Situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Elba is a part of the Tuscany Archipelago, and the third largest Italian Island. A very popular tourist attraction, Elba is easily reachable through the ferry rides that are available from the mainland.
Elba is a delight for beach lovers, with pristine and varied beaches that it offers. Besides that the island also has its own historical significance, owing most prominently to Napoleon’s exile on Elba in early 19th century.
The brilliant beaches, the peace that permeates the island, facilities for water sports and other adventure activities, the picturesque locales, historic homes, and ancient archaeological findings all come together to ensure that Elba has something to offer to all kinds of travelers.
Historically the island of Elba gains significance due to Napoleon’s stay. But that is not the only age to which Elba’s history can be traced back. Elba’s past trajectory starts somewhere in pre-historical times, with the Ilvati tribe who gave the island the name Ilva. Some fortifications and structures from the ancient times have been preserved till date, constituting popular tourist sites. Elba has been known since old times for its iron mills, which today serve as tourist sites with all the hiking trails available around its surroundings. Besides this, the place also features prominently in the Greek mythology as a stopover of the Argonauts who were traveling in search of the Golden Fleece. There are many beaches and other locations which are steeped in these myths and local legends.
The beaches in Elba are spectacular to say the least, and cater to people in search of all kinds of beach activities and experiences. To simply sunbathe and laze around on the beaches, to play games such as volley ball on the sandy beaches, to go for a swim in the turquoise waters, to simply observe the vast and endless blues of the sea and sky, to build sand castles, walk around and meditate on peaceful beaches, to indulge in more adrenaline inducing water sports, the different beaches in Elba have all these and much more to offer.
Beaches in Elba are both sandy for instance Biodola as well as stony as the likes of those found in the eastern coast. The hundreds of beaches all over the island of Elba are known for their pristine beaches, colorfully vivid sands, their exceptional surroundings. Cottoncello for instance is known for its dazzling golden sands. Around the mining regions, the beaches have reddish sands. Capo Bianco boasts of white sands and amazing beaches. Tombe has beaches interspersed with black pebbles. Innamorata or Sweetheart beach is tied with local legends. The lush greenery, profusion of blossoms, quaint Italian villages tucked near these beaches, campsites made available for visitors, the pristine waters, rich marine life, beaches associated with legends, all make the beach side sojourn in Elba that much more memorable.
Hiking, trekking, mountain biking and many more adventure water sports are made available in Elba’s terrain and on the beaches. But the activity for which Elba is particularly apt is snorkeling and diving. There are many suitable sites around Elba that offer incredible snorkeling experiences. Capo Sant’ Andrea is one of the most popular place though. The sea beds in Elba are blessed with incredibly varied, rich and spectacular marine life and corals.
From Mediterranean marine organisms, to the red gorgonians, black corals, blue fish, eels these are few of the things one is bound to encounter while snorkeling in Elba. To see rarer species, snorkeling around rocks of Ogliera are more apt. in the year 1972, a merchant ship sunk around Pomonte, today it is popular among tourists to go snorkeling and experience observing the shipwreck. The yellow and red sea daisies covering the sea beds near Capo Calamita are bound to leave all with an incredible sight. Snorkeling opportunities available in Elba make up for a memorable traveling experience.
For the more culturally inclined travelers there is the Archaeological Civic Museum, which offers a glance into Elba’s fascinating and old history. Owing to Napoleon’s stay there are many places today that have gained historical significance and serve as popular site among travelers. Located in the Portoferraio region of Elba, there are the two historic homes, which served as Napoleon’s public and private residence back in 1814.
Both San Martino and the Palazzina dei Mulini today count among Elba’s many attractions. Castello del Volterraio is part of fortifications dating back to the Medici’s. There are several ruins of ancient Roman villas and structures which date back to first century BC. These sites such as the Punta delle Grotte, and Villa Romana di Capo Castello among others make up for fascinating sites to explore.
Besides the stunning landscapes that are constituted of lush green mountains, chestnut trees, the dazzling sea, pristine beaches, and historic homes, Elba is equally a must visit for the food lovers. The delicious Italian cuisine with local additions of Elba makes this island a food lover’s paradise too. Popular for its native and dating back to several centuries is the Aleatico red wine. Besides this the sea food here is delectable, locally produced and available ingredients like chestnuts, flavored honey (rosemary honey, chestnut honey to name a few), octopus, mushrooms all add to the flavors and taste of Elba.
The amazing archaeological and historical sites, the brilliant beaches, the stunning landscapes, the culinary delights among other offerings make the Mediterranean Island of Elba a place worth visiting.