Porto Ercole: beaches, what to see and how to get there
Porto Ercole, nestled on the Argentario promontory, is a place of exceptional beauty with historical and seaside charm. Distinguished by its sophistication, the marina, teeming with yachts and private boats in the warm season, offers breathtaking views, magnificent coves and inlets, as well as the opportunity to relax on the waterfront. The resort is divided into two areas: a more modern and touristy one, around the harbour, and the old hillside village. Beaches of rare beauty, such as Spiaggia Lunga, Viste, Acqua Dolce and Cala Galera, are easily accessible and suitable for different tastes.
The old village, enriched by Forte Filippo and Forte Stella, holds a fascinating history. Porto Ercole offers evening entertainment, various accommodation options and can be easily reached from various Tuscan towns.
Porto Ercole, a gem of the Tuscan region, is located on the south-east coast of Argentario and is a privileged starting point for discovering the surroundings.
Positioned on the Argentario promontory, Porto Ercole, with its east-facing view, is counted among the most renowned destinations in the area and in the entire province of Grosseto. Its reputation as a centre of elegance is mainly attributed to its tourist dock, capable of attracting a variety of yachts and private boats during the summer season. But Porto Ercole's main attraction lies in the wonderful views that surround it, the beautiful coves and inlets in its immediate vicinity, and also in the opportunity to relax over a drink along the harbour or in the historic centre. The town is ideally divided into two parts: the newer, decidedly more touristic section, which faces directly onto the sea with its lively core around the harbour, and the old town, situated on a hill to the south of the harbour, higher up, and reachable in 10-15 minutes by foot, as well as by bus or car.
The beaches of Porto Ercole
Given its privileged position on the eastern part of Argentario, Porto Ercole is the ideal starting point to easily reach the most beautiful beaches on the promontory. Many boat trips are also organised from the port, so you can easily reach and visit several of them in a single day; alternatively, you can also rent a dinghy or boat. As is often the case at Argentario, the beaches can be reached by leaving the car along the scenic road or in the designated parking spaces, and continuing on foot along downhill paths, some easy and suitable for everyone, others rather steep and impervious. Therefore, it is advisable to find out in advance which beach you intend to visit, especially if you are on holiday with small children or the elderly.
Spiaggia Lunga is accessible via a well-marked path of about 200 metres, which is, however, rather steep and therefore not suitable for families with children or elderly people. It can be reached from Porto Ercole by following the scenic road and taking the path not far from the fork to Forte Stella. Once there, you will find a sandy beach, exposed to the southerly winds, with low cliffs bordering it.
If you prefer to avoid the impassable paths, head for the Spiaggia delle Viste beach. It is the closest to the village: just take the scenic road and walk about 100 metres, then park your car and follow the path, which leads to your destination after about 200 metres. It is a sand and pebble beach, one part of which is free and the other equipped by some bathing establishments.
Acqua Dolce Beach
The picturesque Acqua Dolce beach is located in the southern part of Porto Ercole, and can be reached by following an easy path near the Hotel Pellicano. Once there, a clear sea and a beautiful sandy beach with small pebbles await you. The seabed also has pebbles first, and then becomes sandy. The beach is partly free and partly equipped, with the option of renting sunbeds and umbrellas.
Cala Galera is a pretty beach located immediately north of the built-up area of Porto Ercole. In contrast to the other beaches in the area, it is very easy to reach, making it one of the most popular in summer. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the tourist port of Cala Galera, and has a free car park where you can leave your car. It is a shallow, sandy beach, so it is perfect for families with children, who in the rest of the Argentario area might find it difficult to descend the steep paths to get to the most picturesque coves. There is a free section, and a bathing establishment for those who prefer to rent sunbeds and umbrellas.
What to see in Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole is a fascinating place to visit, and although small, it offers numerous attractions for a day of discovery and relaxation. Start at Forte Filippo, located on the northern side of the town, which offers a panoramic view of the area.
Stroll along the harbour, where you can admire the moored boats and enjoy a beautiful view of the sea. Another place of interest is Forte Stella, located to the south, an ancient medieval fort of which only the remains remain, but which is worth a visit, especially at sunset, for the spectacular views it offers. During the month of August, the fort is open every day from 17:00 to 21:00, while during the other months of the year the hours vary depending on the season.
Medieval old town
The medieval old town of Porto Ercole is one of the 'Borghi più Belli d'Italia' and is definitely worth a visit. You can enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the harbour and its surroundings. Access to the historic centre is facilitated by a convenient driveway or a picturesque pedestrian staircase.
Once you reach the village, we recommend you stroll through its narrow streets until you reach the Palazzo dei Governanti, a 16th-century building overlooking a beautiful square, bordered by the Bastione di Santa Barbara. From here, there is a magnificent view of Porto Ercole and Feniglia beach.
What to do in the evening in Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole is very active in the summer evenings, with walks along the seafront, excellent fish dinners and several bars and clubs where you can have a drink before going to bed. It is however a quiet location, appreciated by those who prefer to stay away from the nightlife. Its proximity to Orbetello and Porto Santo Stefano, however, allows one to quickly reach their beach clubs and discos, without having them right under one's window. So, even those in search of entertainment will certainly find something interesting.
Where to sleep in Porto Ercole
Despite being a small town, Porto Ercole offers several options for overnight stays. There are several hotels, bed and breakfasts and flats, mainly in the lower part of the town, near the harbour. During the summer, the area becomes very crowded, so if you are looking for tranquillity and easy parking, choose your accommodation carefully or consider staying nearby. There are not many accommodation facilities in the old town centre, and it would not be very practical to stay there as it is closed to traffic and located far from the sea.
Map of Porto Ercole
How to get to Porto Ercole
From Florence it takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes, passing through Siena and Grosseto, then continuing along the SS1 Aurelia road to Orbetello.
From the towns on the coast the distances are somewhat shorter: from Pisa it takes about 2 ½ hours using the A12 motorway heading south to Rosignano Marittimo, and then continuing along the SS1 Aurelia.
Where Porto Ercole is located
Situated on the south-eastern side of the Argentario promontory, Porto Ercole stands out as a fascinating maritime rendezvous. With its panorama sweeping eastwards, this elegant destination occupies a prominent position not only in the local area, but in the entire province of Grosseto. Its sophistication and exclusive atmosphere make Porto Ercole one of the most sought-after and prestigious locations.