I have always associated Sorrento with “Caruso”, a masterpiece of the Italian music. As Lara Fabian said in an interview, “when you hear that voice coming out of nowhere, when you start singing (…) you just see Italy, it’s all there”. And how couldn’t you, when Caruso starts with: “Here, where the sea is shinnying and where the wind blows strong, at an old terrace, in front of the Golf of Sorrento, a man hugs a girl….” This is Sorrento, this is my Sorrento. I remember the first time I went there… the sun was preparing to set, and I was lucky enough to sit down at a terrace on top of the cliffs, overlooking the golf of Sorrento and the Vesuvius at the horizon. And whilst I was enjoying a glass of white wine watching the sunset, all of a sudden, a man started to sing Caruso. And I tell you, that was one of the most special moments of my life.
Sorrento is magical, day and night. It is one of the expensive cities of Italy but that shouldn’t put you off visiting it. A lot of people arrive in Sorrento on a cruise, and don’t have too much time to visit. However, for the ones that do stay a few days here, I want to give you a bit of advice on the beaches of Sorrento, as when I was there I found this aspect of the city to be a bit tricky.
Prepare your trip to Italy with my recommended Lonely Planet guides:
Where to stay in Sorrento
But first, where to stay in Sorrento? As I mentioned before, this beautiful city is very expensive, and the accommodation prices are not low. Plus, in summer, most of the good hotels get fully booked months before. As I am a member of the Hilton Honors loyalty program I would have loved to stay at their hotel in Sorrento, which is superb, but unfortunately it was fully booked for my chosen dates, when I checked, about 3 months ahead. Maybe you are more lucky, as it’s a wonderful hotel. Check here!
I chose to stay at the Hotel & Spa Bellavista Franchischiello, a 3 stars hotel located in Massa Lubrense, a village just outside Sorrento. If you book a hotel outside Sorrento, the price you pay will be much lower, but you will get more value for your money. I booked a junior suite with a wonderful terrace overlooking Capri Island, for three nights, for the same price I would have paid for a single night in Sorrento. Plus, the hotel had a wonderful infinity pool on the roof and a spa free of charge! You can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
Even if I hired a car, the bus to Sorrento stopped right in front of the hotel (and run every 20 minutes, every day) so I chose public transport into the city and back. The ticket only costs 1,60 euros.
Last time I was in Sorrento, a few years ago, I chose to stay at Seven Hostel, in Sant’Agnello, one train stop away from the city, on the Circumvesuviana. It was clean, had free breakfast and a rooftop bar with gorgeous views over the coast.
What to wear at the beach in Sorrento
My choice for the perfect swimsuit to take with me to Sorrento was the Watercult Ethnocation Bandeau Bikini from UK Swimwear. I have partnered with UK Swimwear for this trip to Italy and they offered me a bathing suit to try on during this holiday. I literally spent hours on their website to find the perfect one for me, as they have too many gorgeous ones.
I stopped at the Watercult swimsuit for a few reasons. One, I love my skin to be tanned so the bandeau top is perfect to get that perfect color without any lines. Second, the design is so pretty! I love the ethnic details on the top and on the bikini, which seem like they have been sewed by hand. Also, the bikini has the most gorgeous little golden pineapples, to make it stand out.
I can easily say that I had the most beautiful bathing suit on the beach and at the hotel’s pool! 😊 I am not a model and I don’t have a perfect body, so I really appreciated how adjustable both the bikini and the top are. It fit me perfect! You can buy this Watercult swimsuit from here.
The Beaches in Sorrento:
You should know that being on the cliffs, Sorrento doesn’t really have a classic sandy beach. If you want to sunbathe in the city you will need to choose one of the pontoons built over the sea, most of them belonging to beach clubs. There is no free beach in Sorrento, except for a tiny patch of black sand that it’s always in shade.
If you want to sunbathe in Sorrento, then you will have to choose one of the beach clubs in Marina Piccola. To rent a lounger and an umbrella will cost you at least 15 euros per person, per day. All the beach clubs have restaurants where you can eat and order drinks or snacks.
The loungers are exclusively on the water, on man-built piers that stretch into the sea. To access the beach clubs you can either walk down the stairs from the promenade, or take the elevator which costs 1 euro.
This is my favourite beach near Sorrento. Easy accessible by train in just a couple of minutes, Sant’Agnello is more of a local beach. I didn’t see tourists at all here. Situated at the bottom of the cliffs, you can either climb down or take the elevator for a 1-euro fee. I recommend climbing down going in and using the elevator coming back. The road is quite steep, and it does take a while to go up especially that you will have to avoid the cars as well.
The beach is Sant’Agnello has sun almost all day, until about 5PM, when it hides behind the cliffs. Next to the beach there is a tiny shop that makes delicious paninis, but also a family run limoncello distillery from where you buy and taste the famous Italian liquor. Probably the limoncello made in Sorrento is the best in the entire Italy because of the famous Sorrento lemons which grow only here. The locals say that limoncello tastes like a kiss from the sun. So shall we try it? 😊
Marina di Puolo
Another small but beautiful beach is Marina di Puolo, which you can reach by bus A1 from Sorrento in just 5 minutes. The bus leaves you on the main road, from where you have to go down the cliffs. If you come with your car rental, there is a large parking area at the bottom of the hill.
The beach here is small and sandy, with beautiful views over the Vesuvius volcano. Here you can either bring your own towel or rent a lounger and/or an umbrella. There is a free beach and a private beach club as well. The water is quite shallow so it’s perfect for families with little children.
Alongside the beach there are plenty of restaurants as well, with prices much lower than in Sorrento. If you want to try a nice beer, I recommend having the birra rubia alla spina (draft) from La Tavernetta restaurant.
Have you ever been to Sorrento?
Disclaimer: I have written this post in collaboration with Uk Swimwear who offered me a free swimsuit.
Some of the links one this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my traveling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.