Napoleon Bonaparte may have been forced into exile here in 1814, but nowadays this picturesque Tuscan island draws no end of visitors who come by their own free will. Offshore in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Elba is a mountainous mirage of glowing beaches, turquoise waters, and craggy coastline. The island capital’s sun-faded pink and yellow buildings stack up over the waterfront, offering sweeping views back to the mainland. The harbour's tiny wooden fishing boats are now dwarfed by the gleaming yachts that visit, and Elba invites you to join them, dropping in to relish a secluded, sun-soaked taste of the island's good life.
Elba is the third biggest Italian island, and the protected Tuscan archipelago’s largest, with no fewer than 90 miles of gorgeous coastline rolling out for you to explore. Grown from the ruins of the Roman settlement of Fabricia, steep fortifications and a scenic natural harbour all add to Portoferraio's appeals.
Bonaparte hung around for just ten months - but the sea panorama from his former residence, Villa dei Mulini - which is now a museum - keeps visitors coming back for more. An island of steep inclines, which reward with spectacular vistas, Elba’s villages cling to precipitous drops, while beautiful beaches unravel along its shores and enchanting scenery of chestnut tree woods, olive groves and vineyards coat its lands. Take the cable car up to Monte Capanne - which offers more of the island's trademark views, without the need to break a sweat. Settle down to taste the island’s succulent seafood, and tuck into juicy, grilled sardines and plump octopus - rounded off with a glass of the famous local, sweet wine.