A protected area, Gaiola Beach is one of the most beautiful and famous in Naples. The rugged landscape of manmade and natural cliffs is what draws so many people to this coastline. The beach is divided into two parts and both are free, though given its popularity, it's best to arrive early if you want to secure one of the better spots.
Gaiola Beach is ideally located to explore the wider area of Posillipo but it is perhaps what's beneath the surface that is so intriguing. There are collections of old buildings scattered on the sea bottom, where you can discover the remains of structures that are thought to have been built in the first century BC. This underwater town is also home to some beautiful flora and fauna, so why not take a guided tour to discover it?
From the gently bobbing boats to the rocky cliffs, the view out of Borgo Marinaro is truly idyllic. According to legend, it's where the heartbroken siren Partenope washed up after failing to seduce Ulysses with her song and - if you like your history more routed in facts - where the Greeks first settled in the 7th century BC.
Borgo Marinaro boasts the oldest castle in Naples - Castel dell'Ovo. Its name - translated as Castle of the Egg - supposedly comes from Roman poet Virgil, who is said to have buried an egg there, warning that when it broke, the castle and all of Naples would too crumble. There's almost no evidence of any of this but if you like getting lost in stories and myths, Borgo Marinaro is for you.
If you are looking to explore the Bay of Naples by foot, you can do a wonderful walk along the Sorrento Peninsula to Leranto Bay. This will give you a completely different experience of Naples. Buses and trains run from Naples to nearby Nerano and it's then a 4km walk to the beach. It's not the easiest of walks as the terrain can be difficult but if you enjoy walking, it's definitely worth the effort. When you arrive in the square of Nerano, you just need to follow the main road and then you'll see the path that leads you gradually downwards to the beach itself.
Once there, you'll get views that rival that of nearby Capri without the crowds and tourist traps.
Naples is bursting with culture and can be explored with many of our MSC Excursions. Marechiaro, located in the Posillipo district is the epitome of Neapolitan culture. Its massive cliff face towers over the tiny but beautiful beach near the town of Marechiaro. Like most beaches in Naples, entry is completely free but you'll want to arrive early to secure the best spots as space is at a premium on this small shore.
Its intimate nature gives the beach the feeling of a true, hidden paradise rather than a public area. Take a stroll into the village of Marechiaro itself and you'll find restaurants offering a panoramic view of the gulf. On a clear day you can even see the island of Capri and Vesuvius from the village.