Lone cloud over the green hills behind the colorful houses of Giglio Porto that sit on the edge of the turquoise water.


Wondering where to stay on Giglio Island? 

A small gem in the Tyrrhenian sea off the southern Tuscan Coast, Giglio Island has much to discover. Explore 9 square miles of dramatic scenery, idyllic coves, mesmerizing clear water, and charming towns. 

Here are my tips on where to stay: from someone who goes to Giglio Island numerous times every year. My Italian side of the family has a small house there, and we stay updated on accommodation for when other family members and friends come to visit. They’ve stayed all over the island!

Giglio Island offers a range of accommodation, from a campground to apartments, B&Bs and hotels. Accommodation is clustered in the island’s three towns.

I explain the pros and cons of staying in each town, as well as my recommendations for truly unique accommodation farther afield. I also have advice about special events that can affect availability, how to get from town to town, when to go to Giglio Island, and how to get there. 

Andiamo al Giglio! Let’s go to Giglio Island!

Featured accommodation (see map):

  1. Hotel Arenella
  2. Hotel Castello Monticello
  3. La Guardia Hotel
  4. La Rosada B&B
  5. Hotel Saraceno
  6. Pardini’s Hermitage
  7. Le Poste di Simplicio
  8. Albergo da Giovanni
  9. Torre del Campese
  10. Baia del Sole Campground
  11. Faro di Punta Fenaio Resort
  12. B&B Airone (Heron B&B)


  • Do you prefer the beach, or to sunbathe and swim off the cliffs? Keep in mind how close you want to be to sea access. And if you won’t be right on the beach, consider how you’ll get to the beach (if going in the water is a priority). 
  • If you’re staying in a town and will have a car, make sure you have a private parking spot! Parking is limited and can be a real pain in the neck.
  • Are you looking for luxury? Roughing it? Plan to spend all your time on the beach? Cook at home? Eat out? Budget, comfort level and your own style are major factors, as they are no matter where you travel. 
  • Accessibility and your mobility are important to keep in mind. Two of the island towns, Giglio Porto and Giglio Castello, are centuries-old, built on hills and have tiny cobblestone streets.  Accessing your accommodation may require climbing a steep hill, steps, or walking on uneven terrain. It may not be possible to just pull right up to the door in a car or taxi. Make sure to find out before booking!
View of Arenella from above. You can see boats in the cove, as well as rock shoreline and low brush on the hillsides.
A birds-eye view of the hillside above Arenella beach.


Giglio Island has some truly special and unique accommodation options. Here are some of the most spectacular spots. Family members and friends have tried them out over the years and recommend:

  • Baia del Sole campground sits right on the cliffs overlooking the sea near Campese. Camping may not be for everyone, but just imagine waking up, walking just a few meters and diving right off the rocks into the clear water! 
  • Pardini’s Hermitage  is a peaceful oasis for people who truly want to get away from it all. It’s hidden away along the coast and only reachable by boat. Meals are served on the shady terraces overlooking the sea.
  • Imagine staying in a real lighthouse! Faro di Punta Fenaio Resort is perched on the breathtaking cliffs of Punta del Fenaio, on Giglio Island’s northern point. The lighthouse is only reachable by private hotel car, or boat. 
  • Hotel Castello Monticello is set inland on the hill above Arenella beach. It has greenery and sea views at the same time. A big plus: the hotel offers its own free shuttle service to Giglio Porto, Arenella beach (down the hill) and Cannelle beach.
  • Hotel Arenella overlooks Arenella cove, and is within walking distance of Arenella beach, just down the hill. 
Rocky coastline with hotel hanging over water in Tuscany.
Hotel Saraceno in Giglio Porto is right on the water.



  • most convenient place for getting to the ferry, which is right in town
  • great for dining out, drinks and shopping
  • numerous boat and scooter rental companies
  • there are two little beaches right in town
  • walk/hike to Cannelle and Caldane, two of the island’s most beautiful small beaches


  • Campese beach is on the other side of the island
  • there’s hustle and bustle along the harbor into the late evening
  • the town has some steep climbs and uneven terrain: double check access to your accommodation if you have limited mobility

Be aware that accommodation right on the harbor, over the shops and restaurants, can be loud until late in the evening. 


Giglio Porto is where the ferry arrives: porto means harbor or port in Italian. Its pastel-colored houses, fishing boats, and lighthouses welcome you to the island. 

The harbor front is lined with bars, little shops and restaurants. There are hidden passageways and corners to discover as well. The town has plenty of alimentari (small food stores), bakeries and a butcher if you wish to have a picnic or make dinner yourself. 

For food recommendations, read Where to Eat on Giglio Island.

Giglio Porto even has two small beaches right in town. You can see Scalettino beach as the ferry pulls into the harbor. It has a small sandy beach, as well as rocks where you can sunbathe and take a dip into the water. 

Tucked behind the medieval Torre del Saraceno, or Saraceno tower, is Saraceno cove. It has a tiny strip of pebbly beach, and is one of the island’s most special little spots.

Giglio Porto is the closest town to two of the island’s most picturesque small beaches: Cannelle and Caldane.

Pink painted entrance with white gate. Fuschia flowers decorate the rock wall on left. Tree on left. Entrance to B&B La Rosada on Giglio Island.
Pretty in pink B&B La Rosada


Here are special spots I recommend to my friends when they come to Giglio Island:

  • Saraceno hotel  sits perched on a cliff overlooking the water south of Saraceno Cove
  • Charming, family-run B&B La Rosada is tucked away up the hill, with views of Giglio Porto from above. Be prepared to climb.


Take the ferry from the mainland (Porto Santo Stefano): Giglio Porto is your entry point to the island.


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • souvenir shops
  • clothing stores
  • post office
  • pharmacy
  • tourist office
  • ATM
  • emergency medical clinic 
  • scooter, e-bike and boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions


Be aware of special events when choosing accommodation, as they can affect availability, prices, and noise levels! 

The Palio Marinaro is a rowboat race held on August 10, the Feast of San Lorenzo, Giglio Porto’s patron saint day. The town’s four neighborhoods, or rioni, compete against each other as crowds lining the harbor roar and boisterously cheer them on.

Turquoise water with buildings in background. Rocky coastline and sandy beach near the buildings.
La Guardia Hotel is right on Scalettino beach



  • stay up high in a castle village with incredible views
  • feel like you’re on top of the world
  • inland medieval fortress is a unique place to stay


  • need to drive or take the bus to the beach– unless you’re up for long steep hikes


Medieval Giglio Castello, or castle, stands guard on one of the island’s highest peaks 405 m (1328 ft) above sea level. There are incredible views from up here, and on clear days you can see the island of Monte Cristo. 

Giglio Castello is so high up that often it’s shrouded in fog in the morning, which makes it seem like you’re in a cloud (don’t worry, by late morning it usually burns off).

The village dates back to the 12th century, and is included in the association of Borghi Più Belli d’Italia, Italy’s most beautiful small towns. 

Inside the castle walls, there is a maze of cobblestone streets to get lost in, with small piazzas and vistas to discover. Bars, restaurants, stores and even an 11th century fortress (rocca) are hidden among the winding paths.

Stone coast with steps leading down to sea (out of photo). Above the stony coastline are green shrubs and a few umbrella pines.
Giglio Castello as seen from the water


Giglio Castello doesn’t have hotels, but there are apartment rentals. 

However, B&B Airone is my pick: it is just outside the castle walls, with a nice terrace and incredible views.


  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a parking lot outside of the castle walls
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (15 minutes) or Giglio Campese (15 minutes). Check current bus schedules here
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • souvenir shops
  • post office
  • police station
  • ATM


Keep special events in mind when choosing accommodation, as availability and prices can be affected. Noise, buzz and busyness too!

September 15 is the Feast of San Mamiliano, Giglio Castello’s patron saint. It’s one of my all-time favorite festivals. After a day of festivities including a religious procession and donkey race, scores of people dance the quadriglia, a traditional local dance, in the piazza. Then there are fireworks over the Castello!

Sun going down over the water. There are boats on the water and hilly coast on the left.
Sun starting to set over Campese bay



  • you’re right on the island’s largest beach!
  • front row view for sunset over the water 
  • plenty of spots for beachfront drinks
  • easiest beach access for families and people with limited mobility
  • choice of beaches with amenities


  • anonymous, built up, and lacks the charm of the island’s other towns
  • spots back from the water are on a steep hill, double check with your accommodation about accessibility if you have limited mobility


Campese is the town at the island’s largest beach. It is a long, wide sandy beach on a majestic bay. 

Restaurants and stores are scattered in various clusters among the houses and along the shore. The town itself is not as charming or picturesque as Giglio Porto or Giglio Castello. But it is the most convenient if you want to be as close as possible to the beach. 

Campese is relatively flat, and its beach area has the most amenities and easiest access on the island. There are both free access public beaches, and beach clubs. 

There are also rocks at the northern end of the bay if you like swimming off the cliffs.

A Campese landmark is the  large sea stack in the distance at the southern edge of the bay, called il faraglione. Another is Campese Tower (Torre del Campese), built in the 1600s, on the northern end of the bay. Approaching Campese from above on the dramatic windy road is absolutely breathtaking.

But my favorite feature of Campese is the sunset.

The sun goes down right over the water, so you have strong sun the entire afternoon and well into the evening. I absolutely recommend having an aperitivo or eating a pizza on the beach as you watch the sun go down! 

Read more tips about What to Do on Giglio Island.

Tower at the end of a rocky point on the coast of Giglio Island in Tuscany. Golden sand and turquoise water in front and boats in the sea further out.
Torre del Campese (Campese Tower) is a unique place to stay


This is the accommodation I recommend to my friends when they’re looking for something special: 

  • Baia del Sole campground on the cliffs overlooking the sea up the hill from Campese, where you can swim right off the rocks.


  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a good size parking lot at the sports field
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (30 minutes) or Giglio Castello (15 minutes) . Check current bus schedules here
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • beach clubs with daily umbrella and sun lounger rentals 
  • public SUP, kayak and paddle boat rentals at beach clubs
  • souvenir shops
  • ATM
  • boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions


Special events can affect prices, availability, and noise levels, so keep them in mind when choosing accommodation on Giglio Island.

August 16 is San Rocco, Giglio Campese’s patron saint day. The festival, with music and food, is capped off with fireworks right over the bay!


Scooter, bus and taxi are your best bets if you’re going to Giglio Island for just a few days. Here’s the rundown on all your different options for getting around.


Even though I usually don’t recommend bringing a car to the Giglio, driving is the easiest and fastest way to get from town to town.

The problem is parking! It’s a major hassle.

If you’re staying in a town and will have a car, make sure your accommodation includes a parking spot!

Street parking is extremely limited, especially during the summer. Giglio Castello has a parking lot outside of the castle walls, and Giglio Campese has a decent sized parking lot at the sports field, but parking at Giglio Porto is scarce. At Cannelle and Arenella beaches there is limited parking, for a hefty fee.

Driving on the island is not for the faint of heart–  the roads are narrow in spots, and curvy with hairpin turns (with no guardrail in sight).

The town centers are very small and the best way to see them is on foot. They are closed to traffic. The charming cobblestone streets of Giglio Porto and Giglio Castello are so narrow that cars wouldn’t even be able to get through. 

My rule of thumb is definitely avoid bringing your car during the summer, unless you’ll be staying for at least a week, and your accommodation has designated parking. 

In May, June, September and October parking is easier to find. Bringing your car may be worth it, as long as your accommodation has its own parking spots. 

If you bring your car, be sure to reserve the ferry in advance.


My favorite way to get around Giglio Island is by motorcycle. It’s the most fun, the easiest and fastest. Nothing else comes close to whizzing up, down and around the island, taking in the breathtaking views from the back of my husband’s bike. 

Not only that, even when cars can’t find a parking spot, there’s always a little corner for a motorcycle or scooter. 

If you bring your own motorcycle or scooter, in the summer I’d recommend reserving the ferry in advance. 

There are many rental agencies at Giglio Porto where you can rent a scooter if you don’t bring your own.


Regular bus service runs between Giglio Island’s three towns all day long during the summer. The route runs from Giglio Porto to Giglio Castello (15 minutes) and then on to Giglio Campese (another 15 minutes), as well as vice versa. Check current bus schedules here

You can buy tickets at the local tabaccheria (tobacco shop), on the AT App, or the Tabnet app. Find up to date prices here

During the summer the buses fill up quickly and get very hot and crowded. If you get car sick like me, I do not recommend the bus (I’ve had a couple close calls!). 


There are several taxi vans that go between Giglio Porto, Cannelle beach, Arenella beach, Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese. 

I absolutely recommend calling ahead to reserve, since taxis are very busy in the summer. Usually you end up sharing the van with other people. Prices vary depending on the number of passengers and the route, so make sure to find out the fare in advance.

Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865
Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888
Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950
Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424


Isola del Giglio is not a large island. Its three towns are small, and the few sandy beaches fill up fast. 

In July and August, when Italians go on vacation for ferragosto, the restaurants and beaches are crowded. If you wish to eat dinner out, or rent an umbrella at a beach club, make sure to call ahead of time to reserve a spot. 

To get a break from the crowds, I recommend visiting Giglio Island in June or September. In July it’s best to go during the week. 

If you don’t necessarily want to go in the water, April, May and October are also lovely. 

The Giglio is pretty deserted the rest of the year. There are only about 1400 residents, so very little is open.



MareGiglio and Toremar have frequent, regular ferry service between Porto Santo Stefano (on mainland Italy) and Giglio Porto (on the island). The 18 km trip takes about 1 hour each way. There is service every day of the year (weather permitting). 

To buy your tickets in person, in Porto Santo Stefano head to the ticket office at Piazza Facchinetti 6/7. It sells tickets for both ferry companies.

In Giglio Porto, Maregiglio’s ticket window faces the ferry, while Toremar’s ticket window is adjacent to the ferry. They open just one hour before each scheduled departure of their company’s own ferry.

You can also buy tickets online at Maregiglio and Toremar’s websites. 

I absolutely recommend reserving ahead online if you are:

  • taking your car
  • returning to Porto Santo Stefano on a Sunday afternoon or evening, with or without your car.

In August, you can only bring your car on the ferry if you’re staying on the island for a minimum of 5 days. You must provide a supporting self declaration form.



The nearest airport to Porto Santo Stefano is Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO), which is about 146 km away from Porto Santo Stefano (about a 1 hour 45 minute drive). The closest other airports, with distances from Porto Santo Stefano, are:

  • Rome Ciampino (CIA), 166 km (2 hr drive)
  • Florence Amerigo Vespucci (FLR), 194 km (2 hr 30 min drive)
  • Pisa International  (PSA), 200 km (2 hr 15 min drive)
Where to park in Porto Santo Stefano

If you’re not taking your car with you on the ferry to Giglio Island, there are numerous long term parking lots in Porto Santo Stefano within walking distance to the ferry. 

My family has used Parcheggio Fanciulli, right on the harbor, for decades. Economy parking is about a 10-minute walk away from the harbor, but has also taken good care of our cars. 

Definitely call ahead to reserve parking, especially in the summer and on weekends. 


There is bus service to Porto Santo Stefano from Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station in Orbetello, Tuscany. In the summer buses leave about every 30 minutes, and take about 20 minutes to reach Porto Santo Stefano. Look up complete bus schedules here


The town of Orbetello is the closest you can get to the Giglio ferry by train. From Orbetello, take a bus to the ferry in Porto Santo Stefano (see the bus section above). 

To get to Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station from:

  • Rome Termini station: trains leave about 10 times a day, and take about 1 hr 45 minutes
  • Pisa Central station: trains leave about 8 times per day, and take a little over 2 hrs
  • Florence Santa Maria Novella train station: there is frequent daily train service, but you need to change trains at least once.

To buy train tickets online, see complete train schedules and find fare information, visit the official website of Trenitalia