Elba is the third largest island in Italy, after Sicily and Sardinia, and it is the largest island in the Tuscan archipelago. The best way to visit Elba is by chartering a yacht to admire the cliffs on the north coast, which stand dizzyingly tall above the sea, while to the south, sandy stretches offer gentle landing places such as Fetovaia, Marina di Campo e Lacona. With more than seventy beaches, it really is the ideal destination for those who looking to cruise from one side to the other, and discover some incredibly striking spots.
The wind blows all around this island, making it a yachting paradise. Its 80 NM of coastline are a sight to behold, to rejoice in, letting the sails carry you. In springtime, the explosion of colours makes for postcard-perfect views; in summer, the coastline is lush and verdant, while in autumn, the island is painted a palette of browns, yellows and greens. And in winter? The yacht becomes a salon for meditation, along with the silence of Elba’s natural setting.
The sheer number of anchorages on the Island of Elba allow for safe cruising, making the island suitable for skippers of all abilities; the distances between one landing place and another are short, for a carefree seafaring experience. The winds that blow most often are the mistral and the sirocco. The clear waters beckon, for long swims; and there’s plenty to see snorkelling too, so don’t forget to bring masks and flippers.
Elba is one of the most popular destinations among those chartering a yacht to discover this corner of the Mediterranean. Portoferraio is the main town, with its Medicean towers, renaissance fortresses, its 16th century cathedral and colourfully painted houses; the Marina di Portoferraio, situated right in the old, horseshoe-shaped port, becomes the ideal place to step onto land soak up the atmosphere. Its shape means that it offers a natural, safe shelter, whatever wind might be blowing. The Marina is welcoming and well-equipped, a great landing place for all vessels. Those on a yachting holiday will find it is definitely a place to stop off at, a jewel on the island of Elba, giving a warm welcome to those arriving by sea. Other docking places not to be missed: Marciana Marina, with its picturesque squares and narrow lanes, quaint souvenir shops and cosy restaurants serving up local cuisine; those wanting to stretch their legs have a wealth of options, from the seaside promenade to the lanes wending up to Monte Capanne. Porto Azzurro is another town with pleasant surprises in store; with its delectable stone cottages, cobbled streets and little shops full of tempting items, it wins everyone over with its charm. Then there’s Marina di Campo, with its ancient tower; Rio Marina, with iron ore mines and the Minerals Museum; Cavo, with its path leading to the promontory of Capo Castello. In addition to these, Elba’s main shipyards also offer mooring: Esaom, one kilometer from Portoferraio, and Cala di Mola, three kilometres from Porto Azzurro.
Anchorage: the magic word when it comes to a yachting holiday. The dictionary definition is “a place where a boat can anchor safely” but we at ItalyCharter would also add, “a place where you can feel the sea and nature all around you, let yourself be lulled by the waves even at night, listen to the silence, and really get a sense of life onboard a yacht”. Anchorage offers isolation, far from land, fully engaging with the sea. Nature all around. The boat dances upon the waves, as every magical moment is enveloped in tranquillity. Here’s our guide to the most beautiful anchorages for yachts on the Island of Elba: Viticcio, Biodola and the Forno, the large sheltered bay surrounded by Mediterranean bush, which lets you “spy” on Corsica; Scoglio della Paolina, a tranquil corner where one can imagine life in Napoleon’s day; Fetovaia, with its lovely beach; Marina di Campo, with its incredible shades of sea; Margidore with its islets, and Barbarossa, in the bay of Porto Azzurro.
Which are the most beautiful beaches for anchoring your yacht on the Island of Elba? Where can you take a dip in the crystal-clear sea, sheltered from the wind? It’s hard to provide an official chart of Elba’s best beaches but we can let you in on which beaches are most popular with those who charter a yacht with us. Many people fall in love with the beach at Sorgente, with its white, sea-worn pebbles: here, the water is totally clear; the beach of Sant’Andrea boasts a sea in every possible shade of blue, and has inviting, fine ochre sand. Those who enjoy snorkelling will love Pomonte the beach at Cavoli has astounding colours and an astonishingly beautiful natural setting; Laconella is a beach with powdery sand set between two headlands, while Cala Nova is not to be missed if long swims in crystal-clear waters appeal. Including the Island of Elba in a chartered yacht itinerary will provide the crew with plenty of satisfactions, both due to the beauty of its beaches and the ease of cruising around the island, thanks to its many mooring places.
All of Tuscany’s bases are perfect for setting sail for a vacation on the island of Elba. These include the northernmost bases, such as Castiglioncello, Cecina, San Vincenzo, the central bases: Salivoli, Scarlino and Punta Ala, and the southernmost bases: Talamone, Porto Ercole and Cala Galera.
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