The Island of Elba, above all in spring and in autumn, is the perfect place for those who love to be out in the open air and go on long walks; no matter what angle you admire the territory from,you can be sure it will improve your physical and mental well being. For another year The Tuscan Archipelago National Park has financed three special events: the spring Walking Festival from April 21st to May 4th, the autumn one from September 20th to October 12th and the Parks Festival from 17th to 25th May.
The leading wire in all the events in 2014 will be the routes that enable you to "Follow Napoleon's footsteps", so that you can discover the history of the island by discovering the traces - still visible today -that the Emperor left behind two hundred years ago while he was forced to stay on the island after the Treaty of Fontainebleu.
Expert guides are at your complete disposal on the walks and excursions, and are more than happy to give you clear explanations as to the level of difficulty of the routes - whether they are easy, or suitable for children, or somewhat difficult or tiring - and each part is described in great detail.
In short, a wide choice of ways to discover the natural beauty of the breathtaking panoramas inspired by the nearby places: the woods , near Napoleon's Villa in San Martino, Portoferraio, or the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte in Marciana, or the scents along the paths of the Orto dei Semplici next to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina in Rio nell'Elba, or the untouched beauty of the Island of Pianosa, or the mines in Rio Marina and Capoliveri, as well as many other unique places spread over the territory of Elba.
Your first Walking Festival appointment is on April 21st. On Easter Sunday, an excursion on the eastern side of the island will take you to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina on Mount Serra (Rio nell'Elba), after which you will be able to visit the Botanical Gardens, with their many typical plants and fruits, and then take part in the Sagra delle Sportella. On the same day, but in Marciana, your appointment starts at the Way of the Cross up to the scenic hermitage of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte,. the place where Napoleon met up with Maria Waleska during his exile in Elba.