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From: Andrew A. Francis
Date: 02-10-2015 13:16:39 pm
Subject: The Tuscan Island of Elba
The Tuscan Island of Elba
By Andrew A. Francis
The island of Elba, in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tuscany is Italy's third largest island. It is an interesting mix of historic sites and beautiful scenery which is perfect for a hiking, cycling, boating, swimming or diving. The beaches are delightful and not as crowded as the beaches on the coast of the Tuscan mainland, where every square inch seems during peak season to be covered with beach towels or loungers.
Amongst the favourite beaches on Elba are the strands of Spiaggia di Sansone, di Biodola, La Sorgente and Capo Blanco, by Portoferreio, Spiaggia e Relitto, by Pomonte which is known for being an excellent beach from which to scuba dive or snorkel, Spaggia di Cavoli, Seccheto and Spaggia di Barabarca in Capoliveri. Some beaches on the island are stony with clear waters, while others are sandy, or mixes of sand and gravel. The variety means that there really is somewhere to suit every taste, whether you want to be active on the beach or in the water, or simply sit on a lounger or towel and soak up the rays. If you want sand, then Procchio is the largest and most easily accessible on the island. It also has an added attraction in the form of a Roman vessel whose wreck sits in just 3m of water around 100m offshore. There are also a number of hidden coves and quiet bays which make lovely places to while away the hours and can offer an escape from the crowds of high season on some of the most popular sections of coast.
If you are looking for a slightly more active form of relaxation, then Elba has many walking trails and is a perfect place for a hiking holiday. The Capo Sant' Andrea is a particularly pleasing area to hike in, offering ancient trails restored by CAI and the Mountain Communities, along the rugged and varied coastline and up the roughly 800m high Monte Giove. Nature lovers will enjoy the heady scents of wild herbs and flowers, and spectacular views over sea and land. You will even come across some of the prehistoric settlements that dot this landscape. Another lovely place to explore are the islands of the National Park of the Toscano Archipelago.
Those who are interested in history will find plenty to entertain them on Elba. Elba has had a long and fascinating history, from the ancient Mediterranean civilizations through the time of Napoleon to the present day. Take a walking tour and visit the Villagio di Sant' Andrea. Explore the historic streets of Portoferraio and be sure to visit some of the Roman ruins on the island, including the Villa Romana della Grotte. Napoleon's Villa is also fascinating. Take the time to learn about his impact on this idyllic island. All the empires who have had an impact in this island have left Elba with a rich cultural and historical heritage, making this island a paradise for history buffs.
At the end of the day, however you have spent it, why not relax with a glass of the fine wine, for which Elba is known. Watch the sunset in some scenic spot and you are sure to fall in love with this little piece of Tuscany in the Mediterranean sea.
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The Tuscan Island of Elba - Andrew A. Francis 02-10-2015 13:16:39 pm