ELBA – a beautiful island with much of the charm of “Chianti” transported to a seaside setting !
The island offers a marvellous variety of scenery, from small hidden coves to long sandy beaches; each corner of Elba holds its own special surprise for visitors. The island is washed by crystal clear water in every shade of blue – a paradise for divers and snorkellers.
It’s wooded hills make it ideal for hikers, it’s panoramic roads so popular with mountain bikers. Those in search of culture will find it’s ancient churches and museums a pleasant alternative to seaside activities.
BRIEF INFORMATION ON THE ISLAND OF ELBA
The Island of Elba is the third largest Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia and is the largest in the Tuscan Archipelago.
It has recently become part of the Tuscan Archipelago’s National Park together with the islands of Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri.
Elba has a coastline of 147 km: its main mountain (Monte Capanne) is 1019 metres high, accessed via pathways or by a panoramic cable car.
Measuring 224 square kms, the island is situated 10 kms from the mainland with an excellent ferry boat service taking only one hour from Piombino to Portoferraio (the islands main town).
Elba has approximately 30.000 inhabitants, of these, 11.000 live in Portoferraio. The island is divided into 8 administrative “Communes”.
Historically, Elba is probably best known as the place of exile for Napoleon whose brief “reign” lasted from 1814-1815. Each year in May commemorations are held in Portoferraio and his two residences on Elba, the Villa dei Mulini and the villa di San Martino, have been transformed into museums.
The island first opened to tourism soon after 1950 but has managed to preserve it’s waters, flora and fauna thanks to its local administration and inhabitants.
A tiny airport services the island, permitting only small planes to land from a few privileged european cities. Most visitors arrive by car, others by train travelling to Piombino Marittima station which is very close to the ferry departures.