Spiaggia del Relitto: A Hidden Gem in Italy


Discover the hidden gem of spiaggia del relitto in Calabria, Italy. Swim, snorkel, and explore the underwater shipwreck at this stunning beach.

If you’re longing for a picturesque beach that’s off the beaten path, Spiaggia del Relitto needs to be at the top of your travel list. Located in Calabria, Italy, this stunning beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and unique underwater attraction.

Location and Access

Situated on the west coast of Calabria near the town of Praia a Mare, Spiaggia del Relitto is easily accessible by car or bus, with several parking lots nearby. As you make your way from the parking lot, you’ll encounter a short walk down a steep staircase. The breathtaking views along the way make the journey worthwhile.

Once you reach the beach, you’ll be greeted by a long stretch of golden sand and turquoise water. Surrounded by towering cliffs and lush vegetation, Spiaggia del Relitto exudes a secluded and serene atmosphere. Make the most of your visit by enjoying a refreshing drink or a delicious Italian meal at one of the beach bars or restaurants while taking in the stunning views.

The History of Spiaggia del Relitto

Spiaggia del Relitto, which translates to “Beach of the Wreck,” derives its name from the shipwreck lying just off its shore. This ancient Roman vessel, believed to date back to the first century AD, was discovered in the 1970s by a group of local divers. Since then, the wreck has become a popular attraction for snorkelers and divers, offering a rare opportunity to explore underwater ruins and experience history firsthand.

Despite its increasing popularity, Spiaggia del Relitto remains relatively unknown to tourists, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a unique and crowd-free beach experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid snorkeler, or simply yearning to relax on an exquisite Italian beach, Spiaggia del Relitto is an absolute must-visit.

Beach view


With its calm, clear waters and soft sand, Spiaggia del Relitto is an ideal spot for a refreshing swim. The warm and shallow water makes it perfect for families with young children. For the adventurous souls, swimming out to the shipwreck is an exciting option. While climbing on the wreck is not recommended, you can still appreciate the ruins up close from the water. Remember to bring your snorkeling gear, as the underwater world is teeming with vibrant marine life.

Snorkeling and Diving

Snorkeling or diving is a must for those yearning to explore the shipwreck up close and personal. Resting just a few meters offshore and sitting in only five meters of water, the wreck is easily accessible even for novice snorkelers. The site is home to a variety of fish and marine creatures, including octopuses and groupers.

For experienced divers, several dive schools in the area offer thrilling trips to the wreck. These supervised dives provide an opportunity to explore the shipwreck in detail and capture its haunting beauty with your camera. Brace yourself for truly awe-inspiring underwater views.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach or an underwater adventure, Spiaggia del Relitto offers something for everyone. This hidden gem is more than just a beautiful beach – it is a hub for water-based activities.

The Wreck at Spiaggia del Relitto

The shipwreck at Spiaggia del Relitto is one of the main attractions of the beach. Believed to be a Roman vessel from the first century AD, it was likely used for transporting goods along the Italian coast. Today, partially submerged in the water, it entices snorkelers and divers from all over the world.

Description of the Wreck

The shipwreck, located just a few meters from the shore and sitting in about five meters of water, still showcases ruins of the bow and stern, along with remnants of the cargo it was carrying when it sank. Although covered in sand and algae, the shipwreck attracts a wide array of marine life, such as colorful fish, starfish, and octopuses. Exploring the ruins up close provides a unique glimpse into the past.

History of the Wreck

While the exact history of the shipwreck remains a mystery, it is believed that the vessel got caught in a storm, resulting in it running aground on the rocky coast. Clues about its cargo, including amphorae and other pottery, provide insights into its purpose and cargo.

Discovered by a group of local divers in the 1970s, the shipwreck has since become a popular attraction, drawing visitors from around the globe. It offers a tangible connection to the past and a chance to explore the rich history that lies beneath the water’s surface.

Activities in Spiaggia del Relitto

While exploring the shipwreck is a must-do activity at Spiaggia del Relitto, there is much more to enjoy at this picturesque beach.


Spiaggia del Relitto’s soft sand and crystal-clear waters make it the perfect spot for a relaxing day in the sun. Loungers and umbrellas are available for rent, allowing you to soak up the Italian sun in style.

Beach view

Nearby Attractions

While Spiaggia del Relitto is undoubtedly a destination in its own right, there are several other nearby attractions worth exploring.

Other Beaches in the Area

Calabria is home to some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, and Spiaggia del Relitto is just the beginning. Other nearby beaches include:

  • Praia a Mare: Located a few kilometers from Spiaggia del Relitto, Praia a Mare is a bustling beach town offering restaurants, bars, and shops.
  • Diamante: This picturesque seaside town is famous for its colorful murals and crystal-clear waters.
  • Scalea: With its long stretch of sandy beach and clear blue waters, Scalea is a popular destination for sun-seekers and swimmers.

Historical Landmarks and Museums

Calabria is steeped in history and culture, and the area boasts several museums and landmarks well worth a visit. Some highlights include:

  • The National Archaeological Museum of Sibari: Housing a vast collection of artifacts from the ancient Greek city of Sybaris, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 510 BC.
  • The Sanctuary of San Francesco di Paola: A beautiful 16th-century church dedicated to the patron saint of Calabria.
  • The Norman Castle of Cosenza: An imposing castle constructed in the 11th century, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Local Restaurants and Bars

No trip to Calabria is complete without savoring the local cuisine. Calabria is renowned for its fresh seafood, spicy meats, and hearty pasta dishes. Top-rated restaurants in the area include:

  • Ristorante Il Brigantino: A beachside restaurant known for its fresh seafood and stunning sea views.
  • Trattoria da Peppe: A cozy restaurant in Praia a Mare that serves traditional Calabrian dishes like nduja and caciocavallo cheese.
  • Bar del Porto: A beach bar providing the perfect setting to enjoy a refreshing drink or a light snack while taking in the mesmerizing sea views.


Spiaggia del Relitto is an undiscovered gem in Calabria that promises a beach experience like no other. With its crystal-clear waters, golden sand, and captivating shipwreck, it’s no wonder that this beach has become a sought-after destination for snorkelers, divers, and beach lovers alike.

While Spiaggia del Relitto may be the main attraction, there are numerous other delights in the area, from beautiful beaches to historical landmarks and fascinating museums. And, of course, don’t forget to indulge in the delicious local cuisine that Calabria has to offer.

If you’re craving a peaceful and secluded beach experience, Spiaggia del Relitto is the ultimate destination. Pack your bags, head to Calabria, and embark on an unforgettable adventure at this hidden gem.

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