Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago Toscano

Tuscan Archipelago

The Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago Toscano safeguards the delicate ecosystems of Elba's seven islands as well as the 600 sq km of sea that washes around them. It's Europe's largest protected marine area and is home to rare species such as the Neptune's shaving brush seaweed, unique to the archipelago.

Monk seals, driven from other islands by humans, still gambol in the deep underwater ravines off Montecristo. The islands serve as an essential rest stop for birds migrating between Europe and Africa. The shy red partridge survives on Elba and Pianosa and the archipelago supports more than a third of the world's population of the Corsican seagull, adopted as the national park's symbol.

On Elba, the park runs a visitor centre in Portoferraio.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tuscan Archipelago attractions

1. Spiaggia di Cavoli


The shingle-sand beach at Cavoli, just 6km west of Marina di Campo, is particularly family-friendly, thanks to its beach cafe, sun loungers, pedalos and…

2. Acquario dell'Elba


More than 150 Mediterranean species inhabit this modest aquarium, making it a good grey-day option. It’s 2km northeast of town, signposted off the SP30 to…

3. Monte Perone

7.04 MILES

Just south of Poggio, the SP37 winds to a well-signed picnic site at the foot of Monte Perone (630m). To the left (east) you can wander up the mountain to…

4. Santuario della Madonna del Monte

8.45 MILES

To enjoy an invigorating 40-minute hike, head up through Marciana along Via della Madonna to reach this much-altered hilltop chapel with its 13th-century…

6. Calamita: Miniere di Capoliveri

10.39 MILES

Guided tours take visitors from a small site museum in Vallone, 11km south of Capoliveri, to the Genevro mine where magnetite was extracted until the…

7. Villa Romana delle Grotte

10.8 MILES

About 5km out of Portoferraio town, wander through the ruins of this 1st-century-BC Roman villa overlooking the sea at Punta delle Grotte and you will be…

8. Area Archeologica della Linguella

11.43 MILES

The 16th-century Torre del Martello was where Napoleon was 'imprisoned' at the start of his fleeting exile on Elba in 1814 and the russet-red, hexagonal…