Views for days
Why you should go there: Well, as the title states, it has some of the most scenic trails we have ridden. As the island is quite small, most trails have sea view at some point and the nature is just beautiful. Additionally, there are trails for everyone that is willing to pedal to get to the top.
It has become popular among bikers and also other tourists to visit Elba in one day. Not only do most tours only ride in one or two areas, thay also miss out on the beautiful little towns, the relaxed lifestyle in the offseason and the great restaurants. We would advise to spend a few days on the beautiful island in order to get the most out of it.
Elba is very touristic and the population that is only about 30’000 inhabitants in winter multiplies with a large factor during the high season months in summer. In the shoulder season, when places start to re-open (starting in April) the weather is not too hot yet and ideal for biking.
As the island is quite small, there are only a few bike shops. Make sure to bring everything that you need and maybe a few spares (e.g. tire, breakpads, etc.) as the shops are very small and only stock a few spare parts.
Who is it for: If you go out riding to enjoy nature, enjoy the chilled vibe and want to pedal yourself, this is for you. If you are a technically skilled rider, you can really benefit from Elba, as some descents can be challenging.
Who should avoid it: If you like to ride very easy trails and dont want to pedal up, this is not for you. Also, if you look for a place with a big biking scene, shops, etc. there might be better options.
The trails on Elba island are very different from their characteristics. There are four main Areas:
The Bike Park Capoliveri has served as cross country race track a few times. Therefore, there are many great uphill and downhill trails that are usually well maintained. Most trails are easy from a technical point of view. On the south west end, you will ride through an old mine that has been abandonned in the 80ties. There is no possiblity for shuttle here but a good area for an ebike.
The north eastern side of the island, around Cima del Monte features a few built trails that have a bit of an adventurous character and should only be ridden by riders with a good technical ability. If we had to choose to leave out an area, we would pick this one.
Bike Land Elba Ovest has a large number of purpose built enduro trails. They vary in terms of flow and difficulty. Generally, everyhting that is in the forest is flowyer and trails out in the open (mostly south facing) are rockier and more technical. The rocks and rock slabs are granite and very grippy. This area is also used for shuttles by Elba Freeride which is very efficient.
There are also a few trails around the town of Lacona that can be recommended. The rocks here get rather greasy when they are wet, so we would advise to pick a dry day for them.
There are more trail areas in Elba, especially the trails in the north west are supposed to be great. It is however harder to get to them and especially getting back to your starting point is rather painful.
Top Trails & Tours
Food & Drinks
As the area we are covering is huge, it is quite difficult to point out the best places. Here are a few that we liked:
Rick’s: Great bar in Porto Azzurro to start or end your night. Knowledgable bartenders that take pride in their job. $
Aquarilli: Outside bar close to Lacona overlooking the sea with nice music and great drinks. $
Ristorante Pizzeria Calafata: Your go-to place for a simple meal in Porto Azzurro. $
Osteria Clandestina: Very good not everyday food in Porto Azzurro. Also good for vegetarians. $$
Frecchia Azzurra: This is where the locals eat in Capoliveri. $
Sale Grosso: Fancy sea food with great service in Marciana Marina. $$
Elba island basically consists only of hotels, campgrounds and vacation appartments. However, if you visit during the off- or shoulder season, you might find it difficult to find a place that is open and has heating.
More than Biking
The content of this website is just an opinion of a few individuals. It is not based on scientific research and some facts may have changed since the last visit. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for anything we have covered on this website.
You might be riding on shared trails! Yield to other trail users and animals! Control your speed, leave no traces and don’t shortcut corners! Thank you!
Last on-site research: 2022
entries with this icon have been recently tested by the author