Italy's Legambiente announced today that the Tuscan Archipelago's Isola del Giglio is ranked as the Number 1 coastal destination in the country this year, due not only to its pristine waters, gorgeous scenery, and picture-perfect beaches, but also because of its art, food, and respect for the environment. Number 2 on the list? Cinque Terre's towns of Riomaggiore, Monterosso and Vernazza.
Ideal for easier dives, Giglio is a quick and easy hop on the frequent Santo Stefano ferry. And as far as tourists go: compared to other islands in the Tuscan archipelago, it's busier than Giannutri but not as busy as Elba.
Taken from the Greek word Aegilium, meaning goats, Giglio offers a lot even if you're not diving: spend time on its sandy beaches or visit the three towns. Climb up to Poggio della Pagana, at 500m, for a spectacular view overlooking the archipelago. Do one of the many short hikes on the island. Or visit the three-towered castle, built in the 12th century.
The best weather for diving is in autumn when the water is warm, otherwise it's worth visiting in the spring when the flowers are abundant.
If you need a guide or diving gear, or prefer an organized diving excursion, get in touch with Scuba's Angels (all of whom speak fluent English) and they will sort it out for you.
Photo of Giglio by patapat
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