The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany, Italy.
The archipelago contains the islands of Gorgona, Capraia, Elba (the largest island of the group), Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio, and Giannutri; all of which are protected as part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.
The islands' proximity to several major cities has made them a favourite tourist location. History and literature have ensured that most people are familiar with the islands of Elba and Montecristo.
Elba is Tuscany’s biggest island and Italy’s third-largest, offering a mix of options both cultural (like hilltop towns and castles) and recreational (like hiking, biking, swimming, diving and beaching). Most tourists arrive by ferry from Piombino to Portoferraio (the biggest town), Rio Marina or Porto Azzurro.
French Emperor Napoleon I was exiled to Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio on May 30, 1814.
During the months Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life, partly to pass the time and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the islanders. Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days.
Some noteworthy places to visit are: Napoleon Villa (Portoferraio), bastions of the Medici, fortress Volterrayo, Villa Romana delle Grotte (near Portoferraio), mountain Monte Capanne. Riding a boat/yacht and diving are popular activities. There are more than 130 beaches on the island.
BEACHES ISLAND OF ELBA
1) Beach of Padulella
The beach of Padulella is located in the North side of the island. While you reach you can admire a beautiful view of the surrounding coastline and the imposing medieval walls. You get to this beach along the road that leads from Portoferraio to Le Ghiaie, following the sign Padulella, Enfola.
2) Sansone Beach
In the town of Portoferraio it is also Sansone beach. This beach is characterized by small white pebbles, which are typical of the island's northern coast. Here the water is clear and transparent, and this beach is usually uncrowded, therefore suitable for those looking for a relaxing holiday.
3) Vetrangoli Beach
If your holiday destination is the island of Elba Capoliveri, certainly you will have opportunity to visit the Bay of Vetrangoli. The Vetrangoli beach is reached by sea. And 'close to Remaiolo beach, separated only by a small promontory. E 'mainly composed of gravel and sand with alternating light and dark colors, due to the presence of minerals.
4) Acquavivetta Beach
It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches, less tourist island of Elba. The Acquavivetta beach consists of pebbles and gravel. It is located about 3 km away from Portoferraio and is located in the northern side of the island, before Samson beach.
5) Cavoli Beach
Cavoli is definitely the perfect place for the young and for those who love fun and tan doc. Especially in the months of July and August this beautiful beach is animated by beach party with live music, DJs and cocktails.
The grainy sand beach formed, the one that does not stick to the skin, looks in a beautiful cove surrounded by scrub mediterranea. Cavoli beach is located along the Costa del Sol, a few km. from Marina di Campo, nestling between the rugged landscape of the southern slope of Mount Capanne.
6) Fetovaia Beach
Fetovaia is one of the island beach located in the south-western side of the island. And 'it considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The origin of its name is controversial but it could invoke the term "fetuaria", fruitful earth, because it would be the preferred destination by female dolphin at delivery; in fact the shallow water and mild water temperature would have been the perfect place for hatchlings.
7) Beach dell'Innamorata
This beach is located about 5 km from Capoliveri. Legend has it that the young bride (Innamorata, hence the name of the beach), in an attempt to rescue his beloved, kidnapped and dragged on the sailing ship from the pirates of Barbarossa, jumped into the sea disappearing into the waves. Only her shawl was found on a rock, called since then the shawl.
8) Beach of Capo Bianco
The name of this beach probably derives from the white color pebbles that compose it. The waters are crystal clear and crystal. This site is suitable for those in search of a beautiful sea in which to dive, a clean beach and a backdrop to admire wearing flippers and diving mask.
9) Cala dei Frati
The beach of Cala dei Frati is located in the town of Portoferraio. And 'it composed of well-polished white pebbles and white sand and it is a small beach with a length of about 100 meters. And 'it sheltered from the wind and in the shade in the morning because of its position relative to the surrounding headland.
10) Nisportino Beach
The Nisportino Beach is located in Rio nell'Elba. It 'a reddish pebble beach well protected from the winds. And 'busy but not chaotic. You can visit a cave in the southern part, with clear waters and a small beach inside. It is located along the scenic route known as the Falconaia, combining Rio nell'Elba from Bagnaia and accessed easily.
PARCO NAZIONALE DELL'ARCIPELAGO TOSCANO
Arcipelago Toscano National Park is the largest marine Park in Europe: it safeguards 56,766 hectares of sea and 17,887 hectares of land. It includes the seven main islands of the Archipelago, as well as some minor islands and rocks. Like pearls in a necklace, these islands are different one from the other. Each of them preserves traces of its history, each of them is unique; their only common feature is represented by the beauty of the nature.
There are colonies of sea birds, like shearwaters and seagulls, among which the rare Audouin's Gull, a Mediterranean endemic species which in Italy lives in a few places. The presence of the Mediterranean monk seal has also been sporadically recorded, and it also possible to sight cetaceans.
The terrestrial mammals are those typical of the Mediterranean environment, with the important presence of the marten; also the rabbit is rather widespread.