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Parapendio in Toscana

5 sports to try on Elba Island

Vacations and unique experiences in the Tuscan Archipelago

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Elba Island, a favorite in the Tuscan Archipelago, is perfect for active vacations with its conventional and more “extreme” sports. 

If you love long walks or mountain biking along hilly dirt tracks, Elba Island offers opportunities for a vacation that’s both fun and scenic.

Holidaymakers in pursuit of new experiences will feel at home here. To get to know the island from a different perspective, try your hand at free climbing or paragliding. Here are our tips!

The adrenaline of free climbing
Chiessi, Elba Island
Chiessi, Elba Island
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Elba Island is paradise for free climbing lovers, a chance to get in touch with nature and with ourselves. There are a few places on the island that can only be reached along free climbing trails, at varying levels of difficulty and with some via ferrata (cable paths) to enjoy the challenge and conquest of nature, far away from mass tourism. Our recommendations include the rocky trails near Chiessi, Pomonte and Marciana. On the northern slope of San Bartolomeo there’s a via ferrata that allows visitors to climb easily to the top.

The thrill of paragliding
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- Credit: Shutterstock.com / Stefano Valeri

The thrill of the silent flight of falcons and seagulls is one of the most interesting experiences on Elba Island. There are many takeoff points for paragliding, especially various points on the even but bulky contours of Monte Capanne, the perfect launch pad even when there’s no wind for free gliding from the woodland and Mediterranean brush to the sandiest of beaches

The top of Monte Perone is another good place to start gliding, to the north and south. On the island’s eastern ridge, begin from the summit of the Volterraio, making the most of the strong currents above the scenic valleys or simply gliding. You’ll have an easier time from lower-lying hills, which open out over striking scenery, such as the slopes in central Elba, from Monte Orello and Norsi, towards the stunning inlets of the southern coasts and Portoferraio Bay.

Biking on Elba Island
Biking on Elba Island
Biking on Elba Island

Elba Island, with its hills and breath-taking colors, is the perfect place to go mountain biking and cycling. Starting in Capoliveri, cycle along the Costa dei Gabbiani (“Seagulls’ Coast”) through pinewoods, past farms and the Innamorata (“Beloved”) beach. From the picturesque Rio nell'Elba village, you can bike beside the coast, skirting the Rio People Mining District Museum and the Santa Caterina Hermitage. The more intrepid will love the western tour of Elba Island, starting and ending in Portoferraio.

Hiking on Elba Island
Hiking on Elba Island
Hiking on Elba Island

The Monserrato Way, the Enfola Headland, the Calao del Mausoleo route: there are many hiking trails (at all levels of difficulty) for walking lovers. Dirt roads, mountains with cliffs dropping down to clear seas and archaeological sites: by hiking here you discover the beauty and wonders of this island, one of the seven gems of the Tuscan Archipelago.

Watersports off Elba Island
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- Credit: ViviCapoliveri

What could be better than taking a swim in the sea off Elba Island? In the summer, with a bit of luck, you’ll glimpse truly unique fish species and all the colors in the spectrum. Snorkeling lovers will feel at home!

The island’s coastline is a favorite among scuba divers. With kilometers of reefs, beaches and coves, you’ll be kept occupied following fish, lobsters and forgotten shipwrecks.

Like kayaking? Explore the rocky coastline among cliffs and hidden beaches to discover Mediterranean brush.

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