Elba (Italy)

Elba Travel Guide and Trip Resources


Don't come for Napoleon

Elba is an island in the Tuscan archipelago and the third largest island in Italy - reachable in an hour from the mainland by ferry
Napoleon was put in exile here in 1814, his two villas can be visited
The island is versatile: lovely beaches, mountains with hiking trails, small villages and bigger towns

Isola d'Elba is an island of the Tuscan coast in Italy, reachable by ferry in about an hour from the unremarkable town of Piombino (itself one hour from Livorno). Elba is the third largest island of Italy after Sicily and Sardinia, and besides its rugged pine tree covered mountains and transparent turquoise sea is most renowned for being the place where Napoleon Bonaparte was put in exile in 1814. He stayed here for a little under a year.

Naturally that means that the two Napoleon Villas in Portoferraio needs to be checked out. Day trippers come from the Italian mainland and back almost specifically for this attraction, and although it is a place of historical significance where you can sense an undertone of melancholy, and we do tend to like that sort of thing, it is not something we would opt for. The place is hard to reach and although the views are lovely, there is not actually all that much to see besides a few rooms with the odd pieces of furniture here or there.

No. We wouldn't recommend you to come here for a day just to see Napoleon's, but instead we would recommend you to consider spending a bit more time and holding a proper holiday here. Dotted around the mountains you find other historical structures, such as the Medici Fortress near the capital or the Stella and Falcone forts. Besides these you will find small towns, iron mines and those oh, so fantastic beaches. They are excellent for water sports like kayaking, canoeing or snorkeling, while out in the mountains you've got some really good hiking trails. As the island is relatively thin in most places, almost any hike we tried here ended up in some spot with a breathtaking panorama. In the end, Elba is a pretty versatile place. [Review by travelindicator]


You can find the best hotel deals in Elba here.

Key info

  • Elba is a region in Italy. It is situated at an altitude of 1824ft and the best airport to fly into is FLR (Peretola, Florence)
  • The main spoken language here is Italian, and the average English skill is low
  • The currency used in Italy is the Euro (EUR)

Elba Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

50 50 54 57 66 73 81 81 73 64 55 52

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

2.4 3 2.2 2.3 1.3 1.1 0.6 1.7 3 4 3.5 2

More Elba travel resources

Italy Magazine has a good summary detailing five things to do in Elba, and the Tuscany tourism office has something comparable. Wikitravel is too short to be really helpful, while Discover Tuscany has some OK basics. If you are interested in going for a hike, some interesting trails are described here. We don't like the Daily Mail much, but they did a decent write-up, while we pretty much adored this blog by Girl in Florence as well as this one by Saraha Laurence.

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