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Stunning Tuscany
Yacht Charters, by Seamaster

Enjoy wonderful crewed and independent sailing holidays in Tuscany

Welcome

The Tuscan Islands, the seven pearls of Venus

➣ Off the beaten track sailing

Unlike the mainland, the Tuscan Islands are far less known. Capraia, Elba, Giglo, and Giannutri Islands offer a genuine voyage of discovery.

➣ Sandy beaches, idyllic bays

This sailing area is famous for its many sandy beaches and bays, particularly around the island of Elba. Be sure to explore it's array of wonderful bays.

➣ Stunning local cuisine

We know Tuscany is famous for its superb cuisine, but Elba Island has its very own specialties you shouldn't miss, including palamita and sburrita.

➣ Balanced sailing conditions

The sailing conditions here are generally excellent with typical Mediterranean conditions; easy in the mornings filling out during the day.

Description

Snapshots of sailing in Tuscany

Tuscany isn’t just rolling patchwork fields, red wine and stunning Renaissance cities. Tuscany also has an archipelago of seven islands that are simply beautiful with golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a character coastline with plenty of lovely anchorages. Don’t worry, it still has plenty of amazing food and wine to sample too!

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.

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 as there are prisons on Gorgona and Pianosa and Montecristo is a natural reserve where landing is prohibited.

Gallery

Snapshots of sailing in Tuscany

SAILING ITINERARIES

Tuscan Islands Suggested Sailing Itineraries

1 Week - Tuscan Islands Route

Day 1 – Piombino

Many see Piombino as just a starting point for their holiday, however the town has much more to offer than initially meets the eye. The historical centre is a perfect size to explore on foot and offers places such as the gate of St. Antonino which dates back to 1200.

Day 2 – Giannutri

Giannutri has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and Romans later built the first harbour. The island is extremely popular with scuba divers and is well worth visiting if you like snorkelling too. The island only has an area of 2 square kilometres but the coasts are filled with fascinating coves

Day 3 – Giglio

This island is an enormous mass of grey granite covered with deep-green vegetation. Its steep coastline alternatives with small beaches. The whole island is extremely well kept thanks to the locals being so proud of their island. We’d recommend visiting the fortified village at the top of the island.

Day 4 – Pianosa

This little island is closest to Elba but managed carefully by the local authorities. You must plan your visit here as the number of visitors to the island is limited to 250 per day. The island itself looks like a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and archaeological finds from the Roman age visible on the sea bed.

Day 5 – Capraia

Capraia is a small mountenous island between Corsica and Elba. The tourist industry on Capraia has only been active since 1986 and as a result the island is very much how it used to be. The only port on the northeast coast does get busy but it’s possible to anchor off in the bay. The island is a fantastic place for keen walkers thanks to its terrain. Supplies are limited so do keep this in mind.

Day 6 – Portoferraia

Portoferraio is a picturesque fortress town. The Medici Fortress encloses the historical center of the harbour and back in the day guaranteed the safety of sailors in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s a nice stop for a bit of nightlife, history, provisioning and restaurants.

Day 7 – Piombino

If you didn’t get the opportunity to visit the town centre on your first evening we would recommend taking the time to visit. Within the old town there are several good restaurants which are worth visiting. After dinner you could go and explore with Plazzo Comunale (Town Hall) which is adjacent to the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower).

Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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More Advice

Helpful hints

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Wind Conditions

The weather in the Tuscan Islands is typically Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers bringing temperatures in the early 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.

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How to Get 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. 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.

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Our Bases

We have two bases that serve the Tuscan Islands of Italy – Castiglioncello and Puntone. Puntone is our primary base and is the better located of the two. It is situated just outside the town of Follonica, on the Tuscan coast. It is a small modern marina with lots of amenities and is easy to reach from either Pisa or Rome. Castiglioncello is located south of Livorno on the Tuscan Coast. While closer to Pisa, it does mean a longer sail to get to the islands and therefore seen as not desirable.

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Mooring Fees

As with the rest of Italy, moorings fee are not insubstantial though there are plenty of free anchorages around, especially on the island of Elba. Budget upwards of €400 for your weeks’ mooring, though this can been reduced by anchoring in the many idyllic bays on offer. On Elba check out Cala Bagnaia, Cala di Mola, Golfo Stella, Golfo della Lacona and Golfo di Procchio.

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Sailing Qualifications

To charter bareboat in Italy you are required to have a valid sailing qualification issued by a recognised authority (e.g. RYA, ASA, IYT, USSA). This qualification should not have any restriction on daylight hours or distance sailing from shore. If you have an RYA Day Skipper certificate or similar, for example, we recommend you should also obtain the International Certificate of Competence (ICC), which is accepted. RYA Yacht Master is, of course, accepted.

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Money and Currency

The currency in Italy is the Euro. There are plenty of cash machines and bureau de change can be found on the larger islands, so withdrawing money and changing alternative currencies is possible. We recommend you arrive with some local currency to cover the first couple of days of your holiday. Cards are accepted in supermarkets but most restaurants and tourist shops tend to prefer cash.

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Language

The national language of Italy is Italian! However, English is widely spoken and understood throughout, especially within the service industry, including restaurant staff and taxi drivers. All Seamaster partners and crew speak English proficiently.

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Typical Weather in the Tuscan Islands

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