The coast in Tuscany varies a lot.
From long sandy beaches with shallow waters to beautiful steep cliffs.
To private serviced payment beaches to free of charge areas.
Some beaches are very child-friendly and some that are literally dangerous to swim at.
For the perfect beach holiday in Tuscany, it is good to know the differences between the locations.
In this mini guide to coast of Northern Tuscany, we will give you a few tips about each area, in order for you to choose where to spend your day at the beach.
The 6 most important advices for beach holidays are:
- If possible, then avoid going to the beach on Sundays. Often there are traffic jams and it is very difficult to find a parking space for your car.
- Is your dog holidaying with you then please check before going in which beaches you can bring it to
- Be aware that on the many private furnished beaches you have to pay.
- Remain under the umbrella between 12 am and 3 pm to avoid the sun.
- Rent a "pedalo" - a small boat so you see the coast from outside.
- Know the Tuscan beach culture - read below.
At the Versilia coast you will find wide sandy beaches that are private owned. This means that before entering, you will have to check in at the reception. You are hereafter directed to deck chairs and an umbrella which are for your use only for the rest of the day.
For this service, you usually pay from 20 to 40 Euros for a family of 4-5 persons.
In the beach area are other services available such as changing rooms, showers, toilets and often also a bar and restaurant. Please note that the beach attendant may ask you to leave if you have not checked in at the reception before even staying at the beach on your own towel.
The entire Versilia coast is extremely child-friendly with wide beaches and shallow waters. It is possible to rent “pedalo” for an hour or two – an interesting activity for almost all ages and it is very beautiful to get a panoramic view of the beach and the hills behind it.
Tuscan beach culture
There is a very special beach culture here. Many Italians rent the same umbrella at the same spot year after year. It is easy and you have you own changing room where you can keep your beach things. You know the owner of the beach, the children are sure to meet their playmates and yourself your friends.
Therefore you might experience that the beach attendant will tell you “no free space” even though many of the deckchairs aren’t in use this particular day – they are just reserved for their Italian “owners” in case they should decide to go to the beach later in the afternoon.
Forte dei Marmi beach
The beach towns are like pearls on a string at this stretch of the coast, but one of the more well known is Forte dei Marmi. It is a very exclusive resort with many high-end fashion shops and a coffee here will cost you four times as much than in other places – now you are warned!
Lido di Camaiore
Further south is Lido di Camaiore. Here you also find a Tivoli during the summer. Lido is connesced with
This beach town is known for a huge carnival every February and its beautiful Liberty buildings at the promenade.
Take a stroll at “lungo mare”, the promenade, in the late afternoon but do not eat your dinner at the restaurants – they only serve boring and too expensive dished.
Torre del Lago
If you prefer public beaches and sand dunes then head for the beaches south of Viareggio at Torre del Lago. Here you can bring your own umbrella and lunch pack.
Torre del Lago is situated between Mar Tirreno and the lake Lago di Massaciuccoli where Giacomo Puccini wrote some of his famous operas and every summer a big festival is held here.
Surrounded by the WWF natural reserve, Parco Naturale di Migliarino, this is certainly a place with a variety of activities.
Take a swim at the free beaches or go on a boat excursion on the lake. This is the place to go for bird lovers. You can also visit Puccinis Villa or take a bike ride in the San Rossore Park.
A day at the beach in this area is like a post card experience with the mountains in the background.
Marina di Pisa
If you go further south you will reach Marina di Pisa, which can easily be combined with a trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Piazza dei Miracoli, since Pisa is only 11 km from the beach. The beaches here are very child-friendly.
If you want to experience a wild coast then head toward Livorno and the coast south of the city. It is a unique nature experience with magnificent views. The landscape varies from rocky coast to small sandy beaches. Have lunch at one of the beach restaurants – they serve exquisite fish dishes.
The beaches south of Livorno
Stop for instance in Quercianella, a pleasant little town south of Livorno. The pace here is much slower than in the busy beach resorts at the Versilia coast. Great opportunities for surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving in the clear waters.
South of Livorno are a number of little cosy beach towns like Castiglioncello that can be dated back to the time of the Etruscans or Rosignano, Vada, Marina di Castagneto and San Vincenzo. The beaches along this coastline are a combination of private held and free public beaches.
Also make a stop in Populonia, one of the more famous Etruscan fortressed villages, where the city walls were built to protect the inhabitants from pirates. The village is situated very beautiful on top of a hill surrounded by the sea.
The coastline of Tuscany is varies a lot and invites you to visit a new place every day.
Enjoy and do remember the sun screen!
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