The seven small islands found between the Tuscan Coast and Corsica are known as the Tuscan Islands or the Seven Sisters. Peace and quiet thrives in the smaller islands, but throughout the chain, excellent beaches, stunning countryside and a rich culture make holidays to the Tuscan Islands an unforgettable experience, and one you will want to repeat year after year, slowly uncovering the treasures the islands have concealed for generations.
The coastlines of the Tuscan Islands are mainly rugged and rocky, with interspersed cove beaches and inlets, where wide expanses of sand offer visitors the perfect place to relax in the sun. There are a huge number of secluded, serene beaches to find, although you may have to walk a little to discover a Tuscan Island beach to yourself. Sailing, windsurfing and canoeing holidays are fantastic from Tuscan Islands accommodation, and the scuba diving is simply exceptional, as much of the coastline is protected by National Park status.
The Tuscan Islands are a haven of wildlife and nature. Across the islands are a range of endangered plants flourishing in the wild, and the islands make up the largest marine biological park in Europe. These islands are also incredibly important to migratory bird making the long trip fromEuropeto Africa each year, and dolphins can often be seen playing around boats off shore. If you are sailing or boating from your villa in the Tuscan Islands, be aware, in some parts, boats are not allowed within 1000m of the coastline due to the protected status of the coast.
Trekking on the islands is hugely popular, especially in the spring and autumn, when air temperatures are more pleasant than scorching, and the vegetation is lush but not wild! Horse riding holidays and mountain biking trips also fantastic options in the Tuscan Islands, and both equipment and route maps can be organised on the larger islands of Elba, Giglio and Capraia. The cliffs which surround large parts of the islands are also a haven for climbers, but care is needed not to disturb nesting gulls. Again, information on suitable climbs is available from tourist information centres around the major islands.
Elba is the largest and most popular of the Tuscan Islands. The beaches which line the rugged coastline are magnificent, with thick, soft sand sloping gently into the warm, still waters of the Mediterranean. The highest peak on the island, Monte Capanne awards its climbers with astonishing 360? views across the whole island, from which you can spot some of the most famous historical monuments, grandiose villas and prettiest beaches. This was the island on which Napoleon spent his exile, and there are also remnants of Roman harbours, fortifications and villas.
Giglio is a rugged little island, where white sand beaches sporadically appear around the coastline, met with the thick forests of the interior of the island. There are three settlements in the island, all of which providing sensational diving, excellent caving and some mouth watering seafood.
The wild island of Capraia is the furthest from the Tuscan Coast. Part of the Tuscan Islands National Park, and home to the only lake on the islands, Capraia is a fantastic destination to get away from it all, with beaches and unspoilt countryside all to yourself.
The climate of the Tuscan Islands is exceedingly pleasant. May and June, and September to October are fantastic times to visit, as the air is fresh and average monthly temperatures remain above 20°C. Daily temperatures peak at around 30°C, perfect for exploration of the islands, on foot, bike, horse or by boat. July and August become very warm, as tourists flock to the beaches.
Reaching the Tuscan Islands requires a little effort, but as soon as you arrive in your self catering villa in the Tuscan Islands, you will know that the effort was worth it, many times over. Firstly, you must get a British Airways, easyJetor Ryanair flight to Pisa International Airport (PSA). From the airport, trains run from Pisa Centrale station to Piombino, taking a couple of hours, and from there, there are frequent ferries running to the islands, provided by Moby and Toremar.