The Argentario is a big stone "panettone" that falls into the sea with very high cliffs.
Rocky coves that preserve hidden beaches, easily accessible by sea but, with a little good will and good legs, can also be reached from the mainland.
From Giannella to Porto Santo Stefano there are beaches for everyone, including children. Then the accesses become more challenging. Bring the bare essentials, perhaps in a backpack, and don't forget to go snorkeling.
You came here for that, didn't you? Then we go!
Following the map: 1 and 20 - Giannella and Feniglia are not part of the actual Monte Argentario but are the two tombolos that join it to the mainland. Their detailed description can be found in this same section.
2 - I bagni di Domiziano
It is the first beach you will meet leaving Giannella. So called because of the proximity of Villa Domizia, an ancient Roman villa of which the ruins immediately behind the point on the left remain visible. For those of the place it is the Gerini beach! (via the marquis Gerini, former owners of the nearby house) Although it is not visible from the road, it is easy to reach by walking a short path. Small sandy free beach and shallow water. The only sore spot is the parking lot, very small on the roadside. It is an "early morning" beach.
3 - LaSoda
It is accessed directly from the provincial road. It has a small dock, a stretch of free beach and a bathing establishment with a restaurant attached. Small pebbles and crystal clear water. Good base for novice divers.
4 - Pozzarello
This beach also has direct access from the provincial road. A dock for mooring and a bathing establishment with an adjoining restaurant. Pebbles and sand. Place very sheltered from the winds and sea almost always calm and clear.
5 - La Bionda
At the end of the Pozzarello begins the tunnel of the former Argentario railway. After 200 meters, at the end of the three tunnels, you will find this pretty pebble and sand beach. The reef of rocks makes the sea here always calm. Access to the tunnel, which leads to the port of Porto Santo Stefano, is allowed for cars only in winter. You can park at Pozzarello or in Porto Santo Stefano making a nice walk on foot.
6 - La Cantoniera
You will get there by following the path of the former railway. Sand and small pebbles. There is a rental of sunbeds and umbrellas. It is easily reachable on foot from Porto Santo Stefano and therefore very busy.
7 - Il Moletto
It is located at the end of the Via del Molo in Porto Santo Stefano. The beach is very small and half occupied by a beach establishment. Sand, rocks and for sportsmen a "field" of water polo.
8 - La Caletta
It takes its name from the hotel behind it. As "Il Moletto" has access from the town. Here you will find a beach club, a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea and a diving center with guides for observation of seahorses.
9 - La Cacciarella
Exit Porto Santo Stefano and take the panoramic road. After the Tower of Lividonia you reach the beach: very small, formed by sand and positioned between two cliffs. There are no beach resorts. It's not for those with small children. Excellent base for snorkeling, the seabed here is beautiful. It can be reached by two accesses, an easier one, after Villa Miragiglio, which leads to the sea in 20 minutes along a path that runs along the low Mediterranean maquis, the other, after about 500 meters, shorter but much steeper and more demanding. On the cliff to the east is the Grotta del Turco, the entrance is a bit hidden, but the inside of the cave is very wide. A local legend tells that santostefanesi fishermen were able to hide here with the whole boat, thus escaping the capture of the Saracen pirates who, after a long chase, saw the fishermen disappear among the rocks and failed to identify the access to the cave.
Here, on a backdrop of 15 meters, the statue of Christ the Redeemer was placed, marked by a plaque affixed to the rocks on the surface.
10 - Cala Grande
Continue for the overview. After Curva Buozzi you can admire it from above. It is the most frequented by boats because it is very sheltered. You will find it in the middle of the following straight, where a path descends quite steeply. It is about 500 meters long and after the first 100 meters you pass on what was an ancient ditch called del Cauto. After crossing the scrub composed of tall oaks you will begin to see the clear waters of this cove. The route is not very demanding, but not suitable for those with small children. There are three beaches in this cove and they are composed of pebbles. The seabed is great for snorkeling. There are no beach resorts.
11 - Cala del Gesso
To reach it, take the panoramic road until you reach km 5.9 immediately after Cala Moresca (which I did not mention because it has private access or can be reached by sea). On the right, take Via dei Pionieri. At the end of the descent you will find a gate with a walkway, go down on the asphalted path that ends with a short but steep staircase. Comfortable shoes! The path is tiring, but Cala del Gesso is one of the most beautiful coves of the Argentario. The beach is made up of very small and smooth pebbles. Opposite is the islet of Argentarola, one of the favorite destinations for divers thanks to the presence of a submerged cave rich in stalactites and stalagmites.
12 - Cala del Bove
It is located about a kilometer ahead of Cala del Gesso. The path leading to the sea is about 700 meters long and not accessible. The cove has no beach but only rocks even if they are very smooth. Not recommended for those with children. Perfect for snorkeling and for those who want to enjoy the crystal clear sea in peace: little frequented compared to other coves.
13 - Cala Piccola
To reach it, follow the signs for the Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola. It is a small pebble beach. Access to the bathing establishment is reserved for hotel guests and members of the Cala Piccola Consortium. A few hundred meters offshore, in front of the beach, is the "coral reef", a shoal that from a depth of about 45 meters rises almost to the surface. It is one of the most beautiful dive sites of the Argentario.
After Cala Piccola there are other beautiful beaches but, alas, reachable only by sea:
Capo d'Uomo, the Acqua Appesa, Cala dell'Olio, the Sassi Verdi.
14 - Mar Morto
Arrived at the "Maddalena" take the road on the left. The downhill section that leads here is really fantastic, a breathtaking view. Continue for another 4 kilometers or so. On the right you will find a pedestrian path that leads easily to the sea through the low bush. The name Dead Sea comes from the natural pool created by the natural reef barrier where the sea is always calm. The sun beats even stronger on this side of the coast! Equip yourself, especially if you have children. There are no establishments, just a short time there is a rental of umbrellas. On the right is the "Isola Rossa" (Red island) which shelters it from the winds.
In the middle of the bay, on the rocky ridge, a freshwater spring rich in iron and minerals gushes out.
15 - Le Cannelle
Continue for another kilometer or so, you will come to an automatic gate to the side of which there is a walkway, after 150 meters of comfortable walk you will reach the pebble beach. On the left side of the bay there is the Spanish tower of the Cannelle, now completely restored but not open to visitors as a private residence. There is a bathing establishment but accessible only to the members of the residence. Walking on the rocks, on the right, you will come to a pristine stretch of sea, the habitat of many sea creatures. I will never forget the sea butterfly a few inches from my nose!
Continuing on the rocks you will return to the Dead Sea, not if you have small children!
Also in this stretch of coast there are beaches reachable only by sea:
La Ciana, Cala Piazzoni, Le Filicaie.
Until a few years ago the scenic road, although becoming a dirt road, continued, allowing the circumnavigation of the Argentario. Now, immediately after the Cannelle, a landslide prevents its passage. The next beaches described can be reached from Porto Ercole and therefore tell them to the contrary!
19 - Le Viste (recently "Riva del Marchese")
Leave the town of Porto Ercole, after the sharp bend, at the top of the hill on the left you will find a small refreshment bar. Leave the car here and walk along the path that descends for 200 meters. The beach is sandy and rocky. One part is free and one is equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas on the lawn (Riva del Marchese). Right in front of you the turtle-shaped islet, easily reachable by good swimmers. The imposing Rocca Spagnola dominates the beach.
18 - La spiaggia lunga
Continue on the panoramic road, in 10 minutes you will arrive at the junction for Forte Stella. Just opposite you will find the entrance to the very steep path that leads to the beach. In the middle of the path you can't help but stop to admire the landscape below, as well as to catch your breath! Pebble beach and well sheltered from the summer breezes. For those who do not want to tackle the descent there is a boat service from Porto Ercole to here. But walking is another matter! The magical Forte Stella dominates the beach.
17 - Lo Sbarcatello
Only 50 meters from the path to the long beach is the entrance to the Sbarcatello area. Leave the car and walk from the walkway. Clear water and stony bottom.
16 - L'acqua dolce
The last stretch of the panorama descends: on the right the entrance of the "Il Pellicano" Hotel, on the left the path that leads to fresh water. Leave your car in the parking lot and after 200 meters you will find the sand and pebble beach.
Keep in mind that from this part of the Argentario the summer sun falls behind the mountain before elsewhere. At 18 already it doesn't come anymore!