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Summer Sun in October: Travel Story on Coastal Hiking in Tuscany

Along the Sparkling Mediterranean to the Island Paradise of Elba
Hiker on the high-altitude trail on Elba

Summer, sun, beach, sea, and hiking... in October? It's quite a challenge to fulfill all my desires for the upcoming vacation. However, I'm thrilled to announce that in 2023, we have a new tour lined up that seamlessly combines all these elements. The Tuscan Coast hiking tour from Pisa to Elba is perfect for exploration from March to October.

Hiker on the high-altitude trail on Elba

With stable warm weather, it's ideal for those yearning for spring's warm sunshine, seeking to blend a beach vacation with hiking, or aiming to escape autumn's rainy weather. In short, it's a true "seasonal all-rounder." Italy has always held a magical allure for me as a travel destination. After my hiking tour Piedmont - Liguria three years ago, I was certain that this wouldn't be my last hiking holiday in Italy. We're all set and ready to embark on this adventure!

A heartfelt "benvenuto" in Tuscany

Florence is well-served by numerous air and rail companies. If you have enough vacation time, it's a great idea to spend a night in Florence. Transitioning from the vibrant capital of Tuscany to a relaxed hiking holiday is an enticing prospect for me. With our holiday spirits high, my partner Christoph and I delve into our sightseeing program, exploring Florence's art, culture, and history. The following day, we buy tickets to Pisa at the train station. Throughout our journey, we're continually impressed by the efficiency of the region's railway network. Purchasing tickets from the machines is quick and easy. Despite traveling during the off-season, the trains are consistently punctual, fares reasonable, and connections regular. It's all we could ask for and more!

Leaning Tower of Pisa in the evening

Tip: A sustainable and environmentally conscious option are the night trains from Munich or Vienna to Florence. After relaxing on the overnight journey, you awaken refreshed in the heart of the Mediterranean Tuscan region.

Enchanted by the charm of Pisa

After a mere 30 minutes on the train, we arrive in Pisa and leisurely stroll to our hotel. There, we are greeted by the well-presented travel folder containing information about the time and location of our welcome meeting. After meeting our friendly on-site tour representative, Simone, and armed with plenty of insider tips for the days ahead, we stroll into the lively old town as the sun sets. Everyone knows the "Leaning Tower of Pisa," and a photo of it is practically mandatory.

Because of this, I'm somewhat biased and assume that the small town is primarily known as a pilgrimage site due to its iconic landmark. But not at all! Pisa surprises us, especially in the evenings, with romantic alleyways and cozy restaurants right in front of the leaning tower. The relaxed locals enjoy the evening by the banks of the Arno River, basking in the last rays of sunlight. With this typical Italian atmosphere, our excitement for the upcoming hiking days in this enchanting region grows by the hour.

From Sweet Chestnuts to Seaside Vistas: Pisa – Castiglioncello

Cyclamen flowers border the trail's beginning in the Monti Pisani. As we journey through the enchanting deciduous forest, a rustling in the bushes catches our attention, revealing eager chestnut hunters on both sides of the path. Continuing on, we encounter two shy wild horses grazing amidst the foliage. Exiting the enchanted forest, we find ourselves on a herb-scented plateau with panoramic views of the hilly landscape. Embarking on the second leg of our hike, we cross the hinterland until we reach the imposing black volcanic mountain. Enjoying the sea vista, we gradually descend on the gravel path towards our next overnight stop in Castiglioncello. Swiftly checking into the hotel, we reward ourselves with a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters of the nearby "Bagni Nettuno" beach.

Hiker with a distant view

Culinary Tips in Castiglioncello: At the hiking destination, indulge in delicious pistachio-filled croissants with a well-deserved espresso at Caffé Ginori. The ambiance of the restaurant "Enoteca La Stazione" and its seafood dishes promises a wonderful end to the day.

Green cliffs and island paradise: Castagneto - Elba

At the start of the hike in Cecina, bathing opportunities and beach cafés beckon in the morning. But for us, it's straight into the fragrant and shady pine forest, followed by a stroll along the beach. There's no shortage of restaurants in Castagneto either. We opt for one of the many traditional seafood eateries. At the start of the next leg, we first tackle a bit of uphill terrain, and then we're off: one spectacular cliff view after another. Thanks to the sea breeze and the numerous refreshing coves, we keep a cool head and thoroughly enjoy the high paths all the way to Piombino. In the morning, we board the ferry from the harbor to cross over to the island of Elba. We have arrived in an island paradise where various hiking trails await. We can't get enough of this paradisiacal place and will surely return.

Hiker with a sea view

My favorite spots on Elba include the picturesque port of Porto Azzurro and Padulella beach, where countless shimmering fish can be spotted right by the shore. It's no wonder that Elba is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean.

My Conclusion

To me, the appeal of coastal hiking lies in the harmonious blend of land and sea, which creates a rich tapestry of landscapes. This tour showcases a diverse array of scenery, from expansive sandy shores to aromatic pine forests, awe-inspiring coastal vistas, and beyond. Whether it's spring, summer, or autumn, this vacation ensures a rejuvenating and thrilling escape!

My favorite spot

The Lake of Terranera on Elba gleams like an emerald jewel nestled among the hills. With each step along the trail, a black-glistening strip of sand becomes increasingly distinct, separating the green lake from the blue sea. This scenery is so vividly colorful that it almost appears unreal, but that's precisely what I love about this place. The "Laghetto di Terranera" can be found on the hike from Porto Azzurro.

Hiker at sulphur lake on Elba
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