"Porto Ercole competes with Porto Santo Stefano." Porto Ercole by breughel

Porto Ercole Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 15 photos

Too much marina.

Porto Ercole, on the south-east side of the Argentario peninsula, competes with Porto Santo Stefano on the opposite side of the mountain.
When I discovered this harbour and bay, thirty years ago, I found it a very picturesque and authentic place which I preferred to Porto Santo Stefano. My recent visit made me change my opinion. A marina has now invaded all the harbour leaving no room for the water. From the walk along the sea one sees mainly a huge parking for all types of boats.
Fortunately the hills with the Spanish fortresses, the old town "Borgo Antico" with the church of San Erasmo compensate for the unaesthetic invasion by the marina.

Of course this is a subjective appreciation based on a comparison between the 1970-80s and now.
But I'm not the only one to criticise this transformation of Porto Ercole in a huge marina.
In 2004 a number of environmental associations denounced this transformation under the terms of: "Porto-garage a Port'Ercole"
"Si vuol fare di Porto Ercole un Porto-Garage occupando quanto più possibile dell?area portuale....
Una presenza locale che si vedrà privata non solo delle caratteristiche paesaggistiche, storiche e ambientali dell?attuale Porto Rifugio e dello storico borgo marinaro..."

Nevertheless I'm sure that new comers will like Porto Ercole; it is still so much better than many other sea places.

Porto Ercole, sur la côte sud de la péninsule de l'Argentario, est concurrente de Porto Santo Stefano de l'autre côté de la montagne.
Lorsque j'ai découvert cette baie et son port, il y a une trentaine d'années, je l'ai trouvée très pittoresque et authentique et je la préférais à Porto Santo Stefano.
Ma récente visite m'a fait changer d'opinion. Une marina a envahi la baie et le port ne laissant quasiment plus de plus place pour l'eau. De la promenade le long de la mer on ne voit plus qu'un immense parking à bateaux de toutes sortes. La demande d'emplacements par les amateurs de nautisme est forte et je suppose que la location de ces emplacements rapporte plus à la commune de Porto Ercole que les voyageurs de passage.
Porto Santo Stefano quant à elle offre encore une vue dégagée sur sa baie ce qui fait que aujourd'hui je la préfère à Porto Ercole qui a trop sacrifié au nautisme.

Heureusement il y a les collines avec les forteresses Espagnoles et le vieux bourg avec l'église San Erasmo pour compenser de l'invasion inesthétique de la marina. Néanmoins pour le touriste d'aujourd'hui Porto Ercole présente de nombreux attraits par rapport à tant d'autres endroits au bord de mer.

  • Last visit to Porto Ercole: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (7)

Comments (7)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    This is a lovely place. I agree about the Marina, it looks terribly crowded!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    Lovely place. No wonder all those boat owners want to dock there. I'm sure they are very welcome because they spend a lot more money than normal tourists do. Since I am not a boater, I think I would like the Fortress "La Rocca" the best.

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Une autre destination "hors des sentiers battus" que je découvre grâce à vous... comme si je manquais de raisons pour retourner en Italie!

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 1:11 AM

    Adds up to the perfect road trip with Santo Stefano!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    very enticing with 3 fortresses....and interesting about Caravaggio

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2007 at 4:00 AM

    Even with its overcrowded marina, I know I would love visiting this place, with its Spanish fortresses and coastal areas.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    I do like coastal places the marina looks lovely Assisting at a Wedding seems like a big step of stairs


“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 5 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 6 0 6

Badges & Stats in Porto Ercole

  • 7 Reviews
  • 15 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 6,768PageViews

Have you been to Porto Ercole?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (4)