6 beaches near Palermo: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Beaches near Palermo

The Sicilian capital of Palermo is a truly unforgettable city. Packed with gorgeous historical architecture from many different historical periods, this stunning city is one of the most underrated in all of Italy. Sicilian history and culture are different from what you'll find anywhere else in modern-day Italy, and the island also has its own traditional cuisine - and Palermo makes a perfect place to enjoy it all.

With so much to see and do in Palermo, you can be forgiven for not wanting to leave this gorgeous city. Practically from the moment you arrive at Palermo Airport, you'll be caught up in the energetic vibe of this shabbily beautiful town. And that's fine, but if you stick solely to the city, you may be missing out.

Sicily has some extraordinarily beautiful beaches to explore, and some of them aren't very far at all from Palermo itself. Whether you're looking for lively beach resorts with plenty of restaurants, beach clubs, and nightlife or an isolated rocky beach where you can get away from the rest of the world, Palermo beaches have a lot to offer. In Sicily, golden sand meets crystal-clear sea just about everywhere, and the coastline of the island is almost nothing but one beautiful beach after another.

So if you're looking to take a break from Palermo, drop off your bags at a convenient baggage storage in the city and bring only what you need to these beautiful beaches near Palermo. Traveling light will make it far easier to enjoy some of the best beaches on the island.

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Mondello Beach near Palermo

Mondello Beach

If you're looking for a hidden gem, this isn't it. But Mondello Beach is undeniably one of the best beaches near Palermo, as well as being one of the most popular. This is where city residents come to cool off in the heat of summer and enjoy the natural surroundings without straying too far from the city. Although Mondello Beach can get very crowded in the summer, the white sandy beach and crystal clear waters make this one of the most wonderful beaches near the city, crowds or not.

Travel distance from Palermo

It's only a 20-minute drive from Central Palermo to Mondello Beach. Because of the popularity of the beach, there's also a shuttle bus from the city, so you can still visit one of the best Palermo beaches without getting behind the wheel of a car.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The moment you see the clear turquoise water lapping at the edge of Mondello Beach, the first thing you'll want to do is go swimming. Water temperatures here in the summer can reach almost 27°, making for an extremely comfortable swim. Plus, the clear water makes this a great place for snorkeling.

Sunbathing: Almost all beaches in Italy are divided into areas that are free for the public to use and areas that are operated by beach clubs. At Mondello Beach, there is a free area where you can lay down a towel and stretch out, but it is quite small and, on this most popular of Palermo beaches, it gets very crowded.

If you don't mind spending a little money, consider renting a beach chair and umbrella at one of the Mondello Beach clubs. Not only do you get more space yourself and some shade from the sun, but you also get access to toilets, cafés, bars, and restaurants, so if you plan to spend a lot of time on Mondello Beach, it's well worth the money.

Mondello Beach becomes a different place when summer is over. Once the kids go back to school, the local crowds disappear, though many tourists can still be found into September and October. At these times of the year, the water is still plenty warm enough for swimming, but you'll have much more space yourself. And even in winter when it's too cold to swim, this magical beach is an incredible place to enjoy the scenery of Sicily, so don't think it's only worth visiting in the summer.

Best beaches near Palermo

Capo Gallo Nature Reserve

On the other side of Mondello Beach from Palermo, Capo Gallo Nature Reserve protects a remarkable stretch of Sicilian coastline. There are several truly beautiful beaches to explore in this region, including some of the very best beaches near Palermo. Along with the typical Sicilian crystal clear waters and fine golden sand beaches, you'll find some great hiking trails and other beautiful attractions in this spectacular area.

Travel distance from Palermo

It's only about 15 km from Central Palermo to the very northern tip of the Nature Reserve. However, the drive will take around 40 minutes, and you don't want to rush through the beautiful scenery here. Having a car with you is the best way to enjoy everything about the Nature Reserve.

Activity recommendations

Beaches: Capo Gallo is home to some gorgeous beaches near Palermo. Punta Barcarello provides gorgeous views of Isola delle Femmine with its 16th-century guard tower. Cala Gallo, on the other hand, is a rocky beach with incredible water clarity and deep water that makes it ideal for scuba diving. Addaura Beach is also popular with divers. Explore the coastline for yourself, and you'll probably come across beautiful rocky coves you'll have all to yourself.

Grotta dell'Olio: This magnificent sea cave is popular with divers, but you can also explore without getting wet by taking a boat into the cave. The bright blue water has astonishing clarity so that you can see all the way to the bottom, and sailing through this cave will make you feel like you've entered a different world.

Hiking: The Natural Reserve is also an incredible place for hiking. Home to a lighthouse along with ancient watchtowers and beautiful coastal lookouts, this park will reward you with one gorgeous vista after another. Stretch your legs and treat yourself to some beautiful views, and know that in the height of the summer, you can always cool off by finding another beach and plunging into the beautiful clear water.

The hiking trails and historical monuments of the region make this a great place to visit at any time of year. You may not want to swim in the winter, but the scenery is no less beautiful in the off-season, and the beaches are much less crowded.

Isola della Femmine views

Capaci Beach

If you're looking for a resort-style beach and are willing to travel just a little further from Palermo, Capaci Beach is an excellent option. Surrounded by the small town of Capaci itself, this is one of the best beaches near Palermo to just relax and enjoy Italian beach life.

Travel distance from Palermo

It's only 20 km from Central Palermo to Capaci Beach, so expect the drive to take around 30 minutes or so. It's also both easy and cheap to reach the town of Capaci by train from Palermo Central Station, a journey you can make in only 17 minutes. From the station, it's around a half-hour walk to the sandy shores of the beach, or you can always take a bus or taxi.

Activity recommendations

Beach: As is typical for the best beaches in Italy, Capaci has both an open public beach and a private beach area where you can hire beach equipment for the day. This is worth doing as it reserves your spot for as long as you want and also gives you access to toilets, change rooms, and a restaurant. However, if you'd rather save your money and just stretch out on the golden sands, that's an option too. In that case, though, it might be a good idea to get here early and claim your spot.

Isola della Femmine: It's possible to take a boat trip from Capaci Beach to visit this beautiful island 300 m off the coast. Hike the beautiful trails, where you'll be treated to amazing views of the Sicilian coastline, and visit the watchtower that dates back to the Roman era. Close as it is to Palermo, this beautiful island surrounded by its crystal clear waters feels like another world.

Santa Flavia near Palermo

Santa Flavia

Located a short distance to the east of Palermo, Santa Flavia offers a still unspoiled place to enjoy authentic Italian beach life. Once a stronghold of the Phoenician civilization that traded across the Mediterranean, this historic town is full of great ways to spend some time on, in, and around the water.

Travel distance from Palermo

Santa Flavia lies about 20 km to the east of Palermo. You can get here by car in about 30 minutes, or take a train direct from the city, which will take around 40 minutes.

Activity recommendations

The town: The town of Santa Flavia is almost as big of an attraction as the beach itself. Take a walk through the narrow streets, and make sure you don't forget to grab an ice cream to fuel you on your journey. Along the way, you'll find great restaurants and bars along with quirky stores for souvenirs and gifts, all of which contribute to the welcoming atmosphere of this beautiful place.

Monte Catalfano: This rugged mountain rises behind the town of Santa Flavia and its beautiful beach, and it's a wonderful place to explore. The mountain has tons of hiking trails offering incredible views of the Sicilian coastline, so don't forget to bring your hiking boots to make the most of this wonderful natural environment.

Diving: This is another great Sicilian destination for scuba diving. From Santa Flavia, you can take a boat to Secca delle Formiche, which is an absolute haven for diving thanks to its shallow water and abundant marine life.

Aspra Beach near Palermo


Close to Santa Flavia and even closer to Palermo than its neighbor, this small fishing village is the perfect place to step back in time and enjoy the Sicilian coastline the way it used to be.

Travel distance from Palermo

Sixteen kilometers to the east of the city, Aspra can be reached with a drive of around half an hour. Aspra does not have a train station of its own, but you can get a train to Bagheria, though you'd probably have to take a taxi from there to reach the beach.

Activity recommendations

Ice cream: One thing you certainly won't struggle to find on beaches in Palermo is ice cream. But Aspra prides itself on making the best ice cream in all of Sicily. Grab a cone or cup and see for yourself if the local product lives up to this lofty claim.

Museo dell'Acciuga e delle Arti Marinare: If you need a break from one of the best beaches in Palermo, this interesting museum can give you an insight into local life in Sicily through the ages. The exhibits here will explain how people made a living from the sea long before tourists ever heard of this area. It'll give you a deeper appreciation of the hard work and struggles local people went through, even in what looks today like paradise.

Cefalu beach near Palermo


You can't talk about the best beaches in Sicily without mentioning Cefalu. Cefalù beaches are absolutely legendary, and this small town is known as one of the top places on the island to enjoy the coast.

Travel distance from Palermo

Cefalu lies almost 70 km east of Palermo on the north coast of Sicily. You can drive here in around an hour or take a train between the two cities in around the same amount of time.

Activity recommendations

Beaches: With white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise water, Cefalu could hardly be more scenic. There are some incredible beaches to visit here, including the main Cefalu beach itself, and while this is hardly an unspoiled paradise, the incredible beach is beautiful enough to overcome any doubts you may have about tourist crowds.

Cefalu town: Packed with delicious restaurants, ice cream shops, souvenir stands, beautiful churches, and some really interesting museums, the town of Cefalu is the perfect place to spend a few days. As well as having one of the best beaches in the area, the town is blessed with some beautiful historical monuments and a lively atmosphere, especially in the summer.


These incredible Palermo beaches make ideal destinations for day trips or weekend trips from the city. Plus, if you're visiting Sicily on a budget, you're in luck. Not only is Palermo a very affordable place to visit at the best of times, but these incredible beaches in Palermo are some of the best free things to do here.

Leave your bags behind at a suitcase storage in Palermo and get ready to enjoy the incredible Sicilian coastline. Once you've seen it for yourself, you'll never want to leave.

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