23 September 2021
Reading time: 6 minutes
In a nutshell
Unmissable destination: the island of Elba
Special features : translucent waters, green vegetation, and the wild side: welcome to the Tuscan archipelago!
The most beautiful anchorage : the anchorage at the Remaiolo rock in the South of Elba island
- Practical information for your rental
- Why go to Tuscany?
- What are the main sailing areas?
- The best anchorages in Tuscany
- Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?
"My fondest memory is at the Spiaggia di Laconella when we all met on the boat to have an aperitif and admire the sunset." These are the words of Yannick, a Filovent customer, as he told me about his cruise in Tuscany with his group of friends. Renting a yacht in Tuscany and on Elba Island will enable you to embrace a historical, cultural, and natural heritage that you won't find anywhere else!
1. Practical information for your rental
The different starting bases
There are several departure bases for sailing in the Tuscan archipelago: San Vincenzo, Punta Ala, Puntone, Portoferraio, Salivoli, Cala de Medici, Talamone, and Argentario.
The choice of your departure base depends on the cruise itinerary you have planned. If you want to discover Elba in-depth, choose to leave from Portoferraio or Salivoli on the island. You can also choose to start from the Punta Ala or Puntone bases which are across from Elba Island.
If you want to sail to the North of Corsica, you should start from San Vincenzo or Cala Di Medici.
Finally, to discover the Southern part of the Tuscan archipelago, take your yacht to Talamone or Argentario.
Nevertheless, the most popular departure bases for our clients are Puntone, Punta Ala, and San Vincenzo.
Which licence is required?
In order to sail in Italy, the skipper must hold one of the following documents: the pleasure craft licence, the ICC or the IPC which are international certificates of competence.
Of course, if you have opted for boat rental with skipper, there's no need to have a licence.
Average rental prices depending on the boat model and season
The vast majority of the boats rented for sailing in Tuscany are mono-hulls. Below you can find an idea of the average rental rates. This price may change depending on the size of the boat, the age of the model, the season…
|Type of boat||High Season|
July and August
May, June, and September
April and October
|Mono-hull (2 cabins)||€2,500||€2,000||€1,500|
|Mono-hull (3 cabins)||€2,800||€2,200||€1,700|
|Mono-hull (4 cabins)||€3,200||€2,900||€2,500|
|Catamaran (30 to 40 feet)||€6,000||€5,000||€4,000|
|Catamaran (40 to 50 feet))||€7,000||€5,500||€4,500|
Who are our main partners on site?
- Sailing Sicily, specialising in yacht rentals in Italy, was founded in 2003 in Palermo. Departing from Puntone, this rental company offers catamarans (Bali, Lagoon) and yachts (Bavaria, Sun Odyssey, Oceanis)
- La Bottega del Mare has been in existence for 15 years and is located only in Tuscany. This charter company has a fleet comprised solely of yachts (Sun Odyssey, Bavaria, Hunter) departing from San Vincenzo or Punta Ala
- Kiriacoulis was founded in 1986 and is based in Athens. This rental company is competitive in terms of price per rental, it allows you to start your rental on a Sunday and is flexible in terms of rental duration (the option to rent for 10 days, for example). Departing from Puntone or Punta Ala, this rental company offers catamarans (Bali, Lagoon, Helia) and sailing boats (Bavaria, Sun Odyssey)
2. Why go to Tuscany?
Tuscany is one of the most important regions in Italy, especially from the point of view of its artistic, cultural, and historical wealth. This region is a genuine open-air museum.
Its capital, Florence, cradle of the Renaissance and classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, contributes greatly to the region's cultural influence on a global scale. Great names have left their mark there. Indeed, it's in Florence that Botticelli painted "The Birth of Venus", Michelangelo sculpted "David" and Leonardo da Vinci would have met Mona Lisa, the main inspiration for his painting "The Mona Lisa". The Medici family, which ruled Florence from the 15th to the 18th century, is in part responsible for the cultural wealth of the region, as this dynasty was very active in the field of artistic patronage. Tuscany also seduces for its architecture. Between the fortified city Lucca, the city of Sienna , the tower of Pisa and the small traditional villages nestled in the hills; these sights will delight you!
As far as nature is concerned, Tuscany is a rather green region with large plains from Massa Carrara to Piombino, beautiful valleys such as Chianti and Orcia, and theApennine mountains. Finally, the Tuscan archipelago also makes the area even more remarkable with its translucent waters and unspoilt nature.
As Morvan, a Filovent customer, rightly pointed out to me: "you needn't go to the other side of the world to be amazed and have a change of scenery. The wonders of this world are close to home, and Tuscany is one of them!". As you can see, renting a yacht in Tuscany will enable you to enjoy the pleasures of the good life!
3. What are the main sailing areas?
The Tuscan Archipelago
The priority is to sail in the Tuscan archipelago which is comprised of 7 islands: Elba, Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Gorgona, Giglio , and Giannutri. These 7 islands are part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. Legend has it that the goddess Venus , when emerging from the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, dropped 7 pearls from her necklace, creating the 7 islands of the Tuscan archipelago.
The landscapes are very varied there, which is all the more reason to explore this archipelago in-depth during a boat rental in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the island of Elba has complex morphology with very rugged coasts, Pianosa is flat, and Montecristo looks like a rocky cone. The variety of landscapes and the forms of the mountainous reliefs are the consequence of the varied volcanic origins of the islands of the Tuscan archipelago. Gorgona and Montecristo are made of granite, Giglio and Elba of granite, limestone and marble, Capraia of igneous rocks, and Giannutri and Pianosa of limestone.
The island of Elba
Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan archipelago and the third largest island in Italy. It's worth visiting for its historical as well as its natural wealth. In terms of history, the island's past is linked to that of a famous character: Napoleon Bonaparte. After the battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was stripped of the throne of France and held the title of emperor on the island of Elba where he was exiled for about 10 months. The memory of the emperor still lives on the island since a museum is dedicated to him. The island has also inspired literature since a part of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" byAlexandre Dumas takes place there.
The best way to discover Elba is to go walking on the island. Here you can roam mountains, forests of oak and umbrella pine, and wild creeks with crystal clear waters such as Biodala in the North.
For snorkellers, go to Scoglio dell'Ogliera, on the South-Western coast of Elba, to swim among the wreck of the merchant ship Elviscot, which sank on the rocks in 1972. The wreck is located not far from the beach and is perfectly visible thanks to the crystal clear waters. You can admire the hull completely covered with seaweed. Yannick particularly liked this place and advises you to go there: "We passed by chance in front of it and saw a lot of boats at anchor. We soon realised that they were there for the wreck. As we love snorkelling, we absolutely had to stop there. It's quite rare to be able to snorkel in the middle of a wreck pretty close to the surface. This anchorage was a really nice surprise for us!"
Pianosa is a small island situated South-West of Elba. It's the lowest island in the Tuscan archipelago because it doesn't exceed 29 metres above sea level.
The vegetation that covers it is typical of Mediterranean landscapes: juniper, rosemary, mastic tree, and rock rose… The seabeds of the island are particularly rich and preserved because of the shallow waters that are an ideal habitat for posidonia (aquatic plants), and various species of fish: salema, red mullet, crayfish, grouper...
In order to preserve this exceptional natural heritage, tourist activities and access for the general public are limited to the maximum. To get to Pianosa you have two options. You can participate in the guided tours that are organised from Marina di Campo on the island of Elba. However, these visits are reserved for a limited number of people. Otherwise, you can decide to go with your boat. Nevertheless, you won't be able to cross the last nautical mile before the coast.
Located between the Tuscan coast and Corsica, this volcanic island is characterised by isolated beaches, wild paths, and high cliffs. Capraia remained closed to the public until 1986 due to the presence of a penitentiary detention centre, which is why it is still in a wild state today. Its paths are popular with hikers and its scrubland is home to a rich biodiversity: mouflons and colonies of crested cormorants. In addition to this wealth of vegetation, the clear water that surrounds the island makes it the ideal place for snorkelling, which is popular there.
However, you have to be careful because you can't just sail where you want, as you can in Capraia. The West coast of the island is classed in zone A, so you won't be able to anchor or sail there. The free area of the island, i. e. unregulated, extends from Punta di Porto Vecchio to Punta della Bellavista. With your boat, stop at port Vecchio in the East of the island. You can moor on one of the 20 buoys reserved for visitors. This is Geoffroy's favourite, because this small port, although not really wild, is still very traditional and is not too urbanised.
Montecristo derives its fame from the novel by Alexandre Dumas "The Count of Montecristo" which tells the story of a mysterious treasure hidden in the abbey of San Mamiliano, built in the seventeenth century by Benedictine monks. This destination is ideal, not only for fans of literature, but also for those who love unspoilt nature and peace. Quite rightly, in order to preserve the ilsand's biodiversity, it is prohibited to sail or anchor within a radius of 1 nautical mile from the coast. To reach the island with your boat, you must ask for permission from the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago.
Gorgona is the smallest island in the Tuscan archipelago. It still houses a correctional facility. As the presence of water is important on the island, it is covered with oaks and Aleppo pines, characteristic vegetation of the Mediterranean. This island is particularly protected because of the detention centre and for the preservation of nature. The Cala dello Scalo, in the North-East of the island, is the only place where boats are allowed. It is important to note that visits to the island are always accompanied by a guide on predefined paths.
The island of Giglio, the second largest island in the Tuscan archipelago, is located in front of Argentario mountain. This island is made for beach lovers. There are several options available to you:
- Caldane beach, the smallest one of the island, which has the particul feature of having reddish sand;
- Cinnamon beach which is accessible either by a path or by the sea. It will seduce you with its crystal clear, shallow waters;
- Campese beach is the largest and most famous of the island. It stands out because of its dark red sand.
The hardest part now will be choosing where to put your beach towel!
Beyond the beaches, we suggest you go to Giglio Castello, mediaeval centre of the island. Stroll through the narrow streets to Rocca Pisana from where you can enjoy a view of the island and the sea. Your walk will take you to the Southern end of the island to see Capel Rosso lighthouse.
Good news; no restrictions in terms of anchorage or sailing are in effect for this island!
Your stopover in Giannutri will enable you to enjoy both the beaches and the archeological remains dating back to the Roman period, such as the Villa Romana built in the 2nd century BC by Domizi Enobarbi, an illustrious Roman family. This island is particularly appreciated by snorkelling enthusiasts thanks to its rich marine vegetation (gorgonians, corals, and sponges). Two beaches in particular are worth a visit: Cala Spalmatoio and Cala Maestra.
The North of Corsica
Cliffs overhanging the sea, villages nestled in the mountains, dream beaches, wild islands: this is what awaits you if you decide to sail to the North of Corsica with your yacht rented from Tuscany. Even if the North of Corsica is not one of the priority destinations of your cruise, here are the main points of interest:
Capital of the Nebbio and second marina in Corsica, Saint-Florent must be one of your stopovers. On site, we advise you to take a walk along the port and the old town. This is where much of the excitement is concentrated. For history buffs, visit the citadel of Saint-Florent built in the 15th century by the Genoese, a trace of Corsica's Italian past. Take care, however, as the interior of the citadel can only be visited in July and August. Finally, the discovery of the desert of Agriates is a must during your stay in Saint-Florent. The Agriates are in fact a mountainous area which shelters two magnificent beaches: Saleccia beach and Lotu beach.
Located at the end of the Corsica Cape, this small village is worth a visit, especially for its port and its small streets. Practically uninhabited, remains of a Genoese tower from the 16th century at the entrance to the port, unspoilt nature: the essence of Corsica awaits you!
4. The best anchorages in Tuscany
The Remaiolo Rock
Located in the south of Elba, this rock separates two beaches: Spiaggia di Remaiolo and Spiaggia di Vetrangoli which are difficult to reach by land. A godsend for those who reach them with their yacht! It's a safe anchorage with 10 to 15 metres of sea bed. For snorkelling enthusiasts, the marine biodiversity is rich as proven by the presence of many fish, lobsters, and corals.
Anchorage in Spiaggia di Laconella
Located in the south of Elba, this anchorage is one of Yannick's favourites: "This anchorage was rich and varied: everyone found something to do there! Some were able to snorkel, others enjoyed the beach which was really pretty, and finally, the more athletic among us had a lovely walk to the East to Capo di Stella."
Located in the gulf of Follonica, Punta Ala in the heart of the Maremma is popular with tourists. The anchorage on the beach of Punta Ala gives you a view of the sea with a background of pine and oak trees.
5. Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?
For a duration of 2-3 days, we advise you to go to Elba Island from your departure base. It's the largest island in Tuscany and therefore the first place of interest.
For a one-week sailing trip, here are the itineraries proposed by Sailing Sicily, Filovent partner:
- Day 1: departure base (Puntone, Punta Ala or San Vincenzo) -> Procchio in the North of Elba Island (31 nautical miles from Puntone, 27 nautical miles from San Vincenzo, 37 nautical miles from Punta Ala)
- Day 2: Procchio -> Capraia (30 nautical miles)
- Day 3: Capraia -> Fetovaia to discover the South-West of Elba (30 nautical miles)
- Day 4: Fetovaia -> Giglio and Campese beach (45 nautical miles)
- Day 5: Giglio -> Santo Stefano port in front of Giglio (15 nautical miles)
- Day 6: Santo Stefano port -> departure base (30 nautical miles to Punta Ala, 38 nautical miles to Puntone, 60 nautical miles to San Vincenzo)
With this itinerary, you will sail among the main places of interest in the Tuscan archipelago.
- Day 1: departure base (Puntone, Punta Ala or San Vincenzo) -> Procchio in the North of Elba Island (30 nautical miles from Puntone, 26 nautical miles from San Vincenzo, 35 nautical miles from Punta Ala)
- Day 2: Golfo di Viticcio -> Capraia (30 nautical miles)
- Day 3: Capraia -> Saint-Florent in the North of Corsica (50 nautical miles)
- Day 4: Saint-Florent -> Giraglia island at the Northern tip of Corsica (25 nautical miles)
- Day 5: Giraglia Island -> Fetovaia, East of Elba Island (50 nautical miles)
- Day 6: Fetovaia -> departure base (37 nautical miles to Puntone, 30 nautical miles to Punta Ala, 40 nautical miles to San Vincenzo)
I would like to thank Geoffroy Chaussonet, Yannick Pennecot, and Morvan Mallegol for their testimonies and photos which perfectly illustrate this article. A big thank you also to Eleonora from Sailing Sicily, and Fernando and Roberto from the tourist office of Elba Island for their beautiful pictures of Tuscany and for their advice.