Cruise Port Atlas | Portoferraio (Elba), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Portoferraio (Elba), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Portoferraio: Star Clippers, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Paul Gauguin, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club

Key Attractions: Fort Falcone, Villa San Martino, Torre del Martello, Roman Villa, Villa dei Mulini, Napoleon Museum, Archaeologcial Museum, Lacona, Procchio, La Caleta, Sant'Andrea, Cavo, Fetovaia, Marina de Campo, Monte Capanne, Tuscan Archipelago Nature Reserve, Mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, trekking, Marciana, Porto Azzurro, Marciana Marina,

Portoferraio Attractions

Port to the Historic City Attractions - 2-3 kilometers, 4-7 minutes
Port to the Roman Villa - 4.5 kilometers, 7 minutes
Port to the Villa San Martino - 5 kilometers, 9 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

When Cosimi de Medici fortified the town of Portoferraio, he created a massive complex of fortresses designed to protect the city from hostile pirates and others sailing the Mediterranean during the unstable 16th century. On the sea side of port is Fort Stella, which you will see before you enter the harbor. Protecting the peninsular old city is Fort Falcone. Between them is the house where Napoleon spent much of his time during his first exile (1814-15), Villa dei Mulini (House of two mills), the main museum commemorating his 299 days on the island. Outside the city is his winter home, Villa San Martino, which also can be toured. The other major attraction in the city is the famous Torre del Martello, which guarded the harbor and now serves as an archaeological museum. On the south side of the Portoferraio Bay are the remains of a Roman villa, excavated in the last 50 years.

        

   

Photo of Portoferraio and the bay from Volerraio by Emiliano Burzagli

Elba's Many Beaches

Port to Procchio - 10 KM, 13 minutes
Port to Lacona - 9 KM, 16 minutes
Port to La Caleta - 20 KM, 28 minutes
Port to Sant'Andrea - 29 KM, 39 minutes
Port to Fetovaia - 24 KM, 31 minutes
Port to Cavo - 25 KM, 35 minutes
Port to Marina di Campo - 15 KM, 21 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Elba has incredible beaches that draw thousands of tourists each summer. Compared to other locations the beaches on Elba are on the small size, though many have resort facilities especially on the south shore of the island in areas such as Lacona and Marina di Campo. The largest north shore beach is at Procchio, however, others are small coves enclosed by rocky cliffs and jagged shorelines. These tend to be quieter and offer fewer facilities. A nice combination of isolation and facilities is the beach at Fetovaia, considered by some to be the island’s best beach. In addition to sand and sun, diving and snorkeling are popular at some of these beaches because of the rocky shoreline.

           

   

Photo of Fetovaia Beach by philiTizzani

Elba Outdoor Activities and Natural Attractions

Port to Marciana - 21 KM, 29 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Perhaps the most popular outdoor activity on the island is taking the cable car to the top of Monte Capanne. The cable begins near the scenic mountainside village of Marciana. But many more active pursuits are available throughout the island since most of the land is part of the Tuscan Archipelgo Nature Reserve. Mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, and 4-wheel vehicle tours into the interior are very popular with good reason. The dramatic terrain of the island is truly magical.

              

   

Photo of Monte Capanne by Contradictus

Scenic Villages

Port to Porto Azzurro - 13 KM, 16 minutes
Port to Marciana Marina - 17 KM, 22 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Besides Marciana on the side of Monte Capanne, most of the scenic villages on the island are small ports with marinas that have welcomed visitors and hidden pirates for centuries. During the period when Cosima de Medici was building forts in Portoferraio, the Spanish were doing the same at Porto Azzurro, where the massive Fort Longone is still a popular tourist attraction. Set on a small bay with a marina and pastel houses, it is one of the favorite day trips for those staying on the island. The Small Mine tour is nearby and offers the opportunity to discover what mining was like in the past on this island renowned for its minerals. On the northwest shore of the island is the town of Marciana Marina, which has an impressive tower from the 12th century known as the Saracen tower (but actually built by the Pisans). The old town is known as Rione Cotone and offers rustic pastel houses and fishing boats and a chance to take that picture you've been waiting for.

        

   

Photo of Marciana Marina by Samoano

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible