The uncontaminated nature characterizing La Maremma will stay with you side by side up to the sea.
The unregimented beaches or hidden coves, but also the entry points easily accessible by car, are always surrounded by green Mediterranean scrub or by the huge pine-trees offering fragrance and shade.
The coast-line gives to lovers of the sea a vast choice of opportunities: from beaches equipped with every comfort to rocky coves reachable only on foot or, why not, by hiring a comfortable rubber motor dinghy.
The main towns and beaches feature places where water sports like surf, kite surf and windsurf can be practiced. Here the more experts can hire everything they may need to cut through the Tuscan sea, whilst those wishing to try one of these activities for the first time can choose among the many courses available, led by expert and certified instructors.
The municipality of Scarlino embraces 11 km of coastal territory, where private beach clubs leave room for stretches of free public beach and hidden coves surrounded by shrub. The area of Puntone is characterised by a sandy shore with shallow waters and a large pine grove. The beach is easily accessible thanks to its proximity to the road S.P. 158. A small portion of this inlet in 2014 became the “turtle beach”, after some specimen of the rare Caretta Caretta turtle had nestled here . Given the importance of this occurrence and in order to protect them the municipality of Scarlino together with the environmentalist association Legambiente decided to put up informative panels for swimmers.
Along the Scarlino coastline, with Cala Violina
The pathway to Scarlino’s coves (8km passable only on foot, on horseback or by bike) starts out from Portiglioni, after the Marina di Scarlino tourist port.
Here the green of the Mediterranean thicket and the iridescent blue of the sea will keep you company: from here, on a clear day, your gaze will roam as far as the Island of Elba and sometimes behind it to the mountains of Corsica.
The first access to the sea, after a roughly 2 km pathway, is to Cala Le Donne (with pebbles and no facilities). Continuing along the coast you will come to the monument in honour of Giuseppe Garibaldi, who embarked here on a fishing boat to escape the papal guards: opposite the monument a narrow lane leads down to Cala Martina, this too with pebbles and without services, but whose sea-beds offer deep and exciting enjoyment to keen snorkelers.
Another 2 km walk will take you to the more famous Cala Violina, which owes its name to its “singing” sand, a feature possessed by very few beaches worldwide. (Babadejuka, Eigg Islands, Fort Dauphin, Gold Coast): with Mediterranean scrub reaching down to the beach and its crystalline waters Cala Violina it celebrated as one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.
During high season this reputation causes such an influx of visitors that it is impossible to enjoy its beauty and, even less, to hear the sound of violins whispered by the grains of sand when disturbed by passers-by.
If you are here in the most overcrowded periods I suggest you reach it very early in the morning or, if otherwise, late in the afternoon.
The last 2 kms along the coastline will take you to Cala Civette which, like Cala Violina boasts white sand and transparent sea-beds. The, mouth of the river Alma separates the last of Scarlino’s southern beaches from the Punta Ala seashore.
A more convenient access from Portiglioni is from the toll-pay parking area on the State Road 158 “delle Collacchie”. From this point a roughly 20 minute walk through green Mediterranean vegetation will lead you first of all to Cala Violina.
- Access from Portiglioni does not offer many nearby parking possibilities;
- all the beaches are free;
- during the summer there is a temporary refreshment facility at Cala Violina.
Beaches along the Gulf of Follonica
The bay named after the town of Follonica features a sandy coast and a gradually sloping seabed . From here on a clear day the view stretches as far as the island of Elba, Montecristo and sometimes even as far as Corsica.
Boschetto, Pratoranieri and Lido are some of the beaches that lie closer to Follonica’s urban centre. Lido can be easily reached on foot, whereas a bike is recommended to reach the other two shores. In this area the coast offers plenty of options for what concerns private equipped beaches, although there are wide stretches of beach that are suitable for those who prefer a “wilder” freewheeling beach experience.
Beyond the town of Follonica is the Parco Costiero della Sterpaia, a long seashore both with free beaches and well-equipped beaches, parking areas (toll-pay) and refreshment stalls.
There are several access points : Torre Mozza, Carbonifera, Mortelliccio and Perelli.
Facing you is the Island of Elba and at your back, the pine-forest in case you need a little shade.
Torre Mozza owes its name to an old watch tower dating from the 1500s. This beach is also famous for its partially submerged cliff, which according to a few legends could be an ancient portion of via Aurelia.
Carbonifera used to serve as a trading hub, where the coal extracted in the nearby mines used to be loaded and shipped. This beach can be accessed effortlessly, as parking is available a mere 100m away from the shore.
On the eastern side of the gulf is La Polveriera, which is located 3km away from downtown Follonica. Around here the coast is characterised by shallow waters, and during low tide some patches of sand remain uncovered, thus even becoming accessible on foot.
12km from Follonica is also the beach of Casetta Civinini. In order to reach it one should follow via delle Collacchie (SP153) and turn towards Punta Ala once at Pian d’Alma, after 4 km there is a parking area. Casetta Civinini is a 6km-long stretch of public unspoilt coast.
Punta Ala beach
From the mouth of the river Alma up to the town centre of Punta Ala, there is a long sandy shore with stretches of free beach and others with bathing establishments. Like most of the beaches in the area it is separated from the road by an extensive pine forest.
The Sparviero islet is easily accessible by boat.
Le Rocchette and the Roccamare pine forest
Before the Castiglione della Pescaia pine forest, there is a road leading to the Rocchette beach and, on the overlooking promontory, a fort dating back to the Xll century.
The rocky reef is a paradise for keen snorkelers, with its inlets and coves only accessible by sea; on the wide beach with its crystal-clear waters there are bathing concessions and entries to the nearby camping areas. A few kms stroll towards Castiglione will take you to a less crowded area, at Roccamare.
Beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia
The main beach of Castiglione della Pescaia is easily accessible from downtown on foot, as it spans right in correspondence with its historical centre. It consists of a long stretch of sand somehow divided into two different parts: the part stretching in the direction of Punta Ala is called the Western beach and it is usually very busy as here there are many private beach clubs, restaurants and cafés. Its golden sand, shallow and transparent water make it perfect for families. On the other side of the port of Castiglione, towards Marina di Grosseto, there is the shore opposite the former, that is to say the Eastern beach. The two are strongly similar feature-wise, although this is less widely known and therefore less busy.
Another beautiful beach included in the municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia is located further south in the direction of Marina di Grosseto. This shore, named Marze, is a 6km-long stretch of golden sand, with an endless green expanse in the background, named Pineta del Tombolo. Along this coastal part there are different beach clubs and refreshment kiosks, even though this is a beach that best suits those who love unspoilt nature.
Beyond the Gulf, towards the Costa degli Etruschi (Coast of the Etruscans)
Populonia, a very ancient Etruscan city overlooks the Gulf of Baratti with sandy beaches and pine copses. Here the sea-bed is a treasure-trove of flora and fauna. Dive down and unexpected colours will appear, like the red of the Etruscan iron artefacts.
From the road climbing towards Populonia, from the “Reciso” the 301 pathway (3.5 kms) begins, arriving at the Buca delle Fate (Fairy Hollow), a paradise for lovers of the unbridled sea.
The path first crosses the Mediterranean scrub, then a holm-oak wood (where you will come across a few Etruscan tombs) and at last opens up through aromatic bushes onto the strangely shaped reefs sculpted by the sea. Once past the pebbles you will be able find a rock to make yourself at home.
- There is a parking area both for the Baratti beach and for Buca delle Fate.
- You are inside the Baratti and Populonia Archeological Park and behind the beach there is an important Etruscan tomb site.
- While you are there, take a walk as far as Populonia
Argentario and its shores
There is no Maremma without the promontory of Monte Argentario: a sublime mountain overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, with plenty of inlets and hidden coves. Argentario would almost have the shape of an island, had it not been for two narrow stretches of land that connect it to the mainland. These two zones are amongst the most popular and renown beaches of this area, and they are called Giannella and Dune della Feniglia. Even man played a role in unifying Argentario to the upcountry, building an artificial road that cuts the lagoon of Orbetello into two.
Amongst the most famous beaches along the coast of Argentario the following are recommended:
The beach of Acqua Dolce is a sandy and pebbled half-crescent stretching along the eastern side of Monte Argentario. What makes this inlet special are the colour nuances of the seawater, that go from cobalt blue to emerald green. This beach is the ideal place for those who love diving off a cliff and swimming in deep waters. The best time of the day to visit it is early in the morning, as during the day it tends to be crowded.
Le Cannelle takes its name off the medieval tower that dominates this beach. This inlet is part of the protected area of the park of Maremma. Public, uncontaminated and covered in pebbles, going to le Cannelle equals plunging into sheer, unspoilt nature, a dreamlike place where one can sunbathe on the rocks and enjoy long swims in open water.
Cala del Gesso is one of the hidden marvels of Argentario, as well as one of the hardest to reach in the area. The beach is at the bottom of a trail which descends to sea level (130m below), approximately 800m long. The luckier ones will be able to reach it by sea, diving and swimming into the cobalt-blue waters that wash its shore.
Cala Grande is a beach located on the western slope of Monte Argentario and it is accessible both on foot and by sea. The path to reach this true oasis of Maremma is rather insidious, it takes approximately 25 minute to reach the beach going through shrubland, but the fatigue gets immediately rewarded by the sheer beauty of this place.