Outdoor

Lot of suggestions to live an active holiday in Tuscany.

Kite surf in the Maremma

The coastline from Punta Ala down to Monte Argentario is unique, apart from being beautiful it also has seasonal thermal winds that give passionate windsport people the ability to enjoy…

The coastline from Punta Ala down to Monte Argentario is unique, apart from being beautiful it also has seasonal thermal winds that give passionate windsport people the ability to enjoy the coastline in a different way. Kitesurfing is practiced up and down the coast. Grab a board and a kite and enjoy the ride.

Video

Kite Surfing In The Maremma from Punta Ala Trail Center on Vimeo.

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There are so many nice spots and things to see from the water, the whole coastline takes on another point of view.

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One of the kite beaches, PKS beach, has space and shallow water, it is a great place to learn kitesurfing in the morning.

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The beach is fully equipped with a rental station and storage facilities.

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Location

In high season there are specific locations or “exit channels” where you can kite or take lessons. The Kite beaches are located in Puntone, Castiglione della Pescaia and Marina Di Grosseto.

It’s Important to kite only where you are allowed, this respects other beach users and also the kite beaches are located where there is the best wind!

Kite Beach Fiumara

PKS Beach – Castiglione della Pescaia

Surf Relax – Puntone

The kite schools are open all year, just head on down to the beaches and take a lesson, rent equipment, or enjoy the beach atmosphere.

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Climbing in the Maremma – Ravi

If you like the thrill of exploring in the woods and finding a natural version of bouldering walls, the Maremma has a few local options that are well known on…

If you like the thrill of exploring in the woods and finding a natural version of bouldering walls, the Maremma has a few local options that are well known on the national climbing circuit. Close to the ex-mining town of Ravi, high on the hills above, there are some interesting routes to try if you like wild climbing on Monte Calvo.

Looking across to the Ravi climbing location.

Looking across to the Ravi climbing location.

The Walls

here are a number of main walls with various routes up them, best looked at from a small distance, the climber can get an overall picture of the possible routes.

Here there are a number of main walls with various routes up them, best looked at from a small distance, the climber can get an overall picture of the possible routes.

The furthest wall from the base with some fixed anchor points for safety ropes, this offers some fairly interesting climbs, with an easy access rope recovery point.

The furthest wall from the base with some fixed anchor points for safety ropes, this offers some fairly interesting climbs, with an easy access rope recovery point.

The upper more complicated routes of the top wall.

The upper more complicated routes of the top wall.

Close up we can see the rock is characterized by some smooth surfaces and small holds. Great experiences for those who are looking to up the adrenaline.

Close up we can see the rock is characterized by some smooth surfaces and small holds. Great experiences for those who are looking to up the adrenaline.

In the woods close to the base are smaller more easy going practice walls that give novice climbers the ability to try their beginner skills.

In the woods close to the base are smaller easier going practice walls that give novice climbers the ability to try their beginner skills.

Off to the right of the main walls are some subsidiary walls which have overhangs and are open for a freestyle climbing style.

Off to the right of the main walls are some subsidiary walls which have overhangs and are open for a freestyle climbing style.

Looking back across the Maremma to Ravi and the Amiata, the views are stunning, isolated but connected.

Looking back across the Maremma to Ravi and the Amiata, the views are stunning, isolated but connected.

The rocky crags at the top of the rock walls give multiple route options and technique variations.

The rocky crags at the top of the rock walls give multiple route options and technique variations.

The Guide

So climbing these walls where do we start, luckily the world of climbing has grades and those who can grade them who are also good at putting together the best route possibilities.

Eraldo Meraldi is the guide behind these guides each route has been described and graded. With suggested attachment points for ropes.  Grading varies between 4 and 7 in difficulty.

Eraldo Meraldi is the guide behind these guides each route has been described and graded. With suggested attachment points for ropes.  Grading varies between 4 and 7 in difficulty.

Each wall has a name and with at least four routes per wall, variety is possible, climb time per rout obviously depends on climber ability but can take up to 40 minutes on more complicated routes.

Each wall has a name and with at least four routes per wall, variety is possible, climb time per rout obviously depends on climber ability but can take up to 40 minutes on more complicated routes.

Location

Climbing spots are often closely guarded secrets, some because they are hard to access, others because people want to make sure there is not too much “traffic” on the walls. Monte Calvo is located near Ravi and is accessible by car and foot.

Map

Park on the road and walk up.

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Here in cartoon form we can see the route, it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk to the base.

The path starts by the road near a fence, it's clearly defined and has small rocks up the hill showing the routes.

The path starts by the road near a fence, it’s clearly defined and has small rocks up the hill showing the routes.

A perfect trail leading people to the secrets.

A perfect trail leading people to the secrets.

Here the path passes behind the power tower.

Here the path passes behind the power tower.

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Close by there is the abandoned mine and museum of Ravi.  Below we can see the whole ridgeline is a potential rock climbing heaven.

 

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Sailing The Coast Of Tuscany

Punta Ala lies on the coast of the lower part of Tuscany. The coastline is covered with small islands and rocky headlands, which stretch back inland to the hills behind….

Punta Ala lies on the coast of the lower part of Tuscany. The coastline is covered with small islands and rocky headlands, which stretch back inland to the hills behind. The great thing about the coastline of Punta Ala is it is possible to sail all year in all seasons.

Sailing is a year around sport and the coastline offers many ports and things to see from the sea, with some jewels of the offshore islands.

Sailing is a year around sport and the coastline offers many ports and things to see from the sea, with some jewels of the offshore islands.

Opena water.

Open water.

Spring

With sometimes strong winds and blue skies, the coast is for experienced and medium sailors alike. The key is to remember to enjoy the view of the coast, the ports are usually more quiet at this time of year.

Sailing off the point of Punta Ala a spring gusty day.

Sailing off the point of Punta Ala a spring gusty day.

Further down the coast one of the small islands gives a spectacular backdrop.

Further down the coast one of the small islands gives a spectacular backdrop.

Cruising out of the port in spring is a calm time, but the water and wind are still ready to be appreciated.

Cruising out of the port in spring is a calm time, but the water and wind are still ready to be appreciated.

Summer

The coast comes alive as yacht owners open up their sails and follow the gentle sea breezes that emanate from the north-west every day. It’s busy but worth the trip out on a boat, it’s warm so dive in whilst at Anchor!

The beaches invite users into the sea.

The beaches invite users into the sea.

Leaving or entering port in the summer, the hills of the Bandite radiate the last golden sunlight of the evening.

Leaving or entering port in the summer, the hills of the Bandite radiate the last golden sunlight of the evening.

Just across the water, Elba offers some protective coves and stunning scenery.

Just across the water, Elba offers some protective coves and stunning scenery.

Up high, the water is crystal clear below.

Up high, the water is crystal clear below.

On Giannutri, the water radiates a turquoise blue color.

On Giannutri, the water radiates a turquoise blue color.

Giglio is also a contrasting place in strong summer light as the hillside rises behind the main port town.

Giglio is also a contrasting place in strong summer light as the hillside rises behind the main port town.

Autumn

Winter time is coming meaning the last boat races of the year close to the coast as competitor look for the best winds.

Winter time is coming meaning the last boat races of the year close to the coast as competitor look for the best winds.

Sailing close to the "Sparviero" of the Troia off the port of Punta Ala, epic early evening sunsets

Sailing close to the “Sparviero” of the Troia off the port of Punta Ala, epic early evening sunsets

Bigger conditions require bigger boats.

Bigger conditions require bigger boats.

Late September winds and green hills off the coast looking back towards Punta Ala.

Late September winds and green hills off the coast looking back towards Punta Ala.

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Florence E-Bike Festival

Punta Ala Trail Center has access to about 35 trails of varying levels close to the beach, E-bikes are one of the best ways to access those trails. At Florence e-bike…

Punta Ala Trail Center has access to about 35 trails of varying levels close to the beach, E-bikes are one of the best ways to access those trails. At Florence e-bike festival the guides and organizer spent time with people explaining the bikes and location.

Video – Punta Ala and Florence E-bike Riding

Photo Story – Florence E-bike Festival

The festival location was at the Cascine park next to the Arno river and took in a range of different bike related exhibits, including the Punta Ala Trail Center Booth where festival goer’s where invited to take a ride for free on the trail center’s E-bikes.

The E-bike Festival

The stand was located at the front of the festival.

The stand was located at the front of the festival.

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Taking place over three days the event location was busy and also the focus of the start of the Granfondo di Firenze.

On display we had a selection of our Giant E-bikes.

On display we had a selection of our Giant E-bikes.

Roberto Vergottini explains to the festival visitors how the bikes work.

Roberto Vergottini explains to the festival visitors how the bikes work.

We also had the opportunity to try the new Mo-bikes on demo.

We also had the opportunity to try the new Mo-bikes on demo.

The future of biking parked at the Punta Ala Trail Center stand.

The future of biking parked at the Punta Ala Trail Center stand.

Punta Ala Trail Center

E-bikes have changed the landscape of cycling and trail access, they also allow people who are not strong on a bike to reach some beautiful locations, their pedal assist credentials mean it feels like it is always riding on a flat road.

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The trail center has the same spirit as the festival, a welcoming location for riding in, the center guides are there to help people access the trail experiences on offer.

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Riders can choose their route and the guides will take groups on specifically tailored rides.

The cool thing about the trial center location is rides can start on the beach…

The cool thing about the trial center location is rides can start on the beach…

…and end on the beach, here in Cala Violina.

…and end on the beach, here in Cala Violina.

There are trails for all levels of rider…

There are trails for all levels of rider…

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One day we all might be able to jump like this…

Trail Center Location

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A Guided Mountain Bike Ride at Punta Ala

A guided mountain bike ride from Punta Ala Trail Center can take in the best of Punta Ala’s beaches and mountains while riding fun singletrack trails, with rides expertly tailored…

A guided mountain bike ride from Punta Ala Trail Center can take in the best of Punta Ala’s beaches and mountains while riding fun singletrack trails, with rides expertly tailored to all and any abilities.

Punta Ala Guiding

Checking out the trail map at our Bike Center shop, while hiring two Giant bikes for today’s ride.

 

Starting at Punta Ala Trail Center‘s beachside base, our guide Bibo meets up with his clients for the day – two avid mountain bikers of an intermediate level on holiday from Switzerland. They’ve hired bikes from the Bike Center’s (our bike shop) range of Giant-Liv Cycling rentals, choosing mid-travel trail bikes for today’s singletrack blast. Tomorrow they might try an e-bike.

The couple is staying in one of our Club cabins on the shore of the Mediterranean, where Bibo talks them through the local trail network while assessing their riding level and the type of trail they’d like to ride.

Punta Ala Trail Center accommodation

Bibo gets to know today’s guided customers, meanwhile the coffee brews in their Club cabin.

 

After a relaxed meeting talking bikes and discussing e-bikes (over a coffee – this is Italy after all), the ride starts directly from the door of the cabin. No need for transport here: singletrack starts a stone’s throw from all our accommodation.

Pedalling for a minute or two, the ride quickly dives into the dense and intriguing forest, where Bibo picks up a flowing snake of singletrack. Never climbing nor descending for too long, this trail is a great start for groups to get used to the dry terrain and never-ending flow of our nearest trails in the Cala Violina area.

Mountain biking Punta Ala Italy

Pedalling through the pleasant pine cover of our accommodation base, soon the group will be enjoying nearby singletrack.

 

Bibo, one of three full-time mountain bike guides at Punta Ala Trail Center, has a wealth of experience when it comes to group rides. As a long-term professional snowboard instructor in the winter and having shaped some of Italy’s most famous mountain biking in Sauze d’Oulx (and Punta Ala!), his knowledge of sport and riders is endless. He’s also supremely talented on a bike, but incredibly friendly and patient too – perfect guide material. That’s how he’s earned so much positive feedback from our customers.

Flowing like water around the mountain, Bibo’s choice of trail gently makes its way upward, bursting out of the trees to a timeless view of the surrounding nature and across to the Isle of Elba. Bibo’s small group are stunned by the beauty of the area, but soon forget it as they hurtle through the woods on a fast, fun trail called Torretta. This is an apparently endless descent that comes seemingly for free – they barely noticed the uphill to a high point 250 meters above the sea.

Singletrack Cala Violina mountain biking

Bibo, one of Punta Ala Trail Center’s full-time guides and mountain bike experts.

 

Punta Ala Trail Center mountain biking

Every ride ends at the sea! Bibo gives a demonstration of his skills during a cornering exercise with the intermediate group.

 

After a riveting 10-minute ride with some of the best turns our group has ridden, the trail comes to a rolling finish at one of Punta Ala’s best-kept secrets: Cala Violina. A pristine beach accessible only by bike, horse or a lengthy walk from the nearest car park, the feeling of wonderful calm could not be greater.

The ride ends here as the group take a shortcut back to base at the end of this two-hour blast. But tomorrow they’ll be back here and will explore some of the dozens of trails Bibo pointed out during the ride, which he also handily marked on their trail map.

Trail map Punta Ala Trail Center

Tomorrow’s ride? Even more flow, this time with some challenging singletrack climbs on rented e-bikes!

 

At Punta Ala Trail Center the ride options are unlimited. Gentle trail? No problem. Hardcore downhill? We’ve got that covered too. Everything in-between? Yep. Just ask one of our guides and they will point you in the right direction, or even better hire them for a half- or full-day of guiding to really benefit from their knowledge of the area.

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[Video] Toscano Enduro Series – How he and she will prepare a race!

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take…

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take part in the first major Enduro event of the year in Tuscany.

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take part in the first major Enduro event of the year in Tuscany.

Video

Giant PATC from Punta Ala Trail Center on Vimeo.

Racing together was a great experience and Punta Ala gave them the ideal base to make sure they had all the bike services at their disposal to make their experience seamless.

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Enjoying the beach at Cala Violina just before sunset, after riding the trail loops just by the sea.

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Spring time is ideal for riding with empty spaces and perfect weather.

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Giacomo Dodino drops down onto the beach from the last trail of the day.

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