• By maja
  • 23 August 2019

The (secret) Island of Montecristo

The (secret) Island of Montecristo

When we talk about islands in Italy, usually the first ones we think of are Siciliy and Sardinia, but also Capri Island, Ischia, Ponza, Eolie Islands, Isola d’Elba, Isola del Giglio… But this is not all… Let us give you a hint…

Many of you have read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and if you didn’t, you should. 🙂

The place described in the book is not fictional and it really exists and it’s in Italy!

The Island of Montecristo is located not far away from the mainland, from Monte Argentario (Tuscany), and it’s also pretty close to Isola del Giglio and Isola d’Elba, two of the most attractive touristic locations in Italy. It’s located about 40miles from the mainland (Grosseto).

Photo: infoelba.it

If you’re still wondering why you never heard about the existence of Montecristo island, the answer here is very simple: the visits were not permitted to anyone!! Only few lucky people or the few residents of the mainland municipality to which Montecristo island belongs (Portoferraio), would have been able to request a visit to this “diamond shape” island.

This mysterious island is 4 square miles big and has a history full of mystery, of monks, adventurers, pirates and saints. This island is also unique because of its flora, fauna and sea life.

From 2019 many rules changed and if you follow the right procedure you might be among the lucky ones who will be able to visit this unique place.

Photo: islepark.it

To visit the island is not easy and it might take years on the waiting list. The authorization must be requested to the government authorities by 11th February every year and the first excursion occurs on the 2nd March. In fact, the visits are from the 2nd March to the 15th April and from the 15th May to the 31st October. The official visits are organized by the Island Institution of the Tuscan Archipelago and the boats depart from Piombino, Isola d’Elba or Porto Santo Stefano and Isola del Giglio.

All guided tours follow the itinerary along the three paths of the island. All guided visits are led by licensed guides and it isn’t possible to wander around the island on your own. Also, a specific gear is required or the visit, even if the permission was obtained, could be denied. There are also some severe rules to respect and, for example, you cannot stay overnight, you cannot swim, fish and, if you’re passing by with your private boat, you cannot navigate closer than 1000m from the coast of this island.

Photo: islandpark.it

It’s also possible to reach the Montecristo island by a private boat after obtaining a special permission. The maximum of people allowed on a private boat that intends to stop at the island is 15 and the vessel cannot be longer than 16 meters. The descent to the ground is allowed only at the Cala Maestra beach where you can stop and visit also the Museum. It’s possible to ask for this kind of permission only once in 2 years.

If you need any assistance or have any questions about visiting the Island of Montecristo, don’t hesitate to contact us on info@citylightstours.com

We are always up to date with the latest news about this magnificent place. Also in case you’re interested in organizing a private visit to the Island, get in touch with us.

The waiting times for the visit are out of our control and also in this case we can recall Alexandre Dumas who sad “All human wisdom is contained in these two words – Wait and Hope”

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