Jul 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

The Ligurian Sea Invites Seniors to Elba

You may have studied history and learned that Napoleon escaped from an isle called Elba (Elbe).  It was in 1814 that the Emperor  Napoleon was defeated and he signed the surrender terms. The British took custody of Napoleon and imprisoned him on the island of Elbe. Being a retired teacher of French, this senior citizen just had to look it up and was fascinated with what I learned about Elbe.

Elba is located off the coast of Tuscany with Corsica not far away to the west.  A relatively modest 18 miles long, Elba is the largest of seven islands in Italy’s Tuscan Archipelago, the largest national park marine area of Europe. You will note that the Ligurian Sea has several other smaller islands called Gorgona, Capraia, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri all in the Tuscan Archipelago and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

There is a lot of history associated with Elba going back to Ligures, Greeks, Etruscans and Saracens. Take in a Virtual Tour of Elba to get to know it better. This map reminds me so much of being on Corsica.  You must travel basically along the coast because the mountains are so steep.  There are a few roads that bypass through the high hills, but the major cities lie on the coast. Corsica is where Napoleon was born, but you knew that, right? In Ajaccio, right? Le Petit Caporal, n’est-ce pas?

The island of Elba is the largest remaining stretch of land from the ancient tract that once connected the Italian peninsula to Corsica and has a population of about 30,000. Elba is located west of Italy, about fifteen kilometers from the Tuscan coast.  Enjoying a mild climate throughout the year, its rugged, mountainous terrain is offset by many fertile valleys. Mount Capanne, with its 1019 m altitude offers visitors a panoramic view over the whole island, and also of the Italian coast. On clear days, you can also see the coast Corsica.

Elba is called a “Green Oasis” and once you arrive, you will see why. For seniors wishing to discover the charm of the island I’d recommend a visit to the small hilltop towns, like St. Peter, St. Hilary, Poggio and Marciana, or immerse yourself in nature with short walks on the trails or engage in real trekking along the GTE, the Great Elba Crossing.

YouTube videos are popular and provide a nice introduction to the island. The extraordinary richness of its landscapes, both land and marine, turns the island of Elba into a unique destination in Tuscany.

Seniors Find One Beautiful Island

There are more than seventy beaches on Elba, with breathtaking views, and crystal clear water. Whether surrounded by suggestive, steep cliffs or immersed in wild vegetation, whether they are easy to reach and well-equipped with all amenities or wild and deserted, the beautiful beaches on Elba have no reason to envy the beaches found in the Caribbean. Senior travelers will discover that Elba is not just sun and sea, but also history and culture .

Renowned for the beauty and variety of its sea beds, Elba boasts an extraordinary richness of marine flora and fauna.  Among rocky outlets and sandy sea beds, there are green posidonia, red gorgonians, black coral and sometimes the rarest of red coral. You’ll find all the fish that are characteristic of the Mediterranean: eels, groupers, blue fish, starfish, shrimp and lobsters, including a rare sunfish. But senior outdoor lovers can also enjoy spending time on land hiking and mountain biking, enjoying a round of golf, a day of sailing or enjoying days of complete relaxation at the thermal baths of San Giovanni.

Seafood, Tuscan-style … tempting? I’d recommend that you start with a simple salad of shellfish drizzled with olive oil, followed by a black risotto (cuttlefish is the main ingredient, with its ink added to the rice at the end). Some restaurants allow you to choose your own fish (to grill or bake), and if you are on in the island in autumn, don’t miss the fresh-from-the-forest porcini mushrooms. As for wine, skip the chianti and savor an Elba rosso (mostly sangiovese grapes) or with shellfish, a Ansonica bianco.

Get Me There Please

Getting to Elba is not difficult as the island  is served by regular sea and air connections and can be reached easily at any time of the year. There is an excellent bus service available on the island, connecting all the main towns and villages. Those who wish to travel privately can use the taxi services available or hire a car for their holiday.  Take a virtual tour of Elba Island with these pictures. I can’t believe that I waited this long to share Elba with you.  Do enjoy. jeb

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  1. […] that resort, I went to Bing and found these super photos to share with you. In addition to Corsica, Elba, Sardinia and Sicily, this sea contains many popular small islands, including Capri, Elba and […]

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