When most people think about Tuscany they think about green rolling hills, cypress trees, wine, and small medieval towns. But many overlook the region’s coast, with its beaches and luxurious resorts, and particularly the Tuscan Archipelago. The National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago is the largest marine park in Europe and these islands offer a world of enchanting villages, seaside towns, cultural itineraries linked to the sea and the hinterland, unforgettable views interspersed with sandy beaches, harbours, Mediterranean maquis, and majestic windswept cliffs. Being a spot off the beaten path certainly has many advantages.
The biggest in the Archipelago, and the third largest in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia, the island of Elba is a cult destination for those who love sailing: easy to reach and suitable for all types of sailors, it can satisfy those looking for beaches where they can relax, snorkelling, stopping for a delicious lunch, but also natural scenery of incomparable beauty.
With beautiful beaches, great food, and many little towns, like Porto Ferraio and Porto Azzurro and the beautiful Marciana Marina, the island of Elba has all the charm (and more) of any Mediterranean island.
The island is also famous throughout the world for having hosted Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during his long exile.
There are many elements that remind us of the island’s glorious past. You can observe its many archaeological findings in the various museums and walk into the impressive fortresses and military constructions such as Castello del Volterraio. You can also experience the dreamy and beautiful Napoleonic residences of the 1800s such as Palazzina dei Mulini and Villa di San Martino.
Capraia is another unmissable destination in the Tuscan Archipelago, an ancient extinct volcano that charms guests with its history and beautiful landscapes, with the famous Cala Rossa, notorious for the crater of the volcano. It is the third biggest island of the Archipelago and the furthest from the coast.
The island is unspoiled and rich in wildlife and has protected national park status. Capraia is the perfect spot for a peaceful get-away and for nature-lovers. Its coastline is best explored by boat, but there are also two quaint little towns on the island. Exploring away from the small port of Marina di Capraia, the main town, you can immerse yourself in the fields and paths of the island, rich with local farms that produce jams, cheese, honey and wine.
As we said, you might not immediately think of beaches or islands when you think of Tuscany, but you should. Giglio has some of the clearest water in the Archipelago. The island offers a picturesque port, overlooked by the typical colourful houses of Tuscan fishermen. In between these houses are old towers used for defence against the pirates and other invaders. Surrounding the towns, the classic, lush, and rich Mediterranean vegetation enrichens the beauty of the landscape. The ancient watchtower, the colourful shops and the rooms with a terrace overlooking the sea will welcome you to this beautiful island.
The charming and silent castle in the winter season becomes cheerful and festive in the summer, when the tourists outside the bars and restaurants infuse an atmosphere of joy in all the streets.
The view of the island when sailing towards will be enough to capture both your heart and your soul before you even arrive at the port. The island is a riot of colours and tradition, an immersion in Tuscany, its sea, and its culture. The clear waters and protected status make for a scuba paradise, and the Campese beach is a must-visit.
Don’t forget about Giannutri: a small pearl of great charm; a corner of paradise waiting to be discovered and an unspoilt island that preserves its Mediterranean nature intact. On this strip of land, in the middle of the Mediterranean, there are no towns, no ports, no services: you are alone, in contact with primordial nature. Its biodiverse and naturally rich seabed frequently welcomes dolphins and fin whales, making Giannutri a real paradise for snorkellers and scuba divers. The island also offers great food and history. You can find the ruins of a Roman ship’s hull at Punta Scaletta and the remains of a roman villa.