There are many secret beaches all over the world, but one hidden beach in Italy has garnered a reputation for being elusive and reserved only for those who dare to seek adventure.
The Spiaggia di Guvano, or simply known as Guvano Beach, is located in the picturesque Corniglia village in the northern region of La Spezia, Italy. It’s a small pebbly beach with beautiful crystal, blue waters, and known worldwide for being a clothing-optional beach.
Where is Guvano Beach Located?
Guvano Beach is located in the village of Corniglia, towards the direction of the village of Vernazza. The village belongs to the Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The site is a collection of 5 villages, namely Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Manarola, Vernazza, and Monterosso – all of which are situated on beautiful terraced cliffs that face the sea, and featuring complicated systems of fields with vineyards and gardens.
The trip to Corniglia itself is already considered to be an adventure, as cars have been banned in the villages. To reach the village, take a train from the center of La Spezia. From the train station, you can reach the village either by foot or by a bus. Reaching the village by foot will require you to climb a series of steps called the Ladarina, which consists of 33 flights and over 300 steps.
Corniglia is the only one of the 5 villages with no seaport and no direct access to the sea, making Guvano a unique and much sought after beach in the area.
How to Get to the Beach
Guvano Beach is notorious for being difficult to get to. From the train station of Corniglia, you have to walk to the direction of the village, but instead of going up the Ladarina or flight of stairs leading to the actual village, you go down and turn to the right. You will then have to find a lonely house, where an entrance to an abandoned railroad tunnel is found directly beside it.
You will recognize the tunnel since it has a small painting above the entrance arc of a nude beach. The tunnel is about 1 km long and it will take you anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to reach the opening at the end. The tunnel’s lights have not been working since 2012 so it’s best you bring a flashlight with you.
Once you reach the end of the tunnel, a marked and paved road will greet you, as well as an oasis of trees. The beautiful sea will also be visible once you exit the tunnel. You will then find a steep descent towards the beach, and once you go down, you will finally reach the not-so-secret naturist beach of Guvano.
There have been reports of the tunnel being closed down, but another route to the beach can still be accessed. This route is taken from the village of Vernazza, and consists of a trail called the Blue Trail. It is not recommended for beginner hikers since the trail consists of steep descents. The hike from the village takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Guvano Beach Description
The beach is a small cove of pebbles and rocks. There’s not much to see but its isolation makes it an ideal spot for naturists to bare it all out. Swimming is allowed as the water is safe and clean. The beach is strictly for adults due to its small size, where people are basically in close proximity to another, and not the most ideal place for kids to spend a day on a beach amongst adults who are donning their birthday suits.
There are no facilities or services on the beach whatsoever, and there are no police or patrols. Sunbathing, swimming, and just being in Guvano will be at your own risk. There are no toilets, no showers, no trash collection, and no covered areas. It’s unspoilt, undeveloped, and as natural as can be, with the Cinque Terre terrain and natural wonders of the Mediterranean all around you.
Guvano Beach Tips
Because the tunnel is absolutely pitch black, keep to the left if you don’t have a flashlight or if you’re only using your camera phone. Beware of rusty metal objects, though. Never go to Guvano through the tunnel if you’re a solo female traveler.
Bring a flashlight, some comfortable footwear, your own supplies, and plenty of water as it can get really warm in the summers and there are no places to buy supplies anywhere near the beach.
Guvano Beach is one of the Cinque Terre’s most coveted destinations but rarely promoted as a tourist spot by locals. It is an adults-only beach, and reserved only for those who seek isolation and adventure.