Book an Italian seaside holiday in September or October and you’re in for a real treat.
Enjoy lower prices, deserted beaches, stress-free driving and the added bonus of some of Italy’s delicious autumn flavours in local restaurants.
Here are our five top tips for this autumn
A taste of La Dolce Vita: Whilst lacking the glamour of some mainland Italian resorts, Salina, the second largest and greenest of the Aeolian Islands, undoubtedly offers some of the islands’ most stunning beaches and is also the best base for island hopping.
The most famous beach is Pollara di Salina (the backdrop for the film ‘Il Postino’) but make sure you also find time to experience some of the other things that make this island so appealing - breathtaking views, superb hiking and, of course, the sweet local Malvasia wine. Visit Cosi Duci in Malfa for the best pastries or indulge in a homemade granita at Da Alfredo in Lingua.
We love the Hotel Principe di Salina, a 12-room hotel just outside Malfa, for its simplicity, charm and amazing views. Favourite moments? Gaze out at the flare generated by the volcanic activity on nearby Stromboli whilst feasting on seafood at the hotel’s restaurant.
The Sicilian experience: Seaside or sightseeing? Combine the two at Torre Marabino, a 7-room boutique hotel on an organic farm in south east Sicily. Breakfast on fresh ricotta and homemade cakes, jams and pastries amidst gardens dotted with olive trees in the Sicilian countryside, then laze by the large pool in the heat of the September sun.
Alternate relaxing days of sunbathing and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Porto Palo and Pozzallo, reputedly Sicily’s top beaches, with visits to the stunning baroque towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa.
Italy’s best beaches? Can Sardinia really lay claim to Italy’s best beaches? Countless Italians think so which is why so many of them hop on the ferry and flock to the island in August. Visit in September to experience it at its very best before you make your own decision.
At La Cinta beach - just one of many stunning beaches but reputedly the island’s longest (3 kms) and widest stretch of sand - white sands and sparkling turquoise sea make it a great spot for surfing and scuba diving.
Stay nearby at the Paradise Resort, which is also close to the lovely seaside resort of San Teodoro. Unpretentious and offering excellent value for money, you can choose between hotel or self-catering accommodation, with October discounts available on both.
Get body beautiful in Ischia: Even better than winter sun … book an autumn spa break at the fabulous Mezzatorre Resort and Spa in Ischia, enjoy warm September sun and set yourself up in preparation for a harsh winter. Special offers in the autumn include extra free nights, complimentary spa packages and discounted rates.
Tennis courts, a heated outdoor pool that overlooks the Med and an impressive health spa and beauty centre with indoor thermal pool, a gym and steam room are just some of the resort’s attractions.
Beyond that, Ischia has great sandy beaches and rocky bays, and natural thermal springs that have placed the island firmly on the world map as a great spa destination.
Classic Italian seaside: Avoid the bustle of Sorrento and stay instead on the tip of the Sorrento peninsula in the charming seaside resort of Nerano. The pretty beach of Marina del Cantone is at the end of the road, boat trips to Capri, Positano and along the Amalfi coast a short hop away and a great choice of restaurants, from local ‘trattorie’ to Michelin-starred gourmet extravaganzas, within easy reach.
Enjoy the independence and affordability of self-catering at the family-owned Casale Villarena, lovingly converted into five independent apartments, amidst terraced gardens and with a small playground and shared pool.