My 3 favourite beaches near Tuscany

This July, I was lucky enough to spend a month living in Florence, Tuscany. Whilst Florence was beautiful, it gets bloody hot during summer. The days had a continuous maximum of 35 degrees Celsius and the humidity was around 80%. The thing I started to miss most about home was the beaches. So here’s my list of my 3 favourite beaches you can easily access from Florence.

1. Monterosso al Mare


Monterosso is the first, and biggest, town on the Cinque Terre. When you first walk out of the train station you’re greeted with beaches full of multicoloured umbrellas and a promenade trimmed with flowers, palm trees and sun-drenched travellers. The beaches here are private but we managed to haggle a good price for some sunbeds for half the day.

The best part about Monterosso is that it’s technically a sand beach! By sand, I mean there are pebbles closer to the water but there is sand near the sunbeds so it’s a little bit of both. It felt more like home!

How to get there:

From Florence, there are trains that take about 2.5 hrs to get there if you have to change trains. On Sunday’s, there are direct trains from Florence which take a little less time. 10/10 would recommend staying a night here if you can, but if not – it’s totally doable in a day!

2. San Fruttuoso 


Now, San Fruttuoso is a little further afield than the Cinque Terre from Florence – but if you do decide to stay a night in the Cinque Terre, this place is not to be missed! Once an old abbey, this beautiful spot has crystal clear water and even an underwater statue of Jesus Christ for those who know who to dive.

As it is surrounded by hills on either side, I would recommend heading to San Fruttuoso first to make use of the most amount of sun rays. We went in the afternoon and by the time we left, half the beach was in the shade.

How to get there:

This secluded beach is only accessible by ferry or by foot. By foot, it takes around 2 hours one way and I’ve heard the walk is far less crowded and more scenic that the Cinque Terre. We decided to take the ferry both ways, and the coastline was breathtaking! We bought a return ticket from Rapallo which let us hop-on and hop-off at other towns along the route such as Santa Margherita and Portofino.

A return ferry ticket will cost you around 17.50 euros and you can find the timetables here.

3. Quercianella

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Just around the headland from the beach

This last one is nowhere near as famous as the other two – but it’s the closest to Florence! If you’re in need of a quick dip in the ocean but don’t want to travel too far from Firenze, this one’s for you.

On one of my last days in Florence, my Italian friend organised an afternoon trip to the beach for us. She said she’d spoken to a few friends and they’d recommended a sleepy town on the Tuscan coastline. From the train station, it was about a 20 minute walk north to the beach. There was both private and public sections, so we just lay our towels down in the public area and jumped straight in the water. People were floating on inflatable beach toys and the vibe was really chill compared to other beaches we’d been to.

As we were leaving, we saw people setting up yoga mats on the beach for a spot of sunset yoga practice! I loved the relaxed atmosphere this beautiful town had – my friend even said she’d be recommending her family to come here next time during their summer holidays. I would definitely recommend a visit here and, if you want to stay overnight, Villa Margherita looks divine.

How to get there:

The train is a direct service from Florence and takes about 1 and a half hours.

Happy swimming!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Not too far from home!

– s.

The Figure 8 Pool – Royal National Park

Before I post anymore of my travel stories, I’m going to tell you about somewhere very close to my hometown that has recently risen to fame through that wonderful new-age weapon we call social media – The Figure 8 Pool.


Image source: NSW National Parks

The Figure 8 Pool is a naturally formed rock pool located on a secluded rock shelf about 1 hours drive south of Sydney in the Royal National Park. It has recently become very popular among tourists and Sydney locals alike due to its’ ability to be well suited for the ‘gram. If you search the hashtags on Insta, you’ll find around 5000 photos of people around the pool.


The day my friends and I visited started as a nice sunny day, but during the 2 hour walk (yes, it’s 2 hours one way to get there!) the weather begun to change to a gloomy, stormy mess of a day. We still made it there before the weather turned horrible, but I wish we had properly checked the forecast.


Although small, the pool is quite beautiful and I’m sure it would look even lovelier on a sunny day. Closer to the cliff there’s another swimming hole that is larger and easier to get into as you can just walk into it – we preferred to swim in that pool instead because the Figure 8 Pool is not big enough for a lot of people.

Things to note:

  • The number 1 rule – Check the tides!! If it is high tide, do not go. There’s a chance you’ll be swept off the rocks, or the tide will be too high to even reach the rock shelf where the pool is.
  • The walk is hard – the second half of the walk is a steep descent (so you’ll be ascending on the way back, which was tough) followed by a climb around massive rocks on the headland
  • You will need good walking shoes – I’ve seen people walking it in flip flops and high heels and I can think of nothing worse
  • Take plenty of water – it’s a long walk and you’ll want to spend some time at the beach
  • There’s no cafe/toilet on the walk or near the pools – closest toilet is at Garie beach

For more information about the Figure 8 Pools, visit the NSW National Parks page here

For any Sydney local who loves a bit of Wild Swimming, I recently purchased the Wild Swimming Sydney book which features the Figure 8 Pool and many more. I’m hoping to make my way through more of it this summer, you can find out more here.

Let me know if you’ve ever been there and how you found the walk in the comments!

– s.