The Maremman seaside is very quickly making a name for itself as not only beautiful, but beautifully preserved and still authentic enough to make the nearby Cinque Terre look like a terrible tourist trap.

The coastline is represented by two neighbouring port towns that couldn’t be more polar opposites if they tried.

Porto Santo Stefano is lively and chaotic with a vibrant boardwalk that’s alive with boats coming in and out, people strolling and fishmonger’s selling the days catch.

A little further down the coast, Porto Ercole is refined and staid.

Here the stores and restaurants are upmarket and the locals more inclined to while away the days at one of the cafes overlooking the water.

Fortezza Spagnola

Porto Santo Stefano’s fortress is a bit unusual.

It was, unlike almost everything else in the Maremma, built by the Spanish.

They ruled the entire coastline for a very brief amount of time and infused the architecture and cuisine with their own unique flair.

This fortress is now home to a very satisfying museum dedicated to various ancient Etruscan and Roman objects that fell off ships centuries ago and were found in the waters around the town.

Fortezza Stella

It’s a hop and a skip over to Porto Ercole and another Spanish fortress.

They built three of them on this coastline to keep the pirates out. This is the only one open to the public and is spectacular inside and out.

Try to time you visit with sunset in summer to get what can only be described as a breathtaking view of the surrounding coastline and the Mediterranean shrub lands that invade it.

Beaches

The Argentario Coast is naturally very famous for her beaches. All beaches in this area have free and paid sections.

For around 10 euro a day you can relax on two sunbeds with your very own umbrella and a lifeguard nearby.

If you’d prefer something a little more secluded and free, head further down the coast for an empty strip of beach.

The best beaches are along the Strada Panoramica, just outside of Porto Ercole.

MAP & DIRECTIONS

Directions

Terme di Sorano – Monte Argentario (GR) 75,3 km – 1 h 30 min.