The secret of finding a beach where the sea is calm and crystal clear lies in how well you are able to understand exactly which wind is blowing, and then you know to go to a beach on the opposite side of the island. Look at the direction the flags are flying in, or ask the owner of the hotel you're staying in, or any elderly person you meet along the street, or visit our website at the page on the weather forecast in Elba and the best beaches depending on which way the wind is blowing: that way a swim is a certainty.
If you want your holiday to be well organized, always keep two beaches in mind: one on the north side of the island, the other on the south, that way you will never be disappointed by the sea in Elba.
Don't forget there are always those tiny coves and gorges along the coast you can always go to, that are so well concealed and sheltered that even Aeolus, god of the wind, is unaware of their existence...
Anyway, if it is a scirocco wind (south west) that is blowing, make sure you go to one of the northern beaches in Portoferraio, like Le Ghiaie, or La Padulella, Capo Bianco or Sansone: all are white shingle beaches with white cliffs behind, famous for being within, or at least not far from, the Environmentally Protected Area, as is also Lo Scoglietto, opposite Le Ghiaie. Fishing has been forbidden in this area for over ten years so as to protect the marine fauna and help it reproduce...should you go underwater with your mask and snorkel you will understand why the area has such an incredible amount of different species of fish.
If, On the other hand, if the wind is from the north, head for the Costa del Sole and go to either Cavoli, Seccheto or Fetovaia: their white quarzite sands are even more beautiful when the mistral or greco wind is blowing: the crystal clear sea together with the hills at your back make you feel as if you're on one of the Caribbean beaches. Unfortunately these are also among some of the most crowded beaches on the island, but, with the blue sea in front of you and a clear blue sky above, you won't even notice the people around you.
Suggestions from Infoelba: once the mistral, north or greco wind has stopped blowing, go to the cable car up to the highest peak on Elba, in Monte Capanne. In the crisp, clear air it will seem like you are holding all the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago like a string of pearls in the palm of your hand.