Tuscany is not usually thought of as a seaside destination, being mostly associated with the countryside and its scenic hills. But Tuscany is not just sensational landscape and stunning art towns! The Tuscan coastline is so beautiful and enchanting that makes the ideal place to spend your summer holidays: deep blue sea, clear waters, breathtaking views, steep cliffs, wild nature, sports and of course good food!
Traveling along the coast of Tuscany opens a unique spectacle! The sea is of a deep blue color, with small harbors and picturesque coves, long beaches of pebbles and sand, verdant pine forests, and ancient look-out towers.
Making a selection of the top beaches in Tuscany is quite hard, as anyone has its own preferences to the ideal beach where to sunbathe and have a great time! from sandy beaches and fine resorts to spectacular vertiginous cliffs facing the sea and deserted beaches, be sure you’ll find your piece of heaven under the Tuscan sun.
Wondering on the best beaches of Tuscany?
Let’s go discover some of the most beautiful and suggestive beaches of Tuscany on a itinerary running from north to south. Most of them have been awarded with the Blue Flag recognition for water quality and high environmental standards by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
The Best and Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany
We start our trip on the northern coast of Tuscany, in Versilia, made spectacular by the imposing backdrop of the Apuan Alps. Here are the sandy beaches of Viareggio, popular seaside destination and well known for its summer nightlife. Viareggio is particularly ideal for families with children, thanks to fine sand, bathing establishments and resorts, and the many attractions for the joy of the smallest ones.
Costa degli Etruschi: Quercianella, Castiglioncello, Baia del Quercetano
Heading south of Livorno, we get to the beautiful Costa degli Etruschi. A scenic road running right over the steep wild cliffs overlooking the sea, leads to Quercianella, a quiet and peaceful place, surrounded by pine forests and Mediterranean scrub. In its inner part, the Etruscan Coast is characterized by a thick Mediterranean vegetation while the coastline is very steep and rocky up to Castiglioncello, while after it, it becomes flat and sandy.
In Castiglioncello, famous seaside destination especially in the 60s, you can enjoy a fabulous sea (European Blue Flag), with streets and alleys winding in the green of the pine forests, picturesque coves and pebble creeks on a high rocky coast. Here, you’re going to find one of the most beautiful beaches of all Tuscany! The Baia del Quercetano! A bay with crystal clear waters all surrounded by green and villas hidden amid the vegetation. It is absolutely enchanting, especially if you look at it up from the road facing the sea.
Golfo di Baratti, Populonia, and Buca delle Fate
Further south of Castiglioncello we get to the scenic Golfo Di Baratti, magnificent and quiet gulf framed by dunes covered with pine forests and a beautiful beach of sand. Here lies one of the most important Etruscan necropolis in Tuscany dating back to the period from the ninth to the third century B.C.
On the hill overlooking the Gulf of Baratti is the enchanting Populonia with its castle, and the ancient acropolis, that you can visit in the archeological park facing the sea! It’s recommended to take the path that leads to Buca delle Fate, lovely bay with pebbles, which owes its name to the Etruscan tombs found right on the rocks.
Still heading south, after passing Piombino and Follonica, other well known and appreciated seaside destinations, we get to the wild and suggestive Cala Violina, wonderful cove in Maremma, in the municipality of Scarlino. The cove is enclosed by two headlands and is characterized by fine white sand. You get to Cala Violina walking on a panoramic trail of about 4 km that offers enchanting views over the seacoast. Well, if we are to make a choice we may well consider Cala Violina as the top beach in Maremma, as long as you like wild and unspoilt beaches, and this is a real natural paradise!
Castiglione della Pescaia
Still in Maremma, overlooking the sea, lies the scenic Castiglione della Pescaia with its long sandy beach. This is a great destination at the sea, thanks to its clear waters and the quality of the bathing establishments and the services. It is particularly great for families with children.
Marina di Alberese
Actually the Maremma, the southern part of Tuscany, offers some of the most scenic and uncrowded beaches in a wonderful and unspoiled natural setting, like the beautiful Marina di Alberese, within the Natural Park of Maremma, a beautiful beach of fine golden sand surrounded by a magnificent pine forest. The beach is reached via a bike path and stretches for 8 kilometers across a wonderful itinerary surrounded by meadows. The main feature of this coast is its wild nature; it’s not unusual to encounter wild animals such as foxes and wild boars.
Finally we get to Monte Argentario and the suggestive Laguna of Orbetello; we are in the far south of Tuscany, almost at the border with the Lazio region. The Argentario is particularly suggestive and characteristic, being mainly a rocky promontory with enchanting bays and coves with crystal clear waters. Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano are lovely fishing villages, that today have become major tourist centers.
Among the most beautiful beaches in the area we notice the Giannella beach, characterized by sand dunes, and la Feniglia, again a long sandy beach.
The Wonderful Islands of Tuscany: Giglio, Pianosa, Giannutri, Elba
From Porto Santo Stefano you can take the boat to reach the fabulous islands of Giglio, Pianosa, and Giannutri, really spectacular destinations with turquoise waters and stunning bays. It’s in fact impossible not to mention the spectacular Islands of Tuscany and their fabulous beaches! In addition to Giglio and Giannutri, Elba island is a fantastic seaside destination for your vacations in Tuscany! Some of the most beautiful beaches of whole Tuscany are right here, like Fetovaia and Cavoli, simply extraordinary.
The beach of Fetovaia with its clean and transparent waters is amazing 🙂 It’s spring in Tuscany and summer is just around the corner…why not spending some days sunbathing at some impressive beach in Tuscany? Having small children with you? Take a look at the best beaches for families in Tuscany 🙂