THE TUSCAN ISLANDS

Cruise the Tuscan Islands from Punta Ala Marina to Elba and Capraia during your luxury sailing holiday with Essential Sailing.

The western Tuscan coastline and magical islands of Italy certainly rank among the Mediterranean’s more interesting cruising grounds, offering a supreme blend of art, architecture, history, culture, regional cuisine, world-class scenery and superb summer weather.

These are some of the places of interest on your luxury sailing holiday:

Beaches to die for at PUNTA ALA 

Punta Ala is part of a large leisure development that includes several hotels, apartments, a golf course and a riding school. The wild country setting is wonderful with the Scogli Porcellini running out from the point. The beaches are simply to die for – in fact, they are so unforgettable that they have their own Facebook group: the Punta Ala Beach Fans. Never windy and so close to the pine forests that there’s always some shade to sit in, these beaches are a must for anyone visiting Punta Ala.

Be captivated by PORTO AZZURO 

Crowded it may be, but Porto Azzuro is a gem. The citadel above was built by the Spanish in the middle of the 16th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was a prison for hardened criminals, both the political and Mafioso type, and the original name of the fortress, Longone, has always been associated with criminals in Italy. The name of the village was changed to Porto Azzuro to break the association and attract tourists to this beautiful spot and, judging by the numbers of tourists arriving here in the summer, the ploy has worked wonderfully well.

Immerse yourself in the colour and chaos of CAMPO

Lying on the edge of a cultivated plain and hemmed in by the mountains, Campo is an attractive and popular tourist resort. At the harbour you are close to the old part of town and away from the activity on the beaches further around the bay. The inner harbour is packed with trawlers adding a touch of colour and chaos to the place. Good fresh fish can be obtained at the fish market nearby.

Be enchanted by MARCIANA

This was once the fashionable quarter for a country residence in Elba and it is pleasing to this day: elegant 19th century houses line the seafront amongst palms, oleanders and magnolia. It is a green and colourful spot that enchanted the exiled Napoleon. It is now a small tourist resort, though in no way spoiled.

Behind the harbour the highest peak in the island, Monte Capanne, can be ascended in a cabinovia, an aerial railway, carrying small and somewhat precarious cages. The rugged hinterland around and the view from the top make an excursion well worthwhile.

Slip into ‘unorthodox and loose behaviour’ on CAPRAIA

Capraia is known to have been settled in Roman times and on the outskirts of the village above the harbour there are ruins of a large Roman villa. Later it was settled by monks who, over time, slipped into what Pope Gregory the Great called ‘unorthodox and loose behaviour’. He sent an armed force to put them back on the orthodox path.

Like most of the Tuscan Islands, the island was ravaged for several centuries by pirates. Nelson captured it for a short time but did not retain it for long. Today, the islanders enjoy a modest income from a little tourism. It is possible to take a tour of the old prison buildings from Porto Capraia.

Fall in love with PORTOFERRAIO

Few people fail to fall in love with Portoferraio. Behind the harbour, the 18th century buildings in shades of cream and ochre are tucked under the craggy 16th century citadel, built originally by Cosmino I, Duke of Florence. The warrens of alleys and staircases are lined with dwellings, shops and restaurants and occasionally lead to unexpected views of the sea behind. You should climb to the citadel walls to watch the sunset and sea below turning liquid red and sepia as it washes over the rocks and reefs – we can’t imagine why Napoleon ever left.

View the panorama of Elba from SALIVOLI

The new harbour at Salivoli is located in the heart of Piombino overlooking the splendid panorama of the Island of Elba. Piombino is the ideal city for a day trip with its pleasant old town and wonderful Piazza Bovio, which has been newly renovated and has a 360-degree view of the sea. It has an ancient historical centre, derived from the time in which it was the Etruscans’ port. In the Middle Ages, it was an important port of the Republic of Pisa.

Choose The Best Holiday For You

Couples Cruise

Your luxury sailing holiday will be such a special and exciting time and we know you want it to be uniquely personal, inspiring and memorable. You can find out more here.

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Family Holiday

When you’ve got older children it can be so difficult to find a family holiday with enough happening and enough variety to keep everyone happy! Discover more about our luxury sailing holidays here.

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Group Vacation

Whether you fancy taking the helm, sipping champagne on the sun deck, seeing the sights or mooring in exclusive resorts, you can do it all on an Essential luxury sailing holiday.

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