For most people, Monte Argentario is sea, beaches, fun and relaxation. Peaceful and solitary it is not, especially in the height of the summer season. The “other side” of Monte Argentario is not as well known but it is just as beautiful. Here in the midst of the hills covered with flowers and herbs, there is silence and tranquillity. A hike or gentle walk through a world waiting to be discovered – the promontory of Monte Argentario – gives one the space and freedom to quickly forget the stresses and strains of everyday life.
The descent to Torre Ciana
Length of journey: 1¼ hours, round trip
Difficulty: medium, some parts of the path are steep and hidden by vegetation
Drive along the panoramic road from Porto Ercole to the point where the road is no longer paved. Just before the end of the road, there is a parking lot with a fountain and cypress tree. Leave your car here. The unpaved road that goes to the sea is on the left. Follow it. After about a 15-minute walk, you come to a small path on your left, marked by a rock that is painted red.
In front of you you can see the island of Giannutri and a little further to the left is the island of Giglio. Continue following the path until you reach the Sienese designed lookout tower Torre Ciana, restructured by the Spanish but now sadly a ruin.
The ascent to Ronconali
Length of journey: 1½ hours
Difficulty: medium, with path covered with vegetation
Drive down Via del Campone from Porto Santo Stefano to the first paved road on the right hand side. Turn right. You will immediately come across a reservoir – park your car here. Keeping the reservoir on your right, walk along a dirt road. When you arrive at a fork in the road, bear right for about 20 m. You will then see the gates of the villa. On the left you will see a road that goes by the villa through an area with low shrubs. Take it. Continue until you reach another fork in the road. Go left. Use the roof of the villa and the spur-shaped rock above as a reference point.
The path will continue to wind upward, becoming increasingly covered with vegetation. At the top, the view takes in part of Monte Argentario that looks towards Giglio, the Tombolo della Giannella and the Orbetello lagoon.
|Recommended: For the more adventurous and serious hiker, we suggest setting aside a day, when it is not too hot, to walk from Porto Ercole to Porto Santo Stefano. It will take approximately six hours to cover the 18 km, but it is an easy walk with long ascents and many beautiful views.