The Italian island of Elba offers crystal clear sea water in which many, sometimes colorful, fish can be found. Many sandy bays are known for being very shallow and therefore ideal for holidays with small children. The island is located near Corsica (France) and Sardinia and is a very popular holiday destination.
Although Elba has its own airport, which is located in Marina Di Campo, the range of flights is extremely manageable. Due to the insolvency of SkyWork and InterSky, there are no more non-stop flights from Germany. From Switzerland, Zimex Air flies on behalf of a tour operator from Bern-Belp and from Lugano the Czech Silver Air flies with Let 410. The majority of tourists therefore travel by the ferries that are offered, for example, from Piombino. There is a high frequency of shipping traffic and the prices are quite moderate.
Silver Air offers some subsidized connections from Milan-Linate, Pisa and Firenze during the summer months. However, the frequencies are rather low and in the past the offer was repeatedly suspended at short notice and without any major announcement. The Let 410 aircraft used offer 16 seats and are made in the Czech Republic.
If you decide to travel by air, then Pisa is a suitable place to transfer. However, it should be noted that Silver Air does not have any interline or codeshare agreements with other airlines. This means that any baggage must be picked up and checked in again. There is also no liability in the event of delays and the next flight may not be able to operate for a few days.
A rental car is worth considering
As an alternative, a car can also be rented from a car rental company at Pisa Airport. This is embarked in Piombino and is therefore also mobile on the island of Elba. It is important to clarify the plan with the landlord, because sometimes they don't like to see their vehicles being brought to islands by ship. A small additional fee may have to be paid. Only the landlords themselves can provide more information.
Anyone who can do without the comfort of a rental car is not “lost” from Pisa. After an extremely short bus ride to the main train station, the Piombino ferry port can also be reached by Italian train. There are also shuttle buses to the long-distance train station, because not all courses go to the port. Ticket prices are affordable even in first class. Tickets can be purchased in advance via the Internet or in the traditional way at the machine or counter. It is recommended to buy a non-train ticket, because in the city of Pisa the leaning tower invites you to take a little detour. There are also many restaurants and cafes that invite you to have a little refreshment.
Toremar and Moby Lines, among others, offer a high-frequency ferry service between Piombino and Portoferraio (Elba). Tickets can be bought online or, alternatively, on the spot in the shipping company's sales offices. Many travel agencies also sell tickets. If you are a pedestrian, booking in advance is actually not necessary, as there is almost always enough space. However, if you want to embark a motor vehicle, a reservation during the high season makes sense, as the demand can be very high. In the off-season it is much more relaxed.
Crystal clear sea water, beautiful sandy beaches
Elba is not a party island, but ideal for relaxed family vacations. Of course there are also bars and nighttime restaurants, but the many sandy beaches are calm and relaxed. For example, Marina Di Campo has a very beautiful sandy bay that is extremely shallow. Umbrellas and loungers as well as lockers and changing rooms are available for a fee. Gastronomy, for example a small pizzeria, is also on site.
The sea water is crystal clear and shaped by many fish. In the shallow bays there are mostly juvenile fish, as they are largely safe from larger predators that would simply swim up. Occasionally sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand and with luck you can meet a full-grown animal in the water or, with even more luck, experience a special spectacle: bathers were repeatedly greeted by hundreds of baby turtles that saw the light of day and made their way into the Mediterranean looking, surprised. The reptiles are under strict species protection and must not be touched. The Italian authorities have no joke here and impose draconian penalties on those who disturb the turtles and other protected animals.
Elba generally has a lot to offer, but public bus transport can be expanded a lot. The timetables are sometimes difficult to understand and many routes are only operated with low frequency outside the main season. So if you want to explore the entire beauty of the island, you should rent a rental car. This can be done both in Pisa and directly on the island with various providers. Alternatively, guided tours can be booked in the offices of various tour operators, over the Internet or through hotel receptions. The price for taxi rides is affordable, but the costs add up quickly, so that a rental car or guided tours are cheaper on the whole.
The mountains of the island of Elba also invite you to hike, because both the landscape and the view of the Mediterranean Sea are breathtaking. The architecture of the small villages is also absolutely worth seeing. So it is worth moving away from the typical tourist hotspots, because you get a lot to see. The specialist magazine Geo has this link some tips provided. One or the other place is certainly ideal for excursions that leave lasting impressions.
Don't forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa
As already mentioned, the island of Elba is ideal for quiet family vacations. If you travel by plane via Pisa, the stop at the leaning tower is almost a must. This place is naturally overcrowded in the main season, so longer waiting times are to be expected. However, if a view from the outside is enough for you, you can simply walk past the building and take photos free of charge. Many airlines, including lowcosters, fly to Pisa Airport very frequently. The onward journey to Elba can be made with Silver Air or by ferry from Piombino. Tickets for public transport in Elba are also available at counters at the airport, at the main train station and in various shops. In some places there are also vending machines in different languages.