Giglio Island beach and town.

Giglio Island – Where to Stay (Areas + Hotels)

Thanks to local Tuscan and Giglio Island expert Suzanne Talenti for her tips on where to stay on the island!

Wondering where to stay on Giglio Island? 

A small gem in the Tyrrhenian sea off the southern Tuscan Coast, Giglio Island has much to discover. Explore 9 square miles of dramatic scenery, idyllic coves, mesmerizing clear water, and charming towns. 

Here are my tips on where to stay: from someone who goes to Giglio Island numerous times every year. My Italian side of the family has a small house there, and we stay updated on accommodation for when other family members and friends come to visit. They’ve stayed all over the island!

Giglio Island offers a range of accommodation, from a campground to apartments, B&Bs and hotels. Accommodation is clustered in the island’s three towns.

I explain the pros and cons of staying in each town, as well as my recommendations for truly unique accommodation farther afield. I also have advice about special events that can affect availability.

Andiamo al Giglio – Let’s go to Giglio Island!

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Featured accommodation (see map):

  1. Hotel Arenella
  2. Hotel Castello Monticello
  3. La Guardia Hotel
  4. La Rosada B&B
  5. Hotel Saraceno
  6. Pardini’s Hermitage
  7. Le Poste di Simplicio
  8. Albergo da Giovanni
  9. Torre del Campese
  10. Baia del Sole Campground
  11. Faro di Punta Fenaio Resort
  12. B&B Airone (Heron B&B)

How to Decide Where to Stay on Giglio Island

  • Do you prefer the beach, or to sunbathe and swim off the cliffs? Keep in mind how close you want to be to sea access. And if you won’t be right on the beach, consider how you’ll get to the beach (if going in the water is a priority). 
  • If you’re staying in a town and will have a car, make sure you have a private parking spot! Parking is limited and can be a real pain in the neck.
  • Are you looking for luxury? Roughing it? Plan to spend all your time on the beach? Cook at home? Eat out? Budget, comfort level and your own style are major factors, as they are no matter where you travel. 
  • Accessibility and your mobility are important to keep in mind. Two of the island towns, Giglio Porto and Giglio Castello, are centuries-old, built on hills and have tiny cobblestone streets.  Accessing your accommodation may require climbing a steep hill, steps, or walking on uneven terrain. It may not be possible to just pull right up to the door in a car or taxi. Make sure to find out before booking!
View of Arenella from above. You can see boats in the cove, as well as rock shoreline and low brush on the hillsides.
A birds-eye view of the hillside above Arenella beach

Special Accommodation Outside of Giglio’s Towns

Giglio Island has some truly special and unique accommodation options. Here are some of the most spectacular spots. Family members and friends have tried them out over the years and recommend:

  • Baia del Sole campground sits right on the cliffs overlooking the sea near Campese. Camping may not be for everyone, but just imagine waking up, walking just a few meters and diving right off the rocks into the clear water! 
  • Pardini’s Hermitage  is a peaceful oasis for people who truly want to get away from it all. It’s hidden away along the coast and only reachable by boat. Meals are served on the shady terraces overlooking the sea.
  • Imagine staying in a real lighthouse! Faro di Punta Fenaio Resort is perched on the breathtaking cliffs of Punta del Fenaio, on Giglio Island’s northern point. The lighthouse is only reachable by private hotel car, or boat. 
  • Hotel Castello Monticello is set inland on the hill above Arenella beach. It has greenery and sea views at the same time. A big plus: the hotel offers its own free shuttle service to Giglio Porto, Arenella beach (down the hill) and Cannelle beach.
  • Hotel Arenella overlooks Arenella cove, and is within walking distance of Arenella beach, just down the hill. 

Staying in Giglio Porto

Pros:

  • most convenient place for getting to the ferry, which is right in town
  • great for dining out, drinks and shopping
  • numerous boat and scooter rental companies
  • there are two little beaches right in town
  • walk/hike to Cannelle and Caldane, two of the island’s most beautiful small beaches

Cons:

  • Campese beach is on the other side of the island
  • there’s hustle and bustle along the harbor into the late evening
  • the town has some steep climbs and uneven terrain: double check access to your accommodation if you have limited mobility

Good To Know: Accommodation right on the harbor, over the shops and restaurants, can be loud until late in the evening. 

The Scoop on Giglio Porto

Giglio Porto is where the ferry arrives: porto means harbor or port in Italian. Its pastel-colored houses, fishing boats, and lighthouses welcome you to the island. 

The harbor front is lined with bars, little shops and restaurants. There are hidden passageways and corners to discover as well. The town has plenty of alimentari (small food stores), bakeries and a butcher if you wish to have a picnic or make dinner yourself. 

Giglio Porto even has two small beaches right in town. You can see Scalettino beach as the ferry pulls into the harbor. It has a small sandy beach, as well as rocks where you can sunbathe and take a dip into the water. 

Tucked behind the medieval Torre del Saraceno, or Saraceno tower, is Saraceno cove. It has a tiny strip of pebbly beach, and is one of the island’s most special little spots.

Giglio Porto is the closest town to two of the island’s most picturesque small beaches: Cannelle and Caldane.

Where to Stay in Giglio Porto

Pink painted entrance with white gate. Fuschia flowers decorate the rock wall on left. Tree on left. Entrance to B&B La Rosada on Giglio Island.
Pretty in pink B&B La Rosada
Turquoise water with buildings in background. Rocky coastline and sandy beach near the buildings.
La Guardia Hotel is right on Scalettino beach
Rocky coastline with hotel hanging over water in Tuscany.
Hotel Saraceno in Giglio Porto is right on the water

Here are special spots I recommend to my friends when they come to Giglio Island:

  • Hotel Saraceno sits perched on a cliff overlooking the water south of Saraceno Cove
  • Charming, family-run B&B La Rosada is tucked away up the hill, with views of Giglio Porto from above. Be prepared to climb.

How to Get to Giglio Porto

Take the ferry from the mainland (Porto Santo Stefano): Giglio Porto is your entry point to the island.

Food in Giglio Porto

  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)

Amenities in Giglio Porto

  • souvenir shops
  • clothing stores
  • post office
  • pharmacy
  • tourist office
  • ATM
  • emergency medical clinic 
  • scooter, e-bike and boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions

Giglio Porto Special Events

Be aware of special events when choosing accommodation, as they can affect availability, prices, and noise levels! 

The Palio Marinaro is a rowboat race held on August 10, the Feast of San Lorenzo, Giglio Porto’s patron saint day. The town’s four neighborhoods, or rioni, compete against each other as crowds lining the harbor roar and boisterously cheer them on.

Staying in Giglio Castello

Pros:

  • stay up high in a castle village with incredible views
  • feel like you’re on top of the world
  • inland medieval fortress is a unique place to stay

Cons:

  • need to drive or take the bus to the beach– unless you’re up for long steep hikes

The Scoop on Giglio Castello

Medieval Giglio Castello, or castle, stands guard on one of the island’s highest peaks 405 m (1328 ft) above sea level. There are incredible views from up here, and on clear days you can see the island of Monte Cristo. 

Giglio Castello is so high up that often it’s shrouded in fog in the morning, which makes it seem like you’re in a cloud (don’t worry, by late morning it usually burns off).

The village dates back to the 12th century, and is included in the association of Borghi Più Belli d’Italia, Italy’s most beautiful small towns. 

Inside the castle walls, there is a maze of cobblestone streets to get lost in, with small piazzas and vistas to discover. Bars, restaurants, stores and even an 11th century fortress (rocca) are hidden among the winding paths.

Stone coast with steps leading down to sea (out of photo). Above the stony coastline are green shrubs and a few umbrella pines.
Giglio Castello as seen from the water

Where to Stay in Giglio Castello

Giglio Castello doesn’t have hotels, but there are apartment rentals

However, B&B Airone is my pick: it is just outside the castle walls, with a nice terrace and incredible views.

Getting to Giglio Castello

  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a parking lot outside of the castle walls
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (15 minutes) or Giglio Campese (15 minutes).
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)

Food in Giglio Castello

  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)

Amenities in Giglio Castello

  • souvenir shops
  • post office
  • police station
  • ATM

Giglio Castello Special Events

Keep special events in mind when choosing accommodation, as availability and prices can be affected. Noise, buzz and busyness too!

September 15 is the Feast of San Mamiliano, Giglio Castello’s patron saint. It’s one of my all-time favorite festivals. After a day of festivities including a religious procession and donkey race, scores of people dance the quadriglia, a traditional local dance, in the piazza. Then there are fireworks over the Castello!

Staying in Giglio Campese

Sun going down over the water. There are boats on the water and hilly coast on the left.
Sun starting to set over Campese bay

Pros:

  • you’re right on the island’s largest beach!
  • front row view for sunset over the water 
  • plenty of spots for beachfront drinks
  • easiest beach access for families and people with limited mobility
  • choice of beaches with amenities

Cons:

  • anonymous, built up, and lacks the charm of the island’s other towns
  • spots back from the water are on a steep hill, double check with your accommodation about accessibility if you have limited mobility

The Scoop on Giglio Campese

Campese is the town at the island’s largest beach. It is a long, wide sandy beach on a majestic bay. 

Restaurants and stores are scattered in various clusters among the houses and along the shore. The town itself is not as charming or picturesque as Giglio Porto or Giglio Castello. But it is the most convenient if you want to be as close as possible to the beach. 

Campese is relatively flat, and its beach area has the most amenities and easiest access on the island. There are both free access public beaches, and beach clubs. 

There are also rocks at the northern end of the bay if you like swimming off the cliffs.

A Campese landmark is the  large sea stack in the distance at the southern edge of the bay, called il faraglione. Another is Campese Tower (Torre del Campese), built in the 1600s, on the northern end of the bay. Approaching Campese from above on the dramatic windy road is absolutely breathtaking.

But my favorite feature of Campese is the sunset.

The sun goes down right over the water, so you have strong sun the entire afternoon and well into the evening. I absolutely recommend having an aperitivo or eating a pizza on the beach as you watch the sun go down! 

Tower at the end of a rocky point on the coast of Giglio Island in Tuscany. Golden sand and turquoise water in front and boats in the sea further out.
Torre del Campese (Campese Tower) is a unique place to stay

Where to Stay in Giglio Campese

This is the accommodation I recommend to my friends when they’re looking for something special: 

  • Baia del Sole campground on the cliffs overlooking the sea up the hill from Campese, where you can swim right off the rocks.

How to Get to Giglio Campese

  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a good size parking lot at the sports field
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (30 minutes) or Giglio Castello (15 minutes)
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)

Food in Giglio Campese

  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)

Amenities in Giglio Campese

  • beach clubs with daily umbrella and sun lounger rentals 
  • public SUP, kayak and paddle boat rentals at beach clubs
  • souvenir shops
  • ATM
  • boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions

Giglio Campese Special Events

Special events can affect prices, availability, and noise levels, so keep them in mind when choosing accommodation on Giglio Island.

August 16 is San Rocco, Giglio Campese’s patron saint day. The festival, with music and food, is capped off with fireworks right over the bay!

Want to know more about the island? Check out our Guide to Giglio Island (Isola del Giglio)

Suzanne Talenti

Suzanne has been living in Italy for almost two decades. Based in Tuscany with her husband and two children, she uses her BA in Italian and Master’s in Gastronomy to teach about Italian food, culture and language, as well as organize food tours and events. She has over 15 years of teaching experience with students on two continents. Suzanne is always on the lookout for fun, interesting places to explore in Italy, ideally with a stop for yummy local delicacies along the way! You can find her at GettingToKnowItaly.