Elba, Italy's third largest island, is known for its fabulous beaches. The area belonging to the Tuscan countryside is only a few kilometres from the mainland, so it is no wonder that it is one of the most popular destinations in the summer.

History buffs can see where Napoleon Bonaparte lived when he spent his exile on the island, while nature lovers can choose from several hiking trails. And those who are here for the beautiful beaches won't be disappointed. The area is famous for its many sandy beaches.

Where is Elba?

Elba lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western coast of Italy. After Sicily and Sardinia, it is the country's third largest island and, together with six other islands, it is part of the Tuscan archipelago. It is located just 10 kilometres from the mainland and is easily accessible by ferry from Piombino in Tuscany and Livorno.

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  • Distance from Livorno: 3.5 hours / 150 km
  • Distance from Florence: 4.5 hours / 250 km
  • Distance from Rome: 5 hours / 330 km
  • Distance from Corsica: 4.5 hours / 100 km

It is easily accessible from the mainland, as regular ferry services exist. There is also an airport with direct flights to several European cities.


Map: Rome distance
Map: Livorno distance
Map: cities end roads


Several ferry companies (eg Toremar, Moby Lines and Blu Navy) operate services to the island and depart from various ports on the mainland (Piombino and Livorno). Ships arrive at Portoferraio, the island's main port. The trip from Piombino takes about 2 hours (distance of 60 km). The frequency of the ferries varies depending on the season. During the summer season, boats also go to other nearby islands (such as Capraia, Giglio and Pianosa).


The airport's name is Marina di Campo Airport, and it is located in the southern part near the town of Marina di Campo. Several Italian cities are available, including Florence, Milan and Pisa, and some international destinations during the summer season. However, the airport is relatively small, as most visitors arrive by ferry from the mainland.

More about Elba

It owes its varied geography to its rugged coastline, sandy beaches, hills and mountains. It is part of the Tuscan archipelago, indeed, the largest of it. The whole island is approximately 27 kilometres long and 18 kilometres wide. Several nature reserves protect the area's unique flora and fauna, including the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano and the Riserva Naturale dello Stato dell'Arcipelago Toscano. Its vegetation is lush and green, ideal for nature lovers.

The total length of the road network is approximately 200 kilometres - which, by the way, covers most of the area. Driving around the whole island takes 2 hours, without any stops.


Its climate is Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature is 27°C in summer and around 10°C in winter. It rains occasionally throughout the year, the wettest months being October and November.

Highest point

Its highest point is Monte Capanne, 1019 meters above sea level. The mountain is located in the western part and offers a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. You can reach the top by hiking on a trail or using a cable car. On clear days, you can see the Italian mainland and the neighbouring Corsica and Capraia from the top.

Monte Capanne


Each town and village has its unique charm and attractions. Visit as many as possible. Portoferraio, which can be called the capital, is located on the northern coast. If you choose your accommodation here, you will not be disappointed. It is a built-up but cosy town, where you can easily reach other settlements by road. The major cities are on the coastline, but a good road system connects them.


The "capital" and largest settlement is Portoferraio. Its ferry terminal connects it to several ports on the mainland. It is a popular base for exploring the rest of the island as it is centrally located and has good transport links to other parts of Elba.

The city has a rich history. Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, founded it in the 16th century. Today, it is a bustling town with many shops, restaurants, cafes and a charming old town with narrow streets and colourful houses. The town has many historical sites and landmarks, including Forte Stella, Forte Falcone, Forte Medici and the Palazzina dei Mulini, which was the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile.


Marina di Campo

Marina di Campo is a charming town on the south coast. The island's only airport can be found here, which is why many people choose their accommodation here. Thanks to its beautiful beach, lively atmosphere, and many services and attractions, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The town has a long sandy beach that stretches for about 1.5 kilometres. Behind it is a pedestrian street with shops, bars and restaurants.

The city has a lively nightlife, with many bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. Marina di Campo offers many sights and attractions for those interested in history and culture. The town has a medieval tower built in the 14th century and a 19th-century church that houses several works of art.

Porto Azzurro

A charming town on the east side. It is known for its cosy harbour, lively atmosphere and attractions. Colourful houses and fishing boats everywhere. The harbour is a popular spot for fishing and boating, and there are many restaurants and bars nearby where you can choose from various delicacies.

Porto Azzurro is close to several beautiful beaches, including Barbarossa, a secluded bay with crystal clear water, and Reale Beach, a small pebble beach ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

Porto Azzurro

Rio Marina

Rio Marina is a small town on the east side. It is known for its picturesque harbour, once a major iron mining and shipping centre. It was once an important centre for iron mining, and the city's port was used to ship iron ore to other parts of Italy and Europe. The town's history can still be seen today; many mines and quarries nearby are open to tourists.

In addition to its mineral museum, there are also several smaller beaches. Here you will find Cala Seregola Beach, a small pebble beach ideal for snorkelling and swimming, and Topinetti, a small bay with crystal-clear water.

Rio Marina

Marciana Marina

A picturesque seaside town on the west side at the foot of the previously mentioned Monte Capanne. It is known for its beautiful harbour, charming old town and picturesque surroundings. The old town is charming, with narrow streets, historic buildings and beautiful sea views. The city's main square, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, is popular. Further out from the town are several beautiful beaches, including Fenicia Beach, a small pebbly beach ideal for swimming and snorkelling, and Redinoce, a secluded cove.

Marciana Marina


Capoliveri is a hilltop town on the southeast coast. Its long and rich history dates back to the Etruscan era. Due to its location, it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the area. The narrow streets lead on steps while a sumptuous panorama of the countryside unfolds before us.

The city's historic centre is full of ancient buildings and attractions, including the church of San Michele, built in the 10th century. The area has several popular beaches, including Zuccale Beach, a small pebbly shore ideal for snorkelling.



Its rocky coastline is dotted with sandy beaches and small bays. You can count roughly 150 rocky "beaches" along the coastline. The most popular beaches include Cavoli, Fetovaia and Sansone. Sunbeds and parasols can be rented at many beaches. You can find bars at the popular beaches.

La Biodola (sandy)

The beautiful crescent-shaped sandy beach on the north coast is protected by lush vegetation. Many high-end hotels and restaurants are nearby. You can also rent sun beds and parasols.

La Biodola

Cavoli (sandy)

The beach considered the most picturesque is Cavoli, which is a long, sandy beach. Its shallow water makes it ideal for families with children. Perfect for swimming and snorkelling. It is only 5 km from Marina di Campo, on the southern coast.


Seccheto (sandy)

On the southern coastline is Seccheto, a small beach with crystal clear water and a picturesque background. The popular shore is a favourite forr families. You can rent parasols and sunbeds at the bar.


Ghiaie (sandy)

Ghiaie is a larger sandy beach on the north coast near Portoferraio. The beach is wide with lush vegetation. Many restaurants and bars are nearby. This is an ideal place for water sports, such as kayaking.


Fetovaia (sandy)

According to many, Fetovaia Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Elba. A long sandy bay with crystal clear water and forest. Hills surround the beach, and many bars and restaurants are nearby. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas.


Padulella (sandy)

Padulella is a small, secluded, white sand beach on the north coas. Behind you is a steep rock, while the crystal clear sea in front of you. There is a parking lot at the top of the cliff.


Barbarossa (sandy)

Located on the east coast, the secluded sandy beach is named after the famous pirate who allegedly used the area as a hideout. Rocks surround it, and its clear water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. A bar and washrooms are also on-site, making it perfect for families.


Laconella (sandy)

This sandy beach on the south coast is a peaceful, romantic with clear water. A place ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Hills surround the coast, and there are bars and restaurants nearby. Many walking trails offer scenic views of the surrounding landscape.


Capo Bianco (sandy)

Capo Bianco is a small, secluded beach on the eastern side known for its white cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Surrounded by rocks, the beach has a rugged coastline with small coves and pools worth exploring. There are many hiking trails nearby that offer views of the sea.

Capo Bianco

Barberry (sandy and pebble)

A secluded, unspoiled beach on the northern coastline. Its soil is mixed with sand and gravel. Hills with green trees and other vegetation surround the coast. You can rent kayaks, parasols and sunbeds at the local bar.

Capo Sant'Andrea (pebble)

The rocky beach is located on the westernmost peak. It is known for its stunning views and clear water. Rugged cliffs surround the beach, and the walking trails promise great relaxation.

Capo Sant'Andrea 

Enfola (pebble)

Enfola is a rocky beach on the north coast with crystal clear water and excellent opportunities for snorkelling and scubadiving. The beach lies in the bay of a protruding peninsula. A wild novel - a romantic resting place. There are several walking trails nearby.


Chiessi (pebble)

Chiessi is a small pebble beach on the west coast near Chiessi. Rocks surround the beach. A few small bars and restaurants are nearby where you can have lunch or drink a lemonade.

Patresi (pebble)

Patresi, a pebble beach is on the west side; is a peaceful place with a calm atmosphere. Rocks surround the shore, and there is a small bar nearby.


Local foods

Local dishes are characterized by fresh seafood and locally grown products. A few wineries also produce wines, such as Aleatico and Ansonica. Local products include chestnuts, honey and olive oil, which can be found in many traditional dishes. It draws its culinary traditions from the Tuscan region and other neighbouring areas. Here are some popular dishes:

  • Cacciucco: A hearty fish stew made with various seafood, including fish, squid, and shellfish. It is flavoured with garlic, tomatoes and chilli peppers.
  • Panzanella: Salad from stale bread, tomatoes, onions, basil and olive oil.
  • Riso alla Pilota: a rice dish made from chicken or duck, flavoured with saffron, rosemary and other herbs.
  • Stoccafisso alla elbana: A dish made from salt cod soaked in water to remove the salt and then cooked with tomatoes, garlic and other spices.
  • Schiaccia briaca: A sweetened bread dough dessert flavoured with raisins, nuts and wine.
Beaches in Elba


Elba was created by a combination of geological processes over millions of years. It mainly comprises granite, an igneous rock formed when magma cools and solidifies deep below the earth's surface. Millions of years ago, the area of ​​the present-day Tyrrhenian Sea was located near the equator, and there was intense volcanic activity in the area, which contributed to its formation.

Over time, the granite was lifted and eroded by wind, rain and sea forces, giving it its current shape and landscape. Its coastline, sandy beaches, green hills, and mountains result in these geological processes. You can also find mines on the island where iron and other minerals were once mined and a hot spring where visitors can bathe in the natural thermal water.

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