Bordered by the Tyrrenhian Sea in the west and the Ionian Sea in the east, Calabria has some unforgettable beaches. In the west you'll find the appropriately named 'coast of the gods', which has some of the region's most beautiful beaches. Travel down a little further and you'll hit the Violet Coast, so named because the water turns a vibrant purple at certain times of day. And let's not forget the Ionian side, where you'll find the Jasmine Riviera in the south, named after the fragrant flowers that grow in the area.
If you follow the winding, zig-zag road down Saint Elias mountain from the town of Palmi, you'll find Marinella Beach. This secluded bay is carved into the foot of the mountain, bordered by cacti, orange trees and steep olive groves.
Marinella Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Violet Coast, yet it's rarely frequented by tourists, making it the perfect place for a romantic day out, far from noisy crowds of summer sun-seekers.
Located on a rocky promontory, the red-gold sand of Capo Rizzuto contrasts dramatically with the turquoise sea. These waters are marine protected, meaning that the shoals of vibrant fish and colourful corals are undisturbed by motor boats and divers.
Connected to the beach by a narrow causeway is Le Castella, a dramatic 16th-century fortification which makes for a fascinating excursion.
One of the most popular and stunning beaches on the Coast of the Gods is Spiaggia di Tropea, where the azure sea gently laps a stretch of white sand. The beach offers amazing views of the volcanic island of Stromboli smouldering on the island.
The picturesque town of Tropea is perched on top of the dramatic granite cliffs surrounding the beach. There are an abundance of restaurants and ice-cream bars among the narrow lanes and pretty plazas – the perfect place for a refreshment stop after a swim.
It's easy to see why this beach is beloved by locals and tourists alike. Capo Vaticano beach is a wide arc of golden sand caressed by turquoise waters, surrounded by dramatic cliffs – an ideal spot for a dip.
You can easily spend the whole day here as a couple of cafes line the beach, offering food and refreshments. For those who prefer a more active holiday, several local companies offer boat tours and snorkelling so you can explore more of this gorgeous coastline.
Calabria is the perfect region for those who want to discover some unspoilt locations before the rest of the world does. If you count yourself among these people, then Spiaggia di Caminia is the beach for you.
This small beach, with its soft sand and iridescent waters, is the island's best-kept secret. It's tucked away on the Ionian side of the region, away from crowd-pulling favourites such as Tropea.