Without a doubt, Ghiaie beach is the most popular and the nearest to the old town of Portoferraio. It is gleaming white like all the splendid beaches on the coast to the north of Portoferraio.
Like the Padulella beach, Cala dei Frati and Capo Bianco, this beach also belongs to the Portoferraio nature reserve, which includes the Scoglietto, the little island which stands with its lighthouse just off this beach.
It is the ideal place for diving and snorkelling due to the beauty of the sea bed and the crystal-clear waters; since it is a marine nature reserve, no fishing is allowed except with lines from the shore. Right next to the Ghiaie beach is a lovely avenue which borders on the city park, where the tall trees provide shade on the hot summer days, a place for refreshment and for allowing children to play in freedom. There are also several car parks (charge payable), although it is easily accessible on foot since it is so close to the town centre and the Harbour.
From Hotel Acquamarina the Ghiaie beach can also be reached on foot, since it is about 500 metres along the road towards Portoferraio; it is clearly visible on your left as you head towards the town centre and harbour. The bright blue colour of its waters, an attractive contrast with the white shingle of sea-rounded pebbles, can be seen even from the road. The hues of the beautiful sea bed change depending on the wind direction and a visit here, as at Padulella Beach, is recommended above all on days with a Sirocco wind, when the sea is calm and the beauty of the underwater world is clearly visible.
The beach consists almost entirely of snow-white shingle with little black dots, which according to an ancient legend are the drops of sweat left by the Argonauts when they landed on this beach. It has many amenities: beach clubs, bars/restaurants, ice-cream shops and boat and pedal boat hire..