PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Elba Island is one of Tuscany’s finest gems, yet remains relatively unknown, despite being Italy’s third-largest island. It's a breathtaking mix of soaring peaks and turquoise bays, dominated at the centre by the kilometre-high Mount Capanne. Portoferrario, on Elba Island’s northern coast, is the largest town, and presents an impressive array of medieval forts, sandy beaches and traditional Italian restaurants, watched over by the imposing 16th-century Fort Stella. The beaches found in this lively harbour town are some of the island’s best, making it a great place to spend a lazy few hours after exploring the town’s historic centre. Elsewhere, the petite fishing village of Port Azzuro wows visitors with its Portofino-like beauty, and the historic hillside town of Marciano Alta is equally attractive – and more than 1,200 feet above sea level, so expect great views.
Elba Island has long been synonymous with Napoleon Bonaparte, the notorious French general who was exiled there.
Head to the biggest city, Portoferraio, to swing by the lemon-yellow Napoleonic Mills House, browse the National Museum of Napoleonic Residences, or catch the 360-degree view from Forte Stella.
This north coast also deals out some the best beaches on Elba Island. Grab a lounger at Capo Bianco or go back to nature at the Beach of Samson. Or there’s always south-easterly Porto Azzuro, where the sands pair up with a peaches-and-cream town.
Meanwhile, Marciana is a fishing village in the foothills of massive Mount Capanne. Catch a chairlift from village to peak for dizzying views over the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.
Elba Island is especially known today for its DOC wine, produced from grapes grown on the island since 1967. Fishing is very popular, so the cuisine often revolves around seafood mains, with sburrita (a stockfish stew flavoured by garlic and anchovies) being one of the most locally popular dishes.