You simply hop on a ferry from Piombino on the mainland coast of Tuscany to Portoferraio to arrive in Elba, and it takes around an hour. It is also possible to fly directly to Marina di Campo airport or to the airport at Pisa on the mainland. The island of Elba is the third largest island in Italy and has only 35,000 inhabitants.
The Island is very scenic and lush and you will find very varied landscapes and winding hairpin roads zig zagging across the Island. There are romantic fishing villages, ancient forts and castles, and small villages that cling to the mountainside on the island. Naturally the island also enjoys many lovely beaches with crystal clear sea, 130 that are named in-fact. It only takes a few minutes to get from the cliffs by the sea to the 1000 m high Mount Capanne.
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Elba has a rich variety of restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias, and of course you will often find seafood on the menu. There are also a number of wineries on the island, which primarily produces white wine (but also some red wine, dessert wine and grappa). It also houses some honey producers, but in general, the appearance of the land does not allow the development of large-scale agriculture.
Elba has been inhabited since the time of the Etruscans, who were particularly interested in its rich deposits of iron. It was also the iron that attracted the Romans. Portoferraio means "port of iron", which was a place of great importance for the economy of the island for many years. You can also visit the abandoned mines, the last of which closed in 1984. However, most people associate the island of Elba to Napoleon, although he only lived here for 10 months, he did leave his mark through public works and reforms, including those of the rationalization of mining operations, improved hospital systems and the importation of new varieties of grapes and olives for the production of wine and olive oil. The flag of Elba still displays the imperial bees, and you will find many souvenirs of Napoleon as engravings or statuettes everywhere you go on the Island. If that isn't enough, you can also visit two of his houses, the Villa dei Mulini in Portoferraio and Villa San Martino, his summer residence in San Martino.
Elba is the epitome of romance, a lush island surrounded by a myriad of smaller beaches and caves, where you may be lucky enough to enjoy your privacy for some time without the invasion of crowds of tourists. Elba also offers charming small towns with cosy piazzas and lit promenades that are perfect for a stroll hand in hand.
Elba also offers wellness for the body and the soul, and what is more romantic than enjoying a romantic get-away in a relaxing environment with your loved one. On Elba you will find romance in perfect harmony with the beautiful fishing villages, natural beauty, fresh air and plenty of sunshine.
The beautiful Island of Elba is a popular tourist attraction and therefore in the summer months it can become a bit overcrowded in certain places on the island. However, this does not mean that you cannot find your way to the heart of the authentic Elba. Elba is not all tall buildings and buses full of tourists.
Elba is also full of small fishing villages, simple old houses offering lodging with basic conditions but a heart warming reception from local families, craftsmanship and pride in their own products and skills. There may not be a pool or air conditioning, but if you have the courage to meet the locals, you will discover what we call the authentic Elba.
If you wish to plan a holiday on the Island of Elba, then here are some suggestions. There is something for all ages and purses. The sea around the islands lends itself superbly to diving and other water sport activities. At the same time Elba is also perfect for active holidays as it is surrounded by natural beauty. Golf, riding, and mountain biking are just some of the outdoor activities on offer. The other nearby islands are also worth a visit, partly because of their ancient remains and partly because of their rich natural habitat. The islands are today a protected nature reserve.
The obvious and best way to explore Elba is by the sea, along the coastline as this way you will find the most unexplored beaches and small lagoons that are otherwise inaccessible from the land. One way to get around is by taking a trip on the Il Dollaro II boats which are 15 metres long and can carry up to 40 people at a time. Trips on the Il Dollaro can be organized for groups and individuals between April and October along the south-eastern part of Elba departing from Porto Azzuro. The boat sails twice a day for three hours and includes a single stop, where there will be the opportunity to taste local wine and enjoy some time on a beach. In addition, you will be told about Elba's history, wildlife, including dolphins and all the beautiful natural areas that the boat sails past. For further information please call +39 328-6890227 or click Dollaro
Otherwise you can rent a small speedboat, sail on a real sailboat, cruise on a calm kayak or just paddle around on a pedalo. See here for more information on hiring boats
Bartolini Yachting or contact Da Riccardo in Marina di Campo for hire pedalos and small fleets, such as inflatable boats and motor boats.
There are several sites on Elba, where you can go if you are interested in diving off the coast of Elba. There are a wide range of different options available, such as various diving courses for beginners, children or expert dives to known wrecks on half or full day diving excursions. You can find more information here: or Unica Diving
The beautiful countryside of the island of Elba lends itself well to hiking trips and beckons to be explored. The distance and duration of the hike is up to you. If you want to go hiking with professional guides, you will be able to organize something easily enough and can ask the staff at your hotel or accommodation to recommend a guide and for advice in general because there are a lot of paths and trails to choose from.
If you have a passion for golf, you can enjoy this pastime at Elba Golf Club in Acquabona on their nine hole course. The club has a putting green, a bar and a pool. For more info: Elba Golf Club Acquqabona
When you stay on an island, for many people it is natural to want to stay on the beach, and Elba offers many beaches suitable for all children and adults.
Here on the Island of Elba, you can choose to immerse yourself in the azure blue waters from many beautiful beaches. If you prefer solitude, you can swim from a boat in an isolated lagoon - for example, from the north coast or Rio Marina. You can in fact enjoy great beaches all around the island, with everything you could want in terms of activities, entertainment and shopping. Marina di Campo for example is a popular beach area with a beautiful palm lined promenade and plenty of activity.
There are in-fact 130 named beaches around the island with varying features including, sandy, gravel and pebble beaches, beaches surrounded with wild nature, rocky beaches and a variety of different colours. Some are light, some are dark and some even reddish in colour due to the influence of the iron and minerals in the soil.
Common to most parts of Europe, the beaches of Elba use the flag system whereby a red flag denotes danger and therefore prohibits swimming. Whereas a yellow and red flag denotes that there is a lifeguard present. In all cases we recommend that you exercise caution on the beaches and pay attention to the flags.
Elba is also suitable for smaller children. Elbaland for example is a nice playground and is very child friendly: visit the butterfly garden, admire the 6 scale reproductions of dinosaurs, waterfalls, and let them play on the trampolines, bouncy castles, mini golf and slides and swings. Elbaland is open daily from sunrise to sunset during the summer season, and is on the road from Portoferraio in Portoferraio. For more information: Elbaland.
Other activities that are available for children include the aquarium of Marina di Campo, which presents the fauna of the Mediterranean. There are 150 different species, some of which are rare in nature, while others are more common. For more information: Acquario Elba .
Elba is a natural wellness centre, a treat for the eyes and for the soul. The salty sea is good for the skin and a short or long vacation should do the world of good for everyone. But if the nature in itself is not enough, you can also book appointments for spa treatments in a variety of places including Terme San Giovanni. It offers treatments with mud, algae and sea plants, such as anti cellulite, obesity, psoriasis, stress and delicate bones just to name some of the many ailments, that they think they can relieve the Terme San Giovanni. If you are interested in knowing more, you can read about it here: Terme Elbane
Search through our catalogue of handpicked holiday accommodation on the Island of Elba using the search machine at the top of the page and find something that suits you, or ask for free advice from our Italy travel experts. You can contact us by email using the contact link at the top of the page, by using the chat box to the left of the page, or call us using the number to the right of the page. We are here to help you get the best out of your holiday in Italy.