In its 147 km of coastline, the island of Elba offers beaches for all tastes. Although predominantly rocky, the sandy stretches of the coast are of very high quality. Most of them are located on the south coast and are famous for the sheen sand which, is caused by chips of granite carried down by the streams that run through the nearby quarries. Cavoli and Fetovaia are perhaps the most sought-after beaches, both for the beauty of the sea and for the after-beach aperitif and the frequent beach parties. To those who love long walks on the shoreline we recommend Marina di Campo, the largest beach of the island, just a short walk from the village, and Lacona, popular with young people and families. On the north coast are the very beautiful sandy bays of Procchio, Biodola and Scaglieri, where boats of celebrities of the national and international scene are often visible.
As for the rest, the north coast of the island is characterized by shiny pebbles coves: the first one you’ll encounter coming from Portoferraio is just called “Le Ghiaie” and legend connects it to the landing of the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece, who, it is said, at their landing on the island dried their sweat with pebbles found on the beach, giving them their characteristic dark specks. Carry on toward the promontories of Enfola, Capo Bianco and Sansone which have similar characteristics, although the first is perhaps the most striking of the three; the second one requires a slight effort of about 10 minutes walk, however, amply rewarded by the sight of its white cliff overlooking the sea, which rises above the cove of white pebbles.
The rocky coastline continues westward through small jewellery such as Le Anime, La Cala and La Fenice, and becomes wilder as we approach the western end, where numerous gorges -more easily accessible to those arriving via sea- shall be rewarded to anyone willing to trail down between cliffs and sharp rocks.
Amongst the most popular areas for tourists -especially amongst snorkellers, are Sant’Andrea, La Zanca, and on the south, Le Tombe. On the opposite side, to the east, the gravel is mingled with sand, offering delightful ravines near Capoliveri: Cala dell’Innamorata, located 4 km from the town, reminds in its name the legend of two lovers who lived here; after Lorenzo was kidnapped by the pirates Maria threw herself into the sea to save him, losing her shawl which became the symbol and the sign of the love broken by fate. Zuccale and Madonna delle Grazie (the closest to the village), are both delightful coves of gravel. The slope of Capoliveri testifies the presence of Elba mining past: at the foot of Monte Calamita, on the promontory toward the south of the island, you can see the skeletons of the mines that until a few decades ago were the major source of livelihood for the local families. The same past re-emerges also in the Riese territory, closest to the mainland, where the iron powder infiltrates in the sand and shimmers on the stones, creating an almost magical atmosphere. Here the most beautiful beaches are I Topinetti and Le Fornacelle, about two kilometres far from the hamlet of Cavo.
The largest Elba areas are served by bathing establishments, where in addition to renting cabins, deck chairs and umbrellas, you can enjoy many of the most popular water sports. In some beaches you can find ”Blue Points”, where it is possible to rent umbrellas and sun beds to use in the free beaches.
Although naturism is not openly allowed, it is well tolerated on the island of Elba. Aquarilli, Capo Canata, Le Piscine, Le Tombe are some of the areas where it has been practised for years.
Finally, we indicate the beaches where entry is allowed also to our 4-legged friends: the beach of Fonza, on the south side, in the municipality of Campo dell’Elba, the beach of Schiopparello in the small town of Portoferraio, the beach of Mola, in the municipality of Porto Azzurro, in the eastern side of the island, and finally a stretch of beach along the promenade of Marciana Marina.