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Of all regions in Italy, Tuscany has some of the most stunning natural beauty spots which vary from forests to hills and pristine beaches. Full of spectacular views, iconic scenery and charming rural villages, to really experience all that the province has to offer you need to get off the beaten track and explore the natural beauty spots of Tuscany.
To access the nature spots of Tuscany is easy; either by renting a car or using the extensive public transport networks that the municipalities have heavily invested in to bring them up to a world class standard.
Many tourists and expats are there in Italy because they are fascinated by the countries history, culture, heritage and food. But Italy is also very well know for its terrain, natural setting and outdoor activities.
The Island Of Elba, Tyrrhenian Sea.
Nestled in the warm Tyrrhenian Sea, the Island of Elba is home to the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. The island is a nature lover’s dream come true with a whole range of outdoor activities available for you and your family to take part in.
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If you want to explore the coast of the island you can join a full day sea kayaking tour with a guide or go snorkeling in the shallow, fertile inlets that dot the shoreline. Alternatively, you can discover more about the island’s vineyards by joining a wine tasting tour or set off on your own to hike around the island’s many trails and walkways.
There’s a lot of accommodation on the island for you to stay in that range from luxury apartments and resorts with swimming pools and harbor views to smaller family run B&Bs.
The Crete Senesi, Asciano.
The incredible picture perfect landscapes of the Crete Senesi are located between the Val D’Orcia and the Chianti valley is a popular spot for day trips from Florence. There’s plenty of wonderful hiking along well maintained trails, small villages with local restaurants for your lunch and other activities such as e-bike cycling tours if you want to cover more ground in a day.
The area has uniquely colored clay soils, caused by water erosion over the centuries, which is lined with rows of cypress trees that ironically complement the landscape. There’s a lot of small towns and villages in the regions where you can stay in family run B&Bs or holiday farms if you decide to really get to know the area during a longer vacation.
The Gallorose Park, Via Aurelia Sud, 65, Cedrino.
Located in the Tuscan province of Livorno, the Gallorose Park is a zoo and nature reserve which is home to over 120 different species of animals! The park contains around 3 kilometers of pathways that weave amongst the animal enclosures and the on site farm. While you’re visiting the park you can see everything from zebras to cows and monkeys amongst the pastoral scenery of Livorno in Tuscany.
The Gallorose Park is the perfect option for families with children who want to learn more about the natural world while having fun interacting with a whole range of animals. The park also contains a museum which houses some fascinating exhibits that explore the agricultural heritage of Tuscan and includes examples of tools used in the past as well as historical posters and unique memorabilia.
The Gallorose Park puts a great emphasis on creating an unforgettable learning experience and so it makes a wonderfully special nature trip in Tuscany, particularly for visitors with children.
The Dog Beach at San Vincenzo.
The dog beach at San Vincenzo is a paradise for pet owners where they can let their dogs off the leash to run free on this stunning sandy beach on the Western coast of Tuscany. There’s at least 15 accommodation facilities in the vicinity of the beach so you can spend a weekend or even week or two enjoying the sun, sand and sea with your furry friend!
The beach has been open and catering to families and people with dogs for over 15 years and has developed over 100 meters of bathing facilities for dogs as well as a large beach where they can run and play off the leash. There are also umbrellas, pet showers and fountains where your dogs and children can play in the sun.
The dog beach also employs a vet every Sunday who can give your dog a free health check while you’re staying in the area which is a nice additional touch to the overall facilities at San Vincenzo. Of course, if you want to treat your dog there’s an on site pet shop where you can buy snacks, leashes and games as well as dog beach T-shirts!
Cascate Del Mulino, Saturnia.
Located in Grosseto, the Cascate del Mulino in Saturnia are beautiful natural hot springs, waterfalls and geysers where you can relax and refresh yourself amongst the spectacular Tuscan scenery.
The hot thermal waters that feed into the pools begin on Mount Amiata and slowly filter through the rocks picking up healing minerals along the way. In fact, the water actually takes an amazing 40 years to filter down through the mountains until it emerges in the hot springs! As the water makes it way through the rocks it picks up minerals which are known to help your cardio-vascular system, improve your respiration as well as cleanse and moisturize your skin.
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The hot springs are free to visit and are open 365 days a year; so you can enjoy the healing sulfurous waters anytime without spending a penny! There’s a whole series of beautiful limestone rock pools where you rest and recuperate; so if you’re passing through the province of Grosseto make sure that these free natural springs are top of your list of things to do! Despite it’s local popularity the natural springs are rarely very crowded and so sometimes you can even have the falls to yourself!
The Marble Caves Of Carrara, Massa Carrara Province.
The Marble Caves of Carrara are a remarkable natural spectacle that you can visit just outside the city of Pisa in Tuscany. The caves have been used to excavate marble since the Roman era and was consequently one of Tuscany’s main sources of this valuable material that was used in the construction of churches and buildings throughout the territory.
Once you arrive at the caves you can join a guided tour in a 4×4 off-road vehicle while stopping off to see the huge caverns. The site is interesting from a scientific perspective as well as for historical reasons. You’ll be amazed by the sheer scale of the excavations and although the caves are the result of human endeavors they are still an impressive natural spot to visit.
The Marble Caves and quarries of Carrara make a wonderful day trip for families as well as solo travelers who have an interest in the history of Tuscany.
Riserva Naturale Diaccia Botrona, Grosseto Province.
This stunning nature reserve is made up of huge lakes that are a pristine habitat for birds and wildlife which you can explore by joining various guided tours. You can take a tour around the nature reserve on foot or by boat with a highly knowledgeable guide who will explain all about the habitat, the wildlife and the history of the park itself.
The nature reserve also runs workshops for students and visitors as well as cultural events and pre-booked educational excursions. As one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Tuscany, the Riserva Naturale Diaccia Botrona should certainly be on the bucket list of every visitor to the region!
Vallombrosa Forest, Via S Giovan Gualberto Vallombrosa.
Originally founded and maintained by monks, the Vallombrosa Forest is home to some of the tallest trees in Italy! The monks first moved into the area in the 11th Century to worship and live amongst the beautiful beech and silver fir trees. The monks used the natural wealth of the forest to feed themselves as well as gain the resources that they needed to breed and farm sheep.
The huge trunks of the giant trees were also harvested and used throughout Tuscany in the construction of Florentine palaces, churches and the homes of the noble people.
Following the foundation of modern Italy in the 1970s, the forest was designated a Biogenetic Nature Reserve and has been preserved in its natural state. The forest boasts the tallest tree in the country, which is known locally as ‘The Italian King Tree’ which stands at over 60 meters tall.
With incredible views across the valley, extensive hiking trails and the tranquil sound of birds and forest life, the Vallombrosa Forests cover more than 1200 hectares and are one of Italy’s best kept natural delights.
Isola Del Giglio, Tyrrhenian Sea.
This rugged little island is located off the coast of Tuscany and is one of the seven islands that makes up the Archipelago Toscano National Park. Isola del Giglio, or ‘Giglio Island’ in English, is the perfect mixture of natural beauty, charming towns and villages with a wide range of activities that you can enjoy in the fantastic Mediterranean climate.
One of the island’s main highlights is the medieval village of Giglio Castello although the natural beauty, pristine beaches and hiking trails will let you experience the tranquil magnificence of the area at first hand. The perfect place for a vacation amongst Tuscany’s natural beauty, the Isola del Giglio is the ideal getaway for a romantic holiday or for families looking for a relaxed beach holiday with plenty of outdoor activities available to enjoy.
The Crags Of Valdarno, Montemarciano.
The incredible Crags of Valdarno are suspended between sweeping hills and deep gorges that are bursting with wild flowers and are home to a whole range of insects, birds and wildlife. It’s a great spot for shooting photography as the crags are an extremely unusual natural feature of the landscape.
The crags were caused by millennia of wind and water erosion beneath which there are lakes, rivers, forests and groves, all waiting to be discovered. The steep crags are crisscrossed with official hiking trails as are the valleys below. If you do head up the slopes of the crags it’s worth staying on the official trails because landslides and rock falls can be dangerous if you go too far from the safer routes.
Nature Spots In Tuscany – Experience The Wonder For Yourself!
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy and is full of incredible nature spots and unique locations that are home to amazing flora and fauna. Ancient forests, stunning coastlines, nature reserves and unique geological formations all combine to create the amazing breadth of Tuscany’s natural beauty.
So while you’re in Tuscany it’s always worth getting out of the cities to spend some time in more rural parts, experiencing the spectacular natural landscapes that make the region so ironically picturesque.