The Conero Riviera in Italy is an incredible touristic destination that attracts more and more visitors every year, thanks to its unique views, crystal clear water, hospitality, and good food.
After visiting and seeing it with our own eyes, we can only confirm what good things are said about this corner of Italy: it is a must-see at least once in a lifetime!
In this article, I will tell you about our experience on the Conero Riviera, the most beautiful beaches to visit and other attractions to see nearby.
“The Conero is an Encounter,
Between Sea and Mountain,
Where to Rest the Mind
And Fill Your Belly!”
CONERO RIVIERA: NATURE, NATURE AND MORE NATURE!
Far from Rimini and the buzzling Emilia Romagna’s coast, on the slopes of Mount Conero life moves slower and urban centers are immersed in naturein contact with nature: beaches become coves set in the rock and the plains suddenly become Apennine mountains.
In this article you will find all the tips to visit Conero and make your visit unique and unforgettable!
Let’s get started right away! 😀
- Del Trave Beach
- Mezzavalle Beach
- Portonovo Beach
- La Vela Beach
- Two Sisters Beach
- San Michele Beach and Sassi Neri
- Urbani Beach
- Beach Del Frate and Numana Alta
- Numana Bassa Beach
- Walking around Sirolo
- Reading Poetry on the Belvedere
- Historic Center of Numana
- Walking to the Top of Mount Conero
- Eating the Typical Dishes of Conero
1. Where is the Conero Riviera located?
The Conero Riviera is a stretch of Adriatic coastline in central Italy just below the city of Ancona, and is located in the Conero Regional Natural Park of the same name in the Marche region of Italy.
The main and most famous towns on the Conero Riviera are Marcelli, Numana, Sirolo and Portonovo.
HOW TO GET TO THE CONERO RIVIERA?
The best way to visit all of Conero is definitely to arrive by car, or to reach Ancora by train (see Trenitalia) or by plane (see Ancona International Airport) and reach the Regional Park by regional bus.
The buses that leave from Ancona to reach the entire Riviera and the Conero towns are those of the Renibus e Conerobus. By visiting their respective sites, you can find information on all routes between countries and towns, schedules, fares (from 1-3 euros per ride) and periods (there are more buses in summer than in winter!).
USEFUL DATA – THE CONERO IN BRIEF
Below I leave you with a brief data table summarizing the Conero Regional Park and its main features.
| Parco Naturale del Conero||In Breve|
| Superficie del Parco||60,1 km2|
| Lunghezza Riviera||16,2 km2|
| Sito UNESCO||No, ma candidato|
| Altezza Monte Conero||572m|
| Temperatura Min.||1-7° Gen|
| Temperature Max.||28-32° Lug|
| Alta Stagione||Aprile - Settembre|
2. The Most Beautiful Beaches on the Conero Riviera.
The Conero Riviera is famous for its wide and spacious beaches, surrounded by nature and embraced by high cliffs that are almost always present.
In fact, the uniqueness of Conero is that Mount Conero ends directly in the sea as perhaps very few other places in the world do.
You expect it to descend somewhat gently, but no: the mountain plunges right headlong into the sea, overhanging!
At the foot of this mountain are the beaches, true masterpieces of nature.
Below you will find the most beautiful beaches of the Conero, starting from Ancona and going south to Marcelli.
2.1 DEL TRAVE BEACH
Where to admire an unusual Natural Quay, away from the Crowds
Photo Credit: Enzo Torelli
Trave beach (Beam’s Beach” translated in english) is the northernmost beach on the Conero Riviera, and it gets its name from the “Scoglio del Trave,” a protuberance of Mount Conero toward the sea that goes to create a natural dock within the water (almost a kilometer long!).
The beach is completely wild and without services; the best way to get there is to park in Portonovo and walk to the nearby Mezzavalle beach.
The absense of nearby services and parking makes Trave Beach one of the least chaotic and busiest beaches on the Riviera.
The only negative note, however, in some seasons, it may be closed due to the risk of landslides (check the official website for more info).
2.2 MEZZAVALLE BEACH
A Kilometric and Wild Free Beach
Mezzavalle beach is a beautiful crescent of sand and fine gravel wrapped in greenery, which starts from Trave and arrives in Portonovo extending for almost 3km.
There are a couple of bars/chiringuitos on the beach, but no bathing lido; while the water, which is very clear and crystal-clear, drops off fairly quickly past the shoreline.
The best way to get to the beach, again is to park in Portonovo or take a local bus to the path leading to the beach. To descend, given the slope, it is advisable to wear sneakers and sports clothes.
2.3 PORTONOVO BEACH
Equipped and Tourist Beach near the village of Portonovo
Just a stone’s throw from the town of Portonovo, and across from Mezzavalle, is the Portonovo beach of the same name.
This small, clear-water beach is only 350 meters long and during the warm season is almost entirely covered by the umbrellas and deck chairs of beach bars and lidos.
There is definitely room for a few umbrellas of your own, but you have to arrive at an early hour: in fact, in the summer, Portonovo’s small beach fills up and it can be difficult to find a spot and not feel like a “sardine.”
This does not detract from the fact that the beach is gorgeous, and certainly a convenient place to take a nice refreshing dip after visiting the town of Portonovo.
Near the beach there are parking lots, but very limited .
My advice is to go down to the beach from the path from Portonovo to the beach, a bit winding but short 🙂
2.4 BEACH “LA VELA”
Spectacle of Nature, suitable mainly for Adults
Leaving the northern part of Conero now, we move to that area where Mount Conero “plunges” headlong into the sea.
Here, we find the Spiaggia della Vela (Sail Beach), a pebbly cove composed of medium to large pebbles that takes its name from a triangular rock that emerges from the sea precisely looking like a sail (see photo above!).
Since there is no sand or free-range children, emerald water and peace are assured here.
The best way to reach Vela Beach is to arrive in Portonovo by car and drive to Deep Lake and along the coast. There are paid and public parking lots along the coastal road (they fill up fast in summer!).
2.5 TWO SISTERS’ BEACH
The Beach You Have to Earn, but one of the Most Beautiful in Italy!
Two Sisters Beach is an Adriatic gem set in the roots of Mount Conero. 🙂
In fact, the beach, which gets its name from the twin white rock stacks that emerge at its end (precisely: the “two sisters”), is enclosed within the slopes of Mount Conero over 500 meters high (see aerial view above!).
Needless to say, this beach is best visited in the morning when it is most sunlit (after early afternoon, the mountains begin to cover it with shade).
The special feature of this incredible beach is that it can be reached almost exclusively by sea.
In fact, every morning some boats from the port of Numana that reach the beach in about a half-hour boat ride.
During peak season, during “ferry” hours the beach fills up (though never excessively), while it remains virtually deserted off-season and outside ferry hours.
To visit the beach outside ferry hours, you can rent a dinghy, get there by paddle-board or kayak.
The only way to reach the beach on foot, which is very ill-advised and at times dangerous, is to walk the “wolf path,” a trail that descends from the top of Mount Conero (550m elevation gain) and is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo.
If you plan to walk it, make sure you are in good physical shape, bring sports clothes, sneakers or boots, and above all, don’t forget the water!
From the cemetery of Sirolo, on the other hand, for those looking for a softer walk, it is possible to take another path that ends in the panoramic Belvedere from which it is possible to admire the beach of the two sisters (breathtaking view!).
2.6 SAN MICHELE AND SASSI NERI BEACH
A scenic beach where you can Windsurf or Relax
Rocky scenery and deep blue sea are the setting for San Michele and Sassi Neri beaches, just south of Mount Conero and at the foot of the town of Sirolo.
This long beach is alternating between an equipped beach with bathing establishments and a free beach and is most suggested for windsurfers.
The sand is grainy, a fine gravel where it is still pleasant to walk barefoot, but not suitable for sandcastles 😉 Contrary to what you might think from the name, the beach is not black (the “black stones” are in fact found in the submerged seabed).
The best way to reach the beach is on foot, starting from the center of Sirolo and descending from the path that starts from the Republic Park through a forest.
If you can’t or don’t feel like doing the whole trail (requires good physical fitness), you can always take the convenient shuttle (see schedule) that leaves from in front of the Sirolo town hall (summer time only).
2.7 URBANI BEACH
Best Beach for: Families with Children
Urbani Beach is a small cove of white sand and pebbles just below Sirolo. The shore descends slowly, is largely protected by a reef, and is full of small fish that inhabit its bottom.
For these reasons, it is perhaps the beach on the Conero Riviera most recommended for families with children. In addition, there are kiosks, bathrooms and restaurants on the beach.
To go down (Sirolo is 125m above sea level), especially in warm weather, I recommend walking (there is a path, quite steep, but short, of only 10 minutes) or taking the shuttle from Sirolo Town Hall.
There are parking lots, but almost always full from the morning and with fairly high prices (1.20 per hour). The shuttle is a great way to avoid the stress.
2.8 DEL FRATE BEACH AND NUMANA ALTA
Free and Equipped Postcard Beach, for Breathtaking Photographs
The Numana alta beach, connected in one with the Frate beach, is perhaps the most famous and appreciated beach of the entire Conero Riviera: a real natural pool, protected by the cliff, where the sea is almost always calm.
Starting from Numana, you can walk down to the beach starting from the public garden in Piazza Nova (where there is an incredible viewpoint!) through a grove, or take the free shuttle from the center of Numana.
The beach consists of gravel and pebbles (no fine sand here) and part of both beaches is equipped with bathing lidos while most are free.
Scenic, surrounded by greenery and with breathtaking views, Numana Beach is a beach for everyone, where you can find relaxation away from busy roads.
2.9 LOWER NUMANA BEACH
Best Sandy and Equipped Beach
The shoreline of Numana Bassa (Marcelli beach), in the southernmost part of the Conero Park, is very different from the Riviera beaches seen above: in fact, this is a sandy beach, equipped with any service and is easily reached by car.
It would almost seem as if we were back in Emilia Romagna, were it not for the mammoth profile of Mount Conero that overlooks the sea and creates a unique panorama.
Bathing establishments, bars, kiosks and small restaurants populate the coast of Lower Numana. Bathrooms, showers, and convenient parking are immediately behind. Among the equipped lidos, there are stretches of free beach.
The town of Marcelli and Numana Bassa are also excellent starting points for trips both northward (to discover Numana, Sirolo and the Conero) and southward (where the very popular beaches of Porto Recanati are located).
3. Beyond the Beaches – Experiences to Do in the Conero Regional Park.
The Conero Riviera is not only the beaches, but also lively villages and mountains.
To conclude this article, I want to leave you below with some ideas of things to do away from the beach (ideal in the off-season, to experience a different day opprure for the evening once the beach day is over).
3.1 WALKING THE STREETS OF SIROLO
Sirolo is definitely the most interesting village on the entire Conero Riviera.
Perched more than 100 meters above sea level, you can breathe both sea and mountain air in this small town.
The sea is there it seems, just a few meters away, but many meters away. The same for Mount Conero.
Walking through the streets of Sirolo, what we felt was so much peace and serenity; the town and human activities really seem to be in balance with the surrounding nature.
Artisan stores, small stores, small restaurants, breathtaking views and plants; a walk in Sirolo, if you are on the Conero Riviera, is really a must in my opinion!
3.2 READING POEMS ON THE SIROLO VIEWPOINT
One particular thing that made us really appreciate and experience our visit was the poems about the Conero that can be read at the top of Sirolo’s Belvedere.
These poems (5-6 poems) are found hanging from the statues and around the Belvedere fence at the highest point of the village. Each poem faces a different horizon, and reading them while looking beyond is truly inspiring! Highly recommended! 😀
3.3 VISIT THE PASSETTO CAVES
If you pass north of Mount Conero, near Ancora, a brief stop to see the Passetto Caves is almost a must.
The Passetto Caves are artificial caves carved into the rock face just south of Ancona in the early 1900s to shelter fishing boats on stormy days.
Nowadays, most of the caves (more than 400 in all!) have been renovated by the owners and modernized with water, electricity and gas and colored.
To this day, in addition to being used by owners to enjoy the sea below, these caves are atourist attraction of the Conero Coast.
You can get there on foot, and the round-trip walk around all the caves takes about an hour.
3.4 REACH THE TOP OF MOUNT CONERO
Conero Park is not only beaches, but also mountains!
A must-do hike in the area, is indeed to reach the top of Mount Conero and enjoy a cold beer (or whatever you like to drink!) from one of the little bars located on its summit!
We went up in an RV in the off-season and had no problems, however, the parking lots are really limited and I can imagine that in the summer it is a whole different thing.
The other ways to go up, are on foot (starting from Sirolo), by bike, motorcycle or shuttle.
From the top of Mount Conero, beyond the Belvedere, the Little Wolf Trail also starts, descending all the steep slopes of the mountain to the Two Sisters Beach.
3.5 EAT THE TYPICAL DISHES IN THE CONERO
Conero is more than just beaches and nature.
Here in fact, we are still in Italy, and as in any region of Italy, here we eat not well: we eat SUPERBLY well!!!
Between Portonovo, Sirolo, Numana and Marcelli, you are spoiled for choice! In fact, all villages offer a wide selection of small restaurants for all tastes, most of them inspired by seafood cuisine.
The must-try dishes that I recommend you try if you are traveling to Conero are:
- the Brodetto (a fish and vegetable soup for which everyone seems to have a secret recipe),
- Stocco all’Anconitana (stockfish),
- and Crescia di Offagna (from the small town on the Conero of Offagna, it is a very thin piadina prepared with flour, lard, lard, and olive oil and then cooked over embers.
Trust that you won’t be disappointed ;D
4. Visiting the Conero Riviera – Conclusion.
In this article we looked together at the beautiful Conero Riviera and all its most fascinating beaches .
What about you, have you ever been to the Conero?
What do you think of the beaches mentioned? Do you have any personal experience or advice you would like to recommend to other readers?
Have you had other experiences on the Conero Riviera that you think would fit well in this article?
Let me know in the comments below, and it will be my pleasure to update the article to help future readers better enjoy this amazing place!
As always thank you for reading, and see you in the next article 🙂
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