Tropea is the summer destination for many Italians, Europeans, and other International travelers. It’s so easy to see why so many people are drawn to this Calabrian seaside town. This charming town sits perched on dramatic cliffs looking down on a simple and picturesque church surrounded by the most incredible sparkling blue-green sea. The water is so clear that when it is still, it seems like things are flying just about the water instead of actually floating on it.

Tropea is a wonderful place to visit when in Calabria, and as you can imagine it’s quite popular in the summer months. That means that there are periods when it can get a bit crowded with tourists. There are a lot of wonderful things to see and do in Tropea. But if you are looking to also spend a relaxing day at the beach, then instead of heading to the main beach in Tropea, why not considering heading a little further down the coast. There you’ll find some lesser-known, but also incredibly spectacular beaches! These beaches are relatively unknown to the average tourist, so you’ll typically be sharing the day with locals.

Tropea - Zambrone
Image by AlexanderVanLoon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Marinella di Zambrone
Marinella di Zambrone is also known as Paradiso del Sub because its cove is a local favorite for snorkeling. It is an easy 15-minute drive north of Tropea. To get to this beach, you have to do a little bit of work. The walk down to the beach takes about 10 minutes. You must follow a rustic trail that winds its way down to the beach below. Once you arrive at your final destination, you are greeted with white sandy beaches and crystal waters. Because of its slightly “inconvenient” (but so worth it) access, this beach is less busy, and you certainly won’t find a lot of tourists here. It’s a great way to mingle with the locals while feeling like you are on your own private beach.

Access to the beach is via a dirt path across from the Zambrone train station. Bring everything you would need for your stay at the beach, as this remote beach doesn’t have beach facilities.

Tropea Parghelia
Image by Carlo ‘Granchius’ Bonini is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Spiaggia Parghelia/Spiaggia Michelino
Located just a couple of miles north of Tropea, are two beaches that are much-loved by the locals. These long sandy beaches have sparkling clear waters, little coves, and beautiful large rocks in and around the coast that you can explore. Like the beach of Zambrone, you can’t access this beach directly from the street. However, this beach is easier to get to because it has a staircase leading down to the beach. If you’d like to get a view of the coastline from a bit higher up, then take the path to the right before going down the steps. It will take you to a viewpoint where you can admire the coast and the beach below. Once you reach the bottom of the steps, you have the option to go to the left for Spiaggia Parghelia or to the right for Spiaggia Michelino. They are both beautiful, so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose.

Access to the beach is via a long staircase that is accessible from Via Michelino. Bring everything you would need for your stay at the beach, as this remote beach doesn’t have beach facilities. If you prefer a beach with facilities, you can also go to Spiaggia Vardano (just before Parghelia) which has beach bars and sunbeds you can rent.

Tropea Riace

Baia di Riaci
Riace is best known for the incredible historical discovery of the bronze statues known as the Bronzi which are currently on display in the National Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria. However, the Baia di Riaci is an amazing discovery in and of itself. This small beach is so breathtaking. It has a large natural rock formation that you can swim in, around and through – it is truly magical. Here the beaches are sandy, and the gorgeous transparent water is shallow, which is great for families with children. The kids will love exploring the water and rocks for different types of sea life. You can choose to stay on the public beach or rent a sunbed and umbrella for the day from one of the private beach bars. If you choose to stay on the public beach, the beach bars are not too far away, so you can easily pop in for a snack or a meal.

Tropea and these beaches all sit on the coastline known as “The Coast of the Gods”, and these few spots will make you feel like you’ve found a little piece of heaven on earth!

If you are interested in traveling to Calabria and/or Tropea we can help you plan the perfect itinerary, so contact us here!