Elba Island was the home of French Emperor Napoleon in 1814 when he was in exile. It is the third largest island in Italy after Sardinia, Sicily and is the biggest island of the Tuscan archipelago. The sandy beaches, sheer rock faces, sun-drenched fields, rare coral reefs, the marine fauna and flora and the variety of its sea beds make Elba a majestic and beautiful island.
Here are our suggestions for the best things to do in Elba Island.
Beaches on Elba Island
There are more than seventy beaches on Elba, and what’s unique about them is that each one of them is different in its colors and surroundings. There’s lots to do, especially if you love the water. The beautiful clear water is an open invitation for snorkeling lovers, windsurfers and divers not to mention guided excursions to its rich seabed.
Capo Sant’Andrea is said to be an awesome place for snorkeling as it’s away from the crowded beaches and ports and marine life is at its best here. The rocks of the Ogliera house a wide variety of rare species of underwater life, but if you prefer shipwrecks, go off Pomonte.
Attractions on Elba Island
The island of Elba is not just about sun, sea and beaches. It’s full of historical, museums, mines, churches, archaeological sites, fortresses and tremendous views. Elba Island is rich in mineral deposits and a mining park with a mineral museum has been created to help visitors learn about the island. If you want to get a breathtaking view, go to the top of Monte Capanne, walk or go by chairlift and experience the views.
The Napoleonic residences of the 1800s are reminiscent of bygone times and as you walk through the villages and towns on this island, you will find that the arsenals, prisons, streets, houses and even barracks, which all have a tale to tell.
Don’t go away without tasting the traditional Tuscan delicacies such as the polpo briao, and the tasty dessert- schiaccia briac and the Elban cacciucco. Try the Limoncino and savor the Elban wine. There’s a lot to see and do, so take some time off and enjoy a leisurely stay at the amazing island.
How to get to Elba Island
Elba Island is sea-connected with the mainland through ferry companies. The ferries sail once every hour from April to September and once in two hours from October to March (winter months). Buses connect all the main towns and villages and taxis and cars for hire are available. You can also fly into the island’s airport but the ferry is the cheapest option.