La Spezia beaches, a varied area

The coast of La Spezia is never the same; there is no space to feel the boredom of a homogeneous landscape; it has various beaches, including rocky areas, cobblestones, gravel of multiple sizes, and proper rocks. And here’s how you immediately get excited, from La Spezia to quickly reach the beaches of Portovenere, with its unique views, or the Lerici beaches, sandier and better equipped, or again the Cinque Terre beaches, sometimes tricky to find.

La Spezia sea promenade
La Spezia sea promenade

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La Spezia beaches, the great absentee

La Spezia is a city with a rather complex and articulated history, only sometimes easy to understand because many of the oldest traces have been canceled or hidden by more recent stratifications. For example, the construction of the military base in the middle of the city effectively marked the birth of La Spezia as an industrial and workers’ center and the end of its direct contact with the sea. The barely mentioned La Spezia beach, or the coast sketched out in the urban planning interventions between the 18th and 19th centuries, gradually transformed into an elegant seaside promenade with a public garden full of botanical species.

La Spezia Beaches cliffs
La Spezia Beaches cliffs

The inhabitants of La Spezia are used to this close but never direct relationship, and for them going to the sea always means traveling a few kilometers, even sitting down on a rock, without any service or comfort, sometimes to take a dip, and to find a corner of confidentiality. Palmaria Island is loved by the locals, which can be reached by ferry from the center in a few minutes, and is still mostly excluded from the large tourist flows.

La Spezia beaches guide

Another characteristic of the beaches of La Spezia is the frequent difficulty of reaching them; even for people from La Spezia, it can be challenging to figure out the best routes to get to the most beautiful places away from the crowds. Apart from the more well-known sites, photographed and shared on social networks and therefore very recognizable, many of the most beautiful spots for swimming remain unknown to most. For those who own or rent a boat or choose to discover it on foot, our guide to the La Spezia Beaches lets you find all the beaches on the coast of the Gulf of La Spezia, with their descriptions, images, and GPS points to locate them. You can only download the beach guide from our website!

Portovenere and Palmaria beaches

Portovenere can only be reached by car or sea, with ferries departing from La Spezia and every town in its gulf and the Cinque Terre (only during the summer season).
The establishment of Terrazze in Portovenere and dei Gabbiani on Palmaria Island are among the most popular equipped beaches in La Spezia. Not to be missed, however, is the suggestive and free swim in the shade of the church of San Pietro and the Byron cave.
Beyond Portovenere, on the coast of the Cinque Terre, some beaches are difficult to reach but magnificent: it is the coast of Tramonti, below the towns of Schiara and Monesteroli. In particular, the Red and Black beaches take their name from the colors of their rocks and Punta Pineda: simply magnificent. They can be reached by boat or with your legs on your shoulders, along routes to be tackled only if trained and equipped!

Lerici Beaches

The easternmost coast of the Golfo dei Poeti is characterized by the increasingly frequent presence of sand, which proceeds southward and then becomes characteristic of the coast of Sarzana and Versilia. In addition to the beauty of the beaches, this site offers a beautiful perspective over the entire Gulf. Between PozzuoloFiascherino, the Baia BluMaralungaTellaroand Lerici, you can admire some of the most beautiful bays on the coast and some of the most beautiful seaside villages in Italy. Unfortunately, motorless boats can only reach part of this coast to preserve its natural beauty. Among the bays, the Caletta, with its stacks, has become very famous on social media but remains difficult to reach.

Lerici, the best-known and most prominent locality on this side of the La Spezia Gulf, has various equipped establishments such as the Venere Azzurra, the Colombo, the Lido, and some accessible beaches. The town can be reached by car or by ferry (the latter only in the summer season), but it is often difficult to park the car. Still, we recommend walking a little stretch, leaving the car further away; walks in Lerici are always pleasant and scenic. The cultural and evening sight in Lerici is also very lively.

The coast of Lerici, with some of the most beautiful beaches of La Spezia. Ph Berta Ferrer
The coast of Lerici, with some of the most beautiful beaches of La Spezia. Ph Berta Ferrer

Cinque Terre beaches

By now very famous, they never cease to fascinate with their beauty and uniqueness: the Cinque Terre is the most visited and most photographed stretch of the Ligurian Riviera, which brings together in a few kilometers all the typical landscapes of this coast, where equipped beaches alternate with top-rated to hidden bays reachable sometimes by just looking, sometimes only by walking with difficulty or with a boat. Discovering the beaches, such as in Vernazza or Guvano, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and exciting activities in the Cinque Terre. The villages can be reached by train or by ferry.

Notoriously, Monterosso is the village of the Cinque Terre with the most space dedicated to beaches and various establishments available. There are no equipped establishments in the other towns, only small coves, and rocks from which to dive. The beaches of Levanto, Bonassola, and Framura offer the possibility of spectacular dives in a context very similar to that of the five most famous villages.

The Monterosso beach in Cinque Terre - Ph. Vidar Nordli Mathisen
The Monterosso beach in Cinque Terre – Ph. Vidar Nordli Mathisen

Sarzana Beaches

Less known but decidedly more comfortable and equipped are the beaches found on the coast of Sarzana, in a completely different naturalistic context compared to the La Spezia one, which is sandy and similar to that found in upper Tuscany. The long beach of Marinella, excellently served and equipped, can be reached in a few minutes by car (the preferred way to get to this stretch of coast) from Sarzana and about 40 minutes from La Spezia. Convenience comes at the cost of less suggestive panoramas and swimming experiences. However, this more airy coast with the longest waves lends itself perfectly to practicing some activities, such as surfing, and SUP, among others. Fiumaretta is a characteristic holiday resort that stands on the bank of the river Magra but has access to marine beaches equipped with large establishments near the mouth. Bocca di Magra is also a pleasant place to visit. Still, access to the sea is only possible from a few rocks in this town between the river and the sea, making pleasure craft its main economic activity.