Local legend says that, while Venus of the Tyrrhenian Sea was rising from the waters, she dropped seven pearls from the necklace adorning her neck. These pearls became the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Elba, Gorgona, Capraia, Giannutri, Giglio, Montecristo and Pianosa. Protected as the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (1986), the largest marine park in Europe, it is a lovely place to sail and discover a side to the country that many outside Italy don't even know exists.
The largest island in the Tuscan group is Elba, which is six miles from Piombino via ferry. It is the most popular island for tourists, though Italians form the overwhelming percentage of visitors. Elba is large enough to have its own economy and character, with lots of lovely villages, a long interesting coastline and plenty of golden beaches to raft off.
The other islands are: Giglio, a paradise lying in front of the Argentario peninsula (which is also well worth a visit); Giannutri, with its coves and remains of old Roman villas; Capraia, a volcanic island which is the closest island to Corsica (which is also reachable, particularly on a two week holiday); Gorgona, a tiny isle which lies in the sea in front of Livorno; Pianosa, a small, flat island not far from the isle of Elba and the rocky and ragged isle of Montecristo which lies further south between Elba and the Argentario.
The last three islands have no access by the public asthere are prisons on Gorgona and Pianosa and Montecristo is a natural reserve where landing is prohibited.
Wind and weather (click here)
The weather in the Tuscan Islands is typically Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers bringing temperatures in the earl 30s throughout the peak season of July and August. During May and September expect temperatures in the mid 20s.
During the summer months the prevailing wind is west – north westerly and it rarely reaches gale force. Around Capraia, Elba and down the mainland coast to Giannutri there will often be south east winds with frequent periods of calm. At night there is often a light west or south west breeze.
Our bases (click here)
We have two bases that serve the Tuscan Islands of Italy - Elba Island and Puntone. Elba is the primary island of the Tuscan Island group. Our yacht charter base on Elba is in Portoferraio, not far from the main port where ferries come in. Elba is a great place to start your holiday as it puts you into the middle of the primary sailing ground.
Puntone is located just outside Follonica, on the Tuscan coast. It is a large modern marina with lots of amenities and is easy to reach from either Pisa or Rome.
How to get there (click here)
The primary way to get to our bases in Tuscany is via Pisa Airport. You can also reach the Tuscan coast (particlarly Follonica) from Rome, though it does take a bit longer. For some reason, transfers are very expensive in Italy so we recommend taking the train to both our bases.
Elba Island can be reached by a ferry that departs Piombino on the mainland. To get to Piombino you should take the direct train from Pisa Centrale to Piombino. The Piombino train station is outside the ferry terminal. It is all rather straight forward and will take a couple of hours along the scenic Tuscan Coast. On arrival at Elba, jump in a taxi for the short trip to our base.
Puntone is reached by taking a direct train from Pisa Centrale to Follonica and then a short taxi ride to Puntone Marina (Marina di Scarlino). It should take an hour and a half or so.