Holidaymakers to Tuscany rarely think about the superb array of beaches that the region has to offer. However, Tuscany's Western borders are flanked by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, which offer some superb opportunities for watersports including windsurfing and waterskiing.
The beaches in Tuscany vary dependent on how far North you go. At the very North of the region are the high end beach resorts of Forte dei Marmi and Camaiore, popular with the wealthy Florentines who flock there during the Summer months to escape the crowds and the heat in the city. The beaches here do tend to be dominated by private beach clubs and finding a free public beach can prove tricky. You should have more luck finding a public beach in the nearby bustling seaside town of Viareggio, also famous for its annual carnival, as well as in Pietrasanta.
Heading South from here, you get to the Livorno coastline. Still only 90 minutes at most from the centre of Florence, it's a great option for a day trip out of the city. You'll find lots of small beaches here, many of which have been awarded the Blue Flag, among them Vada, Castiglioncello and Marina di Bibbona. The largest beach along this stretch of coastline is the Marina di Cecina, which is also one of the best places to enjoy watersports, with a whole host of businesses offering watersports hire such as windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing.
And finally, furthest South is the Maremma coastline. Many argue the beaches you'll find here are the most beautiful of any in Tuscany and, again, numerous beaches here have been awarded the coverted Blue Flag. Certainly, there are some stunning beaches to enjoy with long stretches of beautiful white sand, bordered by vast forests of pine trees, perfect for families. The Marina del Alberese is highly recommended if you have children.