"There is an Neverland for every child, and they are all different."
Catamaran Charter in Tuscany
Our sailing vacation winds through all the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: the island of Elba is the best known as a beach resort, and because of its extreme convenience it also lends itself well to catamaran weekends.
Capraia allows escape from the caos thanks to its privileged location in the heart of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Giglio and Giannutri offer postcard-perfect beaches while in Gorgona, Pianosa and Montecristo one breathes an atmosphere of surreal peace, immersed in unspoiled nature.
There are two possible ports of departure. The first is Marina Cala de Medici in Rosignano Solvay, a well-organized and modern marina that is easily accessible by car from anywhere in Italy. The second possibility is to embark directly from Portoferraio in Elba Island, to be in the middle of the vacation without having to make long sailings.
Catamaran vacations in Elba
Elba Island's strategic location just 5 miles from the Tuscan coast, combined with its consistently mild climate and abundance of ridges in all weather conditions make it an ideal vacation destination 365 days a year.
The ideal starting point is Portoferraio (1), the capital of the island. Our catamaran is moored inside the historic Darsena Medicea which allows full enjoyment of the charming city center. Protected from all winds, not surprisingly it was named the safest port in the world by Admiral Nelson.
It was chosen as a place of exile by Napoleon, who modernized its architecture, making it a city worthy of an emperor; it is most interesting to visit his last residences, Villa San Martino and Villa dei Mulini, laden with history and culture.
North and west coast of Elba
A little further on, west of Capo d'Enfola, a large inlet opens up, within which we find the Gulf of Viticcio (2), with wonderful backdrops to explore with a mask, and the Gulf of Biodola (3), among the most beautiful beaches on the island.
You can spend the evening mooring your sailboat in the lovely harbor of Marciana Marina (4), which offers a bustling waterfront. The town is dotted with elegant late-19th-century cottages, and a gondola lift allows visitors to climb Mount Capanne, from where there are magnificent views of the archipelago and Corsica.
On the western side of the island, just south of Pomonte, lies the wreck of the Elviscott (5), a cargo ship sunk in 12m of water in 1972, an incredible setting for diving and snorkeling.
South and east coast of Elba
Surpassing Punta Fetovaia (6) there is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany, with clear water on a sandy seabed, while a few miles further you can moor your catamaran at Marina di Campo for a little tour of the mainland.
The south coast is interspersed with large gulfs and smaller, hidden coves, including the Gulf of Lacona (7), beautiful and busy, or the romantic rade of Zuccale and Barabarca (8), excellent for seaside anchorages.
To conclude our tour of Elba by catamaran, Porto Azzurro (9) is a must for enjoying the holiday atmosphere among small restaurants, trendy clubs and beautiful boutiques.
A little further offshore two smaller islets of the Tuscan Archipelago offer us back for a swim in wild, unspoiled scenery, Palmaiola (10) with its romantic beacon, and Cerboli and its solitary charm.
Our catamaran vacation in Tuscany continues in Capraia, which offers dreamy scenery only a two-hour boat ride away.
Most of the island is a protected nature reserve, with lonely coves where you can breathe in the Mediterranean scents, and which are home only to colonies of seagulls; it is impossible not to mention Cala Rossa, which thnaks to its iron-laden cliffs gives a breathtaking contrast to the turquoise water, and Moreto Cove which hosts a very large colony of gulls under the conspicuous Zenobito Tower.
The island's only village is perched five hundred meters above the harbor, and it conveys a very pleasant feeling of tranquility and carefreeness. It is very interesting to visit the former penal colony, or to get away from the village on one of the many hiking trails surrounded by greenery and the sounds of nature.
Giglio is an island with a unique character that sadly became famous for the Costa Concordia shipwreck in January 2012, but has so much to offer a catamaran vacation.
The country divides into two, Giglio Porto, bustling in summer, full of restaurants, craft stores and nightclubs, and Giglio Castello at the top of the hill, a village unchanged over the centuries protected by the thick fortified walls.
The island is freely navigable and gives us a series of bays one more beautiful than the other, such as the Cannelle Beach, with its long strip of sand from which to enjoy a magnificent sunset, the Caldane Beach, more peaceful and quiet, and finally Cala dell'Allume, with the picturesque remains of ancient mines.
Giannutri is the southernmost island of the Tuscan Archipelago, an oasis far removed from tourist dynamics thanks to a lack of accommodation facilities. Nature reigns supreme here, and snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be captivated by the explosive biodiversity that characterizes the seabed.
The only landing point is Cala Spalmatore, which with a few scattered houses and a mostly bare grocery store takes us back a hundred years. With no vehicles or paved roads, walking these paths far from modern life brings order to the chaos in which we are normally immersed in the city.
We will be able to anchor our catamaran in the northern part of the island, at Cala Maestra, a corner of paradise overlooked by the silent remains of a Roman villa.
Gorgona, Pianosa and Montecristo
The remaining islands of the Tuscan Archipelago have all been used as maximum security prisons in the past, and are to this day declared an integral nature reserve, making them difficult to visit but truly unspoiled.
Gorgona is inaccessible by sailboat except for cases of emergency refuge, and the only way to visit it is by guided tour departing from Livorno. Unlike the other two, it is still a prison, and inmates are responsible for preserving the natural and archaeological beauty of the island.
Pianosa like the previous island is inaccessible by catamaran, but you can take a ferry from Rio Marina on Elba. The visit will leave you amazed at the natural beauty, and the quietness of the small town.
The last island is Montecristo, made famous in the pages of Alexandre Dumas. Unlike the other two, by asking for permission from the Forestry Corps well in advance we will be able to dock the catamaran for a few hours at the pier in Cala Maestra, a unique opportunity for anyone spending sailing vacations in the Tuscan archipelago. Awaiting you will find a forgotten paradise, indescribable in words.
Catamarans for Charter in Tuscany
The following catamarans are available for your boating vacations departing from Elba Island:
Catamaran charter info in Tuscany
- When: Year-round.
- Catamarans: Lagoon 42, Lagoon 400 S2, Lagoon 450 F.
- Prices: Pricelist.
- Where: Embarking and disembarking at Marina Cala de Medici or Portoferraio.
- Duration: 7 days and 7 nights with embarkation on Saturday at 6 p.m. and disembarkation the following Saturday at 9 a.m., or a weekend catamaran trip to Elba (April, May and September only).
- Crew: It is possible to charter a catamaran in Tuscany with a skipper and hostess, or by bareboat
- Reservations: write to email@example.com or call the number +39 347 949 8966 (Luca).
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