It’s “Beach, all Beach”
If you are looking for a beach holiday with plenty of activity in around the dunes, then consider the Italian resorts of Lignano Sabbiadoro and Bibione in Northern Italy. These neighbouring towns on the Northern Adriatic Coast, about halfway between Venice and Trieste, are ’beach all beach.’ In this post, brought to you in collaboration with Europa Tourist Group, we look at some of the many different things to do on all that beach…
Beachside fun at Lignano Sabbiadoro and Bibione
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside. Especially when it’s the Italian seaside. Some of my most vivid travel memories involve the Venetian coast. I will never forget the moment we ended our summer Amsterdam to Venice trip at the lagoon after 1500 miles of cycling. And Lido di Jesolo provided my first ever experience of going abroad as a teenager. I wonder what ever happened to Antonio my first holiday romance? Anyway, enough of that. 87km down the coast from the ridiculously crowded Lido di Jesolo lie the white sandy bays of Lignano Sabbiadoro and Bibione. There are plenty of attractions both on and off the beach including nature, food and adventure activities. Accommodation options are abundant too; Europa Tourist Group’s online resource has a wealth of apartments near all of the beach resorts in both towns and if you book with them they offer free beach service.
Here’s a bucketful of reasons to say ciao to real life for a week and head to the sea at Lignano Sabbiadoro and Bibione…
1 You get a lot of beach for your budget
Bibione has 8kms of beach and dunes, set on a pine forest studded peninsula less than 100km from Venice. In fact it’s so famous for the white stuff that it is also known as ‘Spiaggia Tutta Spiaggia’ – meaning ‘beach all beach.’ Lignano Sabbiadoro’s holidaymakers relax on a sandy shore surrounded by the Di Marano lagoon. Sabbiadoro is one of three areas that make up Lignano, the other two are Pineta and Riviera – head to Lignano Riviera for a quieter beach stay.
2 Beach biking is a thing here
Enjoy hassle free pedalling at the tide line with Fat Sand Beach Bikes. There are free guided excursions at dawn. (But please, no bagging a sunbed with your towel while you are out there!) If you like your bikes to come with a motor attached then you may prefer supporting the motocross competitors at the Bibione Beach Motor Race which in April brings the crowds in for the Sand Extreme Challenge.
3 You can watch the rugby without guilt
If you prefer to watch other people doing exercise than doing it yourself, then you’ll love the Lignano Beach Arena, open from May to September. Amongst its fixtures are regular beach rugby tournaments as well as beach volleyball, polo, tennis and football. Many of these are rumoured to be quite a party, with entertainment and refreshments for supporters as well as sweat and tears on the pitch. The arena also houses music festivals.
4 There’s a beach especially for doggies
More than 200 dogs are catered for on Pluto’s Beach at the east end of Bibione. You and your pup can snooze away the day on a sunbed or deckchair with a built in lead holder. And that’s not all. You can also enjoy poop bags, (if anyone really enjoys poop bags), bowls, running water and umbrellas. The season runs from May to September with free dog training classes and agility trails for those who want to shape up their pooches.
5 The kids can slide away the day
Large plastic floats and fast slides are some of the draws at Aquasplash Waterpark in Lignano. It was the first waterpark to open in Italy and caters to kids of all ages. Jacuzzi, wave pool, rope pyramid and water elephant aid the play but if you just want to snooze, there’s plenty of space for that too.
6 Water is for more than drinking here
Sailing is big here; the seven marinas at Lignano can hold up to 5000 yachts. In the likely event that you don’t have your own then you can take lessons at the Yacht Club of Lignano Sabbiadoro’s Wind Village. You can try your hand at wind surfing or stand up paddle boarding. In spring and summer, Isola delle Conchiglie, a few hundred kilometres from Santa Monica pier is rumoured to have the best wind in town to fill your sails when kite surfing. The rowing club also offer taster rowing sessions from time to time. And every so often you can catch a regatta or a firework show on the sea. The best place to watch the illuminations is apparently the beach in front of Piazzale Zenith.
7 It’ll do wonders for your Instagram feed
Lignano’s three zones; the historic center of Sabbiadoro, the greener area of Lignano Pineta and Lignano Riviera all provide great opportunities for amateur photographs. The lagoon of Marano, on the northern shore of the peninsula, is the home of many animal species; see if you can capture (on your camera) some of the migratory and local birds tucked into the islands and swamps. The Tagliamento river borders the west of the peninsula where it flows steadily into the sea. Its mouth provides some great spots for an Instagram or two. For all-action snaps take a boat trip to Shell island to capture the kite surfing activity.
8 Venice is on the doorstep
You can take a motorboat cruise to Venice from the resorts. There are lots of activity providers who can organise this for you. If you want to do it independently overland then take a bus to Latisana or Portogruaro from Lignano and then catch a train to Venezia Santa Lucia.
9 You can go fishing
Fishing is a pretty popular activity here and widely available with activity providers who often stop at the Bilancia di Bepi – Bepi’s Lift Net – to take part in the ritual of dropping nets into the river. If you don’t want to catch a fish yourself you can kayak out to the River Stella Nature Reserve and see the traditional ‘casone’ – fisherman’s huts made out of reed bundles. Some owners provide a meal stop if you’d like to hang out a while. The Europa Tourist Group website offers discounted motorboat trips. You can visit the place Hemingway stayed during his hunting and fishing trips –the American author described Lignano as “the Florida of Italy.”
10 It’s bubblicious
One of Bibione’s main attractions is the Bibione Thermae – the only seafront spa treatment centre in Italy. Surrounded by a large pine grove, you can relax while enjoying mud and balneotherapy, psychokinesis, massages, Finnish sauna and hamman. There are spa packages for kids too including ‘candy bubbles’ and ‘yogurt bubbles,’ and lotions and potions that smell of coca-cola. Relaxed? you will be.
Disclosure Note: The Europa Tourist Group compensated us for the time spent researching and writing this post, but the ideas, opinions and yacht envy are entirely our own.