The Eastern Ridge
From Cavo, walking through plants of rockrose and rosemary, climb toward the panoramic Monte Grosso (348 m), where you can find a well-preserved military post used by soldiers during World War II (“Il Semaforo”). Now head down and cross through Valle delle Fiche, after which you’ll climb Monte Strega (425), from the peak of which you can see the iron mines below. Walking along the ridge, you’ll arrive at the third peak, Monte Capannello (406 m), offering an excellent view of Rio Elba and the bays of Bagnaia and Nisporto. After the “Panche” pine forest, or pineta, you’ll come across the highest point of the hike: Cima del Monte (516 m), overlooking all of eastern Elba. Once you get past Piana della Principessa (an archeological site), you’ll be at Monte Castello (389 m), from where you can see Valle del Monserrato and Porto Azzurro, which you can reach by walking through olive groves and vineyards.
The Central Ridge
From the town of Porto Azzurro, dominated by the 18th-century Fortress of San Giacomo, climb the Valle, or valley, of Botro. From Capo Galletti, cross through Valle del Buraccio until you reach the vineyards at Casa Marchetti. Once you’ve arrived at the panoramic Monte Orello (377 m), dotted with military fortifications, walk down through an ancient forest of cork oak until you come to the “Fonte agli Schiumoli” and Passo di Colle Reciso (200 m). From Poggio del Molino a Vento (288 m), climb up to the mountains Barbatoia (369 m), San Martino (360 m) and Tambone (377 m); this last mountain offers one of the most spectacular views of Elba. Climb down in the direction of Marina di Campo to end the excursion on the beautiful white sand beach.
The top of Elba
From Marina di Campo, cross the paved stone streets, turn onto the path in the town of Le Piane and after passing by the still-active granite mines, you’ll reach the Moncione water mill (366 m). This is also where Roman-era granite mines can still be found. Leaving Vallebuia to your right, head up toward a large granite monolith: Pietra Murata (548 m). From “Le Macinelle” (600 m), you can also visit “Colle della Grottaccia” (645 m) and the “Filicaie” crossroads (870 m): from Monte Capanne (1019 m), you can get a glimpse of the entire island. Now climb back down toward the north, between large sheets of granite, until you reach Sella del Ferale (620 m) and finally, the streets of Poggio (350 m).
The ancient communication route
From the village of Poggio, cross through the chestnut grove until you reach the Benedictine hermitage of San Cerbone (531 m), cut through all of Valle di Pedalta and turn onto the cobblestoned Via Crucis that connects the town of Marciana to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte (630 m). From this place of worship, carry on toward the overlook that was inhabited in pre-historic times: Masso dell’Aquila (634 m), from which you can see the entire northern coast of Elba. Head down toward the small Bollero spring and, still walking in the shade of the chestnut grove, climb back up toward Troppolo. In the direction of Pomonte, you’ll reach Terra (600 m), and from here you can begin your descent toward Valle di Pomonte, where terraced vineyards – almost completely abandoned – will flank the route, finally arriving at the town of Pomonte.