There are both ferries and large boats from various towns on the Island of Elba that take you on daily trips to the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Since all seven of the Mediterranean jewels are very near one another, it doesn't take long to get to Pianosa, Giglio, Capraia, and, although here there are some restrictions in force, also to Montecristo. On the Island of Elba you can also hire a boat- with or without a skipper - and go sailing along the Mediterranean. Since the spring of 2016, from the port of Livorno, you have also been allowed to go to the Island of Gorgona
During the summer months, a crossing of one hour and 45 minutes with the Aquavision shipping company from Portoferraio or from Marciana Marina takes you to rugged Capraia .
Before getting to the actual port, the boat stops at Cala Rossa, where the suggestive red rocks, deposited over hundreds of years of magmatic eruptions, remind us that this is the only island in the Archipelago of volcanic origin.
You can now go to Pianosa and admire it's unique, breathtaking beauty at any time of the year. It takes just under an hour from Elba to get there, but since access up to a mile from the island is granted to authorised ships only, we advise you to go on a guided excursion.
Crossings are done by the Aquavision Shipping Company from the port in Marina di Campo, and every Tuesday the Toremar Shipping Company also does a crossing from Rio Marina.
Once you're on Pianosa you can choose from four ways of going round the island: on foot, by bus, by horse drawn carriage or by mountain bike, and if you wish you can go inland and see what up till not long ago used to be the prison. On days when the weather is good, snorkelling lovers can swim in the crystal clear water and admire the very rich and varied sea bed in Cala San Giovanni. In recent years, the Park Authorities have allowed individual expert scuba divers and small groups, accompanied by environmental guides, to go scuba diving in what are considered today some of the Mediterranean's most unknown waters.
Those who have decided to spend their summer holidays on the Island of Elba may want to go on a day trip to Giglio and discover the second largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago. The crossing from Elba to Giglio leaves from Porto Azzurro on an Aquavision shipping company ferry and takes about two hours.
Before you actually get to the small town on the port you can't help but notice the enchanting and very colourful town of Giglio Porto, with its characteristic, tight fit pastel coloured houses facing the sea, and the narrow alleys and lanes.
During the summer months, the Maregiglio shipping company also does mini cruises from Porto Santo Stefano, with a short stop at the Island of Giglio, to the nearby Island of Giannutri so you can admire the beauty of both islands all in one day.
A visit to Montecristo is a unique experience, and since the island is both a State Integral Natural Reserve and a Biogenetic Natural Reserve visits are very limited. Only a maximum of 1000 visitors per year are allowed, and researchers, nature associations and students are given priority.
In recent years the Park Authorities have started granting permission to those who wish to go on a trip to Montecristo but first they have to apply for permission to the authorities, and it is granted to a maximum of 100 people only with a maximum of 1000 per year: "Montecristo - the re-found Island". Thanks to this initiative, residents in the Commune of Portoferraio, or in Elba, or in the Tuscan Archipelago will be granted permission to visit the island that is without a doubt the most inaccessible and least polluted of the seven jewels that make up the archipelago, and walk along the paths alongside the expert Forest Rangers guides and the Park guides.