The seaside resort at Alassio is best known for having one of the longest sandy beaches in the eastern Liguria region on the Riviera di Ponente, but also has a lively town centre and several historic monuments of interest. It is especially popular with Italian holidaymakers.
Unlike the French riviera a short distance to the west, most visitors will tell you that Alassio and the other resorts nearby on the Italian riviera are very welcoming but much less 'posh' (and less expensive) than their French counterparts so a good choice for families on a budget.
Most visits to Alessio will include the beach so that is a good place to start! The beach is more than three kilometres long, south facing, gently slopes into the sea and sandy which makes it very popular. Like most beaches in Italy a large part of the beach is privately controlled - so you need to pay for access.
The centre of the beach area is around the jetty, where you can also organise various tourist boat excursions, and there are many restaurants along the street that follows alongside the beach. If you walk along the seafront to the northern end of the town you can also see the boats in the harbour area.
Although the water is typically warm enough to swim in the sea from at least May to the end of September, you will probably find that you are almost alone on the beach if you visit outside July and August.
The streets immediately behind the beach are also lively in summer and of course there are lots more restaurants to choose from and plenty of shops to browse in the old town in particular on Via XX Settembre that runs parallel to the beach and in the surrounding streets.
In common with several places along the riviera in both Italy and France, the English played a role in the development of Alassio around the beginning of the 20th century, and you can still see some lovely villas and gardens dating from that period.
Most of the historic monuments in Alassio are churches, of which there seem to be an almost uncountable number! Individually these aren't all particularly noteworthy but they help add character to the town.
There is also a small round tower right on the beach that was built to defend the town from attacks arriving from the sea in the 16th century.
If it is not too hot you will enjoy walking a couple of kilometres south-west along the coast to the fishing village at Laigueglia. Continue a few kilometres further along this road (this time you will need a car) to reach Cervo, a picturesque fishing village.
Heading in the opposite direction along the Liguria coast, the historic centre of Albenga is just a few kilometres along the coast to the north-east and well worth visiting to see the ancient baptistry and medieval towers and cathedral.
Map of Alassio and places to visit
Alassio places to visit
See more places nearby in the Liguria guide