NATURE

A wealth of biodiversity

Kissed by the sun for most days of the year, Giglio Island offers many opportunities to enjoy an outdoor holiday: from walks in the hinterland, to excursions by bicycle or by sea to discover its coasts and the Tuscan Archipelago.
On the eastern coast, the smooth granite rocks will allow you to lie down comfortably for a tan or a dip in the blue sea. The north-western part of the island, on the other hand, is characterized by limestone rocks overhanging the sea.
Promontory, for example, dates back to the Paleozoic era and is characterized by the presence of cavernous limestone. The rest of the island, on the other hand, is made up of granite-like rocks and is mainly mountainous.

HIKING TRAILS
Giglio Island is full of trails that will allow you to discover the area more closely and enjoy fantastic views. Walking along some of the many marked paths, you will notice that most of the area has ancient origins and still preserves its wild nature.

We have selected some trails for you, choosing the ones that will quickly make you discover the varied landscape of the island, one of the most impressive in the Mediterranean.
The full paper map of the paths of the island is available in the headquarters of the Giglio Porto Pro Loco Tourist Office or you can download it HERE in .jpg format

The Miners Trail
Starting from Giglio Campese, it is possible to observe the Franco Promontory and the Colle del Castellare, on which the first miners of the island had given birth to a flourishing red ochre trade. In Campese it is possible to visit the immense accumulation of red ochre of the Pozzo Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara mine shaft) and observe the furnaces once used for the processing of pyrite. Heading towards the sea, you will encounter a small quarry full of stalactites.
Continue on the trail until you reach Cala dell’Allume where you can admire a cavernous limestone formation, the rocky walls of the Scoglio della Cappa a short distance from the shore. As you go down, you will find the source of an iron deposit as well as some tunnels, once used for the extraction of minerals, still visible today.

The Fenaio Trail
This time we start from Giglio Castello and go down towards the ancient Fenaio lighthouse: an incredibly beautiful path in the midst of the pristine nature of the island. Arriving near the lighthouse, do not miss the opportunity to observe the spectacular Sparavieri and Secche Cliffs, with their characteristic vertical ravines overlooking the sea.

The Capelrosso Trail
Starting from Giglio Castello, you can walk along the Via Panoramica making a brief stop at the ancient marcasite quarry, dating back to the 1700s. Here the granite formations dominate the island landscape. Continue to Castelluccio, until your gaze meets the Capel Rosso lighthouse, built among the green vegetation between the blue of the sky and sea.Immerse yourself in a scenery that will take your breath away: the cliffs and rocks here are shaped by the passing of time, by the wind and the sea; the silence is broken only by the waves crashing on the rocks. It is not a coincidence that the film director, Paolo Sorrentino chose to shoot some important scenes from his film “The Great Beauty” here.

The Ancient Mule-track
The path that connects Giglio Porto to Giglio Castello is an easy walk on an ancient road paved with granite stones which, once upon a time, was the only route between the two villages on the island. Retracing the ancient mule-track will allow you to enjoy a spectacular view of the Arenella beach and gaze towards the ancient walls of Giglio Castello, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.


FLORA

The Mediterranean scrub, with its green shrubs and scents of heather, strawberry tree, honeysuckle and madder, highlight the wild heart of our island. The maritime pines and the helichrysum plants are interspersed with “terraced” strips of land planted with vineyards. There are over 700 species of plants and flowers on the island.
You will be fascinated by thousands of colors: from the intense yellow of the spiny broom flowers and the green of the maritime pines to the white cysts, eye-catching flowers, white or pink, which cover the landscape with a brushstroke of intense colors and inundate it with unforgettable scents.


FAUNA

As you walk along the island trails, you may come across some wild rabbit or types of mountain goats. Stroll quietly along the narrow paths that cross the island: no worries, reptiles such as the vipers are absent. At the most, you might come across the “Biaco”, a shy and harmless reptile, very useful as a rodent predator.


The birdlife on Giglio, on the other hand, is much richer and more varied. Among the nesting birds that have now chosen the island as their “home”, the most important are the buzzard, the kestrel (known for its vertical flight that allows it to remain motionless using the air currents, waiting for the right prey), the peregrine falcon, the Corsican and the royal seagull, as well as the turtledove, the imperial crow and the lonely sparrow. The hoopoe is also present and is a species of considerable interest to ornithologists, called by the inhabitants of the island “bubbola”, easily recognizable by its thick fan-shaped plumage, positioned on the top of its head. All these bird species make Giglio Island a true bird watching paradise.


Giglio Island is also known for the richness of its underwater life with fish fauna typical of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Among its waters live cuttlefish, lobsters, snappers, congers, moray eels and numerous specimens of swordfish and bream. In deeper waters you can see schools of kingfish, barracudas, amberjacks and tuna that can reach up to 3 meters in length.

MINERALOGY
Giglio, along with the other Tuscan Archipelago islands, not only shares an exceptionally beautiful landscape and a sea that never ceases to amaze visitors, it also has a priceless heritage hidden underground. Magmatism and volcanoes have played a great role in the formation of the islands of the Archipelago and it is for this reason that man has been extracting minerals from this area since Roman and Etruscan times. Unlike the rugged island of Giannutri – completely formed by limestone-dolomitic sediments – Giglio Island is almost entirely granite, with the exception of the Franco Promontory. Here the inhabitants have dedicated themselves for a considerable time to the excavation and processing of the granite from which the columns of important Italian monuments come. But scholars recognize that our island’s subsoil has a priceless value and a mineralogical variety of the highest order. In fact to the present day, albeit with alternating luck, mining activities have continued in the mining areas, permanently marking the landscape, history and traditions.
This extraordinary cultural and scientific heritage has also been valued by UNESCO which has included the mining areas of the archipelago in the provisional list of World Heritage Geological Sites with the annotation “to be protected and enhanced as an inalienable asset of humanity and an exhaustible resource and not renewable for those tourist activities that today constitute the economic driving force of the archipelago”.
An important Mineralogical Museum has been built on the island, however it is currently inaccessible since it is in the phase of preparation for its final location in the Rocca Pisana in the village of Giglio Castello.

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