Montecristo Island Opening to Visitors

Excursions are open to visit the Island of Montecristo

Montecristo is a small Italian island — 2.5 miles wide (at its widest point) and 2.1 miles long — home to a rich and diverse environment. After centuries of prohibiting visitors in order to preserve the Tuscan Archipelago domain and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the first wave of the public will be allowed tour starting March 1.

The island was designated a State Natural Reserve in March 1971 and is protected by the Carabinieri Biodiversity Department of Follonica. It is the farthest island away from the coast of Italy and the fourth-largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago.

There’s room for 1725 people to visit the island over the span of 23 days: between March 1 and April 15, and between May 15 and October 31. Tours will only be available on Saturdays and Sundays. The days between April 15 and May 15 have been blocked off in order to protect the birds that will be migrating at that time. If booking a trip to the island, it must be reserved by March 6.

To visit the island, it is €130.00 per person. A €60.00 rate per person will be available for the residents of Municipalities of the Tuscan Archipelago, but there are only 100 of these spots available which also must be booked by March 6. The trip includes a boat trip to and from the island as well as a tour guide.

The departures will be from one of two ports: Piombino (Livorno) or Porto Santo Stefano (Grosseto). Twenty-three excursions will leave from Livorno and two from Grosseto. Boats leaving from Livorno will make one stop at Elba Island, and boats departing out of Grosseto will have a layover in Giglio Porto. It is also possible for small boat owners to visit Montecristo in one’s own boat, which must be less than 52 feet long. More information can be found on the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano website.

The visit will be organized down to the smallest detail in order to make sure the island remains unspoiled. Weather conditions can be anywhere from humid, windy, or rainy, but unless there is significantly bad weather, the trip will still occur. The guide will make the final decision if the clothing worn is acceptable for the hike (footwear higher than the ankle is encouraged as there are snakes on the island). Bringing a backpack is advised to carry the essentials needed for the trip (food, water, notebook, binoculars, extra clothes, socks, etc.); there is no water supply nor any access to food.

There are three routes that can be explored while on the tour of Montecristo, varying in length, difficulty, elevation, and time. The longest hike runs at three hours, and the shortest at two hours. Difficulty levels range from easy, medium, and elevated as the incline, elevation, and time increase.

Visitors must follow the tour guides and are not, under any circumstance, able to wander around the island individually. The maximum number of people allowed in a single group will be 12 people, and children under the age of 12 are not allowed to visit the island. Montecristo is opening to visitors in hopes of the public learning more about its boundless gifts of nature. The island is off-limits to beach use, human settlement, or commercialization.

For more information regarding the trip, recreational boat visits, and helpful tips visit:,con%20scalo%20a%20Giglio%20Porto

(Parker Hurley)