island of Elba - island of Pianosa - Tuscan Archipelago

Guided Trekking excursions

the island of Elba with over 300 km of trails is a paradise for trekking lovers

Elba and Granite, from prehistory to the present day (western side)

 Itinerary: San Piero – modern granite quarries – Moncione water mill – ancient Roman quarries -Pietra murata (archaeological site) -Piane al canale (ironmaking in the Middle Ages) -Roman Pieve di San Giovanni – San Piero.

Length: 9,8 Km

Travel time: 5 hours

Difficulty level: easy

Interest:, Historical, naturalistic, photographic

The departure of our trekking excursion is from the medieval village of San Piero in Campo, a historical village linked to the extraction and processing of granite; between the alleys and the streets we visit the particular Romanesque church of San Niccolò with two apses and two aisles incorporated in a fortress.

Near the church we find the MUM (Luigi Celleri mineralogical museum) that collects private and public collections of Elbaiti (Tormaline) discovered for the first time in the world on the island of Elba.

Once left the village of San Piero, we visit the modern granite quarries, then reach, along an easy path, the Moncione Water mill  (366.m.a.s.l.). Further on we find the “ancient granite quarries”, which have been treaded on since Roman times; an archaeological site of extraordinary relevance, where over 80 imposing columns, some cut in half, other rough-hewn, and capital-shaped ones, all lying laid among bushes of the Mediterranean scrub.

We climb up to “Pietra Murata”, through an area inhabited since the prehistoric times, which still preserves today numerous Villanovan, Etruscan and medieval traces; the view from here is wonderful, ranging from Elba south coast to the southernmost islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.

While descending towards San Piero we find the ancient Romanesque Pieve di San Giovanni, built in the 12th century, like many other parishes it was not only a place of worship, as it served also as an administrative center where the chaplain collected taxes.

An easy trail among chestnut trees takes us then back to San Piero.

The coastal villages and the Mediterranean scrub

Itinerary: Chiessi – Colle di San Bartolommeo – Pomonte – Chiessi

Length:7,5 Km

Travel time; 4 hours

Difficulty level: medium

Interest:, Historical, naturalistic, panoramic

Starting: chiessi


We set off from the village of Chiessi along an path steep from the start, surrounded by old rural terracings. After about 2.5 Km we get to at a junction where a sign indicates the way to the ruins of Chiesa di San Bartolomeo (Km 3.3, 410 m.a.s.l.), a small church in Romanesque style, built around 1100AD under the rule of Pisa, in memory of Saint Bartolomeo who lived here as a hermit in the early years of Christianity. Following this short detour, we head back to the main path, after about 20 minutes we find ourselves by path no. 4 intersection.  Here stars our descent towards Pomonte along a masterly set up trail, mostly paved and with hairpin bends for the steepest sections, while surrounded by scents of helichrysum, lavender, myrtle and broom that together with cistus and heathers have taken over and replaced vineyards.

The summit of the island of Elba

Itinerary: Poggio  – Monte Capanne – Poggio

Length:8,4 Km

Travel time: 4 hours

Difficulty level: hard

Interest: naturalistic, panoramic

Starting: poggio


From the characteristic medieval village of Poggio (330 m.a.s.l.) we start our ascent towards Mount Capanne, summit of Elba’s imposing granodioritic massif. Our path, steadily pretty steep, runs across the woods at first but higher up the vegetation becomes less and sparse, while the landscape becomes increasingly majestic all the way to the island’s peak: Mount Capanne (1019 m.a.s.l.), from which you can enjoy an invaluable view over Elba, the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, Corsica and a significant stretch of Tuscany. On the way back we will get to see degustare un ottima birra artigianale di castagne.

Itinerary: Marciana  – Monte di Cote –  Il Semaforo – Marciana

Length:14,2 Km

Travel time 8 hours

Difficulty level: easy

Interest: naturalistic, archeological, historical, panoramic

Starting: Marciana

Departing from Marciana (408 m.a.s.l.), a nice path paved at times and flanked by brooms and strawberry trees, leads us to Stetta (806 m.a.s.l.) and its numerous rock overhang shelters first, then onto reach Monte di Cote (950 m asl), second highest peak on Elba. Vegetation here is quite sparse and features mainly genista desoleana; while descending the view is superb and it is not unlikely at times to spot also wild mouflon. After reaching Terra (576 m.a.s.l.) we keep going in a clockwise direction along a very scenic path, which, without considerable gradients, runs through the typical Mediterranean scrub up to Semaforo (599 m.a.s.l.): an important military outpost employed until the end of World War II to watch over the Corsica sea channel. Our trail continues between Mediterranean scrub and centuries-old chestnut woods up to Serraventosa (620 m.a.s.l.) where the vegetation becomes more sparse; further on we get to the Madonna del Monte Sanctuary (630 m.a.s.l.); then finally descend to Marciana along its 1200AD Pisan fortress to terminate our excursion in Piazza Umberto I.

Itinerary: Marciana-Monte Capanne-Le Mure-Pomonte

Length:15,85 Km

Travel time 7 hours

Difficulty level: medium

Interest: naturalistic, archeological, historical, photographic

Starting: Marciana


We set off from Marciana (408 a.s.l.m.) the island highest village, built on the north ridge of Monte Capanne granite massif. Through the solemn and steep alleys of this medieval little town we reach its 1200 AD fortress, then take an easy path that runs through the leafy Valley of Pedalta up to San Cerbone Hermitage. A sanctuary in the vicinity of “Grotta del Santo”, built in 1421AD by Benedictines monks and where San Cerbone retired to in the latest years of his life, before dying in 1534 AD. Once left the Sanctuary, we start our ascent towards Mount Capanne (1019 m.a.s.l.), initially on a path underneath chestnut trees, then across steep “macei” (large granite slabs) surrounded by holm oaks. About 40 minutes after leaving the hermitage, we get to a caprile (a stone shelter once used by local shepherds) and to a “chiuso” (fenced area for livestock). From here our path becomes much more panoramic and while overlooking the lush “Valle della Nivera”, leads us to Mount Capanne summit (the highest point on the island) where you can get to enjoy an incomparable view not only over Elba but also over the other Tuscan Archipelago islands, Corsica and a large stretch of Tuscan coast. From Capanne we descend rather rapidly towards “Le Filicaie” (870 m.a.s.l.), a small plateau halfway between Capanne and Mount Calanche, then further down towards the rock overhang shelters of “La Grottaccia” , then across ” Cenno” ridge where mouflons live undisturbed under the watchful eye of buzzards and peregrine falcons, to finally reach Elba’s largest upland fortification : “Le Mure”, an ancient stone village once inhabited by Villanovan populations, destroyed in 453 BC by Syracusans and never built up again; today, what is left of the original structure is a significant part of the wall perimeter (some sections even more than 2 meters high) as well as quite few hand cut stones, later in time used by shepherds to build shelters and fence off areas. Here, we start to descend towards Pomonte through “Valle del Poio”, a valley crossed by a stream characterized by waterfalls and ponds, that is never short of water even in the summertime. This great valley (the largest on the island) had been terraced from the sea up to 640 meters and cultivated with vines; nowadays most of the vineyards have been abandoned, but a kind of vast granite amphitheater remains as an evidence of the hard labour of Elba peasants. Our excursion terminates in Pomonte, among lemon trees and white houses overlooking the sea.