The Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany:Best Beaches on Tuscany Coast,Italy

The Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany, from north to south!

Last Updated on Thursday 17th, April 2014 / 11:49 Written by
The Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany, from north to south!
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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

Versilia

versilia in 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

Baia del Quercetano beach in Castiglioncello

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

Golfo di Baratti coast of Tuscany

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.

Cala Violina

Cala Violina beach in Maremma

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

Castiglione della Pescaia in Tuscany

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

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.

Monte Argentario

Cala del Gesso Monte Argentario in Tuscany

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

Giglio Island, Tuscany

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 🙂

Map of the Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany

About the author

Hi! My name is Elena, I'm a travel writer and a happy mom living near Florence. I love to explore Tuscany to discover special places and I have a great passion for Tuscan Cooking. On this blog I share my experiences on special hotels and places to visit in Tuscany and Italy, and about my grandmother's tasty Recipes! I'm happy to help travelers plan their holiday in Tuscany :-)

View all articles by elena nacci

24 Comments on “The Most Beautiful Beaches of Tuscany, from north to south!

  • Hi Elena,

    Coming weekend i will be in Tuscany. Plan is to make some tour on a racing bike. Do you have some recommendations about a nice ride? I’ll be staying in Agriturismo Il Cantastorie in Montecatini Terme. Will it be possible to explore a beautiful beach by bike and then return to Montecatini? Or a nice climbing ride (are there some good mountains?).

    If you have a good idea i will appreciate it !!

    Kind regards,

    Sebastian

    Reply
  • A bit further after Panicagloria start descending to Casore. That is a fantastic downhill ride after having climbed for about 20 kilometers.

    Salut,
    Sebastian

    Reply
  • Hi,
    My husband and I plan to come there mid May. We need to be in Montepulciano, but would like to visit another town close by and also spend some time in a seaside location. Suggestions? We like small, out of the way places. Small hotels, etc. Also, would it be better to fly to Rome or Milan?

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Judy, many thanks for contacting me! How long are you staying in Montepulciano? You may well use the wonderful Montepulciano as a base to visit that beautiful area of Tuscany! Close to Montepulciano there are a lot of amazing hill towns. Moving east you meet the Etruscan town of Cortona with its stunning panorama, while if you move west Montepulciano you may well visit Pienza, with its charming streets and palaces and the many shops selling the famous Pecorino of Pienza tasty cheese, and of course the famous Montalcino.
      As you like small and out of the way places, I’d suggest you visit the lovely village of Monticchiello, that enjoys fantastic views over Pienza and the Val d’Orcia, the Monastery of San’Anna in Camprena, a very suggestive place used for filming part of the English Patient. And still in the area Bagno Vignoni is a real gem! Another intriguing hill town, just half an hour from Montepulciano is Lucignano, I speak about it and other off he beaten track Tuscan destinations here.

      Coming to the sea I’d suggest Castiglion della Pescaia, charming fishing village overlooking the sea, or if you move more south to reach Monte Argentario, you may reach the enchanting Porto Ercole.
      Finally it’s better if you fly to Rome, and, as I imagine, you’re going to rent a car, you can run along the highway or the more scenic Via Cassia to reach Tuscany and Montepulciano. Do contact me again for any other suggestion 🙂 Ciao from Florence.

      Reply
  • Visiting Italy for the first time in June. Want to spend 3 days along the Tuscan coast. We will have a car. Not sure where to go. Any recommendations? Would like some beach time. Want great local seafood etc.

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Nancy! First time to Italy? You will love it 🙂

      The Tuscan coast is very beautiful, and offers very different landscapes and beaches. You may have long sandy beaches with pinewoods, or rocky ones enjoying stunning vistas over the sea. One of my favorite places to go are Castiglion della Pescaia and Monte Argentario, both in the southern part of Tuscany known by the name of Maremma area. Castiglion della Pescaia is a scenic fishing village, lovely especially its old part. This is a fantastic destination overlooking the sea, with a beautiful sandy beach with clear waters, a pinewood, and great seafood! The perfect place to enjoy some great beach time!
      Monte Argentario is particularly scenic, a rocky promontory with enchanting fishing villages and a fantastic sea! Beaches are mainly rocky but there are also beautiful beaches of sand. Seafood is great here as well.
      Let me kow if you need further suggestions!
      have a nice Sunday!
      Elena

      Reply
      • Hi Elena,
        We are planning to go to Castiglion della Pescaia
        Will you have recommendation where to stay please?
        Thank you very much
        Anna

        Reply
          • Thanks for your reply Elena.
            We are now leaving the area (we finally stayed in Riva del Sole Hotel).
            We were wondering if you had any recommendations on place to visit as we are moving North, towards Bologna. We wanted to stay somewhere between Lucca, Monticontini Term and Mugello.
            Grazie Mille!

          • elena nacci Post author

            Thanks for getting back Anna,
            On moving north towards Bologna, you can certainly pay a visit to Lucca itself (beautiful), Montecatini Terme, Pistoia, and the lovely village of Scarperia in Mugello.
            If you’re also looking for a nice place to stay on your way to Bologna, right before getting to Lucca, you may consider staying at the charming Locanda l’Elisa, or at the beautiful Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort in Mugello.

            Buon Viaggio,
            Elena

  • Michelle Ratcliffe

    We are attending a wedding June 27 in Castello Di Casalappe. We plan to rent a car and to see some hill towns and visit Florence. Because it’s the busiest tourist season, how much traffic we will encounter in the countryside

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Michelle,
      Castello di Casalappi is beautiful 🙂
      While driving though the countryside and its hill towns, there is not much traffic; you can travel safely and enjoy the view!
      When it comes to major roads like highways, expect to find some more traffic but nothing so problematic. The only problem is if you want to reach Florence historic center by car! Leave the car right outside the city center, in Scandicci, and from there take the tramvia to reach the hearth of the city. The nearest parking to Florence is in Via del Sansovino and has the tram stop right in front of it.
      Let me know if I can be of further help,
      Enjoy your time in Tuscany!

      Reply
  • We will be spending 4 nights in San gimignano early part of November (so no swimming!) any suggestions on a nice beach to see. I will have a car and have heard stories about driving in Florence….would it be better to take a train or drive and leave the car somewhere in Florence for a day? Our next stop would be Rome any suggestions whether we should drive a rental car and drop it off in Rome or leave it in Tuscany and take the train. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Ciao Wendy,
      San Gimignano and the surrounding area are beautiful 🙂
      One of the nearest seaside destination to San Gimignano is the nice Castiglioncello, though the beach is quite rocky. Also Cecina and San Vincenzo have nice and sandy beaches, and you could reach them passing through the beautiful hill town of Volterra. Driving in Florence’s center is indeed not recommended, you can leave the car right outside the city center in Scandicci, find all info here.
      If you like driving you might also droff the car off in Rome and maybe run along this road trip 🙂
      Feel free to ask again,
      elena

      Reply
  • Elena;

    Would love to hear your recommended itinerary for a 10-day Tuscan trip at the end of July. I will be traveling solo. Definitely want to visit Florence, see some smaller villages and have some beach time. Maybe Italian cooking class; hike in the hills. Want to ensure that I don’t plan so many places that I fail to afford enough time to take in the beauty and culture of each place. Need to wind down to Italian speed for a bit 😉 Any advise is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  • mary margaret bell

    Dear Elena,
    I was so happy to find your site. We will be coming Italy in either April or September. We are coming with friends who have never been to Rome so we will spend some time there 3-4 days of a 10-11 day trip. What to do next? I think our friends would like see Florence. After being in Rome, I will be dying for the countryside and of all the small villages you show, Montepulciano looks most wonderful to me. My husband and I have been to FLorence, Radda, and Siena.
    I was thinking it would be great to stay in the country and commute to Florence but you seem to think the other way around would be best. If I can convince the 3 of them to commute to Florence, do you think Montepulciano would work? We would probably prefer not to get a car.

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Mary,
      thanks a lot for your nice message 🙂 I’m glad to help!
      I do love Montepulciano and all the other enchanting and fairytale villages of the Sienese countryside: Montalcino, Bagno Vignoni and Pienza in particular. Montepulciano and its surroundings maybe perfect as a base, though I would recommend having a car to tour around, as relying only on public transportation may not be so convenient. This is because of the location up in the hills and the bus timetables.

      Montepulciano, however, has a train station, from where you can reach Florence in 3 hours or more changing station at either Siena or Chiusi-Chianciano Terme stations; see on trenitalia.com.

      If you’re not willing to rent a car I think that basing in Florence would probably be the best option. From Florence you can reach many sights using public transportation or taking advantage of organized tours. The same can be said about Siena, from where you can use bus or train to reach some of the main sights and also he fantastic villages I mentioned above. And also from Siena you can use some day tours to the region.

      I remain at your disposal,
      have a nice day,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,

    What is the beach in the first photo at the top of this post just beneath the title? It doesn’t mention the name.
    It looks so beautiful!

    Danny

    Reply
  • Hi
    We 2adults and 2 boys ( 11 & 14)are planning to go to Italy, Remini or Tuscany with 2 other family.
    The plan is to have good food/ wine and relaxation by beach with lots of water activities ( diving, surfing) and short trips to nearby town or cities.
    Please advise!

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi, thanks for coming here 🙂
      There are plenty of great beach destinations not just in Tuscany but all over Italy. But as you’re looking for both good food/ wine and water activities; i would choose the south of Tuscany, specifically Maremma Tuscany and the Argentario. There you find beautiful islands and great water activities, great food and wine, lovely ancient villages nearby and even thermal baths.
      Take a look at the links and get back for further assistance,
      Bye from Tuscany,
      Elena

      Reply

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