Giglio Island

The beautiful island of Giglio, off the coast of Argentario, is one of the most important tourist destinations in the province of Grosseto and Tuscany.
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The beautiful island of Giglio, one of the most important in the Tuscan Archipelago, is located off the coast of Argentario, in the province of Grosseto. Excellent for a relaxing holiday, with a crystal-clear sea, it is equipped with all amenities and comforts, and has a very high tourist vocation. But Giglio is also ideal for a mini-cruise: there are many departing from Porto Santo Stefano, allowing you to explore the main areas and the most beautiful beaches while spending an unforgettable day.

On the island of Giglio, the watchword is relaxation by the sea, although it can get quite crowded in summer. There is not a huge nightlife, but tourists flock in the evenings to the narrow streets of Giglio Porto, Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese, the three inhabited centres. The island is also very suitable for walkers and hikers, who at Giglio can walk along numerous paths to discover decidedly quieter and more isolated inland areas.

With its 21 square kilometres, the island of Giglio is the second largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago: visit it far and wide, explore its magnificent beaches and wild hinterland, and you can be sure of returning home satisfied.

Giglio’s most beautiful beaches

On the island of Giglio, as a general rule, the sea is beautiful everywhere. There are numerous beaches , some sandy, others pebbly or rocky. There are four main ones, but there are many other small coves where you can dive into the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Choose your favourite, and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Campese Beach

Campese beach is the town beach of Giglio Campese. It has a slightly semicircular shape and is more than 500 metres long; at its right end is the iconic Campese tower, one of the symbols of the island of Giglio.

It is the largest beach on the island, and one of the most developed in terms of tourism. Forget about enjoying the quiet, unless you visit it out of season! Be that as it may, you will find dark-golden sand, a beautiful transparent sea with a seabed that immediately drops to a depth of one metre and then gently slopes down.

All the main services can be found on the beach: bathing establishments for sunbed and umbrella hire, shops selling beach products, bars and restaurants, as well as a range of activities such as a diving centre, boat hire and water taxi service. Thanks to its exposure, you can admire fabulous sunsets in Giglio Campese.

In addition to all these important plus points, there is also another: the Campese beach is very easy to reach! Just follow the main road to Giglio Campese, and you’re there. There is also a public bus service departing from Giglio Porto.

Cannelle Beach

The Cannelle beach is located immediately south of Giglio Porto, and is a true wonder. It is a thin tongue of fine white sand, with a spectacularly coloured sea.

Its location close to Giglio Porto means that it is very crowded, both by tourists staying in the resort and by those arriving in Giglio on a day trip, as it can be easily reached on foot with a walk of about 20-30 minutes along a scenic road, or more quickly by taxi, scooter or hired bike.

To get to the Cannelle beach, it is also possible to use water taxis that leave from the Giglio Porto waterfront, leaving every 20-30 minutes several times a day. Note that there are no bus connections.

Once on site, you will have the opportunity to rent sunbeds and umbrellas at the Cannelle wonderful Beach, and refresh yourself at the on-site bar and restaurant.

Caldane Beach

3spiaggia delle caldane, 58012 Isola del Giglio GR, Italy

Caldane Beach is located shortly after Cannelle Beach, continuing southwards. The walking distance between the two beaches is about 20 minutes, taking path number 23. It is a beautiful beach, and the smallest on Giglio. If you don’t want to get there on foot, the only alternative is by boat, so it is not too crowded.

The Caldane beach is partly free, and partly occupied by a bathing establishment. The space available is not excessive, so in the high season we recommend that you get there as early as possible.

Arenella Beach

4Localita' Arenella, 4, 58012 Isola del Giglio GR, Italy

Moving north from Giglio Porto is Arenella beach, the third largest on the island, about 100 metres long. You will find a sea of magnificent colours, and mixed sand-rock seabed; the rock called ‘The Turtle’ because of its shape is interesting.

You can get to Arenella by car from Giglio Porto; the road is comfortable and paved, although parking spaces are scarce, especially in high season, so much so that in the busiest periods you have to leave your car further back, near the Arenella hotel, and continue on foot to the beach.

Once there, you can take advantage of the bathing establishment on site to rent sunbeds or umbrellas, or lay down your towel in one of the free beach areas, which are, however, very small: best to arrive early in the morning!

Scalettino Beach

5Via Thaon de Revel, 45, 58012 Giglio Porto GR, Italy

The Scalettino beach is located in Giglio Porto, practically in the centre, at the end of the promenade walking north. Despite its proximity to the town and the port, it has clear, transparent water that is very clean.

It is a sandy beach, with very smooth granite rocks on either side, where it is very easy to lie in the sun. There is also an area that, thanks to the influence of the tide, turns into a small natural swimming pool, completely sheltered from the open sea by the rocks immediately in front, very suitable for families with small children.

Saraceno Beach

6Via del Saraceno, 69, 58012 Isola del Giglio GR, Italy

Walking along the road from Giglio Porto to the Cannelle beach, almost at the southern end of the town, you will come across the tiny Saraceno beach. It is little more than ten metres long, with a very narrow tongue of sand, no more than two metres. It is overlooked by typical houses and a few flats, in a truly original but nevertheless decidedly charming setting.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

The paths of Giglio Island

Despite being a tourist destination, the island of Giglio hides an unspoilt and wild hinterland . In fact, not many tourists venture into the heart of the island, and that is a pity, because the dense network of marked trails allows you to experience unique emotions.

You can walk overlooking the sea, with splendid panoramic views of Argentario and the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago; moreover, some paths lead to beaches that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

Many of Giglio’s paths were originally mule tracks, the only roads on the island that locals used to get from their homes to the fields. Today, the original use of the paths is gone, but they are used almost exclusively by tourists.

Beware that many of the trails are on rough paths, so you will need to wear comfortable footwear. Also, not all are suitable for mountain biking. Whatever trail you take, take plenty of water with you, and beware that inland the cellular network does not always work. Therefore, if you choose to organise part of the transport by taxi, make arrangements in advance for when you return.

The map of Giglio Island’s paths can be downloaded online or requested free of charge from the Pro Loco located at Via Provinciale 9 in Giglio Porto.

Where to stay on Giglio Island

On the island of Giglio, as mentioned, there are three main towns: Giglio Porto, Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese. Choosing one rather than another will greatly influence your holiday.

Choose Giglio Porto, the largest, if you prefer the convenience of having the ferries close at hand, as they sail and dock right here. With a hotel or flat in Giglio Porto, once you get off the ship you can also get to your accommodation on foot, without having to wait for a taxi, which are not exactly frequent, or public transport. Giglio Porto is also very pleasant to walk around, with a very characteristic promenade with shops, bars and restaurants. Beware that at ferry arrivals and departures, the area becomes very noisy and full of people.

Giglio Castello, on the other hand, is located on high ground. It has a very pretty historic centre, but as you can guess, it is far from the sea. This is a disadvantage for many, since you have to use your car to get to the beach, but for others it can be an unbeatable advantage, with less crowds and a more chic atmosphere.

Finally, the third place to sleep on the island of Giglio is Campese. Located on the opposite coast from Giglio Porto, it has a beautiful sandy beach, ideal for families with children who want to spend wonderful days on the beach.

All three resorts on the island of Giglio are very well equipped from a tourist point of view, so there is no shortage of hotels, flats, B&Bs and all the services needed for a carefree holiday.

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When to go to Giglio Island

Being a purely seaside destination, the island of Giglio lends itself perfectly to being visited in summer. August is when the season is at its peak, which brings a number of disadvantages: more expensive hotels and flats, less living space on the beach, people everywhere at all hours. Of course, August is the peak summer holiday month for Italians, but if you can, choose to come to Giglio in June or July, when the days are longer, the beaches less crowded and the prices still reasonable.

If you can, enjoy the island in May or September, months in which you can spend relaxing days lying on the half-empty beaches and take exciting walks along the many paths without having problems with excessive temperatures; some businesses, however, are already closed during these months.

How to get to the island of Giglio

The island of Giglio can be reached by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano, located in the municipality of Monte Argentario, in the province of Grosseto. The Argentario massif lies just off the east coast of the island.

From Porto Santo Stefano, ferries leave daily, several times a day, operated by two shipping companies: Toremar and Maregiglio. The crossing takes just over an hour, and tickets can be bought locally at the offices of the shipping companies, or online on their official websites. We recommend buying the ticket online especially on high season days, in order to secure a seat on board, although there are up to 12 departures per day in summer. In winter, the trips are reduced to 4 per day.

On the ferry it is also possible to embark your car or motorbike (in this case it is practically essential to book in advance!), or alternatively to park at one of the long-stay car parks in Porto Santo Stefano in front of the port. Finally, we would like to remind you that a disembarkation tax of EUR 1.50 must be added to the ticket price.

Where is located Giglio Island

The island of Giglio is located in the province of Grosseto, not far from the Argentario promontory as the crow flies. It is located east of the island of Montecristo, and north-west of tiny Giannutri.