The beaches of the Island of Elba

everything you need to know about elba’s beaches 

The beaches near us

The Island of Elba is considered the Pearl of the Tuscan Archipelago and its coasts, so beautiful and different from kilometer to kilometer, have always fascinated visitors from all over the world: swimming in its sea is an experience that you must try at least once in a lifetime.

Reachable on foot or in a few minutes by car, below we list the beaches near our school:

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Barbarossa

It is located just 500 meters from our school. To reach it take the small path that starts directly from the Residence Villa Teresa. The beach is mixed with sand and pebbles and its seabed is particularly suitable for snorkelling. Barbarossa is the most equipped beach in Porto Azzurro, here in addition to renting pedal boats, deck chairs and umbrellas, there are also bars, restaurants and a minimarket. This area is very popular with windsurfers and a renowned diving school (ideal for both experts and beginners) with two outings a day completes the range of services.

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Reale

Along the provincial road Porto Azzurro – Rio Marina, you can reach this beach in half an hour’s walk, otherwise it takes 4 minutes by shuttle bus or car. The „Reale“ beach is made up of sand mixed with light and reddish gravel. The context in which it is located is very particular because it is located right in the middle of two former mining sites. On the beach of Reale in Porto Azzurro it is possible to find bars and restaurants, but the main attraction remains the walk to get to the beach of the Laghetto di Terra Nera.

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Laghetto di Terranera

A beach with the characteristic shiny black sand, surrounded by ocher red earth and the green of the Mediterranean scrub. If all this isn’t enough to make it one of the most attractive beaches on the east side of the Island of Elba, also add the fact that it houses an emerald green little lake that, in contrast to the blue of the sea, creates a context with a unique charm. The beach of the Laghetto di Terra Nera is popular not only for its special conformity, but also because it can only be reached through a path that starts from the nearby „Reale“ beach. It is not very crowded and even in high season there are quiet corners where you can relax. In fact, not everyone is willing to take a 15-minute walk along the coast and through the rocks to reach this beach.

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Lido di Capoliveri

Lido di Capoliveri is a fine, golden sandy beach where everyone loves to be. Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly choose this beach for both its comfort and for the various services it offers. The gently sloping sea is suitable for families with small children, but also for young people who practice water sports. Everyone, regardless of age, loves walking and swimming in its sky-blue water. A wide variety of services are spread over almost 500 m of beach, including bars, restaurants, pizzerias, windsurfing courses, rental of deckchairs/sun loungers/pedal boats and boat moorings. This beach is a ten minute drive from our school.

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Felciaio

Felciaio is a small cove that can be reached after a short adventure on foot in the heart of the Mediterranean scrub. It is characterized by the two nearby inlets with different properties: the first is covered with a soft carpet of dry posidonia, while the second, thanks to the special shape of the rocks, creates what appears to everyone as a natural swimming pool. The crystal clear sea, the reefs rich in marine life and the sandy seabed invite you to snorkel.It is advisable to bring your rock shoes along. The rocks that surround it are the main attraction and the bravest plunge into the water in the most varied ways, but in total safety and sometimes, when observing them, they tear you a smile. Even in the middle of August, Felciaio is quieter than other beaches and therefore all the more popular. The only flaw that we would like to point out is the prices of the small,bar on site, in our opinion they are too high.

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Zuccale

The Zuccale beach, just 12 minutes drive from our school, although not particularly large, is well organized. The large parking lot (at fair prices) and the free and well-equipped beach make it immediately attractive. The sea is perfectly clean because  of the mostly sandy seabed and the context in which it is inserted is truly particular. Once down the stairs that we have to do to get there, you can choose whether to stop at the small bathing establishment or continue a little further along the shoreline and settle on the free beach. We recommend the second option because the rocks have created a suggestive corner where it is really a pleasure to be.

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Barabarca

This beach, wilder than the adjacent Zuccale, while being free, has the convenience of having a rental of umbrellas and sunbeds and in addition you can take advantage of the shower that the small bar makes available. The beach is characterized by sand and fine pebbles and the seabed is suitable for snorkeling. Sheltered from many winds and with crystal clear water, it is beautiful at all times of the day but in the early morning or at sunset, when the tranquility of the place reigns supreme, its beauty doubles.

Although the beaches near our school are beautiful and complete, the Island of Elba has more than 150 beaches, all different from each other and with a unique charm. We have made a small selection for you to help you choose the ones that, in our opinion, are unmissable.

The most popular beaches

The beaches most loved by tourists are also the ones you can often find in brochures and postcards. In the municipality of Capoliveri, a few kilometers from our school, we find the sandy beaches of Lido di Capoliveri and Lacona while in the municipality of Portoferraio there are the white pebble beaches among which we remember Capo Bianco, Le Ghiaie and Sansone. Still in Portoferraio we find the Biodola beach which, thanks to the naturalistic context in which it is inserted and its fine sand, is included in the ranking of the ten most beautiful beaches on the Island of Elba.

Moving further to the municipality of Marina di Campo, a visit to Cavoli and Fetovaia is almost a must: these two fine white sand beaches have very similar characteristics and are certainly the most appreciated therefore, as much as it is worth visiting, it is very difficult to find peace and tranquility. In Marciana, on the other hand, we recommend a visit to the Paolina beach which owes its name to Paolina Bonaparte, who particularly loved this beach where she could swim to the small island that characterizes it.

The lesser known beaches

The fact that they are less known, does not imply that they are not as beautiful as the most famous ones.Those who choose a holiday on the Island of Elba are often looking for peace and relaxation, which is not easy to find if you come in the high season. But based on our personal experience, we can suggest some beaches that, even in the most crowded months, always offer corners of peace.

The Laghetto di Terra Nera in Porto Azzurro is perhaps in the highest step of our podium, with its sparkling black sand, the colors that surround it and the seabed full of surprises. Not least, however, is the beach of Calanova in Capoliveri and, also in the municipality of Capoliveri, the beach of Norsi, characterized by small smooth black pebbles.

The sandy beaches

Sand is synonymous with comfort and for this reason fine sandy beaches are the most popular among tourists. Our school is fortunate to be close to some of the most famous sandy beaches of the Island of Elba such as the beach of Lido di Capoliveri and Lacona. In addition to them we have, always near our school, the beaches Zuccale, Barabarca, Naregno and Straccoligno which, in 2018, was the protagonist of the Elban summer because, unbeknownst to everyone, it saw the opening in full day of 107 caretta-caretta turtle eggs, a truly record brood.

The white pebble beaches

The pebble beaches are mostly concentrated in the municipality of Portoferraio. The white pebbles, also laid on the seabed, create surprising reflections. The water is so transparent that you will not need a mask to see the fish swimming freely. The beaches of Ghiaie, Padulella, Capo Bianco, Sottobomba, and Sansone, the latter entering several times into the top ten of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, with their sea that fades from green to turquoise have won the hearts of many visitors.

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Choose the beaches according to the wind: where to go to find crystal clear water

On the Island of Elba, knowing and following the wind is very important, if you do it you will have the absolute guarantee of always finding crystal clear water.

To have the security of bathing in an always transparent and clear sea, you must follow a small and easy rule, stay “downwind“, i.e. choose a beach where the wind blows towards the open sea. If you follow this rule you will make your stay on the island of Elba even more pleasant and unforgettable.

Do not worry if you are not a “sea dog”, upon your arrival we will provide you with all the tools to recognize the wind that blows and frequent the “leeward” beaches that will allow you to enjoy the desired sea life to the fullest.

Let’s see together which beach to choose according to the wind:

Scirocco wind (South-East) and South wind (South)? Beaches on the North/North-West side

When winds of Scirocco blow, the beaches where you have to go are those of the North-North / West side, such as, for example, the famous beach of the Wreck in Pomonte or the beaches behind Portoferraio, such as the beach of Ghiaie, Capobianco and Sottobomba or, if you prefer sand to gravel, you can always go to Biodola beach (always in Portoferraio) or Procchio beach in the municipality of Marciana.

For the fascinating and famous bay of Fetovaia that faces east, the south wind is fine, but not the Scirocco that blows from the south-east.

Libeccio wind (South-West)? Beaches on the East and North-East sides

When the Libeccio blows it is better to move to the North-East therefore we suggest you to place your towels on the following beaches: Pianotta, Barbarossa (just 500 meters from our school), Reale and Terranera in Porto Azzurro, or the beach of Istia and Ferrato in Capoliveri.

Wind of Grecale (North-East)? Beaches on the North West side

With the grecale wind it is better to move to the north-west where you will find the sea much calmer than on the other sides of the island. The beach of Sant’Andrea and Cotoncello in Marciana are unmissable, especially in May when the Hottentot fig blossoms and the white cliffs become fuchsia. With the grecale also the beach of the Wreck in Pomonte, particularly suitable for snorkelers, the wild cove of Aliva (reachable only through an arduous path) and the famous Fetovaia in Marina di Campo, are the most suitable to pass a pleasant beach day away from this (annoying) wind.

Mistral wind (North-West)? Beaches on the South-East and North-East side

With the Mistral we can choose both the south east part of the island and the north east part and here we are spoiled for choice. Barbarossa (the beach closest to our school), Reale and Terranera beach in Porto Azzurro are also perfect with these winds. In the municipality of Capoliveri instead you can find shelter in the beaches of Lido di Capoliveri, Zuccale, Barabarca, Calanova, Straccoligno and Naregno. In Rio Marina you will feel good on the beaches of Ripa Bianca, Topinetti and Cala Seregola which will surely give you a calm and clear sea.

East wind Levante? Beaches in the West

With the winds of the East we have to move to the West, in this part of the Island of Elba there is the beach with a hundred steps or Colle Palombaia, this beach in the municipality of Marina di Campo is characterized by white-gray pebbles and being vast and not easy to access, even in the most crowded months it is possible to find the relaxation you are looking for. Also in the municipality of Marina di Campo, with winds from the east, the most famous beach on the Island of Elba is also recommended, namely Cavoli.

West wind Ponente? Beaches on the East side

With this wind, the eastern part of the Island of Elba is certainly more sheltered, in this area we find the so-called “beaches of the mines”, those which, being close to the quarries where the mineral was extracted, are characterized by a particular sand dark shining. Among the different ones to visit we recommend the beach of the Laghetto di Terra Nera (small lake made of black earth ) in Porto Azzurro and the beach of Cala Seregola and Topinetti in Rio Marina. In addition to these, the two beaches closest to us are also recommended: Barbarossa and Reale in Porto Azzurro which with the westerly winds are truly unmissable.

 

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