Catania’s most beautiful beaches

Catania’s most beautiful beaches

You probably associate Catania with its Baroque architecture and its decadent charm, typical of a city that has always endured the presence of Mount Etna. If you’re planning a trip to Catania, as well as climbing the volcano and trying the street food at the fish market, make sure you set aside some time to cool down in the sea or simply to stroll (even out of season) on one of the beaches in and around Catania.

So which beaches are the most beautiful in and around Catania? Well, answering this question with just one beach is by no means an easy task; a lot depends on your idea of a perfect beach. Sand, rocks, facilities or small beaches nestling between the cliffs. Here’s the list of the best beaches in and around Catania.

7 unmissable beaches near Catania

Catania’s top beaches: La Playa

I spent much of my childhood on La Playa in Catania and cherish many wonderful memories of this beach. Its golden sands stretch as far as 18 km in length and it’s one of the most popular beaches among both tourists and locals, dotted with facilities and services of every kind.

The sea at La Playa can certainly not be described as “Caribbean” in appearance, and it’s not one of Sicily’s most beautiful, but if you’re looking for a beach that’s well serviced (ideal also for young families), then you need look no further. If I can give you some local advice, I would swim at the end farthest from the port.

la playa catania

Catania’s top beaches: Vaccarizzo Beach

Lying south of Catania, Vaccarizzo Beach is in the vicinity of the Oasi del Simeto Nature Reserve, on the way to the city of Syracuse. A perfect beach for young families, with fine sand and shallow waters. It’s a truly Catanian destination, as it has many holiday parks and beachfront homes. You’ll find both a public beach and a few beach clubs, but if you’re looking for some peace and quiet on a deserted beach, then this is not the beach for you.

vaccarizzo beach

Catania’s top beaches: Acitrezza and the Riviera dei Ciclopi

The beach at Aci Trezza is in the municipality of Acicastello, 15 km from Catania.

This is a magical spot, formed from volcanic rock, and a source of inspiration for writers, film directors and artists worldwide, including Homer, Giovanni Verga and Luchino Visconti, to name a few. The coast is of volcanic origin and features rocks and cliffs lapped by blue waters. In some areas of the cliff there are sunbeds and small beach clubs where you can sunbathe and, on summer evenings, have a drink as you admire the rock formations in the sea.

You can find bars and restaurants nearby, as well as boats, canoes and pedalos, etc. for hire.

This stretch of sea is a true paradise for divers and snorkellers, as there are plenty of rock formations and a wide range of sea life. Offshore you can see the formations known as the Islands of the Cyclops, which according to legend where hurled at Ulysses by the Cyclops Polyphemus. In reality, these formations are in fact the early submerged volcanic manifestations of Mount Etna. It’s as if, although you’re by the sea, you’re actually on the volcano!

aci trezza catania

Catania’s top beaches: Mulino di Santa Maria La Scala Beach

A charming spot, steeped in myth and legend, telling the love story of the nymph Galatea and the shepherd boy Acis.

Mulino Beach is in Santa Maria la Scala, beneath the Timpa di Acireale, a natural escarpment of enormous geological significance. To reach it, simply go to Mulino di Santa Maria la Scala and cross a small path leading to the sea. Instead of sand, you’ll find large lava stones that have been smoothed by the wind and water, and which are known locally as cocole (water shoes recommended).

The beach is public and has no facilities as such, so if you’re looking for a beach club, you can find the Bora Bora Lido, also at Santa Maria La Scala, which has sunbeds, umbrellas, a bar and solarium. Ideal for anyone who likes swimming in deep water and watching the fish through their masks.

santa maria la scala catania

Catania’s top beaches: Santa Tecla Beach

Still in the municipality of Acireale is another little beach that is lovely and quiet: Santa Tecla Beach, small but full of character, with its rocks and deep blue waters. Arm yourself with your waters shoes and umbrella and enjoy the Sicilian sun on this volcanic beach. At Santa Tecla I’d also recommend going to see the old lookout tower, dating back to when Sicily was under Spanish rule.

santa tecla beach catania

Catania’s top beaches: Spiaggetta di Pozzillo

The little beach at Pozzillo (not to be confused with the one at Torre Pozzillo, in Palermo) is known for its spring water and its characteristic fishing village. We are still in the municipality of Acireale, 25 km away from Catania. This little beach has dark shingle and deep water, perfect for keen swimmers and snorkellers.

pozzillo beach catania

Catania’s top beaches: San Marco Beach

San Marco Beach can be found in Calatabiano near the mouth of the rivers Alcantara and Fiumefreddo. It’s known for being particularly quiet and for its beauty, enhanced by a natural backdrop of eucalyptus and acacias. The sea is always refreshing and the beach is pebble (water shoes recommended). There are beach clubs 500 m apart, with a public beach in between. Just 8 minutes’ drive from San Marco Beach you’ll also find the beach at Marina di Cottone, with similar characteristics but busier, with a section with various beach facilities.

san marco beach catania

Now all you need to do is book your flight with Volotea and come and explore Catania and its beaches!

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