The Islands Off the Coast of Tuscany: from Argentario to Isola del Giglio

Tuscany is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. These territories offer a unique experience for travellers seeking tranquillity, adventure, and the smell of the sea.

sea tuscany argentario

Not all tourists know that Tuscany is also home to some of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Legend has it that when Venus was born from the waves, seven precious stones fell from her tiara, creating seven islands off the Tuscan coast.

The 7 islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona: many of these territories offer a unique experience for travellers seeking tranquillity, adventure, and the smell of the sea.

Which Tuscan Islands are open to tourism?

The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago offer several opportunities for visitors, but not all of them are accessible. Elba, Giglio, Giannutri, and Capraia can be visited by tourists and provide a wide range of experiences, from historical paths to untouched nature settings. Montecristo and Pianosa are strictly protected with limited access, while Gorgona, being a penal island, has significant restrictions for visitors.

From Argentario to the Tuscan Sea

Argentario, with its rugged coastline and crystalline waters, serves as the perfect starting point for an exploration of Tuscany's archipelago. Stroll around the bustling Porto Ercole, immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater life while snorkelling, or enjoy a serene sunset on one of the sandy beaches of Argentario.

A private vintage cruise around Argentario offers an exclusive experience, sailing towards the enchanting island of Giannutri. Imagine spotting dolphins or even whales in their natural habitat, a testament to the area's rich biodiversity within the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

Isola d'Elba

Isola d'Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and famous for being the exile island of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose villas are still open to visitors. Beyond its rich history, tourists can appreciate Elba for its stunning beaches, rugged mountains, and a variety of flora and fauna. It can be reached from the port of Piombino in an hour by ferry.

Isola del Giglio

Giglio Island stands out with its wild Mediterranean beauty and historical depth. A hike within the island takes you through stunning landscapes, from deep blue waters to colourful vineyards. Giglio is also home to a small mediaeval village, Giglio Castello, renowned for its old trails perfumed with the scent of flowers and ocean. Isola del Giglio can be reached year-round by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano, in Argentario.

Isola di Giannutri

Halfmoon-shaped Isola di Giannutri is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, with strict regulations to preserve its underwater ecosystems. Diving and snorkelling here means exploring ancient wreckage and clear waters, but also an impressive bio fauna.

Isola di Capraia

Isola di Capraia is the third-largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and can be reached from Livorno. Its volcanic origins create an impressive landscape of cliffs and caves, offering incredible spots for birdwatchers and nature lovers.  

Isola di Montecristo

Famous for its literary Count, Montecristo is a strictly protected area, treasured for its unique biodiversity. The access to the island, which was home to a monastery until 1500, is tightly controlled and it can currently be reached from Piombino and Porto Santo Stefano.

Isola di Pianosa

Isola di Pianosa, boasts a rich historical heritage, from ancient Roman estates to its past as a penal colony, closed in 1999. The island currently promotes sustainable tourism through guided tours and regulated access, ensuring its cultural and natural preservation. Pianosa can be visited year-round with daily service starting from the island of Elba and, in summer, also from Piombino.

Isola di Gorgona

The smallest among Tuscan islands, Gorgona has been a penal island since 1869. The island boasts a diverse flora and fauna, with rare and delicate marine species that live in unpolluted crystal clear waters. Unfortunately, both for its natural and social conditions, visits are limited.