Looking for the best Tuscany beaches for your next holiday? Here’s a list of our favourite
The best Tuscany beaches are in the Maremma:
There’s no two ways about it. If you want the best of the Tuscany beaches during your holiday, head south towards the Maremma coast. Think blue Mediterranean waters. Pine forests. Immense skies. Long stretches of sand. And unforgettable sunsets. These are the most unspoiled coastal areas that Tuscany has to offer.
As a general rule, things get better the further south you go. San Vincenzo a long sandy beach, and so does Follonica. Continue past Punta Ala and you’ll arrive at Castiglione della Pescaia, one of the prettiest little coastal towns in Tuscany that somehow manages to be both chic and unpretentious. Further along there’s the protected area of the Uccellina Nature Reserve, a must for nature and beach lovers. Here there is an abundance of birdlife, not to mention wild boars and foxes roaming around freely. Talamone is another lovely fishing village and a resort on the southern border of the Uccellina Park. The blue water bay is a hot spot for watersports.
At the southern extreme of Tuscany is Monte Argentario. This is a tiny island connected to the mainland by two sandy isthmuses. There are scenic, but hard to reach, coves. Tombolo della Feniglia to the south is the best of the beaches, with clear and calm water, surrounded by a beautiful pine grove. Porto Santo Stefano is a lively port, good for yacht spotting, while Porto Ercole has a traditional feel and has a picturesque old part with gorgeous view of the bay.
The Tombolo della Giannella is a long beach with clear water where you can rent chairs and umbrellas. It’s ideal for families and for long walks all year around.
If you like a comfortable deck chair, and bars and restaurants within easy reach, try San Vincenzo, Marina di Grosseto, Principina a Mare, Talamone and Castiglione della Pescaia, the last two being the prettiest towns. Some beaches are spiagge libere “free beaches” (no charge and no deckchairs), while in others you pay for use of deckchairs and umbrellas.
The whole area is peppered with camp sites, often right on the beach, and there’s every type of accommodation. If you don’t mind being a bit further from the sea, there’s cheaper accommodation in the nearby countryside and it’s less busy. Stay near Scarlino, Magliano or Capalbio which is near a splendid 12km long beach called Spiaggia del Chiarone.
If you are at Castiglione della Pescaia, there’s a beach resort nearby called Le Rocchette, with a nice long beach. Here, a grove of huge maritime pine trees offers a welcome bit of shade.
These destinations get very busy in high season, August being the peak time. The best time to go is in June and September when, although it’s not too hot, it’s still pleasant enough for a beach holiday and a swim. The beginning of July is still ok crowd-wise but it’s the hottest month of the year, and temperatures can hover around 35 degrees celsius.
Best beaches in northern Tuscany:
If you’re seeing the sights in northern Tuscany and want to spend a couple of days at the beach in this area, the best spots are near Pisa. The best beach are inside the Marina di Vecchiano Nature Reserve. There are free beaches for 3km, and a only a couple of bagni or beach resorts. You pay for the parking, and from there it’s a short walk to the beach. Here you’ll find golden sands, and low dunes, that make for a more natural experience.
Marina di Pisa: A popular spot for families – though not particularly pretty. It’s close to Pisa, and safe because of the breakwater. There are free and equipped beaches. The same apples to nearby Tirrenia.
The Versilia resorts to the north are given over to beaches of tightly packed deckchairs. Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi are the most popular, and the places where Italian go to be seen in the Summer. There’s a long promenade filled with shops, bars and restaurants. Versilia’s resorts are expensive but can be fun, especially if you’re travelling with kids or teenagers. They do get very crowded in high summer. The sea is clean but doesn’t look clear as a result of the currents.
The Isola d’Elba (Elba Islands) is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine park in the Meditterranean. It’s a paradise for sunseekers and watersports enthusiasts and has some of the best Tuscany beaches. Enjoy kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and windsurfing. Or just relax on one of the many unspoiled beaches. Some of the best beaches are the Padulella at Portoferraio, and the nearby white Sansone beach. One of the most popular is Cavoli beach, 5 kilometres from Marina di Campo.