Although renowned for its vast network of canals, Venice is actually a coastal city on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. There are several popular beach resorts within easy reach of the city. Many of the beaches on Italy’s Adriatic Coast are separated into private areas owned or rented by hotels. Most are open to day visitors where for a few euros you can use their loungers, parasols and shower facilities. You’ll also find free-to-use public beach areas in most resorts. Check out our top five favourite beaches within two hours of Venice.
Great for sunbathing
Lido di Venezia
A sliver of a sandbar between the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, Lido di Venezia is the closest beach suburb to central Venice. It was developed as a holiday beach resort in the early 20th century (the name lido came from here), and in recent years has become famous as the home of the Venice Film Festival each September. While its soft, buttery sands aren’t the finest along the coast, the ornate Italian art nouveau architecture, and the sweeping views of the lagoon and the Dolomites mountains beyond, the Lido di Venezia has a charm of its own. There are several hotels dotted along the waterfront, and plenty of bars, restaurants and beach shops to sate the summer crowds. If you’re looking to free yourself of the crowds (and clothes) head to the southern flanks of the island and Alberoni, Venice’s popular naturist beach.
Travel from Venice: It’s just a 20-minute vaporetto (water bus) ride from St. Mark’s Square.
Postcard perfect: Lido di Jesolo is simply beautiful
Ideal for families
Lido di Jesolo
Less than an hour’s drive from Venice, Lido di Jesolo is one of the Adriatic Coast’s most popular beach resorts for families. Dotted along its 10-mile stretch of wide, clean sands are a wealth of family attractions and family friendly hotels and campsites. Come face-to-face with sharks at the Sea Life Aquarium, score a hole-in-one at one of the many minigolf courses, or ride the dizzyingly high water slides at Aqualandia, the region’s biggest water park. The beach itself is lined with hotels, beach bars and restaurants, while there are scores of buzzy cafés, locally run restaurants and ice cream parlours all catering to the summer crowd in the streets behind the beach.
Travel from Venice: An hour’s drive or an 80-minute journey by public bus.
Best for history lovers
Sottomarina di Chioggia
Located at the southern end of the Venetian lagoon, Sottomarina is a small buzzy beach resort popular with the local crowd. Like Lido di Venezia, Sottomarina’s beach benefits from a swathe of clean, butter-hued sands lapped by the shallow waters of the Adriatic. Like much of Venice, Sottomarina and the port, Sottomarina di Chioggia, are both situated on islands and connected by a series of small bridges. Chioggia is a historic fishing port, often known as Little Venice, which is crammed with ancient churches, rustic cafés and local bars and trattorias. It also has an esteemed art gallery and a bustling fish market for those who want an alternative to beach lounging.
Travel from Venice: Around 80 minutes by bus. In the summer, there’s a direct ferry service between Chioggia and Venice.
Don’t miss the chance to visit Bibione during your visit to Venice
Try a thermal spa
Perched on the northern fringes of the Veneto Coast, Bibione is a popular beach resort famous for its thermal spas. Spend an afternoon in the Bibione thermal baths, whose 52-degree waters are sourced from a depth of 1,640ft (500m) and are renowned for its health-boosting properties. Boasting five miles of wide, pristine sands and clean, shallow Adriatic waters, Bibione’s beaches are also a popular family destination. There are dozens of hotels, bars and restaurants dotted along the main stretch, many with private beach areas offering sun loungers, parasols and waiter service. The beach has several water sports centres, 28 lifeguard stations and Wi-Fi. It’s also Italy’s first smoke-free beach.
Travel from Venice: An 80-minute drive or bus ride from Venice.
A stunning sunset at Caorle Beach which is just an hour away form the city
Explore the Roman port
Located 40km north of Venice, Caorle’s vast sweep of buttery sandy beaches and shallow tepid waters attracts a loyal beach crowd each summer. But there’s more to this charming seaside resort than building sandcastles. Once a Roman port, Caorle has an historic centre set behind the beach which is awash with colourful painted houses, pavement cafes and rustic trattorias. Check out the quaint Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Angelo, a beautiful clifftop chapel overlooking the sea, or pick up a souvenir or two in one of the quirky gift shops which dot the pedestrianised Via Rio Terrà.
Travel from Venice: It’s an hour’s drive from the centre of Venice, but in during the summer months a tourist boat travels between Caorle and Venice.