HI I'M... ELBA
Famous for being the world’s best place to be exiled…
Napoleon was sent here after causing havoc in post-revolution France ⚔
Jammy bastard… Elba’s a dreamy mix of forest and beach, where villas tumble down hillsides and red partridges make their nests in the protected marine reserve.
Say Ciao to Elba…
PrisonsLock me up and throw away the keys…
Napoleon doesn't get paradise jail all to himself. The teeny island of Pianosa used to be a prison, but it had to be shut down - who wouldn’t commit a crime to live here?
Part of The Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago Toscano (the biggest marine reserve in Europe), Pianosa is the wildest island, home to the 'Neptune’s shaving brush' seaweed. Whadda name.
But it was Napoleon’s ‘prison’ that put Elba on the map. History geeks come from far and wide to visit Villa dei Mulini - his (first) exile home.
You can still view his Baroque-style bedroom, library and lovely garden. Don’t know why he felt the need to escape back to Paris…
NatureIt’s time to throw your phone off a mountain and do a George of the Jungle call.
In Elba you can climb a mountain in the morning and lie spreadeagled on the beach in the afternoon.
Hike (or stand in the birdcage cable car) up to Elba’s highest point, Monte Capanne. At 1018m high, kiss the earth and take in the panorama. All those islands…
Later choose from the hundreds of hidden coves or lengths of sandy beach. Try Felciaio beach for diving, La Paolina beach for history (Napoleon’s sister rated it) or Innamorata beach for long walks down the coast.
FoodFor a tiny island, Elba has more first-class restaurants than most capital cities.
Ristoro Agricolo Montefabbrello grows its own wheat to make pasta, grapes to make wine and olives to make oil. It’s a wholly sustainable farm, serving up the best Tuscan grub from it’s veg patch.
Capo Nord is a five star beach restaurant with boat furniture and views across the sea. The seafood pasta dishes are what makes this place. Spaghetti with clams, octopus or whatever’s caught that afternoon are served like something straight outta Chef’s Table.
If you’re trying to impress bae, head to Paglicce Beach Restaurant. With tables on the sand, sharing nibbly bits and cheap (but great) rosé, you’re on to a winner.
DrinkYou’ll get lip-smacking wine anywhere you go, but for a bit of buzz try L’Angolo bar in Portoferraio.
Grab a streetside table and order the island’s famous sweet wine “Aleatico Passito dell’Elba”. Apparently Napoleon was a big fan…
To get here fly to Pisa then it's a 1.5 hour train to Piombino port and a 40 minute ferry to Elba. 150% worth it.