Porto Santo Stefano: beaches, what to see, what to do and how to get there
Porto Santo Stefano is a locality in Tuscany and the most important town on the Argentario promontory, renowned for its charming beaches, lively harbour and the possibility of practising water sports. Its beaches vary from wide to intimate coves, offering breathtaking views. In addition to its coastline, the village offers historical attractions such as the Church of Santo Stefano and the Spanish Fortress. Nightlife is quiet but there is no shortage of entertainment options. Finally, reaching Porto Santo Stefano is mainly possible by car, with bus trips available from Orbetello.
Porto Santo Stefano
The relaxing and picturesque Porto Santo Stefano, located on the Argentario promontory, is the largest town in the area. It has always been a favoured place for both regular visitors and casual travellers, and is known not only for its beautiful beaches and coves, but also for its lively harbour, always crowded with boats from all over the world. Moreover, from here one can easily reach the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago such as the island of Giglio or Giannutri. Porto Santo Stefano, thanks to its popularity, boasts numerous activities related to diving and water sports. Its sea, awarded the Blue Flag and the recent Green Flag for child-friendly resorts, makes the town even more appealing to visitors.
The beaches of Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano's beaches One of Porto Santo Stefano's main attractions are its extraordinary beaches. From wide ones to more intimate coves, all offer breathtaking views and enchanting sea. Most of them can be reached by paths descending from the main road.
Baths of Domitian
The Bagni di Domiziano beach, or Gerini beach, is home to the villa of the Marquis Gerini. It is a small stretch of free sand accessible via a path hidden among the olive trees. This beach takes its name from the ruins of the ancient villa of the Domizi Enobarbi, a Roman family and ancestor of Nero, which can still be seen in front of the beach.
The Spiaggia della Soda beach is located along the route that connects Orbetello to Porto Santo Stefano. It is a medium-large inlet, partially equipped for sunbed and umbrella rental, with free parts. Despite being located on the main road, it offers beautiful natural scenery. Beware of crowds during the high season; it may be difficult to find parking.
Continuing from the shoreline of the Spiaggia della Soda beach, one comes to Cala Pozzarello. Its shoreline consists of sand and small pebbles. It has a bathing establishment, a bar and a restaurant. Easily accessible, it is also suitable for people with disabilities. Thanks to its position, protected from the winds, the sea here is often calm and placid.
The Spiaggia della Bionda is located not far from Cala Pozzarello, in the direction of Porto Santo Stefano. You can also reach it by walking along the coast from the town centre, through the old railway tunnels. Although the walk is not short, it is not strenuous. Remember to take water and food with you if you plan to spend the whole day there.
Cala del Gesso
Cala del Gesso, one of the gems of Porto Santo Stefano, is reached via a scenic road from the town. Once you reach a small road on the right, at kilometre 5.9, you will have to descend a flight of steps to reach the beach. The breathtaking panorama and crystal-clear sea that await you are worth every effort. Although it is free and composed of small pebbles, it becomes very popular during the summer, so we recommend arriving in the morning.
Cala Grande is one of the most famous beaches in Porto Santo Stefano and the entire Argentario. As its name suggests, it is one of the largest on the promontory, but remains a unique place. It is visible from the road, which makes it a mandatory stop during a car tour of Argentario. Continuing on, you will find the entrance to the path, about 500 metres long, which passes through Mediterranean scrub and dense trees. It is not a difficult path, but may prove uncomfortable for families with small children or for the elderly. Once there, you will find a crystal-clear sea and unspoilt nature. Cala Grande is actually composed of three small beaches, all pebbled.
You will have the opportunity to admire a beautiful seabed, making the area also suitable for diving or snorkelling enthusiasts. Finally, remember that Cala Grande is a free beach, so there are no bathing establishments, bars or restaurants.
What to see in Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano offers a pleasant town centre to explore, with a beautiful pedestrian promenade that ends at the marina, where you can stroll among the yachts. In terms of monuments, there is not much to see. However, St Stephen's Church, rebuilt after World War II after being destroyed in 1944, and the imposing Spanish Fortress, dating back to the late 16th century, are worth a visit. The war memorial, located on the waterfront, offers an ideal vantage point for photographing a beautiful sunset. For the rest, enjoy the town's beautiful beaches and, of course, explore the Argentario and its magnificent coves, which can often be reached on foot or by boat.
What to do in the evening in Porto Santo Stefano
Despite being a quiet and relaxing place, Porto Santo Stefano has no shortage of opportunities for evening entertainment. A stroll along the waterfront, from the commercial harbour to the marina, is a must. You can also watch the yachts and enjoy an ice cream. In the village, you will find restaurants and bars open until late at night, as well as numerous aperitif bars to suit all budgets.
Where to sleep in Porto Santo Stefano
The town offers numerous facilities in which to stay overnight: many high-level hotels, with several 4-star accommodations, but there is no shortage of flats, run by private individuals and rented to tourists for short periods or entire weeks. You can choose to stay in the town centre, to have all services at hand, or nearby, perhaps near the beaches, for a totally relaxing holiday.
Map of Porto Santo Stefano
How to get to Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano can be reached by car by first passing through Orbetello and then driving around the promontory in a westerly direction. From Orbetello to Porto Santo Stefano takes about 15-20 minutes by car, for a total of 11 kilometres. From Florence, it takes about three hours by taking the Florence-Siena motorway and then continuing on to Grosseto.
Where Porto Santo Stefano is located
Porto Santo Stefano is located in the enchanting landscape of Tuscany, more precisely in the Grosseto area, a municipality nestled on the northern side of Monte Argentario.