Before we start, we want you to know that in today's schedule we're not going to the beach..so it's up to you to decide when to go, depending on the weather and what you want to do!
Leaving from Portoferraio, head for Porto Azzurro-Rio nell'Elba. Once you start going uphill, after a few bends, on your left you'll see a grit open space with a grey gate: you have arrived at the Roman Villa of the Grottos. Sung by Ovid, it dates back to I century BC, and the view of the gulf of Portoferraio from here is breathtaking.
Start off again, and as soon as the road starts going along the hills you will come to a sign on your left that says Magazzini, Bagnaia. Take this road and follow it until you get to a long, straight stretch; at one point you can turn off for a quick stop at the hillside Romanesque church of Santo Stefano alle Trane; but although the view is fantastic from here too., it is nothing compared to what lies ahead...
Keep going in the direction of Bagnaia. You will see a narrow, steep road on your right (be very careful and don't let the wonderful view distract you, always blow the horn at each blind bend!) that leads to the foot of the most ancient fortification on the Island of Elba: the Volterraio Castle. Here we will grant you a longer stop so you can admire the fantastic view of the gulf of Portoferraio, the Scoglietto, the islands of Capraia and Corsica, and the Tuscan coastline with the Apennines behind it on the horizon.
The last photograph and a last look at the view, then back in the car to continue your tour of the Island.
Follow the road from the castle until you get to Rio nell'Elba, where, if you wish, you can go to go to Nisporto and see the old, public wash houses that are still in use, the Park Offices, and, if you have time, the Museum of Minerals and Archeology.
Back in the car, go past the tiny Santa Caterina Hermitage and head for Cavo, the furthermost seaside town on the eastern side of the Island, very popular among tourists during the summer months. Keep going along the sea front, past the red sands beach of Cala Seregola, then the completely black sands one of Topinetti, well worth a glance, and you will get to the small sea town of Rio Marina; here too you can go and see the Mineral Museum and the beautiful famous open air mines.
Your tour of the Island now takes you in the direction of Porto Azzurro. Before you actually get there, take a right turning for the Monserrato Sanctuary, a tiny Spanish sanctuary high up on the hills inhabited by wild goats.
Once you get to Porto Azzurro, make a point of stopping in the main square; it is very bright and lively, with many restaurants and bars, and you can drink your aperitif sitting at one of the tables outside.
At this point Portoferraio is about a 15-20 drive from here, so we suggest you go back to your hotel for a quick shower and a rest. Rather than getting back into your car, we suggest you stretch your legs and finish the day off by going out for dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in the historical part of Portoferraio.
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