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Discovering the wild promontory of Piombino in a kayak and SUP

Paddling between Baratti and Buca delle Fate

The promontory of Piombino rises to the north of its namesake city, near the southern stretch of the Etruscan Coast. We are at the meeting point between the Ligurian Sea to the north and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the south. Navigating around the promontory, from Baratti to Salivioli, is around 11km, and returning to the starting point is possible on foot or by public transport. For this reason, we recommend that you only travel the stretch from Baratti to Buca delle Fate, leaving and returning from the same place. This makes the excursion easier, mostly because you start and finish in equipped areas.

The best method for this excursion is a sea kayak, but a SUP also works well. The itinerary is around 7km long, is not particularly demanding and is suitable for more or less everyone. The route is characterised by high, rocky coasts, with cliffs that drop as much as 50 metres in some points.

SUP experience along the coast of Piombino
SUP experience along the coast of Piombino

The view is extraordinary: the crystal-clear sea with its various shades of blue that contrast with the clear rocks of the cliff, the green of the Mediterranean scrub and the silhouette of the Isola d’Elba in the distance. Despite the fact that Buca delle Fate is reachable on foot, arriving by sea has a very different charm: you can explore every cove, examine every rock, and it is common to find yourself paddling over shoals of fish.

The excursion is beautiful throughout the year and visiting is appealing even when the season isn’t truly “swimming weather,” particularly because there are few crowds. In any case, as there are no equipped facilities along the route, we recommend that you bring things to eat and drink for the journey. 

If you’re staying in the area, remember to visit the Baratti and Populonia Archaeological Park, an open-air museum about the Etruscan civilisation which overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea. A few kilometres from Buca delle Fate are the ruins of the ancient Populonia, the only city constructed by the Etruscans on the sea, home to two large burial grounds. Every year in June, the Baratti Outdoor Festival takes place, another occasion to visit this stretch of the coast.


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