Lampedusa is Italy’s most southern island, only 113km from Africa. It’s part of Sicily and can be reached by plane or ferry – we flew directly from Palermo. It’s the perfect destination for an Italian beach holiday!
I’ve been to some stunning beaches around the world and to some of the best beaches in Italy but I think Lampedusa wins the prize for the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever swum in. The colour and clarity of the water is just incredible. We also found the beaches to be really clean and were happy that we didn’t find much plastic in the water either.
As Lampedusa is an island, there are lots of beaches to visit. But which are the best? Here are my recommendations.
Spiaggia dei Conigli (Rabbit Beach)
Surely the most famous – and most beautiful – of all the beaches in Lampedusa has to be Spiaggia dei Conigli, which translates as Rabbit Beach. I have yet to see a more stunning beach – and I’ve been to the Maldives, Seychelles and the Caribbean!
The beach itself is about a 1km walk from the entrance but it’s not a difficult walk. Recently they have introduced restrictions on the number of people accessing the beach in order to help preserve it. It’s also a beach where turtles lay their eggs so there is a section where people can’t sit.
Numbers are limited to 500 per day in two time slots – 8:30am to 1:30pm and then 2:30pm to 7:30pm. They allocate 350 places to people with bookings and 150 to walk-ins. We tried to book online but there was no availability for over a month… Don’t let this worry you though – we managed to visit every time as part of the walk-ins.
Top tip – (If you’re visiting outside of August), one day we queued for almost an hour and a half for the afternoon slot when really it wasn’t necessary at all. The other two times we turned up at around 3 and just went straight in.
There are two areas on the beach – one that allows umbrellas and one that doesn’t. The non-umbrella area is less crowded as most people like an umbrella for some shade. Also, the area itself is bigger. We visited three times and never found it to be very crowded – there was plenty of space between us and the next people. I think limiting the numbers is a great idea as it makes it much more enjoyable (apparently there used be 2,000 people a day!). Plus it’s much better for the environment too.
The beach is incredibly clean too. Smoking is not allowed at all on the beach and there are volunteers who help to instruct people when they are breaking a rule. Note that there are no bins so you need to take all your rubbish with you when you leave. Also, there is only a restaurant/cafe at the entrance and nowhere on the beach to buy anything so make sure you bring enough water and food with you.
Cala Croce is a very popular beach in Lampedusa. The water is fairly shallow, making it good for families with children. There are two sides to Cala Croce and both has a restaurant/cafe where you can buy food and drink. As with all the beaches, you can hire a sun lounger and umbrella but there are areas that are free.
It’s a very accessible beach and easy to get to.
If you have small children, this is probably the best beach in Lampedusa for you as it’s fairly big, sandy, easily accessible and it has a few options for food and drink right on the beach, including the cutest little fresh pasta take-out van.
You can hire sun loungers and umbrellas or just put your towel down in the public area part. Note though that the majority of the beach is sun loungers and the free area is mainly on the edges by the rocks. If you’re planning on spending the day, it’s worth paying for a sun lounger.
Another beach we loved is Mare Morto, which was really close to our hotel and near Cala Creta. It translates as the dead sea… not sure why! Hope that doesn’t put you off though!
Note that it’s not a sandy beach but rather a rocky one. There are sun loungers and umbrellas that you can hire to make it a bit more comfortable. There’s also a little van near where you park that sells water and some food, such as fish and cous-cous – but otherwise, there’s nowhere to buy food so make sure to bring some with you.
This is a great swimming spot for snorkeling as there are lots of rocks (which means lots of fish!) and there is a gorgeous grotto that you can swim around and explore. I’d recommend some diving shoes for this beach as the rocks can be a bit painful to walk on.
Cala Madonna was our least favourite beach, however it’s a good beach for families as it’s fairly small, not too busy and the water is very still and fairly shallow. There’s a restaurant/cafe as well as sun loungers and umbrellas. You can choose to sit higher up on the rocks or on the beach.
What’s really unique about this beach is that – true to its name – it has a statue of Madonna in the rocks!
Hire a boat
Some of the best swimming spots are only accessible by boat. Also, Cala Pulcino, which is near Spiaggia dei Conigli, is about a 45 min walk. It’s probably the least crowded beach because of that! The best way to see all of the beaches and swimming spots is by boat.
Either hire your own boat – we paid €80 for the day (excluding petrol) – or join a Gita in barca (a boat excursion). We did both! They both have their pros and cons.
With your own boat you can stop whenever and wherever you want, whereas with the boat excursion you stop where they want and when they want. The plus with the excursion is that you never need to worry about the anchor and drifting close to other boats nearby (a pet hate of mine!).
When we hired our own boat we took water and some panini – there was a cooler box with ice so it kept everything cool. On the excursion you get a really nice, cooked lunch – with wine. The one we did was absolutely delicious. The cost of our excursion was €70 each and you go from 10:30am to 5:30pm.
Exploring the island by boat – on your own or on a guided excursion – is definitely worth doing!
If you’re a beach lover, you will LOVE Lampedusa.