Join us in Italy’s Tuscan Islands for Sea, Sailing and Wine
Price is $5,000 per cabin based on double occupancy, master cabin is $5,400.
Captain and Mate
Fuel top off
Starter Provisions for breakfast and lunch
Linens and Towels
Custom Sailing Welcome
Not included are marina fees, additional provisions, wine tours and dinners ashore. Week one, we will be joined by an Italian Wine expert who is arranging tours and tastings for us with her many contacts.
When you think of Tuscany, odds are you are picturing idyllic rolling patchwork hills, olive groves, sunflower fields, vineyards, and walled hilltop cities. Take a sailing holiday in the Tuscan Islands and you can experience all this and more.
Legend has it that the Venus of the Tyrrhenian sea let slip seven pearls from her necklace as she emerged from the sea to ‘embrace the sunset’. These pearls then transformed themselves into the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.
This group of seven totally unique islands called the “Seven Sisters” extends over an area of approximately 115.8 sq. miles between the Tuscan coast and Corsica. Following your flight to Pisa or Florence, you transfer via train or bus south to our starting point on the beautiful Tuscan Coast.
Elba (province of Livorno) is the largest island and faces the gulf of Follonica just 6 miles off Piombino on the Tuscan Coast. It is also the most visited island and the richest in life, villages, natural beauties, historical monuments and tourism. This is also where we are arranging a private tour of one of Elba’s top vineyards followed by a wine tasting. The following day we will have a tasting from a Tuscan wine distributor. Here 100’s of wines are available to try along with a traditional Italian meal.
The other islands are: Giglio (province of Grosseto), a diving paradise lying in front of the Argentario peninsula; nearby Giannutri, with its enchanting coves and suggestive remains of old Roman villas; Capraia, an island of volcanic origin which is the closest island to Corsica; Gorgona, a tiny isle which lies in the sea in front of Livorno; Pianosa, a small, flat island not far from the isle of Elba; and the rocky and ragged isle of Montecristo which lies further south between Elba and the Argentario.
The Islands of Elba
Its sandy beaches and ragged crags make Elba the isle for everyone. Thanks to its 86 sq. miles it is also the largest of Italy’s minor islands. At its widest it is 16.7 miles from Capo d’Ortano to Punta Nera and narrowest 11 miles from Capo San Vito to Punta dei Ripalti. To see the entire panorama you can climb (if you have the energy) Monte Capanne. The views are breathtaking.
Portoferraio is the main city of Elba, which is divided into three parts: the western side is of volcanic origin and higher in elevation; the central part is flat or with low hills; the eastern side includes the millenary area. Its millenary history was written by the Etruscans and by the Romans. The Etruscans were the first to exploit its metals, while the Romans called it “Ilva” and built sumptuous villas on it (the best example is Villa delle Grotte in Portoferraio).
But it was undoubtedly Napoleon who left the most significant mark on the island, after being exiled there in 1814. Today it is a top tourist destination. Portoferraio was founded in 1514 on the remains of a Roman port and was protected by Forte del Falcone, Forte Stella and by Torre Linguella. There are 7 other villages nearby: Campo dell’Elba, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina, Marciana, Capoliveri, Marciana Marina and Rio nell’Elba. The island has a total population of 28000 inhabitants and there is a paved road network of 99.4miles.
The southernmost of the Tuscany islands, Giannutri has a surface of just two square kilometres and a handful of inhabitants. Its coasts are ragged and full of fascinating coves. There are two landing places: Cala Maestra on the western side and Cala dello Spalmatoio, where the built-up area is developing. Although you’re not allowed to stay overnight on the island unless you have rented accommodation, the island still deserves to be visited for the incredible beauty of its sea and the unspoilt nature; the island is both a natural reserve and a marine park.
Isola del Giglio
This island is an enormous mass of grey granite covered with deep-green vegetation and lying 14 kilometres from the Argentario promontory. Its steep coasts alternate with small beaches. There are three developed areas: Giglio Porto (ferries from Porto Santo Stefano berth here), Giglio Castello (a fortified village built by a colony from the city of Pisa) and Campese (with the most beautiful beach). The island had already been inhabited by the Greeks and by the Etruscans, and was subsequently exploited by the Romans for its granite caves. Its name (‘Giglio’ means lily in Italian) has nothing to do with the flowers, but derived from the Greek word “Aegilion” which means “the place of the goats” because of the high number of these animals living here. Local restaurants offer delicious dishes, mainly based on fish and seafood.
This is the Tuscan island which lies closest to the isle of Elba; however, a permit from the Direzione Generale degli Istituti di Prevenzione e Pena (Head Office of Prevention and Detention facilities) of the Italian Ministry of Justice is required before landing, as there is a prison on it. Pianosa is bordered by enchanting beaches and looks like a tropical island. The most beautiful beach is Cala Giovanna. Archaeological finds of the Roman age are visible on the sea-bed around the island.
This wild and hilly island is the farthest from the Tuscan coast and the closest to Corsica. It is the only one of volcanic origin and the only island with a lake ‘Lo Stagnone’. This island with a surface of 7.72 sq. miles is covered with brushwood, has 18.6 miles of coastline and is part of the Tuscan Islands National Park.
Weather and Winds
The climate is typically Mediterranean where summers are warm, dry and breezy. During the summer months the prevailing wind is W – NW and it rarely reaches gale force. Around Capraia, Elba, and down the mainland coast to Giannutri there will often be SE winds with frequent periods of calm. At night there is often a light W or SW wind.
How to get there
To explore the Tuscan Islands you can choose to fly into Pisa, Florence or even Rome. It is easier to get there from Pisa or Florence, Rome takes a bit longer.
We will be sailing on a Comet 52. She is sleek and fast. Equipped with one large master stateroom with ensuite WC and two double cabins aft she is a joy to sail. She has a generator and AC as well as all the latest safety gear and navigation equipment.