Shaped in a form of a shoe, the island of Elba in Italy really makes you want to move! This little Tuscan Archipelago is a hidden gem in the well travelled Mediterranean sea. Thanks to its geographic conformation it is suitable for many activities: trekking, scuba diving, snorkelling.
Many people each year go exploring on this stunning island to find some rest, enjoy the sea, and having fun. Portoferraio is the main port of the island and is directly relied to Piombino a city in the province of Leghorn.
Elba has a very varied landscape including also very high mountains such as Capanne mount, a granitic mountain which is over 1000m high and a series of bays which surround incredibly beautiful beaches.
When you will approach the island by ferry, the first thing you will see is the north-eastern coast of the island, one of the most unspoiled. In fact, there isn’t a road that joins Capo di Vito to Punta di Nisporto and the coast – It’s only reachable by boat, where you’ll be welcomed with little bays full of colours.
Portoferraio and the northern coast
It is one the safest natural ports in the world and also a little city full of charm. For those who arrive here by ferry, the sight is amazing: the ramparts leaning on the sea, the ancient Martello tower, and the Forte Stella with its typical shape and all the town dominated by the majestic Forte Falcone, a huge fortress built by the House of Medici.
A few kilometres east of Portoferrario lies Bagnaia, a nice pebbly beach with a view of Portoferraio. If you head west towards Capo Enfola, you will have the chance to see some of the most beautiful beaches of the island such as Capo Bianco and Padulella. Sandy shores, white pebbles, cliffs and turquoise see…just the perfect place to relax and have fun!
Beaches can be reached via land through a road that relies Portoferraio to Capo Enfola. Continuing along the coast you will encounter other popular beaches such as Frono, Biodola and Scaglieri. Heading to Marciana Marina you will also see a series of bays and cliffs characterised by Mediterranean bush and pine forests where to refresh a bit after a day of sunbathing.
The Southern coast is full of beautiful inlets! In the south western part there is Marina di Campo, a lovely fishermen village filled with colourful houses. The central inlet houses the enchanting beach of Lacona, while at east you will find the last bay that goes to Punta Calamita. “Calamita” means “magnets” in Italian, in fact in the past this area hosted some iron mines. Nearby beaches have a reddish colour due to iron oxidation this is why the sand sparkles at the sun. In fact the whole eastern coast was dedicated to the mineral extraction activity in the past and Rio Marina was the commercial port dedicated to the transport of minerals.
Eventually, one of the must-see attractions of the island is the Capanne mount, a breathtaking panoramic point also known by trekking lovers thanks to its numerous and beautiful paths. The mountain is populated by many endemic species of mouflons (wild sheep), hawks and other birds of prey. Reaching the top of the mountain isn’t just for the fittest! A cable car allows everyone to reach the top and enjoy the splendid panorama on the hole Tuscan Archipelago!