The best secret seaside spots in Italy

This is our take on three of the best hidden beaches in Italy, with advice on how to get there and where to stay.
 

1. Porto Selvaggio, Apulia (Italian: Puglia)
 

Where?
The Salento Peninsula in Southern Puglia (a town called Nardò, near Lecce).
 

Is it for me?
Yes - if you like sunbathing and history.
 

What is there to do?
Mainly, sunbathe and explore the town or nearby region.
 

Why do we love it?
The sunset at Porto Selvaggio beach is stunning and is reason enough to go there. But Southern Puglia is also a quaint sort of place, which is reminiscent of how Cornwall is viewed in the UK: there are lots of cultural traditions and locals even speak to local Greek-based dialect, known as Griko.
 

How to get there
The best airport to fly to is Brindisi, which is 36 km from Lecce. Ryanair offer flights from London Stansted.
 

Where to stay
We recommend staying in Lecce and there are a range of hotels that you can choose from, such as Zenit Hotel Salento (3 star), Riva Marina Resort (4 star) and Risorgimento Resort (5 star).
 

2. Marettimo
 

Where?
Marettimo is an island off the coast of Sicily.
 

Is it for me?
Honeymooners will particularly love this island as it is a haven of relaxation, but there are still a few activities available to enjoy, such as scuba diving.
 

What is there to do?
Relax! There are also a variety of walking trails and scuba schools, or you can catch a ferry to the Sicilian mainland for a day trip.
 

Why do we love it?
This island is surprisingly lush and green given its location off the west coast of Sicily. The island has a distinct laid-back atmosphere, which is hard not to embrace. You won't find cars here and you can barely find hotels, making it an untouched paradise for sun-seekers.
 

How to get there
We recommend flying to Trapani (flights available from Manchester) and then taking a ferry to Marettimo.
 

Where to stay
There are only a handful of hotels on the island so your best bet is to find a holiday rental. However, if a hotel is more your style, you might like to consider La Tartaruga Bed & Breakfast, which is top-rated.
 

3. Cala Gonone, Sardinia
 

Where?
The east coast of Sardinia (south of Olbia).
 

Is it for me?
It certainly is if you're a family with young children or teenagers and it also suits honeymooners and couples.
 

What is there to do?
Try a spot of snorkelling at Cala Fuili or Cala Luna, or, if history is your thing, check out the archaeological traces of Sardinia’s prehistoric Nuraghic civilisation.
 

Why do we love it?
This isn't just one beach: there are a range of beaches in the vicinity that are worth discovering, with picture-perfect sea views and stunning mountain backdrops.
 

How to get there
The beach is about 70 miles south of Olbia airport and flights are available from London, Bristol and Leeds.
 

Where to stay
There are several seafront hotels to choose from in Cala Gonone, with Hotel Nettuno (3 star) and Hotel Villa Gustui Maris (4 star) coming highly recommended.
 

To find out more about the beach holiday packages offered by Bellarome, visit our website, email us or call us on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 1-347-594-5500.

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