Brits looking for a gorgeous holiday hotspot off the beaten path can find pretty towns and villages spread across Europe. But, there’s something about Italy that really blows us away thanks to its heavenly climate, cracking food and beautiful architecture.

Those wanting to head to one of the world’s prettiest villages should head to the Italian Riviera where you can discover the hidden gem that is Lerici, Italy. Tucked along Italy’s northwest coast in the Liguria region this seaside village offers everything UK tourists want from a sunny holiday including pristine beaches and colourful houses.

There’s also plenty to do from visiting the ancient castles of Lerici and San Terenzo to trying out scuba diving. There’s a public lido, a beach club that’s open day and night and the stunning Baia Blu beach where you’ll be in awe at the bright blue water and wide sandy beach.

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The castle sits on the large seafront and is adjacent to another village – San Terenzo. There’s a sprawling piazza by the water where you can sit and dine in restaurants, bars and gelaterias while watching the sunset. While hikers will flock to the surrounding hills.

You can also book boat tours to nearby island – and one even lets you dine on local seafood after you sail. To keep the hotspot beautiful, the village has banned single-use plastic so you won’t spot straws and coffee cups floating in the water.

Lerici alongside La Spezia and Portovenere is one of the villages surrounding a body of water known as the Gulf of Poets (what a name!) due to high number of artists who have lived or worked in the area. You'll understand why literary stars like Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein, and Dickens spent long holidays in the gorgeous area when you visit and spot the coves, cliffs and glittering sunsets over the water.

Of course, the food is bound to be outstanding with local specialities including squishy focaccia bread, twisted trofie pasta that’s often matched with fresh pesto sauce, tasty salami and Baci di Alassio – a hazelnut and chocolate pastry stuffed with chocolate ganache.

Unlike some of the more popular beach towns in Italy like those on the the Amalfi Coast Lerici doesn’t suffer from overcrowding and is often calm and quiet. Plus, the prices are decent with a beer at a bar costing around £3.50 according to TripNumbers.

The same data shows that dinner for two would cost around £28.64. While the hotels are nowhere near the extremely high prices of destinations like Lake Como and Lake Garda. The cheapest option we found on during spring time was a double room at the White Lerici for £72 a night – between two that’s just £36 each.

Those who want to travel as a larger group can pay from just £87 for the Bellavista Home – a private three-bedroom apartment with three beds. If you want to fill the flat it sleeps five people for £136 a night or just £27.20 each.

Flights aren't outrageously expensive either. The closest airport to Lerici is Pisa International airport – you can get a return flight from the UK to Pisa from £26 according to Skyscanner. To get to Lerici from Pisa you can then catch a train to the city centre followed by another train to La Spezia Centrale where you'll need to get a bus or taxi to your hotel. This will take around 33 minutes according to Rome2Rio.

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