A Cheap Family Beach Holiday in Western Liguria

Written by on October 6, 2020 in Seaside, Things to See & Do

Liguria beach at sunset - Cheap family beach holiday in Liguria

At the beginning of July the demoralising Covid shaped summer term of home-schooling was finally finished. Italy was mercifully out of lockdown. So it felt like time to take ourselves and the kids off on a cheap little holiday to the seaside in Liguria to celebrate. So, how we achieve our cheap family beach holiday in Western Liguria?

A mobile home in Albenga – a cheaper option 

Anita did some investigations into cheap places to stay on the Riviera Ponente (the western Ligurian coast between Genova and France). She came up with a mobile home on a camp site in Albenga called ‘Camping Delfino’. About halfway between Savona and San Remo.

We only wanted to go for three nights which limited the options somewhat. Most of the sites she came across offering mobile homes insisted on a minimum 7 day stay, due to it being the busy time of year. However, good old Camping Delfino was happy to accommodate us.

Our mobile home was brand new. It had 2 bedrooms, a kitchen/diner and air conditioning, with a nice little wooden deck out front. It was situated at the end of a shady avenue of identical units in a nice quiet  corner of the camp site.

The price of euro 100 a night included a spot on their private beach. .

campsite and mobile homes in camping in Liguria

Straight to the beach

After an easy drive down from Aosta we headed straight to the beach. This involved a just short walk, passing under the railway line and past a couple of hotels. Of course we forgot to take with us the voucher the camp site owner had given us for the sun loungers. Fortunately, showing our dolphin shaped keyring to the easy-going sun bed supervisor/lifeguard was enough for him to let us stay.

The little beach was great for us big ones, with a lovely view over a small island just out to sea. Ideal for a relaxing sunbath and occasional dip. However, it was not so good for our 7 year old son. It’s a sharp stony beach so no playing in the sand. And there was a big shelf down into the sea about a meter out, which took him out of his depth straight away. All he could safely do by himself was splash about on the edge of the water. Otherwise we had to carry him in and hold onto him. There was also quite a strong undercurrent. I found getting out of the water back up onto the beach a bit difficult, much to everyone’s amusement.

Cheap family beach holiday in Liguria - plenty of choices for free and private beaches

Finale Ligure

The next day was our older son’s 17th birthday. We wanted to organise something exciting for him to do. Jet skiing and flyboarding options that we had seen advertised were explored. But inevitably they weren’t actually possible. Jet skiing requires a special licence and flyboarding hadn’t started yet because of Covid restrictions.

So we settled for another day on the beach but determined to find one where we could all muck about together a bit more. We ended up at Finale Ligure which was a big improvement.

We rented a couple of sun loungers with an umbrella for about euro 20. The beach part is sandy so the little guy could dig. Down by the water, it becomes stony. But rather than the rubble we had to contend with yesterday, these stones are nice and round and easy to stand on. There is still that large off-shore shelf, however. So we again had to hold onto junior, who despite his weekly swimming lessons seems to be only able to swim underwater.

But we had a great day together with lots of laughs. The weather was perfect, hot with a gentle breeze. The water was warm enough that even Anita, who grew up on Lake Balaton which is like a warm bath, went in for a swim.

The town of Finale Ligure is lovely to walk around and we found a tiny little restaurant on a shady corner for lunch. Standard spagetti frutti di mare’s all round and this one was superb.

We were the last to leave the beach.

Alassio beach, Liguria


For our last beach day, we went along the coast the other way towards France and ended up at Alassio. It being Sunday, parking was a massive problem. We drove miles looking for a space by the side of the coast road and I got a bad case of driver’s mood. As a final resort before giving up and going back to the Delfino we headed towards the centre of Alassio. We immediately found a perfect space right on the seafront. It turns out Anita had felt this is what we should have done right at the start.

Then came the hunt for a spot on the beach. The free beach right at the end was miles away. But even from a distance, you could see that you would have to be smeared in suntan oil just to squeeze your way on. The only private beach with space available wanted euro 58, and it was already midday! The very nice lady in the ticket office explained that it’s more expensive than last year because of Covid. They have to leave more space between sun loungers to observe social distancing.

Euro 58 lighter we took up our spot under a white umbrella and made ourselves at home.

Grazie Alassio – the best child friendly beach on Western Liguria

And this was the beach we had been looking for. Day saved, holiday saved, Daddy saved. Grazie Alassio!

Clean, soft sand right down to the water’s edge and beyond, with a nice gentle slope far out into the sea, with no sharp drop. We had a fabulous time, all in the water together playing ball, diving off shoulders, shooting water pistols etc. Anita and I had a long sunbathe whilst the kids stayed in the water together. We even went and sat at a little cocktail bar up on the promenade from where we could watch them play on the sand below. Wonderful!

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