The surroundings of Capalbio: Let’s discover Giannutri Island
The island of Giannutri is a small pearl of the Tuscan archipelago. Just 3 kilometers long and 500 meters wide, it is the perfect destination for an unforgettable excursion during your holidays in Capalbio.
Reachable with just an hour by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano, it is located in the southern part of the archipelago. Its sheltered and almost hidden position has allowed the island to keep its charm intact. Giannutri is almost deserted: in winter there are no more than twenty people! Here you will find neither roads nor cars: you move by foot, breathing the scent of the Mediterranean maquis.
The charm of Giannutri
You write Giannutri, you read the Caribbean: this is the first impression that the island gives as you get closer to its shores. The crystal clear sea and the presence of tropical plants lead visitors to atmospheres that belong to other latitudes.
Its transparent seabed confirms this first impression: numerous species of fish live here and, during the journey, it can happen to be accompanied by small schools of dolphins who enjoy jumping in the waves.
Surprises do not end here. In the waters of Giannutri there are several wrecks. So, if you love diving, just go to the discovery of these ships. At Cala Ischiaiola you will find the wreck of the Anna Bianca, sunk in 1971, due to a storm that made the ship sink while carrying his load of pumice stone. Although it is 35 meters deep, you can see its profile simply by diving.
A challenging dive reserved for the most experienced divers is the one that will lead you to the discovery of the Nasim, a ship flying the Panamanian flag, sunk in the 70s. Also in this case, it was a storm that caused the shipwreck, happened just in front of the rocks of Punta Pennello. However, the curious aspect concerns the cargo: the Nasim transported cars destined for the African market. So, on the white backdrop, you will find the carcass of the ship with a row of typically English cars.
The sea of Giannutri, perfect also for those who love snorkeling, offers an immersion in a spectacular habitat. Along the vertical walls, you can admire stretches of gorgonians and corals, but also schools of snappers and curls, seahorses and starfish and, if luck helps, even fascinating turtles. The best places to dive is for sure Punta Secca and Punta Pennello, but also Le Piscine, Punta San Francesco and Cala Ischiaiola.
In Giannutri there are no beaches, except for the small edge of Cala Maestra. The coves follow each other among rocks on which you need to walk carefully, but do not worry: the show that will open in front of your eyes will repay you for the little effort.
The Mediterranean maquis offers a green stretch in which the mastic and the euphorbia are the protagonists, but not only. As mentioned at the beginning, you can admire some tropical plants that here, in the Tuscan Maremma, have found a favorable habitat, thanks to the mild climate all year round.
Giannutri is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. The island is home to a colony of gulls with unusual yellow legs that make nests on the cliffs of Punta Capel Rosso; instead, during the intermediate seasons, the island offers rest to migratory birds, including the monachella and the shear-water minor.
We will not forget the trekking: the paths of the island will lead you to the discovery of the landscape and the most hidden corners. But be careful, because the only accessible path is the one that leads from Cala Maestra to Cala Spalmatoio. The other routes must be made with the help of a guide who will also lead you to the discovery of the beautiful Roman Villa, built by Gens Domitia Enobarbi, that is the family to which also Nero belonged to, and the octagonal lighthouse of Capel Rosso. And who knows, maybe you can meet the ghost of the beautiful Marietta who went crazy at the death of her husband, the Garibaldian captain Gualtiero Adami. It is said that the woman began to wander desperately around the island in search of her husband.
How to reach Giannutri
The island of Giannutri can be reached by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano or by renting a boat: the journey takes about 50 minutes, if the sea is in favorable conditions.
Daily connections are of course more frequent during the summer season and reduced in winter. Before leaving, especially with a private boat, we advise you to get information about restrictions and prohibitions related to navigation in the vicinity of the island. We also remind you that there are no hotels there, but in Cala Spalmatoio you can find a grocery store and a bar with toilets.
Hotel Valle del Buttero and Giannutri
The Hotel Valle del Buttero is the ideal starting point for your excursion to Giannutri and to visit the surroundings of Capalbio. We have an ideal position that allows us to reach beautiful places: on one side we have the hills of Maremma Tuscany, on the other side the beautiful sea of Argentario.
Reaching the island from our hotel is easy, in fact Porto Santo Stefano is just 40 kilometers from the property. You can reach it by car and use the car parks located near the boarding point.
Our qualified staff is at your disposal to make your stay in Capalbio even more comfortable. At the reception you can find, for example, the list of the best restaurants in the area where you can enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine. Finally, on your return, before your well-deserved rest in our comfortable rooms, a funny match of billiards or table tennis will wait for you!