The first stop is, in reality, on the mainland! You can get to Elba from the harbour in Piombino, where you can visit piazza Bovio and the old harbour while waiting for the boat to leave. It only takes about 50 minutes to get to Portoferraio, home to former Medici buildings like the Stella and Falcone forts.
The harbour is dominated from above the by the Passananate, an excellent example of military architecture, once a prison during the era of the Lorraine family and now home to art exhibitions. Portoferraio is filled with elegant shops and cafes that line the way to Palazzina dei Mulini, where Napoleon Bonaparte lived during his exile to the island.
From here, you can embark on a short excursion to Capo d’Enfola, but our real goal is the western coast, or more specifically, Procchio, home to some of the best beaches on Elba, like Procchio, Spartaia, Paolina and Guardiola, not to mention Biodola and Scaglieri. Each one is perfect for a swim, so be sure to pack your swimsuit!
Heading along the SP25, which traverses the coast, we’ll come to Marciana Marina, with its simple but pretty harbour and Torre Saracena. With a steep climb, the sea is left behind as Marciana comes into view. From here, you can turn off to visit the town of Poggio, which is highly recommended. But if you prefer, you can continue to Marciana, where you can park your bike and take the cable car to the top of Monte Capanne, offering stunning views over the entire archipelago.
Back on the SP25, take a brief detour to the right towards Sant'Andrea and its Caribbean beach before exploring the western coast. For great views at sunset, you’ll want to keep Chiessi and Pomonte in mind. And if you’re still itching to go for a swim, try for Fetovaia or Cavoli, both boasting amazing beaches.
Continuing on, we’ll visit the three towns of San Piero in Campo, Sant'Ilario (with its view from the Torre di San Giovanni) and La Pila, before arriving at the harbour in Marina di Campo. Life is busier here, but the harbour nonetheless deserves a quick visit before moving on to Lacona along the SP30.
Have a little fun in Porto Azzurro, then hit the road to explore the medieval town of Rio nell'Elba and its mining museum before heading back to the coast via Rio Marina. Make a U-turn at Punta di Cavo, where you’ll travel along a nice winding road to Volterraio: until 1984 this was a dirt road for off-road bikers, but it’s since been paved with asphalt, now making it of the best roads to explore. The itinerary ends at the spa village of San Giovanni, where you can enjoy relaxing mud baths. Is there any better way to end your vacation?