconic destinations in all of Italy. World-famous places like the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast are within easy reach of the city. As a result, Naples is one of the best cities you could possibly visit if you want to combine both urban and beach adventures. Plus, Naples is one of the sunniest cities in Italy, so the beach season here is long.
Leave your bags behind at a convenient luggage storage location in the city, and bring only what you need to explore the best beaches in Naples. Try some of these great beaches near Naples on your next trip.
Spiaggia della Gaiola
Just a short distance from the city, this is easily one of the most beautiful beaches near Naples. And though it's hardly a hidden gem, the turquoise waters and astonishing natural surroundings mean the beach is one you simply have to consider if you're looking for a gorgeous place to relax close to the city.
Travel distance from Naples
If you're crazy enough to drive in Naples, you can reach Spiaggia della Gaiola in around 30 minutes, depending on the ever-present traffic. But if you want to arrive with your sanity intact, you can take a bus from Napoli Centrale Station to Bruno - Sannazaro, then another to Manzoni - Parco Virgiliano. It's also possible to take Metro line 2 to Campi Flegrei, then a bus from there to the beach. Be warned, though, that buses in Naples can also be a test of your sanity, so it's better to adopt a Zen approach when it comes to schedules and timetables. In Naples, you get there when you get there.
Still, as one of the best beaches in the region, it is worth the trouble it takes to get here.
Diving: Gaiola is part of a protected marine reserve, which makes it one of the best beaches in Naples for diving. There are many businesses in the area that will take you on a diving trip to explore the underwater world, and the astonishing clarity of the water and even some underwater Roman ruins make this a unique place to explore. Diving in the Gulf of Naples is an experience you won't soon forget.
Edenlandia: This amusement park is a great place for families, with rides and go-carts along with carnival games that make this an easy place to spend a few fun hours or more. Once you've had enough of enjoying one of the best beaches near Naples, this park offers a great way to stay entertained on your trip.
Diego Armando Maradona Stadium: Soccer is a religion in Naples, and this stadium is the chief temple in the city. Take a stadium tour to learn more about the place Napoli football club occupies in the hearts of city dwellers, or visit a home game for an atmosphere that is unrivaled anywhere else.
Scoglione di Marechiaro
Head to the seaside village of Posillipo just outside Naples to find this beautiful location. The beach is easily reached from the city and is one of the most popular in the area, and it's not hard to see why. With warm, clear water and tons of attractions in the area, this beach is a great place to enjoy Italian seaside life.
Travel distance from Naples
Just 20 minutes outside the city, it takes to drive around 40 minutes to get here. You can also get here by taking bus line 140 to Calata Ponticello.
Swimming: The rocky cliffs that descend straight into the water here make the sea crystal-clear and excellent for swimming. You can also try cliff diving along with local youngsters to bring a thrill to your beach day. This is easily one of the best swimming locations near Naples, so while you won't find a stretch of warm sand or many beach clubs providing bathrooms and drinks here, it's a great place to come for a more wild experience.
Parco Archeologico del Pausilypon: This well-preserved Roman villa occupies a commanding view of the coast and can be reached by walking through a long tunnel. It's a great place to learn more about Roman life in this area, and the views of the crumbling ruins with the sea in the background are unforgettable.
Most of the beaches in Naples are rocky, which means exceptional water clarity. But if you're looking for the best sandy beaches in Naples, Lido Virgilio is hard to beat. Made up of two separate beaches, Miseno and Miliscola, this area offers a great way to enjoy the beach lifestyle close to the city.
Travel distance from Naples
The twin beaches of Miseno and Miliscola are about 30 km outside of Naples, so you can drive here in about 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a train to Fusaro, then a bus to the beach for a journey time of about one hour.
The beach: As with most Italian beaches, including the beaches in Naples, the beaches are divided into a section that is free for anyone to visit and other areas where you have to pay for admission. The free area is, well, free, so it is great if you're exploring on a budget. However, it tends to be crowded, and you'll want to get there early to stake out a spot that will inevitably be encroached on by loud Italian families and budget travelers. Alternatively, you can rent a sun lounger and umbrella at Lido Virgilio for around €20 for the whole day. Not only does this reserve your spot, but it also gives you access to bathrooms and a bar and restaurant.
Hiking: Naples is blessed with incredible views wherever you look, and here, there are hiking trails right behind the beach that will give you glorious views of Naples, Capri, and the rest of this beautiful coastline. You can visit this scenic spot of Pietro di Cristo to enjoy ocean views and sea caves or hike to the lighthouse at the top of Cape Miseno. Wherever you go, you'll find one spectacular view after another.
Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia: Just a little way up the coast in the direction of Naples, you'll find this incredible archaeological park that preserves a Roman city that has been plunged into the sea by the movement of the land in this volcanically active area. Take a snorkeling tour or a scuba diving tour to swim through the ruins of Roman houses to explore underwater Pompeii.
Marina Grande Beach
Naples itself is blessed with some truly incredible beaches. And you can have a great time on the beach in the shadow of Naples itself. But a short boat ride away from the city, the beautiful island of Capri provides an incredible beach experience mixed with fascinating cultural exploration that makes it a place you shouldn't miss while you're in the area.
Travel distance from Naples
It's around a 45-minute ferry ride from the Port of Naples to Capri. Along the way, you'll get beautiful views of Naples and of Mount Vesuvius, so this is one place where the journey is part of the attraction.
Swimming: Marina Grande is where the ferry from Naples docks, and from the moment you arrive, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the restauranteurs trying to tempt you into their establishments or the tour guides offering you tours of the island. But take a right off the docks, and you'll find a beautiful beach with crystal clear water where you can stretch out in the sun for free and bathe in the Mediterranean. It's the perfect escape from the city, and as crowded as it can be, it's still one of the best beaches near Naples.
Food: Once you've had your swim, indulge your appetite at the restaurants along the waterfront. Dine on fresh seafood and incredible Italian recipes with a gorgeous view of the coastline, or treat yourself to an ice cream from one of the many shops in the area. There's even a local delicatessen that makes the best Caprese sandwich you'll ever eat, so you can enjoy a picnic on the beach too.
Grotta Azzurra: One of the most legendary tourist attractions on the island, the Blue Grotto is just a short way along the coast from Marina Grande. You can hike here by land or hire a local fisherman to take you on a boat ride to explore this incredible sea cave with its neon-blue water where Roman emperors once swam.
Marina Piccola Beach
On the other side of the island of Capri, Marina Piccola is every bit as beautiful but a little less crowded than Marina Grande. You'll find tons of beach clubs in this area, but also some great natural activities that allow you to enjoy the more unspoiled side of the island.
Travel distance from Naples
You'll need to take the same ferry from Naples to Capri's Marina Grande. Then, you can take one of the island's tiny buses to reach Marina Piccola.
Water sports: This is an excellent area for enjoying sea-based activities. Rent a kayak or standup paddleboard to explore the startlingly clear waters on this quieter side of the island. This will help you get away from the crowds on the beach and breathe in the tranquility of one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Beach clubs: As well as a small free beach, there are plenty of beach clubs where you can rent a lounger and umbrella and while the day away looking out over the sea. The clubs provide changing rooms, showers, restaurants, and other services so that you can make the most of the local beaches and enjoy your day.
Giardini di Augusto: Just a short walk up the coast from the beaches of Marina Piccola, you'll find this beautiful botanical garden. Enjoy the Mediterranean plant life and exceptional views of the sea while you breathe in the tranquility of this beautiful place.
Hard as it may be to believe, these are just some of the beaches near Naples. This coastal city has an almost endless selection of places to enjoy the sun and the sea, so if you're looking for a beach trip, you won't struggle to find it here. If you don't want to visit a beach club, the public beaches of the area offer some of the best free things to do in Naples on a budget. And beyond these beaches close to the city, the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and other Campanian coastal destinations make great places for weekend trips from the city.
Leave the bags behind and get ready to explore some of the world's most beautiful places on Naples' best beaches.