SLAND OF ELBA: A PARADISE FOR THOSE WHO LOVE TREKKING
On the Island of Elba, visitors are fascinated by the crystal clear water and the blue expanse of the sea, but the real peculiarity of the island is the landscape, which changes quickly from one curve to the next, offering views that are never the same: from the sea up to the mountain, from the mines to the characteristic and suggestive mountain villages.
Trekking on the Island of Elba allows you to immerse yourself in paths of unimaginable beauty and each path offers unique emotions: from paths that cross coastal stretches to reach the highest peak of the island, arriving to immerse yourself in the blue of the sky, surrounded by vegetation and with the sea always present in the background.
The best way to explore the island is on foot: trekking on Elba is in fact ideal for nature lovers but it is also perfect for those who want to discover the history and traditions of the island and its unique villages.
In fact, Elba offers sites of naturalistic but also historical interest: Medici and Spanish fortresses, Roman villas, Pisan towers, Etruscan ovens, all surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty.
We remind you that, every year, it is possible to participate in the Walking festival: an event organized in spring and autumn, with an offer of hiking programs of various levels of difficulty, to get to know the Elban territory, walking in the green and enjoying of the surrounding natural beauties.
Finally, fans of the Nordic Walking technique, a discipline that has spread widely in recent years to keep in good health, will find various routes on the Island of Elba suitable for practicing this activity. All useful information can be obtained by contacting the Nordic Walking Iland of Elba Sports Association which has its headquarters in the municipality of Rio Marina.
The GTE: the Great Elban Crossing (Grande Traversata Elbana)
Spectacular but challenging, the Great Elban Crossing is the main route that crosses the whole island. Many experienced hikers have no doubts: the GTE is one of the best sea view treks in Italy. The countless paths that wind from land to sea offer breathtaking views from everywhere.
The GTE starts from Cavo and passes over the hills of Porto Azzurro, continues inland up to Monte Perone and then to Monte Capanne: here it forks, on one side it reaches Patresi passing from the northern side and on the other, continuing southwards, arrives in Pomonte. The southern GTE is 49.57 km long, with a travel time of 19h 30m, while the north route is 57.99 km long and takes 24h 20m.
The route is long and demanding, also due to the lack of shelters and water supplies, in addition to the considerable difference in height. During the excursion, you will admire suggestive and fascinating views and will be inebriated by the scents of flowers and mountain mint. To fully enjoy the traverse it is advisable to divide it into 3 or 4 stages.
Every kilometer is worth traveling, but for those who don't have enough time, we recommend some in particular: Cavo-Porto Azzurro, Porto Azzurro-Colle di Procchio, Colle di Procchio-Poggio, Poggio-Patresi (or Pomonte).
The reduced hours of light in winter and the heat of summer do not allow you to fully enjoy this route full of breathtaking views, inebriating colors and scents: for this reason, the best times to tackle the GTE are certainly spring and autumn.
The routes we recommend
The Great Elba Crossing is a more demanding excursion, but the Island of Elba offers trails accessible to all.
From our structure it is possible to easily reach secondary roads and paths of varying difficulty, immersed in uncontaminated nature, which offer unforgettable experiences suitable for everyone, experts or absolute beginners.
From the Apartments Gli Olmi, along a short dirt path, you can easily reach the CAI path n. 138 that connects Colle Palombaia to Marina di Campo: the path is characterized by a panoramic stretch overlooking the sea, from which you can admire the stretch of coast that goes from Colle Palombaia to Punta Fetovaia, as well as the island of Pianosa and, on fine days, even Corsica. https://www.caielba.it/percorsi/138/
Along the path n.138 it is also possible to deviate and take the CAI path n. 139 which passes from the Capo Poro promontory, runs along the coast, passing by the beach of Galenzana, and finally reaches Marina di Campo. https://www.caielba.it/percorsi/139-2/
In Marina di Campo, an easy walk to the Tower of San Giovanni, on the slopes of Monte Perone, leads us to admire a splendid view of the Gulf and the village. The Tower, built in the Pisan era, made entirely of granite stone and used as a lookout tower, is an important historical testimony.
Furthermore, from the beach of Marina di Campo, it is possible to reach the uncontaminated beach of Galenzana along a pedestrian path of only 1.5km (about 15 minutes on foot).
For those wishing to travel longer distances, however, the fascinating walk is recommended which, along dirt paths (to be tackled with suitable footwear and clothing), allows you to reach the granite quarries of the village of San Piero, which is considered a real open-air mineralogical museum given the high presence of rocks rich in tourmalines, beryls and topazes. From the small village of San Piero, which is really worth a visit, numerous routes start.
A challenging itinerary is trekking in the Pomonte Valley, one of the most evocative valleys of the island given the presence of terraced vineyards, pastoral stone shelters (caprili) and, out of season, also the spectacle that the ditch "Barione" offers us with its small and enchanting waterfalls. The travel time is about 6 hours and the altitude difference is 650 meters but the wonders enjoyed along the walk are worth all the effort (path n.109).
We should also remind you of the path n.195 San Piero-Mulino Mancione, which starts right from the charming village of San Piero and, following the path n.135, arrives in Fetovaia, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. This path is part of the many "granite roads" of the Island of Elba, characterized by numerous terraces (created for the cultivation of vineyards), by the "Mancione" mill, the largest that the island has ever had, and by the small wood of black alder. To make this excursion even more interesting and beautiful, there are also historical monuments (two interesting prehistoric burials) and the broom, the strawberry tree and the rock rose.
Other paths from San Piero reach Pomonte: they pass by an ancient mule track and thus reach the small village, going up along the paths that in past times were used by shepherds and farmers, finding archaeological traces, such as the "Sassi Ritti", that is, a megalithic complex dating back to the second millennium BC, pastoral shelters called "caprili" and ancient terraces
From Marina di Campo, reachable by car or on foot, it is also worth visiting Marciana, the medieval village at the foot of Monte Capanne, which often offers refreshment from the summer heat.
Monte Capanne is the highest peak on the Island of Elba and in the entire province of Livorno and offers one of the most beautiful treks on the island. Located in the western part of the island, it reaches a height of 1019 meters above sea level.
Its summit can be reached either in 18 minutes by cableway, from Marciana, or even following the paths that run along it to the summit.
Trekking on Monte Capanne is suitable for those who practice walking at more intensive levels. In fact, it is a fairly demanding route, which requires almost 4 hours of walking and which goes into the most mountainous part of the island of Elba, with a difference in height of 350 meters. An added value to the route is certainly the sighting of wild species such as mouflons, red partridges and buzzards.
Excursion to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte: The small village of Marciana preserves the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, the most famous and ancient on the Island of Elba. To begin the excursion, park under the Pisan fortress, the highest point of the small village, from which you can admire a unique view of Marciana Marina, Poggio and Capo d'Enfola. From there, go down the road until, on the left, a stone paved road appears, well marked by signs, which climbs up to the Madonna del Monte.
The path is about 4 km long and is of medium difficulty: due to the uneven ground, closed and comfortable shoes are recommended. Along the way, surrounded by splendid chestnut trees, you come across only to the 14 chapels of the Via Crucis. Once there, it is possible to rest on the benches in the beautiful square and the Teatro della Fonte still offers fresh drinking water to visitors. In 2010 the sanctuary was included among the Places of the Heart of the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) and in 2012 it was completely restored.
Other routes of medium difficulty are those of Volterraio: starting from the square of Rio dell'Elba, take a panoramic path of about 13 km, mixed between asphalt and dirt, to reach the highest point of the relief from which one dominates the castle of the Volterraio, perched on the stone and built in the Pisan era as a refuge from pirate attacks.
The second route, which arrives right at the castle, is instead on the other side and starts from the provincial road that connects Magazzini to Rio Elba. The ancient fortress has recently been restored and made safe, so today it is possible to reach it via a well-marked path. However, if you want to enter the walls, you must book a guided tour organized by the Park Authority. The visit is made very interesting by the historical-naturalistic explanations of the competent guides of the park, without forgetting the panorama, which is enhanced even more by the time of sunset: the visit is in fact carried out at sunset in summer. Reservations can be made at Info park, in the port area of Portoferraio. From the top of the castle ramparts, get ready to admire one of the most extraordinary views that this island offers us.
Always starting from Rio Elba, for lovers of plants and flowers more than the architectural structures of the past, it is possible to take the path to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, which houses a very interesting botanical garden
Useful contacts in Marina di Campo:
Il Viottolo: tel. +39 329 7367100, email@example.com