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GIGLIO BY KAYAK

Itineraries by kayak along a stunning island just offshore Tuscany, with beautiful beaches and impressive cliffs
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

The island of Giglio is located off the Argentario peninsula in southern Tuscany, an hour by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano. As a holiday destination is quite popular, especially with Italians, but it could be even more famous if you consider the incredible beauty of its coasts that, when explored by kayak, are a continuous source of excitement. And we must not forget its three picturesque villages: Giglio Porto, where the ferries arrive, GIglio Campese, with its beautiful beaches and marina, and the medieval village of Castello, perched on the mountain at the center of the island (and therefore difficult to reach by kayak :)).
Under the map of the island (with distances in order to plan your kayaking trip along the coast) we write a guide to the Isola del Giglio starting from our latest experience of circumnavigation of the island by kayak.

Kayak isola del Giglio, Tuscany
Kayak in Tuscany: Giglio island, with the beaches of Campese and the cliffs in the south of the island; map and distances

How to get to Isola del Giglio
Ferries to Giglio Island leave from Porto Santo Stefano, a beautiful town on the coast of Tuscany, in the province of Grosseto. There are two companies, Toremar and Maregiglio, with similar prices: a person can travel for about 10-12 Euros each way; there is also the possibility of loading the car (40-45 Euros each way), although in high season access to the island could be granted only to the residents' vehicles.

To carry the kayaks to the island, the most convenient solutions is to load the car on the ferry with the kayaks on the roof (or with an inflatable canoe in the trunk), although Maregiglio also offers the opportunity to embark simply a kayak on the ferry.
Once in Giglio Porto, you can explore this quaint village, with views that can now roam on the cliffs to the north (where the Costa Concordia tragically stranded years ago).
If you travel to Giglio by car, you can park it for free by following the road signs for Campese: along the road going uphill, after a kilometer or two, there are some free spaces where to park the vehicle. Please leave the kayaks in Giglio Porto before embarking in such endeavour!
Porto Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
Porto Giglio, where the ferries arrive from Tuscany, and where to start the kayaking trip
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
Five minutes after having put your kayaks in the water, you find yourself paddling along beautiful cliffs
From Porto Giglio to Campese
Once you put the kayaks in the water at Porto Giglio, you can start your circumnavigation of the island going clockwise or counterclockwise. For those who get off the ferry at 2:30 PM, as we did, it's better to proceed counterclockwise, because in this direction Campese is just 8 kms away and therefore it can be easily reached before dinner (at Campese ther is the only camping of Giglio island, as well as hotels, restaurants and shops). On the contrary, if you have more time on the first day than on the second, it is recommended to paddle along the coasts of Giglio clockwise.
You can look for the most convenient places where to sleep here.

The coast to the north of Porto Giglio is immediately amazing: clean water and nature. Only flaw, there might still be some works in progress due to the post-Concordia wreckage: in this case, you have to paddle off to the yellow buoys. Then you meet Arenella beach, where we stopped because the clear water and the rocks and the houses on the sea were - and still are - very spectacular.
Giglio Arenella in Kayak, Toscana
Arenella beach, not very far from Porto Giglio, boasts a wonderful water...
Giglio Arenella in Kayak, Toscana
...almost Caribbean-like transparent. The kayak appreciates it.
By kayak you can follow closely the low cliffs and the pristine nature of this side of the island for several kilometers. There are no other beaches, but some flat rocks where you can stop. After a lot of nature, you meet the first buildings: the Baia del Sole camping is just before Campese and you can notice it by looking out for bungalows and tents. For those who stay here, the flat rocks just below the aamping are a convenient landing space for kayaks.

If you want to get to Giglio Campese town, you have to paddled for few hundred meters more. At first you meet an imposing tower on the sea; to its left there is a small stone bridge under which you can pass by kayak, entering the beautiful marina.
Giglio Campese lies on a wide arc of beach with umbrellas, bar and everything you need to enjoy yourself. The restaurant Da Tony serves delicious seafood at reasonable prices.
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
Giglio Campese boasts the largest beaches of the island, amazing sunsets...
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
...fish restaurants and a stone bridge under which you can paddle and enter the marina.
Campese - Porto Giglio
Paddling south of Campese, you meet another imposing tower, but this time it's righe in the middle of the sea, it's made of rock and it's natural! The coast becomes increasingly steep, with sheer cliffs topped by the green lush vegetation of Giglio. There aren't many beaches, but the clear blue sea is a good consolation.
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
The rocky tower after Giglio Campese is the start of fantastic landscapes...
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
...where to paddle, swim and enjoy the uncontaminated nature.
Along the most spectacular landscapes you arrive at the southern tip of the island, topped by a lighthouse. From here, you can see Giannutri and Argentario in the distance. Giglio Porto is not very far, so it is likely to meet more boats.
Going north, you meet again some beaches, really nice even though they might be crowded. Gliding over green and clear water, you arrive at Porto Giglio.
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana Pomodoro di mare al Giglio Faro del Giglio
Paddling towards the lighthouse of the southern tip of Giglio, you cross crystal-clear water appreciated also by "sea-tomatoes"
Giglio in Kayak, Toscana Giglio in Kayak, Toscana Giglio in Kayak, Toscana
After a break under the lighthouse, more spectacular bays and some beaches until you reach Porto Giglio to end the trip.
The interior of the island of Giglio
At this point, no matter how happy and tired you are after the kayaking trip, before boarding a ferry and living Giglio you have to explore its verdant interior. There are several trekking paths that cross the island, which is a natural park (this means the wild camping is prohibited). The village of Castello, perched on the highest point of the island, is made of medieval housesa and narrow alleys and boasts beautiful views over Isola del Giglio and the wide open sea.
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You can find more photos (with higher resolution) of all the kayaking trips in Tuscany in this Facebook post:
Foto Elba, Giglio, Argentario in kayak
All photos from Elba, Giglio and Argentario visited by kayak

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