Yacht Charters Guide: the Tuscan archipelago
Yachting holidays in Tuscany
Tuscany and its archipelago, a paradise to explore by yacht: a region of charming villages, seaside towns, coastal or inland cultural itineraries, unforgettable scenery interspersed with sandy beaches, landing places, Mediterranean scrubland and majestic, windswept cliffs. An opportunity to charter a yacht and let yourself be bowled over by the landscapes that sweep along the region’s 250 miles of coast. And it is when we are at sea, lulled by the waves, that those landscapes become postcards: like the Apuan Alps, the colossal white marble cliffs, mirrored in the water. Sailing becomes a movie-like experience, offering excitement around the clock, under the sun and beneath the starry night sky. A sailing holiday lets you discover all those spots overlooking the sea, many of which are only accessible by boat: the wind caressing your skin, silence accompanied by the wash of the waves breaking against the hull, the indescribable taste of the salt air – these are your constant companies on a sailing vacation. Added to the beauty of the coastline, which ranges from more famous resorts such as Forte dei Marmi to unspoilt beaches such as Baratti, the Spiagge Bianche, Cala Violina, is the bewitching Tuscan archipelago with its 7 islands: Elba, Capraia, Giglio, Montecristo, Giannutri, Gorgona and Pianosa. 7 corners of paradise, 7 “sister” islands: local legend has it that as the Venus of the Tyrrhenian emerged from the water to embrace the horizon, she let seven pearls drop from her necklace; as they fell into the sea, they turned into the seven islands, each of which is different to the next. Hardly surprising then that the Archipelago is a protected National Park and among Europe’s largest marine reserves. The colours of the sea invite us to cruise between the islands and the coast, to enjoy the natural landscapes from every angle, whilst reassured by the gentle rocking of the boat. A palette of turquoise, azure and emerald green blends in with the crystal-clear water: the sheer beauty of these waters has helped the yacht charter business flourish in many of Tuscany’s ports. Let’s not forget the region’s seafaring passion and tradition. In the Renaissance, Pisa was a proud member of the Seafaring Republics, thanks to its plentiful fleet.
The best sailing destinations in the Tuscan archipelago
Sailing in the Tuscan archipelago is like navigating between precious Treasure islands: each island gives us different emotions, each beckons, waiting to be discovered, to reveal its natural and historical treasures to all those who sail there.
The Island of Elba is a cult destination for keen yachtsmen, and is a superb sailing ground for a yacht holiday. The island is popular as it is easy to reach, and has something for everyone. It will satisfy holidaymakers seeking relaxing beaches, those looking for great snorkelling spots, people wanting to call in for a delicious lunch, or those who want to stay on deck and gaze out at some stunningly beautiful scenery. There are plenty of marinas to anchor at, equipped with plenty of facilities, along with enchanting towns to visit, whether shopping’s your thing or you’d rather explore the island’s picturesque villages and uncover its less touristy side. There are also a huge number of beaches and anchorages where boats can drop the hook. The sea is crystal clear and clean: visitors marvel at its colours, which paint the landscape every shade of green and blue. One of the most popular aspects of those on sailing holidays around the Island of Elba are the numerous coves sheltered from the wind, which are dotted around the entire coastline of the Island of Elba.
Capraia is another of the Tuscan archipelago’s pearls. It is an ancient, extinct volcano which bewitches visitors with its history and its wonderful landscapes. The splendid island is fascinating and fun to discover by sailing around its coast. Capraia has a serviced marina where boats can moor and take shelter from the wind. There are also some stunning anchorages including the famous Cala Rossa – famous because from here the volcano’s crater is visible: the high, craggy rock faces which once formed the crater of the volcano, disappear into the sea. The red of the imposing cliff plunges forcefully into the blue of the deep. Only from a yacht is it possible to admire such special scenery.
Giglio is a stunning island with a picturesque harbour, overlooked by traditional colourful Tuscan fishermen’s cottages. It’s a triumph of colour and tradition that plunges visitors into Tuscany, its sea and its culture. Step onto dry land and you’re practically already in the small, welcoming town. A visit to Giglio Castello is not to be missed: wandering up through the narrow, winding streets one reaches the beautiful village perched up on the hill, looking down onto the sea. Partly surrounded by its ancient walls, Giglio Castello offers postcard-perfect panoramas. In addition to the harbour, boats can moor at some splendid spots which allow one to drop anchor and admire the coastline.
Giannutri: a tiny gem that oozes charm… a corner of paradise there to be discovered… an untouched island with its Mediterranean natural landscape preserved intact. On this strip of land in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, there are no towns, no marinas, no facilities: one is simply alone, at one with nature at its most primordial. These places offer the true essence of a yachting holiday experience: some spots can be reached only by boat, which becomes not just a mode of transport, but a refuge, a shelter, a “floating” home with a passport to fabulous destinations. Anchoring at Giannutri isn’t easy, but once on dry land, your efforts will be repaid by the sheer beauty of this place.
Yachting holidays in Corsica and Sardinia, departing from Tuscany
Tuscany is also an ideal departure point for sailing to Corsica (50NM) and Sardinia (110NM), especially for those who have two weeks available for a yacht charter. Indeed, a fortnight gives us the option to circumnavigate Corsica or sail directly to the Maddalena archipelago and cruise the beautiful seas between the north coast of Sardinia and the south of Corsica. For those who have just one week available, it’s possible to sail via Capraia, reach the ‘finger’ of Corsica, and cruise along the north-western coast of Corsica, more or less as far as Calvi.
What’s the best time of year to sail around Tuscany and the Island of Elba?
The best time of the year to set off on a yacht tour of the Isola d’Elba and the Tuscan coast is from April to October, when temperatures are mild enough to allow long swims and enjoy beaches and sunbathing, rocked by the boat. The month of August is the “most crowded” for beaches and harbours; but travelling by yacht always lets you maintain your own personal space and avoid the crowds.
Winter is cool, and the water temperature is too cold for swimming: for those who love peace and quiet and want to revel in the beauty of these places “in solitude”, the winter months are ideal. Crisp air, deserted beaches, and the sleepy coast: sailing in this season becomes a time for reflection and absolute rest.
The best bases for chartering a yacht to sail around Tuscany and the Island of Elba
The island of Elba is a favourite destination for those chartering yachts. The island offers an array of safe landing places, beaches and magnificent landscapes. From Castiglioncello, the northernmost base in Tuscany, to Cala Galera and Porto Ercole to the south: each base is suitable for sailing to the island of Elba. The distances from Elba vary, from 6 NM to 30 NM.
How to choose a Charter company for a yachting holiday in Tuscany and the Island of Elba
When it comes to a yachting holiday it’s important to choose the right Charter company to ensure reliability and professionalism at all times: from booking to choosing the destination, and picking the right vessel for your requirements; from planning custom itineraries and transfers, to providing assistance during the vacation. ItalyCharter is present throughout the Mediterranean: in Tuscany we offer a vast assortment of boats for hire: from Castiglioncello to the Argentario coast, tens of hand-picked yachts are read to set sail and take you to the most beautiful beaches and coves of the Tuscan archipelago. Sailing boats, catamarans and motor boats, from the most inexpensive vessels to luxury yachts: ItalyCharter is always on hand for advice. On the strength of twenty years of sailing every corner of the Mediterranean, and ten years of specialist charter business, we can cater to your every need.
Click on the links below to discover the vast range of vessels that ItalyCharter has to offer for a chartered yacht holiday in Tuscany