Tuscan Archipelago: Untamed islands & Migratory birds
Italy’s wildest archipelago, the seven islands which pepper the sea between Corsica and the coast of Tuscany come under the protection of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, and offer excellent cruising grounds.
Still untouched, the islands are fabled to have been the pearls of Venus, lost as she swam in the waters of the Mediterranean. The smallest and most remote is Montecristo. An uninhabited nature reserve;only 1000 people per year are allowed to set foot. The rugged terrain, lush forests and glistening waterfalls are unfettered by tourism. Watch rare sea birds perched on grey and pink granite.
Giannutri calls out for hiking by morning and sunbathing in the afternoon: five kilometres of private paradise whose clear waters are rich with coral gardens and shipwrecks, making it a diver’s paradise. Capraia is a volcanic island home to fantastic archaeological sites, while Giglio is the fishing capital of the archipelago, promising great catches for avid sportsmen. Elba, the largest and most renowned of the islands was home to exiled Napoleon Bonaparte. The gorgeous harbour at Porto Ferraio has excellent dining and shopping, while the rugged interior yields sensational views of pine-clad hills and majestic Monte Capanne and picturesque villages.
Cruise by Monte Calamita on Elba and watch your compass. One huge deposit of iron, the mountain exerts such a strong magnetic field that it tampers with the nav systems on passing yachts
Watch the flocks of migratory birds circling Montecristo at dusk
Head to Giglio’s Bay of Campese where reliable southerly winds make it a great surf spot and it’s westerly position means you end the day with fabulous sunsets