This is the most beautiful side of the island, where the sea is clear and the walks are the most fascinating. The following places near Sant’Andrea are not to be missed.
Nestling at a height of 630 m, the medieval mountain village of Marciana is a maze of steps and alleys to be explored. It is a real pleasure to walk up through the town, passing under medieval vaults and through alleyways and finding yourself all of a sudden in little squares decorated with potted geraniums and dahlias, the pride of the Marciana locals. Places to visit include the 17th century church of San Francesco, the Pisan Fortressand the Archaeology Museum. The very well conserved town has panoramic views and a temperate microclimate, which makes it a real haven.
This picturesque traditional fishing harbour, now also equipped as a marina, comes to life mainly in summer. Visitors should see the “Cotone” quarter, which is the true old town and where the quaint, pastel coloured houses resemble the villages found on the Ligurian coast of the Italian Riviera, and the Medici Tower.
This old town is a few kilometres from Marciana. Hidden among chestnut woods, there is a mountain spring named after Napoleon. Apparently, the emperor, during his ten-month stay on Elba, insisted on having this water at his table for every meal.
The main road which leads from Marciana and St. Andrea and follows the coastline along the western end of Elba towards Cavoli and Marina di Campo, offering spectacular views of gulfs, promontories, and hamlets of small, white houses. Even in high season, it is always possible to find a quiet, peaceful corner. For example, La Zanca, Patresi and its lighthouse, Chiessi, or Pomonte. If you take this drive at sunset, stop at Punta Nera (between Patresi and Chiessi) where the dark cliffs hovering over the sea mark the westernmost point on the island. Enjoy the sun’s last rays glistening on the water and rocks, and feel the gently blowing breeze.