According to an old legend, the Tuscan islands that form the so-called Tuscan Archipelago arose from Venus' necklace of pearls that fell into the sea. The main islands of the archipelago, which are seven, are therefore considered a gift from the gods and are a particularly popular destination among tourists. If you are looking for a destination for your next boat cruise, the islands of Tuscany are a destination that can meet the needs of all, since they are different from each other. The seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are Elba island, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona and are included in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine park in Europe. With boat hire in Tuscany you can discover these seven pearls and the smaller islets that are located right in front of the coast of the region and are a true paradise for the ones who love beaches, sea and unspoiled nature. In this article you will find useful information to choose which islands to visit during your next cruise in Tuscany.
Third largest Italian island, after Sicily and Sardinia, Elba is the perfect destination for those who want to connect with nature without forgetting the cultural and artistic aspect of the holiday. Always known for being the place where Napoleon Bonaparte lived in exile, Elba island can be easily reached by hiring a boat in Punta Ala. You can set sail from the small port of Porto Azzurro, formed by floating jetties and an excellent starting point to visit the island of Elba and other islands of Tuscany, or also from Portoferraio, base of one of the main ports. During your cruise in Elba you must include Marciana Marina, Rio Marina and Marina di Campo. Here you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches and bays surrounded by nature and the turquoise water will conquer you.
Located in front of Mount Argentario, Giglio island has beautiful beaches, including Campese, a cove with red sand, the wild beach of Caldane, accessible only by walk or by sea, and Cala delle Cannelle, with its shallow waters and very clear sand. For snorkeling lovers, instead, we recommend Arenella beach, which also has rocky stretches. Renting a boat on Elba island, do not forget to visit Giglio Castello, the highest part of the island, and Giglio Campese, the third village on the island, the perfect place to admire the sunset, and the lighthouse of Capel Rosso, located in the southern part of the island.
A perfect destination in any season of the year, Capraia has a volcanic origin that is still visible today: in fact, the island is crossed by a steep ridge that divides the territory into two parts. When hiring a boat in Tuscany we suggest you to visit Cala del Ceppo and Cala Rossa beaches. The latter is surrounded by a sheer wall of red rocks that creates a special and evocative atmosphere.
Island of Montecristo
It is probably one of the most famous islands in the Tuscan Archipelago thanks to writer Alexandre Dumas who set on the island some scenes of his novel "The Count of Monte cCisto". The island is not only the ideal destination for a "literary pilgrimage", but also for lovers of unspoiled nature and for those looking for peace and quiet. The Italian government is responsible for access to the island, but you can apply to the Tuscan Archipelago National Park to visit it. On the island the State Nature Reserve Island of Montecristo was established and created to protect the landscape, and it is for this reason that we must remember that bathing and sailing within 1,000 meters from the coast is prohibited.
Located not far from Elba island and easily accessible by boat hire in Piombino, Pianosa is a place where you can regenerate in contact with nature and get away from the traffic and everyday life tension. Once the island served as a penitentiary, now it is part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. On this island you will find hidden coves and beaches of fine sand bathed by water so transparent and you will think you are in the Caribbean! Don't forget to visit the catacombs, Palazzo della Specola and the lighthouse of Pianosa, which like all lighthouses exerts a particular charm on all visitors. Unfortunately, the only part of the island where navigation is allowed is Cala Giovanna, but if you opt to hire a catamaran on Elba island you can easily enjoy the view on board your boat.
This island is also part of the natural park and therefore you should remember that bathing is allowed only in certain areas. Remember to spend some time not only exploring the beaches, but also the archaeological remains dating back to Roman times. With only five kilometers in length, among all the islands of Tuscany, Giannutri is known for its seabed, much appreciated by scuba divers. The coast is mainly rocky and jagged, but there are two sandy beaches that you should visit Cala Spalmatoio and Cala Maestra.
The smallest Tuscan island is the northernmost oasis of the archipelago to discover by renting a boat in Livorno, a city which is a few kilometers away. Seat of a penitentiary centre, the island is mainly covered by Mediterranean scrub. The water is clear and nature has remained untouched due to low human contamination and also the sea surrounding Gorgona is forbidden to tourists. In recent years, the protection of the territory of Gorgona has increased and today visitors are allowed, but not more than 75 per day.