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ELBA BY KAYAK

An island full of beautiful, secluded beaches and impressive cliffs
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

Elba is the biggest island off the coast of Tuscany. It may be reached by ferry from Piombino in about an hour. In summer tens of ferries run each day and they carry cars... and the cars may carry kayaks on the roof:) Kayaking is the besy way to explore the coasts of Elba island and to escape the summer crowds. A kayaking excursion for one day is great, but circumnavigating the entire island is better! In both cases, you will meet imposing cliffs, crystal clear water and secluded beaches.
Under the map of the island (with distances in order to plan your kayaking trip along the coast) we write a guide to Elba starting from our latest experience of partial circumnavigation of the island by kayak. It took us 4 days from Portoferraio to Lido di Capoliveri (while still enjoying the sea and the life:)); in 6 days it's possible to accomplish the whole tour.

Kayak Elba island, Tuscany
Kayaking Elba island; map and distances

How to get to Elba island
From Monday to Thursday, you can just drive to Piombino, stop at the ticket counters near the harbour and jump on the first ferry going to Portoferraio (or to Cavo, in the north-eastern part of Elba). In the weekends, it may be wise to book in advance.
Ferry companies to Elba island are Toremar, Moby, Corsica Ferries and Blue Navy. The latest one may be a bit cheaper, but prices are all similar: 50 euros per car and about ten euros per passenger.

From Portoferraio you may drive to your departure point for the kayaking trip: it may be the beach of Le Ghiaie, near Portoferraio, or a maybe Lacona, in the south, if there are northern swells.
Our kayaking itinerary began from Portoferraio towards Marciana Marina... and beyond!
Elba in Kayak, Tuscany
Amazing sea just west of Portoferraio
Elba in Kayak, Tuscany
White cliffs between Portoferraio and Marciana
From Portoferraio to Marciana Marina
To the west of Portoferraio, the coast becomes immediately wild and beautiful, with white cliffs and small bays and clear water. Six stunning kilometers lead to Capo d'Enfola, after which you can sea Marciana Marina in the distance, on the other side of the gulf. Paddling towards South, you meet the bays of Viticcio, Biodola and Procchio. From here the coast goes north-west. There are some villas here, but it's still all very pretty.

After Punta della Crocetta and its crystal clear waters, you get to Marciana Marina, picturesque town with a small marina that gets very busy in summer.
Cave at Elba, Tuscany Cave at Elba, Tuscany
Small caves on the sea dot this stretch of coast
Coast near Marciana Marina, Elba island Marciana Marina, Elba island
Quaint Marciana Marina is surrounded by beautiful cliffes
From Marciana Marina to Fetovaia
After Marciana, the coast becomes again very wild, with sheer cliffs and tiny bays. Once you overcome the Punta della Madonna, some wider bays like Ripa Barata, la Cala and La Conca boast nice secluded beaches where you can stop with the kayaks and have a swim. A little further, the small town of Sant'Andrea has some bars and shops.
The sea on the western coast of Elba is often rough; on the other end, the views on the wild coasts are always beautiful. There are some beaches that can be reached by car (Chiessi, Pomonte e Ogliera) and therefore quite busy, but still very nice, and other secluded beaches like the ones of Le Tombe, where you can park the kayak and have a swim.
Elba in Kayak, Tuscany Elba in Kayak, Tuscany Elba in Kayak, Tuscany
Secluded beach between Marciana Marina and Fetovaia
Sunset on a beach of Elba Elba in Kayak Elba in Kayak
Peaceful bays where to enjoy the nature and the sunsets
The last efforts carried us to the cape of Fetovaia, after which appears the bay with the same name. The sea here was crystal clear and full of fish.
Fetovaia is a wide, popular sandy beach; in the evening, the place is very quiet.

By the way, you could wild camp (where it is legal) or look for the most convenient places where to sleep here.
Fetovaia, Elba
Swimming towards Fetovaia, in the south-western part of Elba
Fetovaia, Elba
View over the bay of Fetovaia and the boats at the anchor
From Fetovaia to Lacona
On the rocky shore after Fetovaia there are some sunbathers, as the road runs along the coast. The beaches of Seccheto and Cavoli are very close. A wilder stretch of coast carries to Marina di Campo; we parked the kayak on its wide beach, where there many activities (including kayak rental:)).
The beautiful coast between Marina di Campo and Lacona boasts again cliffs and crystal clear water. Just before reaching Lacona, we met some crowded beaches and some stunning little paradisiac bay; in Lacona there is a huge sandy beach, which may also get lively in the evening with bars and music.
Marina di Campo, Elba Coast near Lacona, Elba
After the big beach of Marina di Campo, you can paddle to Lacona...
Coast near Lacona, Elba Kayak near Lacona, Elba
...and near Lacona there are amazing places and beatiful waters
From Lacona to Lido di Capoliveri
This stretch of coast is short but perhaps even more stunning than what we had already seen, with colorful cliffs and tiny bays with green water. Snorkeling is very nice here.
Getting closer to Lido di Capoliveri, there are some sandy beaches full of sunbathers, plus bars, camping and restaurants. Our kayaking itinerary ended here, as from Lido di Capoliveri it takes just 20 minutes by bus to get to Portoferraio and take the car.

Elba in Kayak, Tuscany Elba in Kayak, Tuscany
Paddling from Lacona to Lido di Capoliveri, we met beautiful sea...
Elba in Kayak, Tuscany Elba in Kayak, Tuscany
...and red cliffs: swimming and snorkeling is compulsory, here
From Capoliveri to Portoferraio
Also along this stretch of coast, there are wild cliffs and some towns and villas... the wild part is still predominant, which makes the circumnavigation by kayak of the island of Elba a unique experience.
From Capoliveri you can paddle to Porto Azzurro, then to Rio Marina and the nice beach of Cavo (in both place there are some ferries stopping during the day).
From Cavo to Portoferraio there are again beautiful cliffs with some tiny, secluded beaches.
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You can find more photos (with higher resolution) of all the kayaking trips in Tuscany in this Facebook post:
Foto Elba, Giglio, Argentario in kayak
All photos from Elba, Giglio and Argentario visited by kayak

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