The city of Catania draws in many thousands of tourists each year, and when you see it for yourself, it is not hard to see why. Tucked into an inward-curving stretch of coastline right in the middle of the eastern side of Sicily, this is a gorgeous area with plenty to offer. Not least of its charms, of course, are its beaches. And there are plenty to choose from too, facing the Ionian Sea and encouraging you to enjoy their many attractions. Here we’ll explore just some of them so you can get an idea of what awaits you.
Ah, La Playa, let us begin with what is arguably the most appealing and popular beach Catania has to offer. If what you’re after is a fabulous sandy beach, large and attractive to those with families and who have a penchant for sunbathing and swimming, well, you won’t find much to complain. Of course, it does get crowded in peak season, but then surely that is the mark of a good beach. You may want to bear this in mind and arrive early to stake out the right spot for the day though. It’s not the quietest of beaches because of its popularity, but you will find it unique. It is not least because of its closeness to the port of Catania and also its position under a flight path. You won’t have to worry about a lack of facilities here. Indeed you can pretty much guarantee all the facilities you could ever want, including having the city itself right on your doorstep.
Marina di Cottone
When you learn that this particular beach has been awarded the Blue Flag, it should tell you something about the quality of its offering. Situated a little way from Fiumefreddo, this beach is easy to reach and is set along a relatively straight stretch of coastline. The water is appealing too, and the beach comes very highly rated by both couples and families (something unusual you might think, but there you are).
It is a little way away from the main port, but no less appealing for that. The beach itself is a bit different from the norm since it is volcanic in origin. The beach is stonier and somewhat more dramatic than your usual sandy beach, but these are the very features that attract some to Aci Trezza. The town is appealing too and worth a visit, but the beach will also give you a good view of the three great islands, each shaped like a column, that jut out of the sea. They could well be due to volcanic activity, yet the local legend that says Odysseus threw them is far more appealing!
San Marco Calatabiano
This is a slightly more wonderful beach, due in part to the fact it is more challenging to reach than others. This puts a lot of people off visiting it but doesn’t be among them – what you find when you arrive it is a real treat. The beach consists of a mix of sand and pebbles, so you don’t have an altogether smooth run down to the water. However, it is immaculate (the water and the beach), and the fact it is not usually anywhere close to crowded makes it a haven for those who are put off going to the busier beaches in Catania.
If your dream is to find a beach resplendent with white sand instead of the usual golden type, Torre Pozzillo is your best destination to see while in Catania. Not only is there a pleasant beach to discover, but you can also take the time to find some interesting little coves nearby. There is a set of steps that lead down between rocks to a pool that is perfect for swimming in. Virtually enclosed by the foundation that surrounds it, this makes Pozzillo a truly fantastic find. If you are on the beach and you do wander off to find this little haven, make sure you don’t tell anyone else! You may want to keep it to yourself.
The wonderful beaches of Catania
Catania is equally-positioned between such places as Taormina and Syracuse on the eastern coast of Sicily. Since this is a popular area for many people who wish to visit the island, it is more than likely some people will head for Catania to explore the beaches there.
While many will have read about and heard something of La Playa (or La Plaia as it sometimes appears), it is good to know this is not the only option. Excellent for families it may well be, but if you are searching for somewhere a little quieter and perhaps a little more unusual, there are many delights here to be found. The only question now is which of the above beaches will be your chosen destination for your Sicilian holiday this year.
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