An island open year-round. Turquoise and green waters that recall the legend of the seven pearls fallen into the sea from Aphrodite’s neck. Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and thanks to its splendid island loneliness, it’s still a little heaven on heart that sportive people choose it for their vacations.
Paddling among sea gulls and whales, Mountain bike raids on promontories, rides suitable for families looking for little bays, walks through villages lanes and abandoned mines.
There are attractions for every taste and for every passion. As a guide, the tour operator "Il Viottolo", which for 20 years has led to the discovery of the Archipelago with touristic and environmental guides. Kayaking, mountain biking or walking.
"That's why our slogan is: “What do you want to do tomorrow? “" explains the coordinator Vittorio Luisetti.
Among the many activities that you propose on the island, which one is the most popular?
Tourists are always curious about kayaking. There are some people, especially among Italians, that think to paddle and snorkel with the idea of the Red Sea in their heads! In any case, our sea and our waters are no less attractive, in their diversity and specificity. And our kayaks are designed for sea excursion use: a type of closed canoe, fast and stable, designed for long journeys, with space to carry on board luggage and camera gear. You can still choose half-day sea excursions, rather than a weekend or a week, and go from Elba to other islands as Pianosa.
To kayak in the archipelago or around Elba you need a special preparation?
With our guides no. Ability to adapt and team spirit are more important. In our experience, tourists without any training have done very well enjoying themselves and others, with a good physical condition, have instead suffered for sharing spaces and obliged navigation times.
Who are the holidaymakers who love kayaking?
Certainly the younger ones, 30-35 years. But if there is the desire, if you have an adventurous spirit as well as a passion for the sea, there are some tours suitable for families too. We have our skippers who always have the situation under control, to manage every kind of accidents or difficulties.
What about other activities?
The hiking and bike tours are successful too, considering that they please the needs of the most prepared ones and the needs of those who prefer an easy hike, perhaps with children in tow.
Possibilities are endless: free ride on the Monte Capanne that dominates the Archipelago, paths in the Elba mineral park between multicolored iron ore sands, grimpeur steep climbs, easy trails in the woods, downhill towards the sea through the Mediterranean forest.
We have a great variety of walking routes and attractions too: the old mines and the granite quarries which inspired stories of pirates and battles, the prehistoric caves and the Etruscan forts. Then museums, nature, picturesque villages. Walking or cycling along the trails or on the streets, our touristic and environmental guides will show you the treasures of this island that besides the sea has much more to give, away from traditional routes. Finally, all the guided tours include participants transportation, trekkers and bikers, bikes and technical assistance. In short everyone can take part in our tour.
Elba has a mild climate throughout the year and should not be affected by seasonal tourist flows. Is that right?
Unfortunately not. Foreigners move out of season too but Italians still go on holiday in spring and especially in summer. But here you can paddle during autumn too and you can always walk or ride a bike, avoiding the busiest months and at lower prices.
What are your top proposals?
The travelling tours, as the 'Great Elba Crossing', which includes four days of walking and it is affordable even to those who are not trained or to those who like comfort, because you can count on our services, with guidance, assistance, the minibus to transport luggage and hotels overnights. People also like the stage-tour around Elba kayaking, along coasts and bays.
What are you working on for 2016?
We will re-present a few years ago classic: a week sailing between Elba and Corsica, with daily docks for hiking and overnights on board. We expect the tour in June and September, because they are less crowded and confusing, and because the prices are lower than July and August. Then, we plan to broaden our range of destinations, with proposals in Sicily and in the Circeo National Park. In any case, the sea will be the main character…
Is it possible to personalize the vacations?
Of course, we always keep in mind the needs of our visitors, if they want to extend the tour or visit different destinations or have a personalized vacation. It’s also possible to start independently, on foot or by bike, always counting on our support. That’s why we introduce ourselves with the question: "What do you want to do tomorrow?". Just ask, we’ll do the rest!