ELBA ISLAND AND
A few miles from the Tuscan coast, the archipelago, despite its proximity to the mainland, has managed to keep nature and the sea intact and unspoiled. The archipelago unwinds from the Argentario to Gorgona with its seven islands, according to legend, the daughters of the Tyrrhenian Venus, gems of her diadem. In this part of the world, reality and fantasy converge to emphasize uniqueness, beauty originality of these islands.
Monte Argentario, one of the most famous places in Tuscany, was once an island, the Insula Matidiae, named after its owner, Matidia, Trajan's nephew. The Argentario promontory, connected to the mainland by the Giannella and Feniglia tombolos, as well as being a popular destination for its splendid and wild nature, its picturesque corners, its lively tourist centers, also attracts divers for its extraordinary beauty of its depths. There are three important ports: Porto Santo Stefano, on the northern coast, has 560 berths on floating piers. Porto Ercole on the east coast, is an inlet defended by a quay pier about 350 meters long and made up of another three piers connected by the waterfront. Beyond Porto Ercole rises the Marina of Cala Galera which offers about 800 places for boats up to 60 meters and is equipped with all the useful services for navigation. On the promontory there are also numerous green paths that run through it, crossing the Mediterranean scrub, thick hollows and cork oaks. Among the events, the Palio marinaro of Porto Santo Stefano in Ferragosto and the night procession of fishing boats in the bay of Porto Ercole for the feast of Sant’Erasmo on June 2nd.
It offers few places of transit and suffers from a lot of undertow with winds from north to south east it is possible to moor in the bay in front of the mouth of the port paying attention to the ferry transit and to the seabed. A bay for a quiet mooring is Canelle, sheltered from the winds from the north and west but open to the Scirocco and the Levante. The bay of Campese is splendid and very sheltered with winds from the east. From Giglio Castello you can admire a splendid panorama and visit the Medieval Village. To return to Giglio Marina you can take a wonderful walk in the Mediterranean scrub following the old mule track (about 1 hour walk, downhill). The waters of the island, particularly clear, and the rich and fishy bottoms allow tourists and diving enthusiasts to experience a pristine sea in an enchanting and often not too beaten setting. Along the seabed of the island, rich in Posidonia meadows up to unusual depths, signaling the health of the coast, it is possible to see the now rare seahorse, while at greater depths you can observe vertical walls covered with blue sponges, and red gorgonians and yellow, around which the waters are teeming with life.
Mirror of uncontaminated nature is also called Isola dei Gabbiani due to the myriad of nests that are found there; it has as possible landings only Cala Spalmatoi (east coast) and Cala Maestra (north-west coast) due to the Natural Park and the cliffs that surround it. In Cala del Lino there is a sea cave for snorkelers and you can visit ancient Roman ruins. Despite being smaller by extension to La Maddalena, it has a coastal development 45.5 km higher, due to the constitution of the long and narrow granite promontory that extends up to the Punta Rossa, site since 1887 of a base of the Navy. The extreme southern coast of Caprera is an area of marked weakness and morphological instability; a deep ingression of the sea forms the wonderful Porto Palma. The entire eastern coast of Caprera and the northern coast are impressive, almost inaccessible granite rocks of great beauty and charm, formed by the steepest slope of the long Monte Teialone massif.
The most inaccessible and certainly the most beautiful, surrounded by very deep waters, is part of a biological reserve and both transit and landing are prohibited. It is necessary to have special permits to visit it. In the island there are many endemisms including the Vipera Aspis Montecristi, the only species present in the archipelago, as well as the mouflon and various animal and plant species. Relevant the presence, in its cetacean waters, from the dolphins to the rarer sperm whales and the common whale. To book guided tours it is necessary to have the authorization of the Follonica State Forestry Company.
From a penal colony of maximum security to a natural oasis of extreme beauty, it is easily reachable from Marina di Campo. In addition to the crystal clear uncontaminated sea, where often you can admire herds of dolphins, the whole island must certainly be visited both for its flora and its fauna, planning a visit to the National Park. The only area where bathing is allowed is the beautiful beach of Cala Giovanna, from where, following the path you can reach the remains of the Baths of Agrippa, an interesting thermal complex from the 1st century AD.
Very close to the coast it can be reached in less than 1 hour (5 mg). It is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and the third in Italy. It has 6 ports and an infinite number of coves and landings. Circumnavigating Elba: starting from Portoferraio, immediately after the tip of Capo della Vita, there is the Isola dei Topi, a wonderful place to stop and admire the remains of a Roman Villa. From the Island of the Mice we arrive at the other two islands of the Piombino Channel, the steep Cerboli and the limestone Palmaiola, where it is possible to stop in good weather and during the day to take a bath. Continuing along the Eastern Coast, we come to the islet of Ortano and that of Liscoli, while along the southern coast there are the Gemini Islands whose depths are dotted with amphorae. Before reaching the Gulf of Marina di Campo you will find the Gulf of Lacona, immediately after there is the beautiful Bay of Fetovaia, surrounded by flat rocks and a very busy beach. Continuing the tour of the island, immediately after Marciana Marina, the Procchio, Biodola and Viticcio Gulfs open up, framed by beautiful Mediterranean vegetation and white beaches. Portoferraio: it is the main port of the island. For cruise passengers, it has both the Darsena of the Old Town and the dockyards of the Shipyards. In the hinterland of Portoferraio there was the home of Napoleon and the adjacent villa, which houses the Pinacoteca Foresiana, while in the Palazzina dei Mulini, as well as various relics, there is exposed the Drappo with the three bees donated by Napoleon.
Cavo is the first town turned Capo della Vita (the northern tip of Elba). The port is always very crowded and can accommodate small units with a maximum draft of two meters. The bay to the north of the harbor is surrounded by small green hills; this inlet is sheltered from all twenty minus those coming from the east sector. Going southwards is the Port of Rio Marina, recently equipped with floating jetties, open to the north and subject to strong undertow with winds from the north and east. It is a little tourist town but with narrow streets full of charm and a peaceful landing even during the high season. To visit the Mining Museum. Porto Azzurro is one of the most beautiful ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea, with a deep harbor watched by two imposing fortresses. Possibility of mooring both to the new floating pontoons and to the construction site. You can give bottom between the construction site and the town, sheltered from all the winds but not from those that come from the coast. The streets of the town are full of nightlife and quaint shops, many outdoor bars on the square. Marina di Campo is the only port south of the island sheltered from the north and west winds, but not from the south east. It is a nice fishing village. Marciana Marina is the ideal port to go to Corsica (Bastia 34 mg, Macinaggio 35 mg). It grows around an old fishing village at the foot of the green slopes of Mount Capanne and is one of the most "worldly" towns of the entire island, with numerous pubs, bars, discos and restaurants. Possible moorings both on the foranea and at the pier under the Tower, or at the floating piers.