Created in 1996 in an area that had been under special tutelage since 1989, the land-based part of this park includes the islands of Capraia, Giannutri, Gorgona, Montecristo and Pianosa and parts of Elba and il Giglio. From the islands, the park extends underwater to the areas around the islands of Capraia, Giannutri, Gorgona, Pianosa and Montecristo for a total area of about 57.000 hectares. There has been a true marine protected area planned for years that will have fewer forbidden areas and protect the waters around the islands il Giglio and Elba once it is created. On top of its seven larger islands, the Tuscan Arcipelago also includes a range of smaller islands such as Cerboli, Palmaiola, Scoglietto, i Corbelli, Paolina, la Cappa, and the rocky outcrops called Ogliera, Triglia, Liscoli, Africa, Peraiola, le Formiche, Mezzo Franco and le Scole. Zone 1 areas, that have especially important ecosystems and are highly protected, are not yet delineated by buoys or signal lights. There is no swimming, fishing or navigation allowed in the waters within 1 nautical mile of Pianosa. This rule may be mitigated somewhat in the near future once the Piano del Regolamento del Parco is drawn up, but for now this rule stands.
Distances of about 20-25nm in an area of tranquil seas make the Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano an ideal spot for beginners or for those who are sailing with family. For the time being, there are no navigation zones are around Montecristo, Gorgona, Pianosa, the western coast of Capraia and part of Giannutri. The best ports to leave the mainland from are Punta Ala and the Argentario. If heading out from Elba, the best ports are Porto Azzurro and Porto Ferraio.
You can drop anchor off the Isle of Elba or dock in its small and charming ports with their markets and restaurants. Marina di Campo and Porto Azzurro are the best spots for nightlife.The Giglio Island has numerous bays and tiny inlets with rocky shores that are good for sunbathing. The old town of Giglio Castello is interesting and worth a visit. Giannutri, the seagull’s island, is a good spot for taking a swim. To see Pianosa you have to go with an organised tour group, while Capraia is a good jumping off spot for visiting northern Corsica.