Cala Martina: beach, secret places and how to get there
Cala Martina is a beautiful Tuscan beach, often overshadowed by the nearby Cala Violina. It is formed by two rocky coves and can be reached on foot or by bicycle. It is characterised by a pebble beach and a seaweed bank and offers an exceptional view of various islands and promontories. It is less crowded than Cala Violina and ideal for nature lovers, but less suitable for swimming because of the rocks. The surrounding hills are populated by wild boars that can be seen feeding. It can be reached by two access roads, one of which is a coastal path of about 1.8 km.
Located in the nature reserve of local interest Le Costiere di Scarlino, Cala Martina is a beautiful Tuscan beach often overshadowed by its famous sister Cala Violina. But as in many stories of beautiful and not so beautiful sisters, the most inconspicuous can be the most fascinating.
Cala Martina: Secret places in the Gulf of Follonica, Maremma
This little cove is unique in that it is formed by not one, but two rocky inlets. When you pass what appears to be the southern end, you discover another wonder. It is a wild, typically Tuscan beach. There are no bars here and no crowds of people with lively parasols!
The Bandite di Scarlino is a protected area of about 6,000 hectares with dense hills and farmland.
Wild boars populate these hills, and along the path leading to the bay you can watch them feeding.
Why Cala Martina and not Cala Violina?
Both are worth a visit, but Cala Martina, with its pebble beach and seaweed bank, is less crowded and offers a breathtaking view of the island of Elba, Cerboli, the port of Punta Ala and the small islands of Scoglio dello Sparviero and Troia.
While Cala Violina is ideal for swimming and playing, Cala Martina is for beach and nature lovers, with rock pools and a seabed that will fascinate children for years.
Both coves are protected from the Gregale and Scirocco winds. However, it is advisable to take mosquito repellent with you.
Panorama from the beach
From the shore, you can make out the island of Elba, the port of Piombino and the small island of Cerboli on the horizon. At the southern end, the headland of the port of Punta Ala emerges and you can see the islands of Scoglio dello Sparviero and Troia. The sight of these rock formations is an experience that fascinates the eyes.
Behind the southern promontory, Punte Francese, is the "cove" of Cala Violina, which can be reached by continuing along the coastal path for 1.8 km from Cala Martina.
Swimming in Cala Martina
The coves are protected from the Gregale and Scirocco winds. However, they are particularly suitable for lovers of rocky coasts and for those who want to go in search of sea urchins. It is strongly recommended to wear sandals or rubber shoes.
Map of Cala Martina
How to reach Cala Martina
Two access routes are available:
The first is a private, dirt road closed to traffic - marked on maps as 'private road' - that runs along the coast. From there, you can see Follonica and Piombino across the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Take the road towards the Marina di Scarlino or Portiglione, passing the marina, the shipyards, the restaurant and the bathing establishment of Cala Felice, to the end where Il Ristorante Il Cantuccio and some private houses are located.
Parking at the end of this road is completely private, while parking along the access road is limited. Therefore, it may be necessary to turn back to find a suitable place.
The distance from the beginning of the path to the beach is almost 2 km. I have walked it many times and can confirm that this is the case!
The alternative is to park at the Cala Violina car park and take the private track or the path through the woods to Cala Violina. Instead of taking the forest path to Cala Violina, you can continue north for about 1.1 km to Cala Martina. The distance of the path is about 1.8 km.
Where is Cala Martina?
Between Punta Ala and Follonica, Cala Martina is located in the Bandite di Scarlino area, a nature reserve that also includes Cala Violina, only 2 km away. Like Cala Violina, it is only accessible on foot or by bicycle along a fascinating path that meanders through the thick Mediterranean scrub.