Photo ©Roberto Ridi
Kilometres of pristine islands and coastline
Tuscan destinations for water adventures
by Ciclica /en/authors/ciclica/

From a region that vaunts countless kilometres of coastline it’s no surprise that a wide range of outdoor activities and sports are on offer all year round. Come armed with a spirit of adventure and go exploring, Tuscany with its beaches is waiting for you!

In Italy, the first ever group of surfers got to grips with this sport right here in Tuscany. Thanks to these “pioneers of the board”, Versilia is still regarded as the surfing capital of Italy. 

Having landed on the beautiful beach of the Gulf of Baratti, the unusual grey-black colour of the sand immediately makes an impact, bearing the traces of a centuries-old activity. Iron was worked locally here in ancient times, whose traces are still found in the dark shade of the sand due to ferrous residues that, shining in the sun, make the entire Gulf shine too. With its shallow waters and rocky outcrops Baratti Beach is the perfect setting for watersports.

Sailing around Elba might spark interest in the island’s history, dropping anchor near the Napoleonic residences. Napoleon Bonaparte stayed on the island during his first exile, which lasted for about ten months between 1814 and 1815. His residences were the Villa dei Mulini and Villa di San Martino, both of which are open to the public. Montecristo Island, one of the seven islands thatcomprise the Tuscan Archipelago, was the inspiration behind Alexandre Dumas’s novel starring the famous count of the same name.

The coastal Pisa area, suitable for different outdoor sports, might provide a cue to start a history and sports trail, a treasure hunt for clues about the age when business was thriving and Pisa was one of the four Maritime Republics. In the 11th century, Pisa won its freedom. The many sailing clubs along the coast testify to the tradition.

The Val di Lima is an outdoor adventure park, where water and nature play starring roles. It’s a place where unique activities can be enjoyed in absolute safety: go canyoning, abseiling suspended in the air by cables or plumb for the more relaxing option of SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) along the Lima River.

The Orrido di Botri also known as the “Canyon of Tuscany”, was carved by the Pelago River over the centuries, creating the deep chalky walls that allow today’s adventurers to abseildown them, suitably equipped, to admire the points along where the rivercannot reach. An intriguing nature reserve that can be visited in its entirety.

Tourism becomes accessible also thanks to sport. The beaches along the Tyrrhenian coast are popular with athletes and assistants of the Italian disabled surfing team, offering opportunities to surf and do SUP for individuals with different types of disabilities. Cecina’s beaches also offer similar possibilities. Accessible SUP is on offer on the Arno river in Florence to see the city from a different point of view under the Ponte Vecchio.