Outdoor

Lot of suggestions to live an active holiday in Tuscany.

Relaxation and water sports in the Castiglioncello sea

Surfing, diving and kitesurfing as well as a relaxing sea-side experience on the Tuscan coast, the birthplace of the Macchiaioli, between reefs and white beaches. Jewel of the Maremma coastline…

Surfing, diving and kitesurfing as well as a relaxing sea-side experience on the Tuscan coast, the birthplace of the Macchiaioli, between reefs and white beaches.

Jewel of the Maremma coastline and outpost standing guard at the entrance to the splendid Etruscan Coast, the village of Castiglioncello looks out over the sea between spectacular reefs, surrounded by vast hills of Mediterranean scrub; it is no coincidence that this beautiful place inspired the liveliest artistic movement of the 19th century: the Macchiaioli.

Thanks to its exclusive beauty, in the 1960s this area was also popular with famous celebrities such as Alberto Sordi and Marcello Mastroianni, and was also used as a film set for Vittorio Gassman’s film “Il Sorpasso”.

Il Castello Pasquini

Il Castello Pasquini

Even if you only find yourself near Livorno on your way to southern Maremma, you simply must turn your car along the coastal road that departs from Antignano: this is the old Via Aurelia, whose beautiful views over the coast will accompany you as you discover Castiglioncello, its enchanting surroundings and the many many ways to experience sea life.

Il Castello del Boccale

Il Castello del Boccale

At the very beginning of the coastal road you can see Calafuria Tower on your right; this spectacular outpost on the very edge of the sea defends the city of Livorno. The defensive system also includes the nearby Maroccone or Diavolo towers, today part of the Boccale Castle.

To fully appreciate its beauty, we recommend you climb down the cliffs next to Calafuria. These blocks of sandstone have been slowly eroded by the sea, making them smooth and easy to climb, the perfect way to reach the intense blue sea for a dip; these waters reflect on their surfaces beautiful views and hide an underwater world full of fascinating corners and biodiversity, a real paradise for enthusiasts of diving.

Under the Calafuria cliffs are numerous immersions sites accessible directly from land, and an association offers guided underwater tours.

Surfisti nella baia del Quercetano

Surfisti nella baia del Quercetano

Having arrived in Castiglioncello we can enjoy the classic sea-side life between refreshing dips, relaxing with a book under the sun umbrella or in the famous Marradi pinewood, aperitifs and excellent fish dinners in the restaurants that line its gracious town centre, from which you can see the rising of the 19th century Pasquini Castle; you can also have the chance to do the most famous of all water sports: surfing.

In the Quercetano Bay, near the centre and main free beach of Castiglioncello, form the perfect waves; the ideal place for surfers of an intermediary level but novices can find courses in the sea resort of the bay; also perfect for paddle boarding enthusiasts.

Le spiagge bianche di Rosignano Solvay e mare cristallino

Le spiagge bianche di Rosignano Solvay e mare cristallino

If water-based board-sports are more your thing, the renowned white beaches have the perfect conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing. There are around four kilometres of sandy coasts, where the pure white sand creates a surprising contrast with the colour of the sea; you can find this area in Vada, just south of Castiglioncello. There is a range of sports that can be practiced here, suitable for all levels thanks to the various courses and instructors ready to start you off.

kitesurf

kitesurf

Whether the idea is an active or relaxing holiday, Castiglioncello and its coast represent the perfect destination to satisfy all desires for sea, entertainment and fun.

What to see and do in Castiglioncello and the surrounding area:

  • Calafuria Tower: diving and sunset aperitif on the terraced bar next to the tower.
  • Boccale Castle: the castle is especially perfect for photographing on rough sea days.
  • Sonnino Castle: along the coast in Romito, admire the castle rising on the promontory overlooking the sea, which Baron Sidney Sonnino decided to make his home in the 19th
  • Castiglioncello town centre: enjoying an ice cream in the Marradi pinewood, shopping in boutiques, delicious fish-based breaks in the many restaurants, a delightful walk along the Alberto Sordi seafront.
  • Pasquini Castle: visit to the lovely surrounding park and participation in the many cultural and artistic events organised above all the summer.
  • Quercetano Bay: surfing and a traditional day at the sea, also perfect for children.
  • White beaches: kitesurf, windsurf, relaxing out-of-season walk with your four-legged friend (dedicated dog area on the beach even during the summer).

How to get here:

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An adventure in the Maremma National Park, on the trail of San Rabano

An exciting trek on the trail of San Rabano, the ancient abbey protected by the nature of the Maremma Regional Park The word Maremma immediately brings to mind wild views,…

An exciting trek on the trail of San Rabano, the ancient abbey protected by the nature of the Maremma Regional Park

The word Maremma immediately brings to mind wild views, coastal landscapes and uncontaminated scrubland, a backdrop for outdoor adventure on the hunt for the wild fauna that often reveals itself to passing humans, or out to discover the historical jewels so jealously hidden in the vegetation.
An authentic land protected since 1975 by the Maremma Regional Park – the first park in Tuscany.

San Rabano

San Rabano

The park stretches over around 10,000 hectares from Principina a Mare to Talamone  in the province of Grosseto and its southernmost point is marked by the Uccellina Mounts, a range of hills covered with shady beech woods and Mediterranean scrub from which you can enjoy some incredible views over the coast.
It is an untouched land, a custodian of traditions and crafts from times gone by; in the vast plains along the hills, butteri – the Italian version of cowboys – continue their ancient tradition work of herding animals on horseback.
In Alberese and Talamone you can find the visitors’ centre; once you have purchased your ticket, a shuttle bus service will take you to the departure points of the various trekking itineraries..

Uno dei meravigliosi panorami che si possono godere tra i sentieri del parco

Uno dei meravigliosi panorami che si possono godere tra i sentieri del parco

The prosperous nature of the Maremma Natural Park is further enriched by many historical landmarks. Many towers dating back to the 15th century can be found scattered along the coastline; they were built to control the coast against the increasingly dangerous threat of pirate invasions.

The waters that lap the Tuscan coast were infested by pirates that disturbed the peaceful living of the local populations for around three centuries. There are also numerous archaeological sites dating back to the Etruscan and Roman eras, but the most impressive comes from the Middle Ages: the San Rabano abbey.

Recently renovated, the complex was first built as a Benedictine monastery in around 1100 AD and today you can visit the ruins surrounded by the luxuriant woodland from which the bell tower and tower can be seen emerging from a distance. From Alberese the trekking itinerary starts which leads through beautiful beech woods and landscapes to this unique, timeless place

Il parco è pieno di sentieri da percorrere a piedi, in bicicletta o a cavallo

Il parco è pieno di sentieri da percorrere a piedi, in bicicletta o a cavallo

Once you have purchased your ticket at the Alberese visitors’ centre, the itinerary starts from the village church and is well-signposted.
Having reached the gate, the trek starts in a grassy stretch coasted by green hills to then climb gently into the woods and scrubland.

After a little less than five kilometres – and a 300 metres climb – we catch a glimpse of the ruins of the abbey that almost completely cover the clearing that opens out in the middle of the wood.

From San Rabano we follow the path that leads to two observation points in which the vegetation gives way to spectacular views over the coast, around 600 and 800 metres from the abbey. The intense blue sea lapping against the high rocky coast stretches out as far as the eye can see, broken only by the enchanting Forno Bay: a protected beach of fine sand and crystalline sea which was used to film “Non ci resta che piangere” with Benigni and Troisi.

Return Itinerary to San Rabano:

Distance: 9.4 km
Altitude: 290 mt
Difficulty: average
Means: by foot

Equipment recommended: trekking or sports footwear, water bottle of 1.5lt capacity or more, rucksack.

Maremma Regional Park

How to get there:

 

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Talamone, Tuscany: the fishermen’s village which today attracts kite-surfers from all over

A paradise for windsurf and kite-surf lovers, but also for those looking to spend long, relaxing days in the crystalline sea off the coast of the Tuscan Maremma. As small…

A paradise for windsurf and kite-surf lovers, but also for those looking to spend long, relaxing days in the crystalline sea off the coast of the Tuscan Maremma.

As small as it is gracious, the fishing town of Talamone, Italy rises on the rocky promontory dominating the gulf: on one side the splendour of Argentario  and on the other the natural treasures of the Maremma Park.
The historical town centre whose origins are rooted in Etruscan times and which has kept its medieval aspect is overseen by the Rocca Aldobrandesca: a 13th century fort which, in modern times, was used to gather volunteers to set off on Garibaldi’s Expedition of the Thousand.

La Rocca Aldobrandesca di Talamone

La Rocca Aldobrandesca di Talamone

The village is deliciously populated by little restaurants offering dishes of local maritime tradition and is surrounded by little bays embracing a crystal-clear sea; the perfect combination for relaxing weekends of good food, regenerating dips in the sea and aperitifs at sunset on the beach. Talamone is also home to the Laguna di Orbetello Aquarium, a museum of flora and fauna of the Lagoon and the Tartanet sea turtles centre.

The last piece of land to the south of the Maremma Regional Park , Talamone is right next door to kilometres and kilometres of flourishing nature, ideal for exciting treks on foot, by bike or on horseback. The natural park visitors’ centre is found in the aquarium.

Talamone

Talamone

But the outdoor activities for which Talamone is known are water-based and powered by sails. In fact, Talamone is one of the most famous hotspots in central Italy for sailing sports, from kitesurfing, to windsurfing, to sailing. In the bay to the south blow the sirocco, austro, libeccio, gregale and mistral winds, making activities possible almost all year round – an absolute paradise for windsurfers and kiters, while also being suitable for beginners and the merely curious.

Kitesurf

Kitesurf

Along the beach that coasts the provincial road leading to Talamone, novices can find schools offering courses and equipment hire; as well as sailing sports you can also try surfing and paddleboarding.

For days spent at the sea, with unforgettable sunsets and water sports, Talamone is the perfect destination.

What to see and do in Talamone, province of Grosseto, Italy:

  • The medieval village;
  • The Torre Aldobrandesca;
  • The Laguna di Orbetello Aquarium;
  • Aperitif at sunset in the Bagno delle Donne bay;
  • The pebble beach and crystalline waters next to Via dei Mille
  • Talamonaccio Etruscan temple;
  • The Maremma Regional Park

How to get here:

 

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Golf in Tuscany with a sea-view

Tee-time on the greens with a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea: welcome to the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, the golfing paradise of the Tuscan Maremma. At the very end…

Tee-time on the greens with a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea: welcome to the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, the golfing paradise of the Tuscan Maremma.

At the very end of the promontory, famous for its port and Yacht Club, there is no middle ground when talking of Punta Ala, a resort that offers only the very best to those searching for relaxation and entertainment.

The ideal union can be found at the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, a structure with 60 hectares of land just a few kilometres from Castiglione della Pescaia, where the greenery is not merely that of the golf course but above all the colour of the Mediterranean scrub that surrounds and embraces the greens.

Il Golf Club Punta Ala

Il Golf Club Punta Ala

The Golf Club was founded in 1964 and has 18 holes of varying difficulty. It is still today one of the most renowned in Europe. The structure also boasts the Combinata Vela Golf, an annual occasion organised by the Golf Club including culinary events for an all-round holiday.
In the hottest hours of the day or between holes, the Club House is the perfect place for a rest, as you enjoy the view over the scrub and courses stretching out to the sea and the sweet rolling hills behind which the sunsets. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing chat with friends or decide to discover the local flavours, the best of which are the fish dishes

Giocatori di golf

Giocatori di golf

The Punta Ala Golf Club Resort is an almost obligatory stop for golf enthusiasts and professionals, an unmissable experience that can only be postponed long enough to enjoy a hearty breakfast in the Club House sea-view panoramic terrace

Contacts

info@golfpuntaala.it – +39 0564 922121

How to get there:

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Capraia, pearl of the Tuscan archipelago

A wild pearl in the Mediterranean: trekking and boat trip itineraries to discover the uncontaminated nature of Capraia Of the seven pearls of the Tyrrhenian that are under the protection…

A wild pearl in the Mediterranean: trekking and boat trip itineraries to discover the uncontaminated nature of Capraia

Of the seven pearls of the Tyrrhenian that are under the protection of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, Capraia is without a doubt the wildest and the first nucleus of the park itself: dominated by Mediterranean scrubland, its virgin cliffs are marked by a single, tiny village with few houses and a small port. Nature reigns supreme, with its rare flora and fauna.

Until recently, Capraia had long been used as a prison island: a fact that limited human influence and construction thereby increasing the charm of the place. The buildings of the former Penal Colony today make up a heritage of buildings recognised as “common property”, now accessible to local inhabitants and tourists. Along the panoramic road that leaves the port you can visit the area coasting the crystalline waters of the sea.

Edifici abbandonati dell’ex Colonia Penale.

Edifici abbandonati dell’ex Colonia Penale.

Lovers of marine beauty will be spoilt for choice by the experiences offered by the island: near the town, you can access the sea in four different ways to go diving, and boat trips leave the port every day. Navigating the coast you can see the falesie: these spectacular crags are found inside the cliffs, home to a rich variety of fish species. But don’t forget to take time out for a dip in the prettiest coves. 

For the more adventurous amongst you, Capraia is at its best when visited on foot. Its wildest side can be explored following the itineraries outside of the town, each one on a discovery of a different corner of paradise, further exalted by clear views of Elba Island and Corsica. 

Corsica all’orizzonte.

Corsica all’orizzonte.

  • Cala dello Zurletto 

Around twenty minutes walking, this is a very easy excursion passing through typical Mediterranean scrubland. From the centre of the town, we walk towards the Forte di San Giorgio: overlooking the sea, this spectacular castle was built in 1540 by the Republic of Genoa. Continuing, we pass the helipad until we arrive at a fork in the path: to the left we reach Bellavista, a natural terrace overlooking the cliff; to the right there is a short climb and then we descend to the cove where we can enjoy a regenerating swim in the green-blue waters.  

  • Former Penal Colony  

This path is of intermediary level and starts from the port: passing alongside the Church dell’Assunta, we leave the inhabited centre to climb along an asphalted road that eventually becomes an easily seen, wide dirt track. Climbing, each bend in the path gives us yet another, magnificent view. We soon reach the arch that used to lead to the prison and pass the abandoned buildings of the colony; the peace and perfumes of the sea contrast with the ruins and echoes of the past condemned. Feelings of freedom and confinement fuse together in this unique atmosphere. Along the path we can spot various species of birds: the perfect place for birdwatchers.  

  • Punta dello Zenobito 

From the town square, we pass the church of San Nicola on the right taking the ancient mule track (dating back to 1545) which used to connect the inhabited centre with the Zenobite Tower. This itinerary is challenging due to its length, climb, sun exposure and the final, uneven track. After around three hours’ walk, we reach the Zenobite Tower, a watchtower built in 1545 on the chimney of one of the island’s two ancient volcanoes. Here we can look over the Cala Rossa, so-called for the volcanic rock of which it is made. A breath-taking scene over the sea and times gone by, embraced within a wild and incredible nature.  

Return itinerary Cala dello Zurletto 

Length of route: approx. 2.0 km 

Climb: 80 metres 

Difficulty level: easy 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps   

Return itinerary Ex Colonia Penale  

Length of route: approx. 10.00 km 

Climb: 300 metres 

Difficulty level: average 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps  

Return itinerary Punta dello Zenobito 

Length of route: approx. 16 km 

Climb: 800 metres 

Difficulty level: challenging 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps  

Recommended equipment: trekking shoes, water bottle of 1.5l or more, rucksack with approx. 20 litre capacity. 

Useful sites:

http://www.islepark.it/

How to reach:

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Giglio Island: the island of two souls

Trekking itineraries to discover one of the most beautiful pearls of the Tuscan Archipelago: Giglio Stone Island between uncontaminated nature and incomparable panoramas.  In front of the Argentario promontory, Giglio Island rises from the Tyrrhenian waters with great…

Trekking itineraries to discover one of the most beautiful pearls of the Tuscan Archipelago: Giglio Stone Island between uncontaminated nature and incomparable panoramas. 

Giglio porto

Giglio porto

In front of the Argentario promontory, Giglio Island rises from the Tyrrhenian waters with great splendour despite its modest size.  

Setting sail from Porto Santo Stefano as the ferry approaches the coast, the sea changes from the deep blue of the depths to the crystalline azure of the inlets inviting you in for a swim before you even get there. We can then see the enormous slabs of smooth, sinewy granite stone wedged into the waters and the maritime dimension of the picturesque port, made up of Mediterranean-coloured old houses; upwards, the ancient castle dominates the island from one of its highest hillocks and is worth a walk along its labyrinthine alleyways.

Built around the 11th century and subsequently refortified, it has defended itself for a thousand years against pirate attacks – even by the terrible Barbarossa 

Tramonto all'isola del Giglio

Tramonto all’isola del Giglio

Giglio Island, Tuscany, was and is still home to fishermen and farmers, to sea and mountain life: the Poggio della Pagana is the highest at 496 metres above sea level; the villages Giglio Porto and Giglio Castello reflect the two souls of the population and along the western coast we find the village Campese, established mainly as a tourist destination and home to one of Giglio Island’s beaches. Between the coast and the hinterland you can enjoy some unique landscapes, the fruit of long harmonious cooperation between mankind and nature. A large part of the island makes up the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago to protect the flora and fauna of land and sea.  

Isola del Giglio, il faro Vaccarecce

Isola del Giglio, il faro Vaccarecce

This island in Tuscany is home to an explosion of life, pastel colours and fragrances – especially in the spring – with the typical essences of the Mediterranean scrubland and also thanks to the many beech woods, a rarity in the other islands in the archipelago. These habitats are home to rather uncommon animal species that require protection, such as the Manx Shearwater and pilgrim falcon (amongst the birds) and the mouflon (amongst the mammals). These places are best discovered at your own pace, wandering the network of paths that cross the island.  

Trekking routes discovering Giglio stone island: 

  • Climb to Giglio Castello 
  • Starting from the port, we take the asphalted road up to the castle; at the crossroads with the main road, we go straight one and soon after the bend we find a junction to the left leading us onto the ancient mule track that connected the two inhabited centres. The whole path is on a rather steep climb, but in the shade of a small beech wood it winds almost entirely along the same cobbles that paved it originally: climbing further, the beechwood opens up to some magnificent views over the Arenella bay and the Caletta. In approximately 45 minutes you reach the city walls of the castle. 
  • Capel Rosso Lighthouse
  • From the main square of the Castello of Giglio Island, we travel south; very soon, to the left we see an asphalted street going up under the shade of a pine wood. The road then becomes a path which, still southwards, leads to the Capel Rosso Lighthouse in an approximately two and a half hours’ walk. The itinerary is well-signposted and offers some beautiful views, continuing through the rich Mediterranean vegetation halfway up the hill. Upon arrival at Capel Rosso point we will be standing on the southernmost point of the island, together with the beautiful lighthouse from which we can admire the spectacular sea-eroded cliffs to either side. 
  • Punta del Faraglione 
  • To the farthest point to the left (looking out to sea) of the Campese beach you will find the path that leads to the head of Punta del Faraglione; through a sweet beech wood and breath-taking panoramic views over the cliffs and the Campese bay, the path ends in front of a limestone pinnacle that seems to be the twin of the sea stack that rises from the sea. A very easy, panoramic excursion lasting approximately 20 minutes on the way out and the same for the return journey – with just one more complicated stretch – set up with rope handrails to help you keep your balance. Perfect at sundown for some unforgettable views.  
Cala Schizzatoio

Cala Schizzatoio

Return itinerary Giglio Porto – Giglio Castello 

Length of route: approx. 4.0 km 

Climb: 350 m 

Difficulty level: average (for the climb) 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps

Return itinerary head of Faraglione 

Length of route: approx. 2.0 km 

Climb: 80 m 

Difficulty level: easy 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps

Return itinerary Capel Rosso Lighthouse 

Length of route: approx. 13.0 km 

Climb: 550 m 

Difficulty level: challenging 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps

Equipaggiamento consigliato: calzature da trekking, borraccia da almeno 1.5 lt, zaino

Useful sites: 

http://www.islepark.it/

https://www.giglioinfo.it/

http://isoladelgiglio.it/it/

How to get here from PuntAla Camp&Resort

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San Galgano and Montesiepi: the real sword in the stone

San Galgano: following in the footsteps of the knight who thrust his sword into the stone. A brief excursion into the history and legends of Tuscany A simple yet enchanting…

San Galgano: following in the footsteps of the knight who thrust his sword into the stone. A brief excursion into the history and legends of Tuscany

A simple yet enchanting and mysterious itinerary starts with a brief walk from the Abbazia di San Galgano to the Eremo di Montesiepi, where you can find a real 900-year old sword in the stone.

il sentiero per arrivare all'Abbazia

Il sentiero per arrivare all’Abbazia

This is a truly special area, certainly worth a half-day trip. Leaving your car in the free car park nearby, the looped walk starts from the Abbey and follows a country road and a cypress-lined avenue up to a unique building.

The (long de consecrated) church acts as a bridge between land and sky: now with neither roof nor floor it seems to have risen forever like this in this particular place, silently telling its story and emanating an aura of magic that is difficult to ignore.

Even children are transported by the enchantment of this Abbey, playing hide-and-seek amongst the ancient columns.

Osservare il cielo attraverso il rosone.

Osservare il cielo attraverso il rosone.

The tranquil surrounding countryside invites you to wander around the building, taking time to look around; you cannot miss the building that is slightly higher up and not far from where you stand. A sign marks a pathway that leads to the Eremo di Montesiepi. A brief trek of no more than 15 minutes, and what you’ll find at the end is more than worth it.

L’Eremo di Montesiepi e la Rotonda

L’Eremo di Montesiepi e la Rotonda

The Chapel (or Rotunda) is free to enter and conserves a unique, historically-worthy attraction – and truly the stuff of legends: now under glass to preserve it from atmospheric agents, this sword trapped in the stone seems to be awaiting the return of King Arthur.

A Made in Tuscany Excalibur; there are even those who believe that this sword – authentic and dating back to the first half of the 12th century – was the very one to inspire the Arthurian legend.

But who did it belong to? Galgano Guidotti, born in the nearby village of Chiusdino, was a dissolute knight who, after a vision of Saint Michael, abandoned all his worldly goods and thrust his sword into the land, with the intention of never using it again. The sword in the stone was never touched again and today the chapel stands on the very site of his home

L’autentica spada nella roccia

L’autentica spada nella roccia

To complete the itinerary, you can get in your car – closing the loop – and in a few minutes you are in Chiusdino, where you can see the relics of the saint, including a rock showing the marks made by Galgano’s horse when it fell to its knees in front of the vision of Saint Michael.

A fact that not many are aware of: just a few minutes by car from the Abbey and Chiusdino you can find the Mulino delle Pile water mill, or rather the original Mulino Bianco! Today used as a farm holiday home, you can stop for a quick selfie in front of the most famous water mill in Italy, and maybe even the world.

Abbazia di San Galgano:

open every day, times change depending on season

  • from NOVEMBER to MARCH: 9am – 5:30pm
  • APRIL, MAY and OCTOBER: 9am – 6pm
  • JUNE and SEPTEMBER: 9am – 7pm
  • JULY and AUGUST: 9am – 8pm

Tickets cost €4.00 full price and €3.00 reduced (under-18s, over-65s, students, groups of more than 20 people or families with at least four members). For info: +39 0577 756738

Eremo di Montesiepi:

open every day from 9am to sunset; for info +39 0577 756700

How to get here from PuntAla Camp & Resort

some photos

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Baratti: Buca delle Fate, Trekking and bathing in the legend

Along the trekking trails that lead to one of the most beautiful bays in Tuscany, surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, crags and bewitching songs. As intimate as it is enchanting, the…

Along the trekking trails that lead to one of the most beautiful bays in Tuscany, surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, crags and bewitching songs.

As intimate as it is enchanting, the Buca delle Fate is a tiny inlet in the Maremma coast. The bay is a break in the splendid Etruscan Coast: its rocky walls overlook the sea, wedged between its crystalline waters, created by the salt and the wind and softened by the seductive song of the Sirens.

This tiny lost paradise, soaked in charm and history, can be found near the ancient village of Populonia in Piombino, a little less than an hour’s drive from Punta Ala.

Sul sentiero verso Buca delle Fate.

Sul sentiero verso Buca delle Fate.

Legend has it that these places were inhabited by strange creatures and sirens who, with their charm and melodious song, bewitched the fishermen who cut through the waters of the bay, to capture them and prevent their return to the mainland. Similar legends and other fantastic stories gave this enchanting land an equally enchanting name – Buca delle Fate (Fairy’s Grotto).

An inlet so fascinating as to appear difficult to reach. Nothing could be further from the truth, or so pleasing. Immersed in a beautiful holly oak wood and typical Mediterranean scrubland, which in the spring blossoms perfumes and colour, you can reach the Buca delle Fate with an easy 20 minute trek by foot.

Cala San Quirico

Cala San Quirico

Trekking to the Buca delle Fate

Following the road that leads to Populonia Alta and just under a kilometre from here, to your left you will find a dirt track car park where you can leave your car, in “Il Reciso”.

At the beginning to the dirt track next to the car park a signpost directs you to the various paths, including the one to the Buca delle Fate. Coasting the carpark, turn right at the first two junctions. You should follow track 301 CAI which leads unambiguously to the beautiful bay which is especially magical at sunset.

First, however, we cross a piece of history emblazoned with the Etruscan touch: along the way you will find the underground tombs of a necropolis built over the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 2nd centuries BC. Continuing, the wood opens up onto shrub land and immediately onto breath-taking views over the sea and the coast.

And here you are treated to the spectacle of the Buca delle Fate, where you can relax and enjoy sublime landscapes, accompanied by the whisper of the sea or even, perhaps, the sirens themselves.

In prima fila per il tramonto su Buca delle Fate.

In prima fila per il tramonto su Buca delle Fate.

The return journey may take up to around ten minutes more than the way out due to the easy climb. Alternatively, you can take a loop to return to the car park, extending the trek and also increasing the climb but only by a little; by doing so you will also pass the splendid adjacent bay of Cala San Quirico.

From the Buca delle Fate, you take track 302 that descends along the coastline and coincides for a stretch with the Via dei Cavalleggeri.

In just a few minutes you are at Cala San Quirico, where perhaps you can even enjoy a relaxing swim. To return, take the path at the beginning of the bay that winds through the vegetation: the path climbs, leading us back to our departure point. A typical local dinner is the perfect way to end the day before returning to sleep under the stars.

Download here the itinerary to Buca delle Fate

Return Itinerary Buca delle Fate

  • Distance: 2.0 km
  • Altitude: 108 metres above sea level
  • Difficulty level: easy

Loop Itinerary Buca delle Fate – Cala San Quirico

  • Distance: 2.4 km
  • Altitude: 115 metres
  • Difficulty level: easy

Recommended equipment: trekking or sports shoes, min. 1.5 lt. water bottle, min. 20 lt. rucksack, bathing costume.

il Reciso car park, trekking departure point

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Populonia and the Baratti Gulf: azure waters and red sands

Splendid horizons and traces of history for a weekend spent outdoors on the Etruscan coast. A magical village overlooking the sea and back to the remotest of pasts. This is…

Splendid horizons and traces of history for a weekend spent outdoors on the Etruscan coast.

A magical village overlooking the sea and back to the remotest of pasts. This is Populonia, an influential city of ancient Etruria, a decisive focal point of Italian civilisation.

Beyond the impenetrable fifteenth-century city walls blows a salty wind from faraway: Populonia is the only Etruscan city on the coast, as unique as the atmosphere that you can relive wandering its alleyways and admiring the horizon from its ancient walls.

Panorami che sconfinano oltre l’orizzonte del mare.

Panorami che sconfinano oltre l’orizzonte del mare.

On the northern point of the Piombino promontory, Populonia dominates the Baratti Gulf and its splendid beach, the perfect place for a dip in the summer but also luxuriant with vegetation that is home to wild fauna.

Not only this, but it is also a migration resting place of a very rare and protected species. Walking around the pines and beech woods you can catch a glimpse of bizarre-looking, long-beaked birds with iridescent plumage. It is the northern bald ibis that flies over the area and sometimes stops here, so it is not unusual to see it on the lovely fields next to the beach.

I colori del golfo di Baratti all’imbrunire.

I colori del golfo di Baratti all’imbrunire.

Nature and ancient history meld together in Populonia and the surrounding area and you can have a fully immersive experience in both here. The beach is just a walk away from the archaeological areas.

The acropolis can be found in Populonia Alta – reachable by both car and foot – while the necropolises are scattered in different sites of the promontory and the gulf. These traces of Etruscan civilization are part of the Parco Archeologico di Baratti e Populonia where you can wander among the well-preserved testimonies of populated cities and ports.

Dalla torre la vista spazia sulla costa del golfo di Baratti

Dalla torre la vista spazia sulla costa del golfo di Baratti

Rambling through the cliff-edge history of Populonia you may be inspired to take a dip in the intense blue waters off this stretch of the Tuscan coast. Baratti beach is a long tongue of red sand that can be found in the gulf of the same name, against which sweet waves of clear blue gently lap.

The sea-beds are densely-populated by water flora and fauna, perfect for snorkelling and for children to swim in thanks to the gently increasing depths. The striking, characteristic colour of the sand is due to the residues of the metalwork activities of the Etruscans who, at the time, monopolized the iron trade: this area was home to many furnaces where metal was worked.

The luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation embraces the sands, and its pinewoods offer a welcome break from the sun; it borders the archaeological park and is also equipped with a catering service, stretches of beach resorts and a car park.

La spiaggia del golfo di Baratti.

La spiaggia del golfo di Baratti.

For all those looking to take a dip in crystalline waters surrounded by uncontaminated nature, discovering sheer cliffs and breath-taking views, the Buca delle Fate is the ideal destination. A short, easy trek, allowing us also to take in some examples of Etruscan underground tombs, and we arrive at the splendid, intimate bay.

From Popolonia, you can reach both Baratti and the Buca delle Fate in just a few minutes by car, for a refreshing end to one or more days in the Etruscan world.

What to see in Populonia:

  • The tower of Populonia; you can climb onto the walls and admire a bird’s-eye view over the Baratti Gulf and the Val di Cornia.
  • The Museo Etrusco and the private collection of the Gasparri family.
  • The Populonia Acropolis.
  • The San Cerbone Necropolis and the Grotte necropolis.
  • The Monastery of San Quirico; located near the Buca delle Fate immersed in the vegetation.
  • The “Davide Mancini” Experimental Archaeological Centre, home to the reconstruction of a Bronze Age hut.

Parco Archeologico di Baratti e Populonia

Where to sleep: Puntala Camp & Resort

How to reach:

SOME PHOTOS

 

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Trail Building-Punta Ala Trail Center [video]

Trail Building is one of the key elements of good mountain biking locations. Punta Ala Trail Center has a dedicated team that spends time building trails. However you ride a…

Trail Building is one of the key elements of good mountain biking locations. Punta Ala Trail Center has a dedicated team that spends time building trails.

However you ride a good trail is important, in Punta Ala the Trail Center team focuses on build good natural trails, without berms and using the natural landscape to create unique riding experiences. See how Ettore and Simone build trails!

The trail crew keep it simple, cleaning about 300 metres of trail per day, on normal trails, opening up new ones requires a bit more time maybe they can clean 150 metres per day, you need passion and energy to create the trails that people love to ride.

The guys of the Punta Ala Trail Center will be soon preparing and shaping the trails Bandite Trail Area for the next MTB season. Do you want to be the first to ride the best flow?

Check out  here  our rates for a stay during the weekend or a week at the PuntAla Camp & Resort and then  get in touch  with the Punta Ala Trail Center to book your shuttle service.

Photo Story

Ettore fixing some branches

Ettore fixing some branches

The trail team likes to find interesting shaped rocks, emotions are high with their creations.

The trail team likes to find interesting shaped rocks, emotions are high with their creations.

Simone knows as a biker himself what a good trail should ride like.

Simone knows as a biker himself what a good trail should ride like.

Up close with the rake.

Up close with the rake.

Tools need to be simple and light to carry into the trail.

Tools need to be simple and light to carry into the trail.

The branches are removed the trail bed swept and all is in order.

The branches are removed the trail bed swept and all is in order.

The before and after, as the trail builders clear the bed of the trail.

The before and after, as the trail builders clear the bed of the trail.

The before and after, as the trail builders clear the bed of the trail.

The before and after, as the trail builders clear the bed of the trail.

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