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The tiny island off the Tuscan coast with the best beaches in Italy

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Elba Island Beaches
Carlo Pelagalli [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Elba has the best beaches in Italy

Welcome to tiny Ebla, an island off the Tuscan coast of Italy. At just 86 square miles, it’s about 60% of the size of Detroit, but it is the largest of seven islands comprising the Tuscan Archipelago. It doesn’t carry the fame of Corsica or Sardinia, or the swanky cachet of Capri, but Elba is the place to go for the best beaches in Italy.

A lush, craggy island ringed in fine beaches, Elba is a relatively untouched eden.

Aerial View of Elba
By Mjobling (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
On mainland Italy, many of the famous beaches of the Italian Riviera and Amalfi Coast are rocky, and it’s sometimes not quite the same to dig your feet in the pebbles. And then, there’s also this:

Crowded Beach in Italy
Source: Boss Tweed | Flickr.Com Licensed Under Creative Commons 2.0

That might be what you’re thinking when you think of beaches in Italy. But you’re certainly not thinking of this:

Elba Island Beaches

Or this:

Elba Island Beaches
Thhe at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
That’s what you get on Elba. White and golden sand on dozens of beautiful and less-populated beaches.

Typical wisdom dictates that, for places in Europe, the more beautiful a place is, the more congested it will be with travelers. But Elba is a sandy playground for beach-lovers, and without the glut of tourists.

In fact, the folks over at Rough Guides award four of the top seven beaches in Italy to Elba.

Elba Island Beaches
Carlo Pelagalli [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re seeking real relaxation in the Mediterranean, maybe Elba is right for you. In fact, TripAdvisor lists 131 things to do on Elba, and 63 of them are beaches. If you’re a “feet in the sand” type, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Elba Island Beaches
By philiTizzani (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you prefer, though, there is some history to explore here. Following the Treaty of Fountainbleu, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled here in 1814. This was his first exile, before his final exile to the tiny island of Saint Helena.

The natural question on our minds isn’t why he was exiled there, but why he ever left.

Elba Island Beaches

Elba Island Beaches

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