Great Crossing Elba by trekking (G.T.E. Elba)

Trekking from granite mountains to iron mines, to get to know nature and the history of El-ba over a week long sporting holiday.

Four days of hiking accompanied by environmental guides and specialized park guides, who will introduce you to beautiful locations rich in history, while walking on ridges that offer evocative views over Elba, along the most famous and complete route on the island: the Great Crossing Elba ( GTE)

The Great Crossing Elba on foot is a chance to get to know Elba Island in an active and complete way.

By walking on Elba trails in the company of skilled and qualified local guides, you get to: admire a nature still intact and rich in life; discover traces of a thousand-year history; know the culture of a population that has taken in over centuries cultural and genetic influences of the many civilizations appeared around the Mediterranean region;discover a one of a kind geology in the world; admire breathtaking views over Elba, the Tuscan coast, Corsica and all the smaller islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Finally, we will have the chance to visit a variety of natural environments (cliff, dune, garrigue, scrubland, woods, rocky peaks), thus getting to know a large number of plant species, and observe wild animals such as wild boars and mouflons.

The Great Crossing Elba on foot is an opportunity to discover and learn multiple aspects in a short time thanks to the great concentration of interests that this rather small but great island has to offer.

Calendar 2018

17-22 march
28 april-03 may
02-07 june
22-27 september
13-18 october
29 dicember 2018 – 03 january 2019

other dates on request (min 4 people)


 €495 on person (€ 595 Easter and bridges)

Package includes: 4 full days of guided trekking excursions, each respectively long:  Km 17,6 + 15,5 + 19,8 +19,5 (highest point 1019 m.a.s.l.) 5 overnight stays in a double room with half board at a 2 or 3 star hotel, a return foot passenger ferry ticket to/from Elba, all transfers within the island (up to to 8 people), insurance, technical assistance during the excursions.

Package does not include:  own journey to / from Piombino or any other port of departure, an eventual return ferry ticket for vehicles, meals, extras or anything not specified under “Package includes”.

Note: possibility of programs and rates fitted for large groups

Program of the Great Crossing Elba by trekking:

1st day: saturday

Arrival to the port of Piombino by your own means of transport, boarding onto the ferry to Portoferraio, transfer from Portoferraio harbour to the hotel, rooms allocation, dinner, overnight stay.

2nd day: sunday

Breakfast, meeting with your guide, full day excursion, packed lunch, dinner, overnight stay.

3rd day: monday

Breakfast, meeting with your guide, full day excursion, packed lunch, dinner, overnight stay

4th day: tusday

Breakfast, meeting with your guide, full day excursion, packed lunch, dinner, overnight stay

5th day: wednesday

Breakfast, meeting with your guide, full day excursion, packed lunch, dinner, overnight stay

6th day: thursday

Breakfast, transfer to Portoferraio harbour, departure to Piombino on one of the morning ferries

Trekking excursions routes:

1st trekking day – the East Dorsal

 Itineray: Cavo – Porto Azzurro
Travel Time:
8 ore
17,6 km
Maximum altitude:
516 m
Total altitude difference :
878 m
geological, historical, panoramic

Departing from Cavo (2 m.a.s.l.), the Elba town closest to the mainland, we begin to ascent in the direction of Mount Grosso along a path surrounded by cistus and rosemary plants. Once reached Monte Grosso (348 m.a.s.l.) and its well preserved “Semaforo”, a relevant military outpost used by Italian soldiers during the last world war, we get to view a superb panorama. To the East are Cavo village and the three islets located between Elba and the mainland (Topi, Palmaiola and Cerboli), beyond the Piombino canal is the Italian coast, while to the West is the whole northern side of Elba coast. After descending through Mount Grosso west side surrounded by a lush vegetation, we cross Valle delle Fiche then steeply climb the very panoramic Mount Strega (425 m.a.s.l.), from whose peak you can overlook the iron mines underneath.

Continuing along our panoramic ridge trail in an alternation of short ups and downs, we reach Mount Capannello summit (406 m.a.s.l.), an ideal panoramic viewpoint over both bays of Bagnaia and Nisporto, as well as over the underlying town of Rio Elba. The path leads us to the Panche pine grove (325 m.a.s.l.), from where we start to climb in the direction of today’s highest peak : Cima del Monte (516 m.a.s.l.). Once reached its summit, the view is grandiose as it overlooks the whole of Eastern Elba, in particular Volterraio Castle and Portoferraio bay.

Descending with the sea on both sides of the path all the time, we get to Piana della Principessa (339 m.a.s.l.), an important archaeological site, then up to Monte Castello (389 m.a.s.l.) where we admire the underlying Monserrato Valley with its intriguing Spanish sanctuary, along the village of Porto Azzurro and its eighteenth-century San Giacomo fortress above.

Further down, we leave the suggestive eastern ridge red rocks and through olive groves and vineyards, we enter Porto Azzurro village(1 m.a.s.l.) where the first leg of our excursion terminates.

2nd trekking day – the central dorsal

Itineray: Porto Azzurro – Marina di Campo
Travel time: 8 ore
Lenght: 15,5 km
Maximum altitude: 377 m
Total altitude difference: 859 m
interest: historical, panoramic

After leaving the village of Porto Azzurro (1 m.a.s.l..), we climb Valley of Botro up to Capo Galletti, then cross over the hill at 250 meters above sea level into the Valley of Buraccio and its characteristic cultivation of olive trees and grapevine, we trail downward the entire valley until we reach Casa Marchetti vineyards (10 m.a.s.l.). From there we climb up again surrounded by fragrant rosemary and broom plants in the direction of Mount Orello (377 m.a.s.l.) where, in addition to the beautiful landscape this offers – Portoferraio to the north and the Gulfs of Lacona and Stella to the south, you can also visit its second world war world military fortifications.

While descending Mount Orello through an old cork oak forest, we reach “Fonte ai Schiumoli”, a natural spring used since the Etruscan era, then continue up to Passo di Colle Reciso (200 m.a.s.l.), and its vast overlooking limestone quarry, here we start to climb the “Central ridge”, to then arrive at Poggio del Molino a Vento (288 m.a.s.l.) where, surrounded by meadows, the ruins of an ancient mill overlook Gulf of Lacona.

Our surrounded by greenery path climbs steeply up to Mount Barbatoia (368 m.a.s.l.) where by staying on the ridge, you are able to reach Mount San Martino in just a few minutes (360 m.a.s.l.), located exactly in the middle of Elba.

Descending, we leave the Valley of Literno to our right and walk southward along an old military mule track until we reach Passo del Monumento (263 m.a.s.l.) where we keep climbing up underneath large arbutus and heather trees that partially hide old trenches and bunkers from the last world war, then reach the summit of Mount Tambone (377 meters above sea level), which provides us with one of the most beautiful views of the island.

Finally, we descend in the direction of Marina di Campo (1 m.a.s.l.) surrounded by cistus, brooms and rosemary plants, to then conclude our excursion on its beautiful white sand beach.

3rd trekking day  – the peak of the elba

Itinerary: Marina di campo – Poggio
Travel time: 7 ore
Lenght: 19,8 km
Maximum quote: 1019 m
Total altitude difference: 1120 m
Interest: Historical archeological, naturalistic, panoramic

After leaving the town of Marina di Campo (1 m.a.s.l.) and its XV century watchtower, we climb up an old path that used to connect the small local harbour to San Piero village (217 m.a.s.l.).

San Piero is historically the most relevant hamlet on the southern side of Mount Capanne, as well known since ancient times for its granite quarries.

After a walk through its granite paved alleys, we take a path from Le Piane, spot where Evangelista (Elba’s last shepherd) used to gather his flocks of goats; after passing by the nowadays still active granite quarries, we carry on walking, surrounded by a low scrubland mainly made up of cistus and broom up to Moncione water mill (366  m.a.s.l.), a place used to grind wheat up til the last war conflict.

We continue through one of the most important archaeological sites of the island where, in addition to Villanovan necropolis, are some ancient Roman granite quarries and numerous columns, some of them almost completely intact and over ten meters long.

Leaving Vallebuia on our right, we head upwards to the 548 meters of Pietra Murata (a large granite monolith once employed by ancient inhabitants as a lookout post around which a small village of rock shelters and stone huts was later built). Further on, we climb gradually among cistus and ferns, surrounded by rocks and granite slabs on which it is often likely to be able to admire splendid specimens of mouflons,  then get to “Le Macinelle” (600  m.a.s.l.).

Le Macinelle consist of two circular stone shelters whose shape resembles Eskimos igloos; built on a grassy plateau overlooking the sea below, they form an evocative emblem of simplicity and harmony, which has turned them into a kind of logo of trekking on Elba.

After passing ditch Dell’ Inferno, we get to “Colle della Grottaccia” (645 m.a.s.l.): another location with plenty of archaeological evidences that help us to retrace the life of ancient locals. From here we walk up the ridge towards north-east leaving behind our right the lush Mori Valley,  we are now on the “Malpasso” (Bad step) trail, a name that perfectly sums up the type of path it is; surrounded by granite rocks on which erosions have sculpted phantasmagorical figures, we reach the crossroads of Filicaie (870 meters above sea level), the starting point of the two main island valleys:  Pomonte Valley to the South West and the Nevera Valley to the North East.

From such panoramic plateau we start our ascent to Elba highest peak by climbing a rocky ridge that allows us to admire an island still wild at heart, then reaching the summit of Mount Capanne (1019 m. a.s.l.) and admire Elba in its entirety : the islands of Gorgona and Capraia to the north, the Italian coast to the east, the islands of Giglio, Montecristo and Pianosa to the south, as well as the much bigger Corsica and its peaks often covered in snow, to the west.

Leaving the summit we descend from the North side along a path that winds through bends among large slabs of granite up to Sella del Ferale (620 m.a.s.l.) from where, surrounded by heather and strawberry trees, our trail terminates directly into the alleys of Poggio village ( 350  m.a.s.l.).

4th trekking day -the ancient way of communication

itineray: Poggio – Pomonte
Travel time: 8 ore
Lenght: 19,5 km
Maximum quote: 748 m
Total altitude difference:  750 m
Interest: Historical, panoramic

We set off from Poggio main square (350 m.a.s.l.) and after 20 or so meters we begin to climb under the comfort of the chestnut trees shade in the direction of San Cerbone Hermitage (531 m.a.s.l.). After leaving this picturesque place of worship built by Benedictines monks around 1400AD in memory of San Cerbone, who retired here to pray at the dawn of Christianity, we walk along an easy path that runs on a virtually constant level throughout the Valley of Pedalta, then cross a pine grove and access the cobblestone steps of Via Crucis that with its fourteen small chapels connects the village of Marciana to the Madonna del Monte Sanctuary  (630m.a.s.l.).


The sanctuary, built between the sixteenth and seventeenth century, owes its fame to the stay of Napoleon in the summer of 1814 AD and it is characterized by an elegant granite fountain completed in 1696 AD facing the church facade.


Once left the sanctuary and its centuries-old chestnut trees, we continue towards Masso dell’Aquila (634 m.a.s.l.), an overhanging rock shelter already populated in prehistoric times, but also an exceptional panoramic point overlooking the entire north coast of Elba, in particular, Sant’Andrea bay and its small village above.


Further on, along a path that connects Marciana to Pomonte, we get to a windy clearing and commence to descend at a slow pace to the Bollero source (634 m.a.s.l.), a small natural spring shaded by chestnut trees then climb again, surrounded by a lush vegetation made up mainly by oaks and  strawberry trees of an exceptional size, up to Troppolo. Turning left in the direction of Pomonte, we continue along a beautiful paved path, while admiring the western side of the island from above, until we reach Terra (600 m.a.s.l.), spot where the Valley of Pomonte starts to be visible. We then begin to descend through it, flanked by  vineyards terracing that are mostly now abandoned, until we reach the village of Pomonte (25 m.a.s.l.).