Discovering the Island of Giannutri with Maregiglio

Where is Giannutri Island located?

Venture to the southernmost point of the Tuscan Archipelago, nestled in the heart of southern Tuscany, and there you’ll find Giannutri on the map. This small island is positioned 11 km from Argentario and 15 km from Giglio Island, making it the southernmost island of the archipelago and only 100 km as the crow flies from Rome.

Ever since ancient Roman times, the island was revered as sacred to the goddess Diana/Artemis, its crescent shape echoing the sickle used by the goddess. Stretching 2.8 km in length, Giannutri boasts a wild and surprising landscape, featuring gentle coves caressed by crystal-clear waters, sheer cliffs diving into the deep blue, marine caves, little beaches, and the varied hues of Mediterranean vegetation.

Its proximity to Giglio Island makes it an ideal spot for day trips aimed at exploring the treasures of these two islands (each year, Maregiglio offers a handy minicruise service we encourage you to check out).

To protect its unique natural environment and extraordinary seabeds teeming with gorgonians, lobsters, mollusks, and schools of small fish, the island has been incorporated into the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Strict regulations safeguard its treasures but don’t hinder tourism, striking a perfect balance between welcoming visitors and the need for conservation.

How far is Giannutri Island from the coast?

Giannutri, a petite island, lies 21 km (11 nautical miles) from Argentario and 15 km from Giglio Island. Remarkably, it’s only 100 km straight from Rome.  This means that, when sailing the route from Porto Santo Stefano to Giannutri on our regular ferries, you’ll arrive at your destination in about an hour.

Giannutri Grottoni2 scaled e1690364347729

How big is Giannutri Island?

Giannutri Island, with its distinct shape, is relatively small in terms of area. Covering a mere 2.62 square kilometers, it’s the smallest of the seven islands that make up the Tuscan Archipelago.

The island stretches a maximum of about 2.8 km in length, and its width ranges from a narrow 500 meters to roughly 1 km. The coastline spans around 11 km, alternating between rocky stretches and little beaches.

Despite its compact size, Giannutri is a trove of unexpected wonders, from soft coves bathed in transparent waters to steep cliffs that plummet into the profound blue, from marine caves to little beaches and the vibrant shades of the Mediterranean scrub. Therefore, while Giannutri might be small in size, it brims with charm and offers ample opportunities to explore and savor a vacation centered on nature and tranquility.

How Many People Live on Giannutri Island?

Despite its untouched beauty and unparalleled charm, Giannutri Island is sparsely inhabited.

As of 2023, the number of permanent residents on the island is quite low, hovering around fifteen individuals. However, during the summer months, the population swells considerably due to tourists and homeowners of vacation properties choosing to spend their holidays here.

Despite its small population, Giannutri Island is a Mediterranean gem that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Giannutri Punta Nord scaled 1

Things to Do on Giannutri Island

Though compact in size, Giannutri Island offers a wide array of activities and attractions that guarantee an unforgettable experience.

One of the island’s main attractions is the ancient Roman Villa, a masterpiece of the Domizi/Enobarbi family. This archaeological site, dripping with historical allure, can only be explored alongside the Official Guides of the Park, who provide invaluable insights into the life and architecture of that era. The island also boasts two splendid trails for exploration: one leading to Montemario and the other guiding visitors to the Punta del Capel Rosso lighthouse.

The latter, positioned on the island’s northernmost tip, offers breathtaking views of the sea and other islands in the archipelago. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Grottoni, vast caves that serve as a haven for royal gulls. From this vantage point, if luck is on your side, you might catch a glimpse of the mysterious submerged island of Zanara. Your Giannutri adventure might kick off with an arrival by boat at Cala Maestra, named after the “maestrale,” a wind that blows from the northwest.

Another great landing spot is Cala Spalmatoio, where visitors can marvel at the remnants of a Roman port, once a temporary stopover for ships traversing the Tyrrhenian Sea. This site also hosts a quaint tourist village that harmoniously blends with the surrounding landscape. Interested in discovering Giannutri in a unique way? Maregiglio, departing from Porto Santo Stefano, offers two captivating mini-cruises we urge you to check out!

Embark on a daily tour exploring Giglio and Giannutri islands aboard the Motonave Revenge, departing from Porto Santo Stefano.

Starting from Porto Santo Stefano, this option lets you uncover the captivating Giannutri Island accompanied by one of the official guides from the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

How to Get to Giannutri Island?

If you’re planning a trip to the enchanting Giannutri Island, here are some practical details to help organize your journey. The primary departure point for Giannutri is Porto Santo Stefano, located on the Argentario Promontory. 

You can park your car directly in the town, in the areas we’ll indicate, and then walk to the ferry boarding area at Piazzale Candi 8 – Terminal Traghetti, located at Porto del Valle. 

From there, Maregiglio ferry company offers year-round connections to the island. Regular connections from Porto Santo Stefano to Giannutri are available twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday.

Ferries depart at 10:00 AM from Porto Santo Stefano and return from Giannutri at 4:00 PM. During the summer, service frequency increases with additional sailings on Monday, Thursday, Sunday, and an extra afternoon departure on Friday. 

For more detailed information, consult the page with the updated timetable, as well as the rates page. Another option is to reach Giannutri from Giglio Island. From June 20th to around September 15th, Maregiglio offers a direct connection every Thursday, departing from Giglio Porto at 10:30 AM and returning from Giannutri at 4:00 PM.

Every Thursday, departing from Giglio Porto, you can experience two fascinating mini cruises, both operated by our company, Maregiglio. 

Departing from Giglio Porto, this mini-cruise will take you to discover the ancient ruins of the Roman Villa in Giannutri accompanied by an official guide from the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

Departing from Giglio Porto, this tour will take you on an exciting excursion to discover the beautiful coves of Giannutri Island, habitat of a rich and varied marine life.

Tips for a Day Trip to Giannutri

It’s important to note that cars or other vehicles are not permitted on Giannutri for tourist purposes. The island is protected by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, and its delicate ecosystem demands responsible behavior from its visitors.

If you’re planning a day trip, it’s recommended to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water, food, and a hat for sun protection. If snorkeling interests you, don’t forget your mask, fins, and snorkel to explore the island’s crystal-clear waters. Always respect the ecosystem, avoid introducing non-native animal species, and refrain from leaving trash or litter. 

Giannutri Island is a gem to be cherished and respected, ensuring future generations can also revel in its beauty and serenity.

Where to Stay on Giannutri Island?

Despite its modest size, Giannutri Island offers charming accommodations for those wishing to bask in its unparalleled tranquility overnight.

On the island, you won’t find the large hotel facilities typical of busier tourist spots, nor will you come across campgrounds or large hotels. This uniqueness helps maintain Giannutri’s untouched charm and natural beauty. Though the Romans of yore chose this island for their lavish vacation villas, today’s comforts can be quite different. Fear not! Some modern Romans have followed their forebears’ footsteps, building their own holiday homes away (but not too far) from the bustling city.

Some of these private homes have been transformed into delightful Bed & Breakfasts, ready to welcome guests wishing to spend more than a day immersed in Giannutri’s tranquility. Among the options available, we highlight Casa Diana, Animosque Giannutri, and Casa del Pescatore.

These establishments offer a limited number of rooms, ensuring an authentic and personal experience that makes a stay in Giannutri an unforgettable experience.