Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve
This region spreads through the municipalities of Castiglione della Pescaia, Follonica, Gavorrano and Scarlino, embracing the territory that begins on the hillside, adorned by Monte D'Alma, and continues uninterrupted until it reaches the seashore at the famous Cala Violina and Cala Martina.
Also known as the Bandite di Scarlino, it received this curious name from the frequent calls for bids to sell parts of the forest.
The Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve has an ancient history, having been chosen by man for settlement since prehistoric times. Finds testify to its use for hunting and gathering, and the Etruscan period is evident in the archaeological site of the Poggio Tondo necropolis.
Today, the reserve offers a dense network of trails that allow it to be explored in full respect of nature, with routes popular with cyclists, hikers and horse riders, offering spectacular views, particularly of the sea.
The Bandite Reserve also includes the Costiere di Scarlino, a Protected Nature Area and a wildlife oasis, home to animals such as ducks, mallards and hoopoes. Here you will find some of the most fascinating beaches in Tuscany, accessible only on foot, but characterised by clear waters and unique views, such as Cala Martina, historically linked to the figure of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Cala Francese and the fascinating Cala Violina, known for the sound it makes when you walk on it, giving rise to its poetic name.
The Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve ring trek
The Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve offers an extraordinary opportunity for ring trekking. The A/R route stretches for about 10 km, requiring approximately 4 hours of walking.
The coastal section, characterised by slight ups and downs, offers shady sections under the pine forest, suitable for everyone. The inland segment, on the other hand, presents challenges with challenging sections, steep climbs and dangerous descents, almost entirely in the sun.
The adventure can begin at Cala Civette, following the coast in the direction of Cala Violina. The first uphill section offers an enchanting view of Cala Civette and the tower of the same name. After this start, the coastal path to Cala Violina (about 2 km) is pleasant, albeit under the sun. The Cala Violina area is marked by a long stretch of about 1 km immersed in the pine forest, with picnic and refreshment areas.
At the end of the pine forest, you can enjoy a mixed stretch (2 km), with half-hidden paths leading to various small coves such as Cala delle Donne and Cala Martina, and the Garibaldi monument. The arrival point is at Puntone, marked by the access barrier and the end of the dirt road.
The return leg can be made by walking back along the same route or by following a path inland. If you opt for the second option, you will experience a wild and fascinating but demanding route, with 5-6 hillocks to climb and almost all in the sun. However, on the main stretch there are several secondary downhill paths that connect the hinterland with the sea, making the coastal route easier.
In the end, the return to Cala Civette will be a satisfying experience, perhaps followed by a refreshing swim and a well-deserved moment of relaxation.
Three routes we suggest in the Bandite di Scarlino
The Bandite di Scarlino offer three remarkable trails. The Sentiero delle Scogliere (Cliffs Trail), 6 km long, stretches from Puntone to Cala Civette, showing breathtaking sea views and touching on historic sites such as Cala Martina. The 5-km-long Monte Muro Trail allows visitors to discover the ruins of the Monte Muro convent, which can be reached on foot. Lastly, the 12-km path leads to the Etruscan Necropolis of Poggi Tondo.
Trail known as the “Sentiero delle Scogliere”
From Puntone to Cala Civette, 6 km long. Starting from Scarlino, the trail offers breathtaking sea views, leading you along a dirt road to Cala Civette. You will pass Cala Martina, a historic place linked to Garibaldi, and reach Cala Violina, known for its white sand and crystal-clear waters. The path extends to the beautiful beach of Cala Civette.
Monte Muro Trail
During this 5 km route, you will discover the ruins of the convent of Monte Muro, a historical refuge with an intricate history, sacked several times. Today, the ruins are overgrown by vegetation but allow you to perceive the original architecture. It can be reached on foot from Fosso Al Leccione, following the forest road.
Etruscan Necropolis of Poggi Tondo
A 12-km-long path that includes several paths of the Bandite di Scarlino. The route starts at the castle of Scarlino, crosses a picturesque chestnut grove, and ascends towards Monte d'Alma. Continuing westwards, you will arrive at the Etruscan necropolis of Poggio Tondo, an archaeological site immersed in the Mediterranean maquis, with tombs datable between the 7th and 6th centuries BC and the remains of an Etruscan farm.
Map of the Bandite of Scarlino
Where the Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve is located
The Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve stretches across the municipalities of Castiglione della Pescaia, Follonica, Gavorrano and Scarlino, covering the region that stretches from the hills, embellished by Monte d'Alma, to the shores of the sea.
Cala Martina, located between Punta Ala and Follonica in the Bandite di Scarlino, is a beautiful Tuscan beach, often overshadowed by nearby Cala Violina but no less fascinating. Consisting of two rocky inlets, it offers an exceptional view of several islands. Less crowded, it is ideal for nature lovers but less suitable for swimming because of the rocks.
Cala Violina, located between Follonica and Punta Ala in the Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve, is a natural jewel of the Tuscan Maremma. To preserve the ecosystem, access to the beach is limited to 700 people per day and requires a reservation.
Cala Civette is one of the most striking coves in the Maremma, located in the Gulf of Follonica near Scarlino.
Scarlino, located in Tuscany, province of Grosseto, is a town that offers a wide variety of historical and artistic attractions.
Punta Ala, at the southern end of the Gulf of Follonica in the province of Grosseto, is a fine seaside resort.