I guess, as you are here, that you are planning a vacation on Elba Island in the Archipelago of Tuscany, Italy?
And even better you are looking to do some hiking in Elba with kids? Great, then this is the perfect place for you to start your research for your family holiday on Elba.
We absolutely loved our two weeks stay on the Island of Elba, Italy, and are highly recommending it for families that love nature.
Depending on the time of the year of your family vacation to Elba, your hiking adventures in Elba will have to be carefully planned, due to the heat.
The island of Elba offers a great mix of hikes and even on a summer holiday stay in Elba you can plan to do some great hikes with the family.
Below you will find 4 simple but beautiful hiking trails on Elba which we completed during our summer holiday on Elba in June 2021.
Where is Elba Island?
If you’re not sure where the beautiful small island of Elba is, and to which country it belongs here is a quick explanation.
Elba Island, or with the local name – Isola d’Elba is part of Tuscany – (the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago) and lies off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenien Sea.
The island is relatively small, and with a coast line of as little as 147km, it is easy to drive around Elba in one day.
For a bit of history, Elba was the island where Napoleon Bonaparte was placed in exile following his forced abdication. He is credited with a number of reforms which improved the quality of life on Elba. If you wish to read more on his life on Elba you can do so here.
How to get to the Island of Elba in Italy ?
The easiest way to travel to Elba is by ferry from the harbour at Piombino on the Tuscan mainland to the harbour of Portoferraio on Elba. What we loved is that it is a short crossing of a little over one hour.
When Best to visit Elba Island in Italy ?
We travelled to Elba mid-June and neither at the ferry port nor on the island have we experienced many people. It was pleasant and we even found some of Elbas best beaches, deserted. On pretty much every hike we made in Elba, we did not see a single person. Speaking to the locals, they did mention that the beginning of July through to the end of August is peak season.
It will also be the hottest season of the year and this is why your hiking plans on Elba need to be carefully planned.
During the spring season you will encounter the spring flowers on Elba which would be a nice experience. Also, the climate during this time will be perfect to do some hiking on Elba .
4 Great Hikes on Elba for the Family
These four great family hikes in Elba will give you jaw dropping vistas, fresh sea breezes, and perfumed pine forest trails which will stay in your memory for a long time.
Allow half a day for each of these hikes, and there is plenty of time to hit the Elba beaches afterwards. (Check out our Best Beaches on Elba Guide)
On the map below, you can see the starting location of each hike.
No 1, The Enfola circuit trail on Elba in Italy
To reach the beautiful Enfola peninsula on the northwest side of the Island of Elba, simply follow the municipal road known as the Enfola – Viticcio road from Portoferraio.
Right at the foot of the peninsula you will find a pay car park. Hopefully you will be lucky and there is space as this is also the car park for the Enfola beach.
Enfola was once the Island’s Tuna factory where the fish went through the canning process before being exported..
Our family hike on Elba started right at the side of the ancient Tuna factory and zigzags up the Enfola peninsula. You will be rewarded with great Mediterranean vistas and every so often a welcoming sea breeze cools you down. Along the path put your hand through the large bushes of wild Rosemary which give a fantastic aroma. During season you also find blueberries along the trail.
There is not much shade until you reach the circular path, therefore bring plenty of water and dress light when hiking the Enfola Trail during the summer.
On the way you will encounter some old ruins from the second world war which make great photo opportunities. Unfortunately, some are being used for a “toilet” break 🙁
At what looks like an ancient toilet block, (see above) continue on the main path. The trail continues to a narrow forest path leading to an area with a picnic table and a mysterious tunnel.
It was all part of a defence system built during the second world war. Give the kids your phone so they can use the torch and venture through the tunnel. The exit will be some metres along the path.
After the 2nd set of tunnels on Monte Enfola you will come to a junction. The circuit path will continue to your right. But you could take the path on your left which will guide you down a fairly steep section to some viewpoints. We stopped at the 1st viewpoint which was beautiful enough for us to skip going all the way down.
You must return to the main circuit path to carry on your hike on Enfola mountain.
Continue on the path (path 208) until you have completed the circuit by arriving back at the toilet block.
Now, all that is left, head back down to the car, grab your swimming stuff and enjoy the crystal clear water at Enfola Beach in Elba Italy.
Enfola Hiking Map
Location: Enfola Peninsula Northwest Elba – Near Protoferraio
Experience: Beautiful Vistas, circuit hike
Distance: 4.6 km circle trail / T1 maybe T2 due to the heat and some uphill
Ascent /169m, Descent / 169m (About 220m if you go to the end of the viewpoint)
Good to know
- Restaurant at the beach in Enfola
- Bring your swimming gear as there is a great beach at Enfola
- If the car park is full you can find parking along the road
- Bring lots of water
- Wear good shoes
No 2, Follow the Butterly Trail on Monte Perone, Elba Italy
This trail can be extended to the viewing point on top of Monte Perone or hike just to the foot of it where the official Butterfly trail in Elba will stop.
Make your way up to Monte Perone picnic place, which is on the highest point of the road when driving up from Marciana side before descending to Campo Nell’Elba.
Even on a hot day, this hike can still be pleasant due to its altitude (605m) and you may also get a nice sea breeze when reaching the higher part of the hike.
At the picnic place you will find parking places on both sides of the road, although the Butterfly hiking trail on Elba is on the right-hand side when looking towards Campo Nell Elba.
Follow the gravel road, quite steep up and start counting the numerous Butterflies dancing within the beautiful nature of the forest at Monte Perone.
Once you have reached the top of the gravelly steep path, you will find an open Mediterranean meadow with large rocks and different flowers. It is here where you can sit down and observe the many butterflies dancing around you and feeding on the flowers. A beautiful spectacle to observe.
Furthermore, you get rewarded with a 360-degree vista on all sides of Elba, included the top of Monte Capano. Simply to reach this point is well worth the effort.
Carry on to the top
After a break on the very large rockpile (of course we had to climb to the top of the rock pile) we went a bit higher and climbed to the next mountain top which is part of the “Grande Traversata trail”
It is a bit of a scramble at some points, but nothing too extreme nor strenuous.
The views from the top where even more breathtakingly beautiful than before and with a gentle cooling sea breeze this was a beautiful experience.
From here to the peak the path has ropes and chains and so we decided this was enough for us. You return to your car on the same path.
Elba Hiking Map, Butterfly trail on Monte Perone & Climb up to Monte Manola
Location: Monte Perone – West Side of Elba
Experience: Beautiful Vistas over the island of Elba
Distance: 3.9 km circle trail / T2, T3 if you hike the 2nd pat to the top.
Ascent /241m, Descent / 241m
Good to know
- No restaurants nor toilets are available at the parking place or on this hike
- Bring lots of water
- Wear good shoes
No 3, Discover the Mausoleum Tower on Elba, Italy
If you have not yet been all the way north to Capo Castello, then add this Elba hike onto your list because the starting point is in the charming seaside village of Cavo.
Park your car in one of the dedicated parking places within Cavo. On the map above, you can see where the trail to the Mausoleum Tower starts and because I don’t’ know where you will park, just make your way there. Maybe make a photo of this map for help later. There are some parking possibilities near by but they are very limited and right next to the road.
Now, follow the gravel forest path uphill until you reach a junction with 2 picnic tables.
If you now look into the sky along the path to your right you will see the top of the neogothic style Mausoleum Tower which is only some 30 metres away from this point.
Have fun discovering the tower which is also a great photographic place, but be careful when entering the tower. It is run down and the spiral stair case is rusty and some steps are missing.
You will go back down to Cavo following the same path. Should you like to do some more hiking in Cavo, you can see on the hiking map different trails, they can help you to plot your day and hiking routes in Elba.
Elba Hiking Map to the Torreti Mausoleum Tower
Location: Village Cavo – Northeast side of Elba
Experience: Beautiful views from the Mausoleum Tower
Distance: 2.4 km there and back trail / T1,
Ascent /95m, Descent / 95m
Good to know
- No restaurants nor toilet are available at the tower, but obviously plenty of possibilities in Cavo Village.
- Bring lots of water although the hike is mostly within the forest.
- Wear good shoes
No 4, Part of the Calamita Walk – Mineral mine at Capoliveri, Elba, Italy
Originally, we actually did not plan on doing a hike here at the Mineral Mines but more to search for interesting rocks. In the end it turned out to be a very nice and simple family hike in Elba.
Drive to the ancient Mineral Mines at Punta Calamita near Capoliveri. This is also the location of the mines museum, should this be of interest to your family. They offer guided tours down to the actual mine areas. We opted against a guided tour.
Park your car at the very spacious area right at the Mine Museum entrance at Calamita, there are also several picnic places with beautiful views over the Mediterranean sea.
The whole Calamita Mountain area is the bike park of Capoliveri and every mountain bikers’ heart is beating high here. E-Bikes and normal mountain bikes can be rented at Capoliveri Bike shop, just for your info. We did not bring our bikes, as after all the research, there would really only be one bike track on Elba suitable for the kids and we found it pointless to bring the bikes all the way from Switzerland for one track. Yes, we could have rented some but opted instead for a hike.
Back to the hike in Elba
You can make a circular trail starting on the right-hand side of the mine area by heading down the Calamita Bike track.
It looks like the whole Elba bike park is very well organised and it seemed there is a one-way system in place. Therefore, this particular track is an uphill track for the mountain bikes, so we were relaxed when walking down and were not surprised by descending speedy mountain bikers.
Soon you get to a place from where you can see down to the sea shore and to the mines. It is also here where you should start to look for some rocks that sparkle. Be warned, depending on your kids you might need to bring an empty backpack to carry all the rocks back up and home. J
Our kids absolutely LOVE rocks, any rocks, and if they are glittering even a tiny bit, then they automatically turn into diamonds and crystals in their eyes. Needless to say, that our backpacks where pretty full at the end of the hike.
When you see a canyon formed by two large rocks head in this direction. There is also a picnic table and a beautiful view down to Remaiolo Beach and beyond.
You can continue on this path which brings you to a road the leads back up to the minery museum car park. Alternatively, you could hike down to the beach and then simply take that same road back up.
Elba Hiking Map, Punta Calamita and the Mineral Minery at Capoliveri, Elba Italy
Location: Mineral Minery Capoliveri – Punta Calamita – Southeast side of Elba
Experience: Beautiful views over Punta Calamita, Great Rock findings
Distance: 2.5 km circle trail / T2, T3 if you hike the 2nd path to the top.
Ascent /220m, Descent / 220m
Good to know
- Snack bar and picnic tables available at the mineral Mine Museum in Capoliveri
- Guided tours available from the Museum
- Bring lots of water
- Wear good shoes
- Not a lot of shade on the trail
- You could start this hike at Capoliveri and do the full circle hike at Calamita Point
Our Thoughts on Hiking in Elba with Kids
Hiking is part of our lives and even our just 6 years old twins have done probably more hikes than most other 6 year olds. Still we have found the length and sometimes strenuous nature of all these 4 hikes on Elba just enough, given the hot environment we were in.
Also, when hiking in Switzerland there are normally many places where you can fill up your water bottle, which was not the case on Elba. Therefore, you will have to bring your water supply, and because it is hot you might need to double that supply to what you’re used to when hiking at home.
The hikes all provided beautiful views over the Mediterranean Sea and on many occasions we could see the shape of Elba which was beautiful.
Even if you are a beach loving family, we highly recommend to do at least these four hikes on Elba with your kids. It will give you further insight of the island, and amazing Elba views that cannot be seen from your beach towel!
You may also like these following post about Tuscany & Italy
- Elba : Best beaches on Elba island. How to get there and More
- FLORENCE :: Best way to visit Florence in a day with kids
- PISA :: Visit Pisa “Piazza dei Miracoli” in half a day with kids
- 9 Days Liguria & Tuscany Road trip
- Cinque Terre with Kids :: How Best to visit in One Day – Stress Free
- 26 Amazing Photos through Otranto’s Old Town
- Lecce – 11 Amazing family friendly activities not to be missed
So, I hope you enjoyed reading Hiking on Elba with Kids – Tuscany Italy, and are planning your next trip to Elba, Tuscany soon.
If I have left anything out, please ask your questions in the comments below and share your experience, so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries and stories as well
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