Answering the question of what the best beaches in Tuscany are is not easy. Each person has their own needs and preferences, therefore there is no universal answer that everyone agrees on. Moreover, many people don’t even know that in Tuscany we have the sea.
Having been born and raised on the Tuscan coast, where I still work and live, I will give my personal suggestions to help you choose between the best beaches in Tuscany for you.
Are there any beaches in Tuscany Italy?
When you think of Tuscany your mind goes immediately to romantic rolling hills, fascinating villages, and cities full of art. But Tuscany is much more.
How far is Tuscany from the ocean? Is there an ocean in Tuscany? Can you swim in Tuscany? Does Tuscany have good beaches? These are the questions, legitimate ones, that I found by doing a little googling. And the answer to all of them is YES. The region has more than 400 km, 250 miles, of coastline. From Versilia & Apuan Riviera in the north to the Argentario in the south, many are opportunities for sea lovers.
The water is clean mostly everywhere and, in many places, its color is deep blue. Depending on what you like the most, you can swim in romantic bays, and choose between rocks or wide sandy beaches. You may prefer wild solitary beaches or equipped beach establishments. We have both. Without forgetting dog-friendly beaches, nudist beaches, party beaches for young people, or beaches suitable for families with children.
The 6 Best Beaches in Tuscany
Below is my pick of the top beaches in Tuscany where you should spend at least one day during your beach vacation in Italy.
Map of the best beaches in Tuscany
1. Equipped beach in Versilia
Go ahead with a reservation for one of the many beach clubs of Versilia if your idea of a summer holiday is lying on a comfy sunbed under a big tent between a swim and a walk along the foreshore. The first bathing establishment was built here in 1828 following the example of the seaside resorts of the British Empire.
A long strip of sand stretches from the glamourous Forte dei Marmi to Viareggio, passing through Pietrasanta and Lido di Camaiore. Parallel to the sea rises the Apuan Alps with their peaks that exceed 1000 meters in height. While bathing, turn your gaze towards the mountains. They are so close that it seems possible to touch them.
How to get to Versilia
Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio and the Versilia are easy to reach by car. Florence is just over an hour away while Lucca is only thirty minutes. Driving along highway A12/E80, take the exit Viareggio or Versilia. The train is convenient, too. Once arrived the best way to get around is riding a bicycle.
2. Lecciona, Viareggio
If you are a lonely soul who likes to be away from the crowds, Lecciona Beach is the right place. Fine white sand, sand dunes where Mediterranean vegetation grows wild. Behind it, there is a wonderful forest where locals usually go for a few outdoor activities like running and biking. The forest, much wetter due to the presence of the Apuan Alps close to the coast, is an ode to diversity. Here it is possible to cross different habitats that alternate repeatedly: holm oak and pine forests; often flooded areas with alders and ash trees. Finally, intermediate areas with English oaks and poplars.
This atypical forest is the perfect example of peaceful and entirely natural coexistence between different genders. A characteristic that matches the place where we are. In fact, the nearby Torre del Lago is an LGBTQIA+ tourist destination.
Bring your food and drink and sun umbrella because there are no kiosks or bath establishments. A fairly common practice is to make your own tent using a sarong and tree trunks you find on the beach.
How to get to La Lecciona Beach
I suggest taking the bike if you base in Viareggio or Torre del Lago. You reach the shore with a nice ride in the shade of the forest. With the car, you have two options. The first one is to park the vehicle in Viareggio, at the very end of the coastal suburb called Darsena. The second option is to leave the car in Torre del Lago, next to the LGBTQIA+ Mama Mia Club. From there, you see the entrance with the path that will lead you inside the park and later on to the beach.
3. Gulf of Baratti
The Gulf of Baratti is pure magic to me. A place of happiness. And beauty, especially at sunset. I am honest to admit that in July and August, the beach is a little too crowded. And parking for the whole day is not exactly cheap. But if you have the patience to wait until the sun goes down when everyone leaves, you will enjoy a unique experience. The kind that is good for the soul. Don’t miss to get an aperitivo at the Bagno Baratti right on the beach.
The sand in Baratti is unique. Fine and dark because of iron residuals. In the remote past 4,000 years, the gulf was one the most important harbors of that time thanks to deposits of the metal used mainly for making weapons and tools. And the town of Populonia on top of the promontory was one of the major settlements of the Etruscan Era.
If you need a break from the sunlight, you can move to the pine forest and rest in the shade. A cultural alternative to beach life is the visit to the interesting Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia.
How to get to the Gulf of Baratti
The Gulf of Baratti is on the Etruscan Coast of Tuscany, the coastal area that goes from Livorno to Piombino. It is about an hour away from Pisa, direction South, and one hour and a half from Siena. Driving from north on the E80 Highway, take the exit of San Vincenzo and then keep driving south following the road sign to Baratti. Coming from the south, take the exit Campiglia/Venturina.
4. Cala Violina. Best beaches in Tuscany
If sinking your feet into the sand of Cala Violina’s shoreline feels like hearing a violin playing, you will have discovered the reason for the beach’s name. Literally Violin Cove. The tiny grains of quartz, under the pressure of your footsteps, make a sound like that of a violin. Like all hidden treasures, once they are unveiled, everyone wants to go and see them. So, to preserve this little gem and its shining clear waters, the entrance is limited during the summer.
From the 1st of June to the 15th of September, you need to reserve your place at the beach. Only 700 people per day have the right to enter after having bought their ticket for a symbolic price of € 1,00 per adult. Kids under 12 yo are free. Here is the link to buy the ticket for Cala Violina.
How to get to Cala Violina
You find the beach of Cala Violina in the Natural Park of Scarlino, between Follonica and Punta Ala, in southern Tuscany. The side road leading to the only parking lot is located along the road SP 158 Delle Collacchie. To enter the car park you must show the beach reservation. Open from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, the daily rate is € 10,00. From the parking, a path of about 1,8 km (1,12 miles) leads you to the musical beach. If you spend the night close by the best way to reach Cala Violina is by bike, just remember to book the entrance to the shore.
5. Spiaggia delle Rocchette, Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione Della Pescaia in the Maremma of Tuscany is continuously on top of the list of the best seas in Italy. Every year Castiglione receives the Blue Flag as a reward for clear and clean waters and for the high standard of tourist services.
At the beach of Le Rocchette, you find crystal clear waters and a long wide sandy shore. This place is perfect for taking refreshing baths while small fish swim around you. But also to take pleasant walks to the ruins of the old fort on your right. You can choose to lay your towels on a free beach or rent sunbeds and umbrellas at one of the simple but comfy beach clubs.
How to get to Castiglione Della Pescaia
The Spiaggia Delle Rocchette is not difficult to reach. It is located approx 8 km/ 5 miles from the center of Castiglione Della Pescaia. In the surroundings of the two campsites, Le Rocchette and Baia Azzurra, there are paying parking lots where you can leave the car. Then, with an easy walk on the wooden path, you get to the beach.
6. Monte Argentario
Monte Argentario is a stunning place in the deep south of Tuscany, in the Maremma region. Two stretches of land connect the rocky promontory to the mainland. In the middle, the Laguna of Orbetello with its calm waters is the house of thousands of birds, including ducks, herons, geese, cranes, and even flamingos. An iconic water mill rises from the water of the everglade and is an unmissable place where take a picture.
Going back to the best beaches of Tuscany, at the peninsula of Monte Argentario you have more than an option. Where the mountain falls into the water there are secluded small coves such as Cala del Gesso, Cala Piccola, or Cala del Bove. To get to these isolated places you may have to walk a bit on wild paths.
The beaches of La Giannella to the north, and of La Feniglia to the south, are larger and easily accessible shores. Parking is available along the road. You can opt for either the free beach or use the services of small bathing establishments. There are also a few bars and food stations.
How to get to Monte Argentario, the last of our best beaches in Tuscany
Argentario is halfway from Pisa and Rome along the highway E80. The Capital of Italy is about 150 km/ 93 miles away. Pisa is a bit more than 200 km/ 125 km. In about an hour, you can drive to Saturnia to get a relaxing time at the thermal baths or visit Pitigliano, the little Jerusalem of Tuscany.
Other Beach Destinations in Tuscany
Within the website, you will also find other articles dedicated to the coast and the islands of Tuscany. We have divided the coast into three parts and for each, we have indicated the major seaside resorts. Here are the links:
Versilia and Apuan Riviera
The Etruscan Coast
Beaches in Tuscany: the Maremma
The best beaches in Tuscany: the Islands
Useful information about beaches in Tuscany
What is the most beautiful coastal town in Tuscany?
It is difficult to say what is the most beautiful coastal town in Tuscany. The south of Tuscany has lovely spots like Castiglione Della Pescaia and Monte Argentario. But I can add Follonica or Capalbio. Going up the coast, Castiglioncello has a pretty gulf while Cecina and San Vincenzo are ideal for families.
What is the closest beach to Florence Italy?
Viareggio, Lido di Camaiore and Marina di Pietrasanta in the Versilia are the closest beaches to Florence. In about an hour by car, on the highway A11, you drive from the center of Florence to the beach in Viareggio.
How far is Lucca from the beach?
Lucca is only thirty minutes from the sea. With the highway A11, you easily reach the Versilia with the town of Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Lido di Camaiore and Forte dei Marmi.
Is Pisa nearing the beach? How far is Pisa from the beach?
Pisa has a beachside. Marina di Pisa is only 15 20 minutes from the center.
Does Livorno have a beach?
Livorno is a coastal town in Tuscany. People from Livorno get crazy about the sea. In town, there is not a proper beach, but a few bath establishments on the rocks. The most famous is the Bagno Pancaldi. Going south you find the Romito, a spectacular stretch of coast made of rocks and a couple of little coves with crystal clear water. A proper sandy beach next to Livorno is in the town of Tirrenia.