Excursion on the eastern side of the island, among hawks and pheasants

Length of route: 4 km;
Average time it takes: 3 hours;
Level of difficulty: easy.

You start off at Capo Castello, one kilometre north of Cavo, near the Villa Tonietti that you can get to from along the John Kennedy sea front, either from the bus stop or from the port. Here you have two choices: go down along the cliff under Capo Vita or follow the mule track that goes half way along the coast.

If you choose the cliff road, you have a 20 minute, hard walk ahead of you, then you go along a narrow path that, after going across low scrub, joins up with a mule track near a farmhouse. You'll know you've reached it when you see a green painted boulder.

Fresh scrub consisting mainly of strawberry trees runs alongside the cobbled mule track that is about 2 metres wide and quite stoney. Once you get to a junction - here you can see the Tonietti Mausoleum​ in the distance - take the right turning that takes you to Capo della Vita, the most northern part of the island, in a few minutes. From here onwards, the mule track becomes a very narrow path, but from time to time you can see the coves of Cancherelli and Mandriola; the scrub consists mostly of rosemary, myrtle and juniper.

After about 500 metres, take the 1,50 metre wide mule track that goes through dense vegetation, mostly holm oaks, and from time to time you can admire the Pisciatoio Cove, as well as the entry to the port in Portoferraio in the distance. This area is very rich in pheasants. Keep going for about 45 minutes and you get to a clearing (112 m a.s.l.) with pines, black pines and Aleppo pines all round, rising above the holm oaks. The Tonietti Mausoleum is on your left. You might even come across a green whip snake, that is harmless, or see several species of hawks.

On the right of the clearing you'll see a short path; in five minutes it takes you to a mule track, 1,50 metres wide and easy to walk on, that leads on to a thick holm oak wood. After walking for about 20 minutes you get to a wider open space, and from here you can start going down to the Pisciatoio Cove.

A further 20 minutes walking to do and the mule track suddenly comes to an end, so go towards the house surrounded by greenery, it will only take you a few minutes. From the house you reach the tarmacadamed road, then turn left and head uphill; when you see a gate you know you've reached the private property. Next take the road made of crushed stones mixed with tarmacadam that goes down to the sea where Cavo is.

Information from the Tuscan Archipelago Tourism Promotion Offices

Further reading

Tonietti Mausoleum
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