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giglio island coast

What to see on Giglio island, the pearl of the Tuscan Archipelago


Sadly popular for the shipwrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012, Giglio island is a real pearl in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is part of the Tuscan Archipelago along with Elba island, Capraia, isola di Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona. Located in front of Argentario, Giglio island will amaze you with its beaches, its seabeds, its scents and its Mediterranean scrub. If you are thinking that this island could become the destination of your next cruise this summer, in this article we will inspire on what to see in Giglio island. Always disputed by various populations, from Etruscans to Saracens, for its strategic position, today Giglio island can also be the ideal base for your cruise in the Mediterranean and other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago and Corsica.

The beaches of Giglio island

If you hire a boat in Tuscany you can discover this corner of paradise, characterized by beaches all different from each other that can satisfy the tastes of every type of visitor. After the phase of the so-called "macabre tourism" following the accident that involved Costa Concordia, Giglio island today has fortunately come back to its former glory after the wreck of the cruise ship was transported to the port of Genoa to be dismantled. If you are looking for what to see on Giglio island, starting from the beaches would be a great choice. Here are the beaches that we recommend you not to miss and discover by renting a sailboat at Punta Ala, which is located on the mainland, a few nautical miles from Giglio island:

  • Caldane beach: this beach has a special feature, the sand is almost red. The smallest beach on the island is surrounded by red rocks and is particularly pristine despite the fact that during high season you can find an equipped beach.

  • Cannelle beach: reachable only by walk or arriving by sea, this cove will leave you speechless for its crystal clear water and shallow waters that slope gently. 

  • Arenella beach: characterized by rocky partz, it is a fully equipped beach from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of Argentario. 

  • Campese beach: it is the largest beach on the island and is characterized by dark red sand that slopes quickly, so we advise you to be careful when you go swimming.

Most of the island's coastline is wild and unspoilt and is full of hidden bays and coves to discover while boat hire in Tuscany. There is nothing better than diving into the crystal clear water on an isolated cove surrounded by preserved nature.

giglio island tuscany

The National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago

Giglio island, as well as the other islands of the Archipelago, is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine park in Europe that has also gained the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) which proves the commitment to sustainable development and management of the tourism within protected areas. This island is a paradise for nature lovers and it is known for its living sea. Scubadivers choose this destination to admire the prairies of Posidonia, the vertical walls covered in blue sponges and various species of fish. If you are lucky you can also see the passage of migrating whales or dolphins because this area is included in the International Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, an international protected area created with an agreement between Italy, France and Monaco with the aim of protecting marine mammals from the negative impacts of man. With the boat rental at Argentario you can easily reach this corner of paradise where respect for nature is a priority.

giglio island port

The ancient inhabited centre

The natural heritage is the strength of this island, but among the things to see on Giglio island we also recommend Giglio Castello, the medieval center where the Town Hall is located. Walk through the narrow streets surrounded by ancient walls and climb to Rocca Pisana from where you can admire the entire territory and the surrounding.Once you get to Giglio Porto, do not miss to visit the last ruins of a Roman villa. The population of Giglio island is around 1,500 inhabitants and then, even in high season, you can find an oasis of tranquility where you can abandon yourself to the quiet rhythms of the island. Don't forget to reach Capel Rosso lighthouse, located at the southernmost end of the island and from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view. A curiosity: if you go down the stone stairs hidden by the lighthouse you can get to the sea and be on the film set of the film "The Great Beauty", Oscar winner in 2014.

giglio island lighthouse

A cruise to Giglio island will give you wonderful memories and allow you to reconnect with nature and the sea. Let yourself be enchanted by the wonders of this island that is able to combine the beauty of the place to its ancient history, and prepare to take a dip in the past and its turquoise waters.

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