Ecotourism in Tuscany: Orbetello Lagoon oasis with unique flora & fauna

Orbetello Lagoon Oasis, Tuscany - photo from GeolocationWs
Orbetello Lagoon Oasis, Tuscany – photo from GeolocationWs

The beautiful Orbetello Lagoon extends for about 800 hectares and is a humid zone of international importance. Its salty waters feature small islands covered by wetland plants, Mediterranean vegetation along some of its shores, and about 260 species of birds. In fact, the lagoon lies on an important migratory route between Europe, Asia and Africa.

Argentario Promontory and Orbetello Lagoon

Managed by the WWF, the Orbetello Lagoon oasis is located between the Argentario Promontory (once an island) and Southern Tuscany’s coast. These are connected by two mounds or strips of land called Tombolo della Giannella (to the North) and Tombolo della Feniglia (to the South), each featuring beautiful sandy beaches on the shore facing the Tyrrhenian Sea.

In the middle of the lagoon, there is a thin peninsula that hosts the town of Orbetello, and a bridge that connects the mainland to Monte Argentario and divides the body of water into 2 parts. Here you will also find a curious Spanish windmill, initially built by the Sienesi and subsequently restored by the Spaniards when the town became the capital of the State of Presidi in 1557.

FLORA – plants you can find here include: salicornia, cane, tamarix, white poplar, ash, elm, eucalyptus, cork oak, myrtle, Scotch broom, holm oak, pines…

FAUNA – animals you can observe here include: black-winged stilt, wild duck, white heron, pink flamingo, marsh hawk, turtle, lizard, fox, porcupine, badger…

Pink flamingoes in Orbetello Lagoon - photo from AlternativaSostenibile
Pink flamingoes in Orbetello Lagoon – photo from AlternativaSostenibile

Along the lagoon you can find various bird-watching stations. In the oasis you can also find a guided botanic path and the WWF info center – located in a Spanish farmhouse from the 1600s – which also hosts an exhibition on wetlands and the butterfly garden.

While you can admire the lagoon from almost every angle outside the oasis, the reserve itself is usually open to the public only between September and April for a few hours a day. So it is strongly suggested to contact the WWF before trying to enter the oasis: +39 0564/898829 /

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s