These Are the Best Beaches in Tuscany
Tuscany might be best known for its rolling hills and Renaissance-era cities but, unknown to many travelers, the region is also home to some of Italy’s best beaches.
Instead of traveling inland, take a holiday along the Tuscan coast, where stretching from Massa and Carrara in the north of the province all the way south to Grosseto, you have hundreds of kilometers of glorious coastline.
There are untouched bays and wild beaches, as well as built-up resorts and busy marinas. There are beaches for solo travelers, for families, and for couples. To inspire your next Italian getaway, here’s our guide to the best beaches in Tuscany.
MASSA AND CARRARA REGION
Marina di Massa
In the north of the province, the region of Massa and Carrara is an often-overlooked destination when it comes to beach holidays.
The water might be colder and the summer season shorter in comparison to the south, but at places such as Marina di Massa you can still find exceptional beaches.
The Marina di Massa runs along the front of the medieval town of Massa. In the background, the Apuan Alps rise sharply away from the sea. A sandy beach is fringed by historic buildings and ramshackle hotels, while a long pier stretches out into the ocean.
Marina di Carrara
Fronting the ancient town of Carrara, the Marina di Carrara is a popular northern getaway. Carrara is framed by tall mountains, but it’s best known for the vast marble quarries that have operated here since Roman times.
There’s a lot of history in the town waiting to be discovered, from ancient ruins to medieval cathedrals. But it’s the seafront that draws in the most visitors.
The Marina di Carrara is a popular cruise stop in summer. As well as a busy and bustling port, there are long stretches of sand to enjoy.
Forte Dei Marmi
Just a short journey south from Massa and Carrara, you’ll quickly arrive in the neighboring province of Lucca, where you can find the beautiful beach of Forte dei Marmi. This seaside town is actually connected to the Marina di Massa by a long cycle path that offers stunning views over the ocean.
Forte dei Marmi dates back to the Roman era, and the long pier that extends from the gorgeous town beach has long been used to ship marble from the nearby mountains along the coast. Forte dei Marmi has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century. Over the years, it has evolved into an established luxury holiday destination.
One of the most popular beach destinations in Tuscany is Viareggio. This small city has been a seaside getaway for Italians for centuries, and you can find a beautiful array of beaches stretching along the coast.
Grand hotels line the promenade, while the same sea-facing promenade is also the scene of the famed Carnival of Viareggio, which is held every February.
The best public beaches are protected as part of the Parco Naturale, which is found to the south west of the city. Here you can find several kilometers of wild and raw coastline.
Marina di Pisa
Pisa is one of Italy’s most famous tourist destinations, but usually most visitors only travel here for a quick look at the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa before moving on elsewhere. But hang around, because the seaside city has some great coastline to visit. The Marina di Pisa is just a short journey away from the city center. Here you can find a peaceful marina that’s home to yacht clubs, restaurants, bars and cafes and some beautiful sandy beaches. The Marina di Pisa offers sheltered swimming areas and wonderful views over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
A few kilometers to the south of Pisa is the charming seaside village of Calambrone. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway, then this is the destination for you. Calambrone is small, but it boasts some spectacular beaches plus, more often than not, the coast is free from the crowds that you’ll likely find in more popular Tuscan destinations. The beaches are particularly raw here, and you’ll find tall sand dunes that rise away from the sea before turning into heavily forested areas that seem to be almost entirely untouched by humanity.
Livorno is the name of both a Tuscan city and a region, and the entire area is well known for its spectacular coastline. The city of Livorno is a bustling place that dates back to the ancient times of the Etruscan kingdoms. There’s a lot to see and to do here but, of course, the port and the seafront are its most glorious sights. Head to the Terrazza Mascagni for the most opulent views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. On a good day, you might even see Corsica in the distance.
If you’re looking to escape the city itself, then head to the nearby coastal commune of Antignano, where you can find beaches galore.
Simply follow the coastline south from Livorno and along the way you’ll be treated to some lovely sandy beaches, from Ardenza all the way to Antignano.
The best beaches here are free, but you can rent a parasol or enjoy the charming local cafes along the boulevards. The best part is Antignano and its surroundings are really suburbs of Livorno, and as such the beaches here are real local secrets.
A short journey south of Livorno takes you to the town of Castiglioncello, where one of the best beaches in Tuscany awaits. The small town is a fantastic example of Tuscan architecture and scenery, because Castiglioncello is located on a rocky headland that stretches out into the ocean. There are dramatic cliffs and rock formations, while historic medieval castles and churches break the skyline. Hidden amongst the cliffs are peaceful bays and beaches that are perfect for a seaside getaway. The best of these is Quercetano Bay, where you can find a long sandy beach fringed by outstanding scenery. You’ll find apartments and villas lining the coast, offering you the perfect location to spend your holiday on a Tuscan beach.
Carry on south along the coast from Castiglioncello, and you’ll quickly arrive at one of the most charming beaches in Tuscany. San Vincenzo is a small, seafront town that’s known for its brilliantly azure waters and for its peaceful demeanor. You’ll find a small marina overlooking the sparkling turquoise ocean, plus a wonderful collection of local cafes and restaurants serving up a fine selection of Italian food and drink. The beaches here are beautiful, but San Vincenzo is equally famed for its wine as it is for its soft sand, and you can enjoy tasting and tours at the local wineries after a hard day spent relaxing along the coast. What more could you ever want from a Tuscan holiday?
Castiglioncello della Pescaia
South of the Livorno region, you can enjoy the beautiful coastline that’s found in the province of Grosseto. This area is well known for its spectacular beaches and beautifully warm southern climate. One of the best places to visit is Castiglioncello della Pescaia. This small town is one of the most pleasant in Grosseto, and you can find a medieval fortress dominating the historic houses that are clustered around the hilltop overlooking the sea. The quiet beaches are lovely to relax on, while the small but bustling harbor is still used without fail by the tireless local fishermen.
Monte Argentario is one of the most spectacular destinations along the Etruscan coast, and it’s a must visit for anyone in the Grosseto region.
Monte Argentario is a small peninsula that juts out abruptly from the mainland, and that’s held on by several dramatic spurs of land that are surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters.
The beaches here aren’t your typically sandy Tuscan affairs but that doesn’t matter. Despite the rocky nature of the coastline, Monte Argentario can’t be beaten for its vistas and panoramas.
If you’re after a sandier beach though, then overlooking the Monte Argentario Peninsula are the wonderful beaches of Orbetello. Not only is this the gateway to the peninsula, but along the coast here you can find some excellent stretches of sand. Giannella Beach is almost eight kilometers long and offers a fantastic climate, while there are plenty of parasols and deckchairs to rent out for the day. Feniglia Beach is shorter but much wilder, offering sweeping vistas as it backs onto the windswept dunes and pine forests that lie behind it.
Isola del Giglio
Found across the sea from Orbetello and Monte Argentario, Isola del Giglio is a small but dramatic island that’s home to some of the best beaches in Tuscany. Part of the wider Tuscan Archipelago National Park, you can rest assured that this is a beautiful place and well worth the ferry ride from the mainland. The island is surrounded by azure waters, which are perfectly clear and filled with marine life. From Arenella Beach, you can look across the strait and admire the form of Monte Argentario from afar, while at the small town of Giglio Campese you can find a popular beach resort area that’s flush with amenities but never too busy.
Marina di Campo
The island of Elba is also part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. While it might be best known as the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile in the early 19th century, it’s also known for its beaches. One of the best-known beaches on Elba is found at Marina di Campo, which is the main town on the island. This is a great place to be based, as not only is the town the gateway to Elba, but here you can find resorts and restaurants, all with stunning views out from the coast. The sweeping beach fringes the town, and you can walk along its seemingly endless sands as you admire the outline of Marina di Campo or enjoy the crashing waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Not far from Marina di Campo, you can find one of Elba’s most beautiful beaches. Cavoli Beach is just a few kilometers away from the town. Although it can get very busy in the peak summer months, it’s well worth braving the crowds for its strikingly soft sands. The beach here is fringed by hotels and bars, and is always a lively and fun place to visit. The sheltered bay is perfect for swimming, while nearby you can find some spectacular grottos and caves where the water literally shimmers in shades of blue and green.
Another of the most spectacular beaches on Elba is Sansone Beach. Located on the north side of the island, the beach is named for the mythical ancient character, Samson. The northern side of Elba is known for its towering cliffs, and Sansone Beach is found beneath some of the most dramatic cliffs on the island.
A long stretch of white sand runs for kilometers in the shadow of these beautiful natural rocks, while the surrounding waters are clear and beautiful. It’s one of the most photogenic beaches in Tuscany, and easily one of the most beautiful to visit on the island of Elba.
Elba is an island that’s literally awash with spectacular stretches of sand, and one of the best to visit is Laconella Beach. If you’re looking for a less developed beach to enjoy, then Laconella is the perfect destination. The pristine white sands front a gloriously clear section of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which shimmers and sparkles in the bright Mediterranean sunshine that’s enjoyed here through most of the year. The beach is small but it’s dramatic, and the white sands are flanked by rugged cliffs that stretch endlessly into the distance. It’s a great place to relax and unwind and to truly immerse yourself in the raw nature of Elba and Tuscany.
If you’re excited to bask in the glory of Tuscany’s best beaches, then contact the experts at Italy4Real today to book your next Italian getaway.