Tuscany’s coastline, stretching over 230 kilometres, offers beach goers a lot of variety. From the glamorous resorts of Viareggio to the laidback Marina di Pisa, there’s a beach for every type of traveller. In the north, particularly in areas like Versilia, you’ll find the quintessential Italian ‘bagno’, the type of serviced beach with sun loungers and toilet facilities. While the further south you go, the clearer the water becomes and the more romantic the setting gets.
It doesn’t matter whether you love resorts or being off the beaten path, or what time of year you go, there’s a Tuscany beach to suit your travel preferences. Here are some of the best beaches to visit from north to south.
Forte dei Marmi
Beaches in Versilia are decidedly high-end. This is the area where you’ll find the classic ‘bagno’ style beaches, all of which are well-maintained and offer a range of facilities. The Versilia area is famous for its nightlife during the summer and is one of the most loved destinations with international jet-setters. If you’re looking for somewhere that has many places to eat and drink, the northern coastline is ideal for you.
Among all the popular beach areas along the coast, the town of Forte dei Marmi is one of the best. It is a true symbol of Versilia, with most of the beach being taken up by deckchairs and umbrellas. On site, you will find changing rooms and showers, toilet facilities, and a bar serving snacks and refreshments.
Marina di Pisa
The laidback seaside resort of Marina di Pisa is home to the Port of Pisa, a famous yachting dock that oozes Italian glamour. There are both pebble and sandy sections of the coastline here, and all have calm waters that are sheltered by stone barriers and perfect for swimming in. This makes the area of Marina di Pisa extremely popular with families. If you are travelling to Tuscany with children, this is a fantastic holiday destination to be in.
In addition to having safe and calm waters to paddle in, the beaches here are also lined with an exciting choice of places to eat and drink. You’ll find handy pizzerias, ice cream parlours a d plenty of bars and restaurants.
While Marina di Pisa has lots of fun pebble beaches that children just love, the further south you go, the sandier the beaches get. In Tirrenia, you’ll find golden sand perfect for building sandcastles or basking in the sun. The beach is very well-maintained, with a lifeguard and clean facilities and toilets. And as the water stays shallow for quite a while, it’s perfect for paddling in and is very safe for kids.
Some areas of the beach are free, but most sections of the coastline charge an entrance fee and a fee to use the sun loungers. As far as ‘bagno’ beaches, this area is reasonably priced. At this beach, you can also rent peddle boats for the whole family, and there is a nice restaurant where you can enjoy a spot of lunch overlooking the water.
Marina di Vecchiano
Located in the Migliarino San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Park is Marina di Vecchiano, a beach area known for its spacious stretches of sand. Covering over 4 kilometres, the beach area runs all the way from the mouth of the Serchio River to the town of Torre del Lago Puccini. The coastline here is rather unspoiled and is utterly unique due to its sand dunes. The dune ecosystem is today protected by the nature park and is truly one of the last untouched gems of the coastline.
The rest of Migliarino San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Park is also worth exploring, with its verdant pine forests, large marshes and wild thicket. More than three thousand hectares are covered by swamp and areas of high humidity, which provide the perfect habitat for vegetation and wildlife.
Lido di Camaiore
Another excellent beach in Versilia is Lido di Camaiore, located between Marina di Pietrasanta and Viareggio. This long stretch of beach offers fine golden sand and amazing views of the Apuan Alps. Backed by a bustling promenade with shops, bars and restaurants, you won’t need to go for when you need to refuel. The town itself is a lively resort and throughout the summer there’ll be a number of art exhibitions, concerts, festivals and cultural events taking place that could be of interest.
Set in the Lucca Province, there’s also much to see and do when you need a break from sunbathing. Cities like Lucca, Pisa, Carrara, Massa and Viareggio are all accessible from Lido di Camaiore.
Buca delle Fate
The quiet and undiscovered Buca delle Fate is a small cove in beautiful Maremma. If you’re hoping to escape the summer crowds during your Tuscany holiday, this is the place to be. Head far south along the Tuscany coast and you’ll reach one of Europe’s hidden gems. Beaches running from Piombino down through the Maremma area are spectacular. The Gulf of Baratti is incredibly beautiful, vaunting golden dunes and verdant pine forests, and has been relatively untouched by the tourism development that happened in the 1970s across other parts of the coastline. This is the region that is often compared to the likes of the Caribbean. So expect white sand beaches and secret coves just like this one.
When you’re in the commune of Populonia, you’ll find a small path that leads to Buca delle Fate beach. It’s just a small pebble bay, but it boasts clear waters and is hidden from the main beach areas.
Cala Violina Beach
Just south of Piombino is another gem which we love. Cala Violina isn’t easy to get to, but it’s worth the 45 minute trek through a pine forest to reach paradise. After your hike, you’ll be met with a half-moon shaped stretch of sand that’s powder white and soft on your toes. Combined with the aqua translucent sea made for paddling, you’ll feel transported to a Caribbean island somewhere.
It’s also a public beach so you won’t have to pay, and there’s not a single beach bar or sun lounger in sight. There is usually a van selling sandwiches and ice creams at a reasonable price during the summer months, and it can get busy during this season. But if you’re looking to escape the influx of travellers and locals, just make sure you arrive early in the morning.
Punta Ala Beaches
There are two main beaches to visit in Punta Ala, both of them are well-equipped resort areas and both are public beaches. The first is located at the end of the tourist port and it can be reached if you walk towards Balbo Villa. This is an ideal spot as the water is calm and you’ll be able to see yachts in the distance. It can get very busy in the summer though, but it’s also possible to swim over to Sparviero Island from this beach if you’re looking for a little bit of an escape. The second beach is a lovely 2 kilometre stretch down Via della Dogana, set between Hidalgo Tower and Cala. This is a quiet beach that’s well-maintained and is also very suitable for children. Both of these beaches are worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Crystal clear waters and a wide sandy beach backed by Mediterranean pinewoods. These are the reasons why La Feniglia is such a famous beach in Maremma. The entire stretch runs around 7 kilometres, with awe-inspiring sand dunes rippling across the landscape. The beach connects Monte Argentario to Ansedonia from end to end, offering a vast area of sunbathing. And as the water is shallow, it’s perfect for taking a dip and is safe enough for kids to splash around in.
La Feniglia is one of the most popular beaches in this part of Tuscany, particularly with families. If you want to reserve the best spot, arrive early in the morning or come during a weekday.
Bagno delle Donne
The town of Talamone is another remarkable treasure in dreamy Maremma and is located on a small promontory with a number of small bays and beaches. All of these areas are very characteristic, but the beach that is definitely worth a mention for anyone coming here for the first time is Bagno delle Donne. This unique stretch of sand is set under the Talamone Fortress, and provides sunbathers with wonderful views of the ocean and the castle.
The water is crystal clear and it’s also one of the best places for sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. The rocks on the north side provide the ideal spot for snorkelling too. Although access to the water isn’t all that easy, so it may not be suitable unless you are an experienced and confident swimmer. You may find it hard to get a lounger when it’s busy, but most visitors are happy to come and perch on a rock and simply enjoy the views around them.
If you’re looking for the perfect white sand beach with a lively atmosphere, add Capezzòlo to your bucket list. Set along the coastal town of Castiglione della Pescaia, this gorgeous beach is ideal for relaxing. The water is very clean and the beach itself is very well maintained, and there’s plenty of entertainment from day to night. From Capezzòlo, you can embark on a cruise or mini cruise or go sailing.
The bar and restaurant there serves the freshest of fish dishes, and you’ll get a great view over the ocean as you eat. This stretch of sand runs from Punta Capezzòlo to the port channel, and you can get to it by following the SP158 road from Follonica.
Cala di Forno
This spectacular beach is located inside the Regional Park of the Maremma, just south of Collelungo. Nestled between the Uccellina Mountains, Cala di Forno has a unique and sheltered setting. The two promontories form a pretty bay that is backed by lush greenery. Turn up in the peak of the summer season and you’ll witness the lilies in full bloom – although the beach itself can only be reached between in autumn, winter and spring. During the summer months, the beach is closed for conservation reasons.
To get to this lovely beach, you can get there by foot with a 2 hour walk through the Maremma Regional Park, or you can also access it by boat.
Porto Santo Stefano Beaches
Made up of a few small bathing establishments and a number of free beaches, there’s a lot of choice for anyone arriving in this charming seaport town. Porto Santo Stefano, located in the Province of Grosseto and the Maremma area, is one of the two major communes that form the township of Monte Argentario. The Argentario Mountain, on which Porto Santo Stefano sits, is technically an island connected only by two thin strips of sand to the mainland. Around here, you’ll find some excellent beach spots, including Bagni di Domiziano, Cala del Bove, and Cala del Gesso.
Go past the Porto Santo Stefano area and you’ll find the coastline to get wilder. Access to the sea is more difficult too, but the rugged beauty of the coves is what seems to draw people in.
If you’re constantly in search of the charming and the quaint, Porto Ercole is both of those things. This chic Italian town, which is a part of the Monte Argentario municipality, has a lovely ocean promenade lined with traditional fisherman’s cottages. The views here are lovely and it’s a nice place to walk around even if you don’t plan on hitting the beach. Along the coast, there are both sandy and rocky beaches to enjoy, and you can even rent a raft or small boat to explore the many hidden coves. Some of the best bays and beaches for some peaceful sunbathing include Acqua Fresca, Spiaggia Lunga, Le Viste and La Feniglia.
This is one of the best areas for couples, and many of the beaches are wonderfully romantic.
A visit to Tuscany is not complete without seeing the Tuscan Archipelago, particularly if you’re here for the beaches. The island of Elba is the largest and most popular of all the islands, which are all protected by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. You can easily get to Elba Island from Piombino and once you arrive, you’ll be glad you made the journey. This is place made for beach lovers. Whether you love soft sand, rocky coves or wild and natural beaches that seem untouched by civilisation, Elba offers visitors so much choice. One of our favourite beaches is Sansone, set along the road from Portoferraio. It’s a white pebble beach with crystal clear waters, and it’s a postcard-perfect backdrop for photographs.
Ready to discover the beautiful beaches of Tuscany? From the high-end tourist beaches in the north to the wild beaches of the south, there are so many parts of the coastline worth exploring. Book a luxury villa in Tuscany and begin your beach adventure.