Our Adriatic Blue Flag Beaches
Abruzzo stretches down 150kms/93 miles of Adriatic coastline – and most of that is beach !
There are 21 blue flag beaches in Abruzzo – denoting the very highest standards of care, safety and cleanliness – which places the region up with the best in all of Italy.
And of those 21 blue flag beaches, no fewer than seven are within easy reach of us. And there are other long stretches of well-kept sandy beaches too.
The nearest point to us on the Adriatic coast is Fossacesia Marina – about a half-hour drive away – and the beach here enjoys blue flag status.
It’s a pebble beach and by far the biggest proportion of its huge expanse is free to use.
Between June and August you’ll need to pay a few Euro a day to park your car – for the rest of the year, parking is free – and then basically just sit wherever on the beach you feel like.
If you do want to rent sunbeds and umbrellas – which’ll cost you around €20 for the day – there’s one small area next to La Sirenella seafood restaurant (which we highly recommend) where you can do this.
And there are plenty of places lining the sea front at Fossacesia Marina where you can get drinks, ice creams and snacks.
Our Other Blue Flag Beaches
Head south to Vasto, where there are two. Vasto’s a particularly nice old town, well-worth a visit in its own right, set on a big, curving, sandy bay.
Its beaches are mostly of the pay-to-use type, but – by law – a minimum proportion of any beach must be set-aside for free public use, so you‘ll always find somewhere you don’t have to pay.
The downside is that – understandably – these free areas of beach aren’t in the prime locations along the shore; and because they’re free, they can get extremely crowded – especially in August.
North of us, San Vito Chietino and Ortona each have two blue flag beaches. If you go to San Vito, it’ll give you an excuse – as if you needed one – to drop into the fantastic Copa de Dora gelateria – the only place we know locally where they still make their own.
It’s worth a trip even if you don’t want to go on the beach !
And That’s Not All…
Aside from our blue flag beaches, there are plenty of other excellent beach choices near us.
Our favourite local sandy beach is at Le Morgie – a long sandy stretch that strikes a good balance between public and pay-to-use areas.
Once again, you’ll have to pay to park in the summer months, but in May and September, when the weather’s invariably excellent, you can park for free and virtually have the beach to yourself.
And in April, there are a handful of days when you can spend the morning skiing in the Majella and then after a leisurely lunch, hit the beach to sunbathe in the afternoon !
There are three seafront bar-cafes at Le Morgie – and a fourth at the very far end of the seafront and set-back from the road. We prefer the second of the seafront places, which has a shady open terrace where you can eat.
It’s worth mentioning that on any beach, even if you’ve not chosen a pay-to-use area, there’s absolutely no problem with just taking a walk wherever you feel like along the water’s edge.
Although there may be a charge to lie under an umbrella on a sunbed – a paddle is always free !
Costa dei Trabocchi – Abruzzo’s Heritage Coast
Along the stretch of Adriatic coast from south of Ortona to north of Vasto, you’ll see strange wooden structures jutting out into the sea. These are trabocchi – traditional fishing platforms, owned by local fishermen for generations and used when it’s too rough to take a boat out to sea.
They’re unique to Abruzzo and have given their name to this little stretch of coast – Costa dei Trabocchi. They’re sturdier than they look too, withstanding the worst of the Adriatic’s winter storms.
Along the coast road, you’ll see stalls where trabocchi owners sell their catch, but more lucratively, some of the larger ones are now being turned into (rather expensive) bars and restaurants.