Level of difficulty: easy
Length of route: 20,5 km
Type of road: tarmacadam 20%, grit 80% Average time it takes: 2,30 hours
The journey starts in Piazza Cavatore, opposite the Town Offices in Capoliveri. As soon as you leave the town, take the old, mining road - level most of the way - in the direction of the mines that goes half way along the coast on the south west side of Monte Calamita. For most of this first part of your journey, you have a good view of the southern part of the Island, as far as the furthermost point of Fetovaia and even of the distant slopes of Monte Capanne.
After about six kilometres, you are past the old mine of Monte Calamita, and the road now starts to go slowly uphill, through pines, robinias and mimosas, and 10 km further along you reach Fattoria delle Ripalte, a holiday resort with all the facilities, a restaurant, bar and riding school. The area is far away from any noise and confusion so typical of tourist resorts, and seems to have been built specifically for those who want a quiet and peaceful holiday surrounded by nature.
Unfortunately you can still see the damage caused by a huge forest fire last year in what used to be one of the most rugged and pristine coasts of the entire island, and where there is an environmentally protected area for the reproduction of game.
Once you go past several gates that close off what is private property, you get to a cartroad that, from the 200 metres above sea level of the Fattoria delle Ripalte, starts to slowly wind downwards, with the view of the eastern coastline of the promontory ahead of you all the way.
As you pedal your way through some lush greenery, you can admire the breathtaking view of the north east part of the island, the mainland and the small inlets below of Stagnone, Buzzancone and Cala Nova with their beaches that remain deserted even during the summer. Once you get to Calagrande, with the beaches of Ferrato and Straccoligno to your left, you get back on to the tarmacadamed road, that slowly takes you back up to Capoliveri.
Lo Scoglio - MTB School - The school organizes mountain bike courses and excursions, surrounded by the Mediterranean scrub with breathtaking views of the sea round the Island of Elba. All the instructors are S.I.M.B., and will teach you all you need to know about mountain bike excursions as well as a little mechanics.
If you wish to book or need any information:
CICLI BRANDI - Via Carducci, 33 PORTOFERRAIO tel. 0565.914128
Information from Riccardo Burchianti