Elba is a small beautiful island off the coast of Tuscany. Being part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, it features pristine waters rich in wildlife, as well as wild hills and mountains.
I went to Elba with my boyfriend for a week this year, camping on my family’s camper. We stayed in Lacona, a pretty gulf with a long sandy beach and light blue water.
During our stay, we did lots of snorkelling every day around Lacona and managed to see an octopus, a sea snake, yellowfin tuna, lots of jellyfish, a giant squid, and much more fish. The visibility underwater was great in the morning unless the sea was rough, so we explored all the beaches surrounding our campsite.
Spot the sea snake!
We also rented sit-on-top kayaks a couple of times so that we could explore the underwater world of the gulf further afield. Paddling along the beautiful green rocky coast was fun. It was challenging to find a spot where to land, but we managed to stack the kayaks on top of some big rocks on the shore and then jump in the water to do some more snorkelling.
One day we took the ferry to Pianosa, a tiny penitentiary island close to Elba. Its name means ‘flat,’ and we could tell why right from the start – its highest point is 29 meters. The water here resembled that of the Maldives.
Visitors are only allowed to swim on one beach, Cala Giovanna, and can only access the rest of the island if accompanied by a guide. Not willing to give up on the inaccessible parts of the isle, we booked ourselves on a snorkelling excursion at Cala Dei Turchi.
Walking through the abandoned buildings in the hot sun was a bit weird – we felt like we were on a horror movie set. The snorkelling in Cala Dei Turchi was fantastic, though – we saw lots of fish and ventured into a beautiful cave. We then spent the afternoon swimming in the clear waters of Cala Giovanna before going back to Elba.
The best adventure we had on the island was probably snorkelling around the Elviscott wreck in Pomonte. At only 13 meters depth, it was well visible from the water surface. Diving down to see the ship, which sank in 1972, to have a peek from up close was amazing. It felt like swimming through history.
All in all, Elba was an excellent choice for a short active sea holiday. We only ended up there because Croatia’s weather forecast was very bad, but we definitely enjoyed our stay and recommend paying a visit to this beautiful little island.