Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Elba is a Mediterranean island in the Tuscan Archipelago which is made up of seven islands, Elba being the biggest. It is the third largest Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia and located only 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the Italian mainland coastal town of Piombino and approximately 50 kilometres (30 mi) east of the French island of Corsica.
The island has roughly 30,000 inhabitants, however, numbers soar during the summer season as tourists flock to the breathtaking island to explore the history and beauty that it has to offer. Elba is a relatively unheard of holiday destination for us Brits but its views and natural landscapes are extremely alluring and are amongst the most beautiful in Italy. But Elba is not just sea and nature; it is also traditions, history and entertainment, therefore it is likely its popularity as a holiday hotspot will certainly grow over the coming years.
How to get there – travel tips
There is one airport on Elba, Marina di Campo Airport. It is currently only served by SkyWork Airlines and Silver Air with flights to the Italian mainland and Switzerland. Therefore, making it quite difficult to get to the island by air. However, one of the most popular ways to get there, especially from mainland Italy, is by one of the ferries to Elba that run regularly from Piombino and Portoferraio, the capital located in the north, Cavo, Rio Marina and Porto Azzurro, on the east coast of the island. With crossing times of approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour, it is a great way to get to Elba for a day or so exploration, although longer is of course recommended.
Elba benefits from the gorgeous Mediterranean climate. With long hot summers; it is the perfect place to take your summer holiday. Bright and breezy conditions make it a popular area for sailing holidays in particular.
Summer falls between June and September, with the warmest month being July where the average daily temperature hits 27 degrees. Sea temperatures, which reach around 25 degrees in August offer perfect swimming conditions. Evening temperatures linger around the low 20-degree mark which is ideal for al fresco dining. A few showers can be expected in the later summer months but if you visit earlier in the season it is likely you will not see even a drop of rain.
5 top places to visit to experience history and beauty
There are so many breathtaking places in Elba for you to visit during your trip. The beaches on the island are amazing and certainly a good enough reason for you to visit. History and beauty come together perfectly on this island and here are 5 places where you can see it for yourself.
Fortress of Volterraio
It is unknown when the Fortress of Volterraio was exactly built. However, it has certain parts that were added during the Medieval times and guarded the island for centuries. The majestic and impressive fortress is located high on a hill and can be seen as you arrive on the ferry to Elba near Portoferraio. For years it was left untouched, but recently it has been completely restored and is now open to the public. Getting to the top of the fortress can be quite challenging, however, the hike through the beautiful Elba countryside is rewarded with magnificent views of the island and the Mediterranean sea.
Mount Capanne is the highest mountain on Elba standing at 1,019 metres (3,343 ft) above the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the western part of the island and forms part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park. The summit can be reached in approximately 14 minutes via the cable car system which was built in the 1960s from. It is open from April until September each year and you can jump on it from the town of Marciana. Taking a trip to the peak is a unmissable experience and one you must take when visiting Elba. Once at the top you will get the opportunity to marvel at the unique panorama it offers.
Pomonte, which is located on the western coast of the island actually has three beaches to explore. It is one of the most untouched and undeveloped areas of Elba and is very easy to get to. It is the ideal place to head if water sports are your thing. With a shipwreck just off the beach, it makes it the perfect place to go snorkelling and diving, proving the scenery is just as beautiful below the water as it is above. The sea breeze that the area experiences also makes it a great spot for windsurfing and if you spend the full day there you will see the amazing sight of the sun setting over Corsica in the distance.
Fetovaia Beach, Marina Di Campo
On the south-western coast of the island, you will find the charming village of Fetovaia. It is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Elba, Fetovaia Beach, with its golden sand, granite cliffs and crystal clear yet unique coloured water. The water is shallow and very calm making it the perfect place to paddle and cool down when the summer Mediterranean sun becomes too much. The beach is sheltered from the wind meaning that even during the winter months the temperature is still relatively mild. These factors make it one of the most popular beaches on the island and it can become very busy, so be sure to get there early in the day to secure a great spot.
Elba Aquarium and Wildlife Museum
Especially if you are travelling with children then a visit to the Elba Aquarium is a must. It is one of the largest aquariums in the Mediterranean sea and has a number of exhibitions showcasing the biodiversity and marine life of the island. It is located on the west side of the island near Marina Di Campo. In the same building, you will find the wildlife museum which is home to around 150 different species of birds and mammals native to Elba and the surrounding area.
Elba is an unassuming gem in the Mediterranean Sea and just waiting to be explored. As somewhere you may never have heard of, once visited, it will never be forgotten.
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