Perched off the coast of Tuscany, Elba is a whimsical island fringed by hidden coves and crystalline water. Along with hiking, cycling and sea kayaking, you can tour boutique vineyards, explore the region’s ancient Roman history and retrace the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Things to do in Elba
The harbour town of Portoferraio is Elba's colourful capital. It's anchored by an atmospheric historic centre criss-crossed with cobbled streets. Sip on espresso at sidewalk cafes, shop at designer boutiques and devour fresh seafood.
Back in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to Elba following the Treaty of Fontainebleau. Today you can discover the legacy of the French military leader at Museo Villa Napoleonica di San Martino, an elegant villa once used by Napoleon as a summer retreat.
Villa de Romana delle Grotte traces its roots back to the 1st century and offers a glimpse at the island's ancient past. It was owned by the noble Valerii family and commands sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Wander around the ruins, gaze up at the columns and check out the working archaeological site.
Bite into Eba's flourishing farm-to-table food scene at Ristoro Agricolo Montefabbrello, a rustic restaurant that grows most of its own ingredients, including olive oil, vegetables, wine and even wheat to make its homemade pasta. Osteria Libertaria serves some of the island's best seafood, including pistachio-crusted tuna and fried calamari.
Getting around Elba
At just 28 kilometres long and 19 kilometres wide, Elba is easy to get around using a rental car. The island is serviced by local buses. Ferries depart from Piombino or San Vincenzo on the Italian mainland and run to Portoferraio, Cavo and Rio Marina.