Long outdoorsy weekend at Elba

Here we are, on the road again. This time our destination was Elba Island, the biggest and most famous of the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. 

We went there for the May 1st long weekend this year, and – to no surprise – the ferry from Piombino (on the mainland) to Portoferraio (the main port of the island) was crowded with tourists.

But you CAN escape from the crowd. Here’s how: 

  • Having lunch in an isolated fisherman village!
  • Kayaking in the open sea!
  • Hiking on unbeaten tracks!


With the aim of finding some peace and relaxation, but also do some fun outdoor activities, we planned, for our first day there, to just drive around the island and discover it. Starting from our AirBnb in the middle of the island, surrounded by greenery, we went to the fishermen’s village of Porto Azzurro to get a map of the island and start our road trip. Pastel-colored little houses frame the port, and the main square of the harbor is a meeting point for the locals.


We didn’t spend too much time there as we wanted to see as much as possible in one day!

The Tuscan Archipelago is a protected area that covers 18,000 hectares, and the Elba Island offers numerous routes and panoramic points with lovely views of the Tyrrenian sea, the Mediterranean scrub, and even Corsica!

Elba lies six miles from the mainland and is Italy’s third-largest island, after Sicily and Sardinia.

The many ports, which today are basically the main towns here, were strategic points during the Spanish domination. Fortresses and towers still stand, going all the way to the top of the peaks. Here the nature is intense, the beaches – when not overcrowded – beautiful and the small towns picturesque. We didn’t have time to include any Napoleonic stops in this trip, and we barely saw Portoferraio… I guess we’ll have to come back!

For lunch, we stopped at a lovely and well-rated seafood restaurant called Vecchio Forno in Seccheto and enjoyed some amazing local catches. The local wine suggested by our waiter was so good that we came back with two six-bottle cases!

After a nap on the beach nearby – amazing! – we went back on the road and reached Marciana Marina, where we were going to start our kayaking trip the next day!

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Since our 3-day canoe adventure last year in the middle of an isolated canyon, we’ve been itching for some other experience alike. I had never done sea kayaking before, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out!

Elba has a coastline of 147 kilometres, with 14 kilometres of beaches.

We opted for a one-day trip with Sea Kayak Italy for €50/person and it was so worth it. From 10am until 5pm we paddled till Capo Sant’Andrea and back with a nice lunch and talks to split the day.

Gaudenzio, the guide, was really nice. Really good kayak teacher, full of tips, and of course a deep knowledge of the area that he shares as if it was the first time. Check out his website if you are interested in Kayaking in Elba 👉 http://www.seakayakitaly.it/it/

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We enjoyed it so much that we’re thinking on going back for a 2-day complete training!

Sea kayaking at Elba with Sea Kayak Italy


The type of tired I love the most is when you’re tired after a lot of physical activity. I love feeling my muscles sore, I love being tired from sports.

The best way to top off our long weekend was nothing less than a hike to Monte Capanne, the highest mountain on the island. As I suffer from mild acrophobia (I’m not that afraid of being up high as I am of falling down) we plan every hike or excursion accordingly, and this one did not disappoint.

From the top of Monte Capanne at 1.019 metres, it’s possible to see the far off islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Pianosa, Caparaia, Montecristo, Gorgona and also Corsica.

There are more than 200 different types of mushrooms that grow under the holm oaks during the autumn months. The area at the foot of Monte Capanne is characterised by the Mediterranean scrub and large granite rocks.

The view was spectacular all the way through the hike, and when we got back to the car we could only think of what to get for dinner! What a blast!

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The view from Monte Capanne

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