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7 cities with 5 blue flags: the most beautiful sea 2023 is in Sardinia


Once again, Sardinia holds the record for the most beautiful sea in 2023. According to Legambiente, the well-known Italian environmental association, Baunei tops the list of over 7,500 km of Italian coastline.


The Most Beautiful Sea 2023

The Most Beautiful Sea 2023 is a guide that screens more than 400 Italian coastal municipalities, both marine and lakeshore and rewards with 5 blue flags the localities boasting the proper harmony between excellence, beauty and sustainability.

With the usual rigour, Legambiente and Touring Club Italiano have chosen 21 Italian coastal destinations and awarded them top marks. As many as 7 municipalities out of 21, or 1 in 3, are in Sardinia.


The Italian regions with the most beautiful sea in 2023

  • Sardinia: 7 destinations with 5 blue flags;
  • Tuscany: 4 destinations;
  • Apulia and Campania, with 3 localities;
  • Sicily: 2 localities;
  • Basilicata and Calabria, jointly, 1 destination.


The overall Italian ranking by Legambiente and Touring Club Italiano

  1. Baunei (Baunei, Sardinia)
  2. Nardò (Salento, Apulia)
  3. Pollica (Cilento, Campania)
  4. Castiglione della Pescaia (Maremma Toscana, Tuscany)
  5. Domus de Maria (Coast of Chia, Sardinia)
  6. San Giovanni a Piro (Costa del Mito, Campania)
  7. Isola del Giglio (Costa d’Argento and Isola del Giglio, Tuscany)
  8. Cabras (Golfo di Oristano and Sinis, Mal di Ventre, Sardinia)
  9. Posada (Baronia di Posada e Parco di Tepilora, Sardinia)
  10. Capalbio (Costa d’Argento and Isola del Giglio, Tuscany)
  11. Isola di Capraia (Isola di Capraia, Tuscany)
  12. Santa Maria Salina (Isola di Salina, Sicily)
  13. San Mauro Cilento (Cilento, Campania)
  14. Budoni (Baronia di Posada and Parco di Tepilora, Sardinia)
  15. Bosa (Planargia, Sardinia)
  16. Santa Teresa Gallura (Gallura costiera and Capo Testa, Sardinia)​
  17. Vieste (Gargano, Apulia)
  18. Maratea (Coast di Maratea, Basilicata)
  19. Pantelleria (Pantelleria, Sicily)
  20. Tropea (Capo Vaticano and Costa degli Dei, Calabria)
  21. Porto Cesareo (Salento, Apulia)


Sardinia top 7 seaside towns

  1. Baunei (province of Nuoro)
  2. Domus de Maria (province of Cagliari)
  3. Bosa (province of Oristano)
  4. Cabras (province of Oristano)
  5. Posada (province of Nuoro)
  6. Budoni (provincia di Sassari, Gallura)
  7. Santa Teresa Gallura (province of Sassari, Gallura)


The Baunei Coast the Italian Jewel

Baunei, in the province of Nuoro and located in the Ogliastra region, is situated in the central-eastern part of the island. With less than 4,000 inhabitants, the town rises, almost clinging to the steep slope of Monte Santo and overlooks the picturesque valley below. It is an ideal destination for trekking and hiking enthusiasts, with routes between the mountains and the sea.

Santa Maria Navarrese, Baunei
Photo credits: Comune di Baunei- Santa Maria Navarrese

The coast of Baunei, with its 40 km of sheer limestone massif, offers a particularly stunning coastline. Soft white sand beaches are framed by the lush, typical Mediterranean maquis, lapped by clear, paradisiacal waters.

Cala Goloritzè, Baunei
Photo credits: Comune di Baunei, Cala Goritzè

Another feature that earned it 1st place overall was the sustainable choice to limit the number of visitors to balance tourism and the environment, respecting Nature and ensuring a peaceful holiday.

Cover image Photo credits: Comune di Baunei

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