It's official! Maremma's beaches are among Italy's best!
Capalbio and Castiglione della Pescaia were the only two Tuscan beaches to make it onto Legambiente's and the Italian Touring Club's top 15 list for 2015.
It's an incredible honour for the Maremma - the environmental and tourism equivalent of the Michelin stars.
Both seaside destinations were also awarded 5 vele or 5 sails. This is the highest award Legambiente can give and recognises a destination's incredible beauty, as well as its high quality tourist services, eco-sustainability and reputable food and wine culture.
In short, they are the perfect summer holiday spots! To celebrate, here's my guide to the Maremma's award-winning beaches:
Capalbio earned Legambiente's nod of approval for its city and wines, but also for Chiarone Beach.
Chiarone sits at one end of Burano Lake - a 4,000 hectare oasis that protects a slice of the Maremma's most magnificent countryside.
Part of the nature park, Chiarone is pristine. It's sandy beaches are unspoiled and its water spotless. This beach is perfect for kids because the sea is calm and the shores shallow.
To get to Chiarone, follow the Aurelia highway in the direction of Stazione di Chiarone and then follow the signs.
Castiglione della Pescaia
Legambiente awarded four of Castiglione della Pescaia's beaches:
Spiaggia di Punta Ala
Photo: Turismo Toscana
This magnificent sandy beach stretches several kilometresand is bordered by a thick pine forest. Only one section is free. At the other section, you have to pay €4 to lie on the sand, but a sundeck and access to a shower are included.
Another great beach for kids, but also extremely popular, so expect crowds.
To get here, head down the coast between Follonica and Castiglione and follow the signs to Punta Ala.
Spiaggia delle Rocchette
Walking distance from Castiglione, this beach is paradise. It's secluded, protected from sight by a rocky cliff, so you feel like you're on a deserted tropical island.
At one end of this beach, you'll find a pebble cove and huge deep red boulders, while at the other, a fine sandy beach and crystal clear water.
Not the best one for kids. You have to walk quite a distance to get here and the rocks can be dangerous on little feet.
To get here, follow the SP 158 towards the Collacchie Follonica. After a few kilometres, you'll come to an intersection, turn left and follow the signs to Rocchette.
Spiaggia delle Marze
Photo: natura mediterraneo
Between Castiglione and the Marina di Grosseto is a sandy coastline that overlooks a pine forest. You can take your pick from any of the beaches that sit just beyond the forest - they're all amazing and protected from the wind by the trees.
The water is calm and warm, which is why it's a favourite with Castiglione's families. Still, if you walk far enough, you should find some privacy.
To get here, park your car in any of the parking spots along the road that joins Castiglione with the Marina di Grosseto and walk 500 metres through the forest to the beach.
Spiaggia di Riva del Sole
If you're young in the Maremma, this is the place to be seen. Most of the beach is privately owned, so you have to pay, but the sand is fine and there's plenty of space to work on your tan.
The beach itself is part of a larger natural dune area that's undergoing preservation works. It's a little further out from Castiglione and not so popular with families, so great if you're looking for somewhere with less kids.
To get here, head 2.5km north of Castiglione and you'll find signs for the Riva del Sole.
Photo riva del sole giovinazzo