Portonovo Marche is a wild green bay located in the Conero Park, in Le Marche region, Central Italy.  Nestled in the hills of MonteConero, this bay preserves crystalline waters and white pebble beaches, and it is an incredible unspoiled environment. It’s just 15 minutes by car from the Ancona city center.

We found this area accidentally, and it was love at first sight! The pristine beauty of these beaches of the Adriatic coast must be seen to be believed. It’s also a perfect area to practice aquatic sports, like SUP, windsurf, and canoe.

Portonovo gets quite crowded with locals and tourists during the summer. It’s really hard (also for locals) to find parking during the high season. I recommend visiting this small bay during the middle seasons, like the spring and at the end of the summer/ beginning of autumn. Believe me, your experience will be completely different! Are you ready to explore this amazing place with us?

Things to do in Portonovo Marche

1) Explore the marvelous beaches

Portonovo bay

The main beaches are located at the south and north of Portonovo Bay. They are equipped with beach facilities, services and excellent restaurants, but there is also a part of the coastline for free bathing.

You can reach the beaches by car or bus, departing from the park on top of the road leading to the bay.

portonovo marche

La Vela

On the southern side of Portonovo Bay, you can find of “La Vela” beach (“the Sail”, recalling the shape of the large rock which emerges from the sea).

Attention to the warning signs: it usually displays a symbol showing you what dangers to be aware of. I suggest you visit this beach only by the sea, due to the risks of landslides along the coast.

This beach is perfect for snorkeling!

portonovo marche la vela

Ph.Credits Riccardo Carini Facebook Page


Mezzavalle is wild beach, accessible only by sea or by steep paths. I recommend you wear comfortable shoes and bring water for the walk on the path. This beach doesn’t offer any services: just a small bar during the summer. That’s probably why this beach is so beautiful! Breathtaking!

Portonovo marche

Il Trave

Il Trave is another wild beach located to the north of Mezzavalle. It’s accessible by sea or by land, through two paths that you can take from the main road of the Conero. Its distinguishing feature is the “Beam”, a long natural rock that extends for over 1 km off the sea and a natural base for the wild mussels of Portonovo (Moscioli), a specialty of the bay.

Pay attention to the warning signs: it normally features a symbol showing you what dangers to be aware of. Also, in this case, I recommend you visit this beach just by the sea, to avoid the risks of landslides along coastal cliffs.

portonovo marche Il trave

2) Visit the lakes

Don’t miss the two lakes of the bay: Great Lake and the Deep Lake (Lago Profondo and Lago del Calcagno). They’re perfect for birdwatching!

portonovo marche lake 

3) Taste the moscioli

Enclosed in the rocks of the Conero promontory, moscioli are the wild mussels and a delicious local specialty! The moscioli can be found only between April and October.  

portonovo marche moscioli 2 

4) Rent a canoe or a stand up paddle boarding (SUP)

If you like aquatic activities, this point is a must! There’s no better way to explore Portonovo than through its gorgeous sea! You can reach the ‘Two Sisters’ beach from here.

portonovo marche sup

Ph.Credits Conerostyle Facebook Page

5) Pratice windsurf (if you can!)

I need to confess. I’m the woman in the picture, but this is a perfect “Instagram lie”! This photo caught the exact moment where I was over the paddle, even though I was under it most of the time. This is just to say that windsurf is not something that probably you can learn in one day. But if you have more time, I suggest the guys of Conero Style: they’re amazing instructors! And, if you’re a windsurf expert, this bay will enchant you!


portonovo marche windsurf

Here I am…but it’s an “Instagram lie”

Things you can’t do in Portonovo

Portonovo is inside the Conero Park, so there are so many restrictions related to the protection of this ecological area.

Here are just some of them: let’s check it out!

  • Don’t pick up white pebbles, plants or other stones
  • Never camp outside the specific area
  • Don’t use campfires
  • Especially in the wild beaches, bring your own bags with you: this will guarantee you throw your own garbage away.
  • If you smoke, dispose of the cigarette butt properly so it doesn’t go to the sand or water.
  • Hunting is forbidden

To be honest, I think all these rules should be part of our natural behavior. If we enjoy nature and like crystal-clear beaches, we should respect the environment to keep it like that! Do you agree with me?

portonovo marche forbidden

Hotels in Portonovo Marche

Here you can find my list of suggested hotels:

Hotel Portonovo Marche

Portonovo will enchant you!

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