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Cala Grande, Porto Santo Stefano - Argentario

text Marika Oggiano

The most beautiful beaches in Argentario

An itinerary to discover the coves with the clear sea that are a must in the area

Mount Argentario rises majestically over the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea that bathe the province of Grosseto, its craggy cliffs silhouetted against the sea and hiding numerous enchanting bays. Most of these are best reached by sea, perhaps by renting a boat or dinghy in Porto Santo Stefano or Porto Ercole. Getting around Argentario by land is possible, however, by car but also by scooter, given the short distances between one bay and another. All that will be needed is some good will and good legs since most of them can be reached via dirt paths that can only be traveled on foot. In this article we illustrate the beaches and coves that can be reached by land, in a route that starts from the north and follows the entire coastline on the slopes of Mt. until it rises again toward Porto Ercole.

Here you will also find the best aperitifs in the Argentario, and here the restaurants not to be missed. Looking for the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany? Click here!

  • La Giannella and La Feniglia

These are the two tombolos that connect Monte Argentario to the mainland, of which in fact they are not properly a part. In both cases the several kilometers of sandy beach are flanked by as much pine forest. Giannella, the northernmost tombolo, is a perfect beach for families-it is, in fact, full of amenities-but also for lovers of windsurfing and sailing sports since its beautiful waters are often rippled by winds. In contrast, Feniglia, whose beach is located close to the Dune Protection Reserve, being completely exposed to the south is well sheltered from the tramontana and maestrale winds. In addition to a clear sea with shallow waters, a nature trail for the blind and an exercise trail are located here.


  • The Baths of Domitian

Leaving Giannella and continuing along the coast, the first beach we encounter is the Bagni di Domiziano, named for the presence of the ancient Villa Domizia, a Roman residence of which some remains are still visible. Invisible from the road but easily accessible on foot, it is the perfect place for families: the beach is free and the seabed is shallow and sandy, perfect for children's play and a nice walk. In addition, if you happen to be there on low tide days, you will be able to see the ancient fish tanks surfacing from the sea.

  • La Soda

Continuing toward Porto Santo Stefano, the next stop is La Soda, a beautiful cove, formed by small pebbles and crystal clear water that can be accessed directly from the provincial road but also has a small dock. The beach is partly free and partly served by a bathing establishment that also has a restaurant. Its easy accessibility and shallow, clear waters make it an ideal place for novice divers.

  • The Pozzarello

Leaving Soda and continuing on the provincial road we come across the Pozzarello beach, an easily accessible bay formed by sand and pebbles, crystal clear waters and shallow waters. The beach is partly free and partly served by a few bathing establishments with bars and restaurants. It is the perfect place for the whole family to relax, being well sheltered from the winds the waters of the bay are in fact almost always calm.


  • La Bionda

Leaving Pozzarello one comes across the tunnel of the former Argentario railway. After 200 meters and passing through the third and final tunnel, you arrive at La Bionda, a beautiful beach of pebbles and sand, whose waters are always calm because they are protected from the open sea by a long barrier of rocks. However, cars are only allowed to pass through the tunnel in winter, so the advice is to leave your car at Pozzarello, or, on the other side, at Porto Santo Stefano, and continue on foot; it is only a few hundred meters!

  • La Cantoniera

Continuing on foot along the former railroad track, coming from La Bionda but also from Porto Santo Stefano, to which it is very close, is La Cantoniera. A small beach that is very lively, not only because of its easy accessibility and accessibility-it is also perfect for the handicapped-but also because it has a wall of rocks from which local youngsters make agile dives. The water is always clear but when the sirocco wind blows it is especially so.

  • Porto Santo Stefano

Arriving in the town of Porto Santo Stefano, one comes across two small, easily accessible beaches, Moletto and Caletta. In both there are bathing establishments, bars and restaurants, but also the free beach. At Moletto in the summer period in the waters in front of the beach is placed a water polo field, while at la Caletta there is a diving center that allows guided tours to discover the many seahorses that populate the seabed.

Porto Santo Stefano (ph. Marco Antonio Faccini)

  • La Caciarella

Leaving the town of Porto Santo Stefano and taking the scenic road, one arrives near the beach of la Caciarella, a pearl from a naturalistic point of view. To get there you have to leave your car and continue on foot, after which you have two options: an easier path that starts past Villa Miragiglio and leads to the beach in about twenty minutes, or another shorter one, it is 500 meters, but rather steep. There are no bathing establishments here, the sand is fine and the seabed is rich. On the reef to the east is the Grotta del Turco, which according to legend could provide shelter for entire fishing boats that had to hide from pirates, and which the more daring, equipped with mask and fins, can visit. Also on the seabed is a statue of Christ the Redeemer, marked by a plaque affixed to the rocks on the surface.

  • Cala Grande

Continuing on the scenic road, after Curva Buozzi, you will be able to admire the magnificent Cala Grande from above. Access to the three beaches that open onto this cove is halfway down the next straight, here you leave the car and continue on foot along a fairly steep but short and not too challenging path. It is an ideal area for diving since its seabed is embellished with carpets of posidonia oceanica, a symbol of an almost perfectly healthy ecosystem.

  • Cala del Gesso

Returning to the scenic road and arriving at kilometer 5.9, take the Via dei Pionieri, at the end of which, after a downhill path and a steep flight of steps, you will find one of the most beautiful creeks in all of Argentario, Cala del Gesso, welcoming you. The effort of the journey, from which you will discover breathtaking views, will be abundantly rewarded upon arrival. This cove is formed by tiny pebbles smoothed by the sea and splendid waters; opposite is the islet of Argentarola, a popular destination for divers thanks to the presence of a submerged rock rich in stalactites and stalagmites.

Cala del Gesso (ph. Cristina Gottardi)

  • Cala del Bove

From Cala del Gesso starts a path about 700 meters long and walkable only that leads to Cala del Bove. Here you will find no beach but a magnificent cliff so well smoothed by the sea that it allows you to spread your towel and lie down comfortably. The absence of a beach and the not-so-easy accessibility make it an uncrowded place ideal for those who love to relax.

  • Mar Morto

Taking the car back and continuing further south you will come across the Dead Sea beach, so called because of the presence of a natural pool formed by a barrier of rocks that prevent the sea from reaching the shore. Reaching this beach is not easy, you have to walk a rather steep 500-meter path, but once you get there you will be repaid for your effort: the seabed here is among the most beautiful in Argentario and is the habitat of a multitude of fish, so bring your mask with you! If you then feel like taking a walk on the rocks, continuing from here for about a kilometer, you can also see the Cannelle beach, where the sea continues unspoiled.

  • L'Acqua Dolce

Back in the car we begin the ascent north: the first mandatory stop is the Sweet Water. Leave your car in the parking lot of the Hotel Pellicano and drive along
an easy 200-meter path, you will arrive at a beautiful sand and pebble beach. Just one recommendation, don't get to the beach too late because on this side of the mountain the summer sun sets before 6 pm.

  • La Spiaggia Lunga

A few kilometers north of Acqua Dolce, the Spiaggia Lunga is a large expanse of pebbles and sand dominated by Forte Stella, a 16th-century building surrounded by a moat accessed by a drawbridge. To get to this beach you will have to leave your car and walk a short path, it is about 200 meters, but not easy to walk. You will find here a large free beach, however, for those who want to there is also a service of renting umbrellas and sunbeds.

  • Le Viste (or Riva del Marchese)

Almost arriving at the town of Porto Ercole is the beach of Le Viste, in front of which stands a beautiful turtle-shaped islet that can also be reached by swimming, if you are an experienced swimmer. The beach also consists of sand and rocks and is overlooked by the mighty Rocca Spagnola.
Continuing toward Porto Ercole, near the marina, there is also Cala Galera beach, perfect for children because it is sandy, with shallow waters and all the necessary facilities.

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