NATURE & ADVENTURE
Our welcome: from respect of the environment to the observation of nature, to active tourism.
FREE GUIDED EXCURSIONS
Discover the area and get excited with the FREE outings of TREKKING, KAYAK and SNORKELLING with the Pelagos specialized guides. Consult the program[PDF] and choose the outing you like best! We recommend pre-booking when reserving your stay. The program may be subject to changes.
The beauty of the island and its variety make it a special and unique place for a cycling holiday. For bikers, the Island of Elba is a real paradise: the climate allows the possibility to cycle all year round on different routes of varying difficulties. There are mountain bike tracks for all and for all levels of ability. From the heights of the granite peaks of Mount Capanne (1019m), from where you can dominate all of the Tuscan archipelago, to the spectacular itineraries within the minerary park on the east coast of the island, amongst reddish and multi-coloured sand – two completely different worlds within only a few kilometres! And in between these two worlds there is a plethora of different mountain biking itineraries. There are many other tracks for cyclists looking for technical tracks to train, enjoy spring and autumnal days with mild temperatures and the possibility to enjoy the rest of the day for a dip in the swimming pool, a massage or a stroll in one of the island’s villages with family and friends. Last but not least, Elba is an ideal destination for cyclists who enjoy cycling everywhere without disdaining a stop in a bar or winery, and for discovering the island and its characteristics to the slow and peaceful rhythm of two wheels, with the flavour and smell of the sea and the Mediterranean vegetation in the background. From 2014 Hotel Villa Rita is a Bike Friendly Hotel and is now part of the group: ElbaGoodBike for all the people that would like to visit and discover the island on two wheels we make available the following services in order to make sure your two wheel 'travel companion' will be at ease! Covered bike shelter – on request secure garage Toolkit for basic and routine bike repairs Bicycle washing point Possibility of storing bicycle in your room (please do specify this request at booking time) Information and tracks available at the hotel Luggage transfer to and from ferry or other hotels (please specify this request at time of booking) Coin operated washing machines Menu for sportsmen
To go trekking on Elba means to go through the thousand-year-old history of its inhabitants, from the prehistoric grottos to the ancient, high stone villages; to re-discover Etruscan forts and furnaces; and to visit the ancient granite caves from which the Romans carved out the columns for their monuments. It means to enter into the heart of the earth-- into the now dis-used iron mines, discovering the places where iron was extracted for thousands of years-- and to immerse yourself in the surreal colours of the land and the minerals. You can re-live the age of the Saracen scourge and visit their battle fields, defensive forts, and places destroyed and never-more rebuilt.
But the thing that makes trekking on Elba even more fascinating is the enormous variety of scents and vivid scenes, from the geological formations that in a few kilometers can hold more than 150 geological species of the 200 known (some of which were discovered for the first time right on Elba) which make the environment extremely varied and colourful, to the beaches below, always present in the panoramas seen from the splendid high vistas. Not to mention the variety of plants that a few hours' walk allows the trekker to admire: coastal vegetation, rocky or sandy beaches, passing flowers and the scents of rosemary, lavander, and other species of the native scrub; which also allows room for broom, the strawberry tree, juniper, myrtle, and other types of Mediterranean macchia-up to the forests of oak, and climbing again towards the chestnut woods and conifers of the massive peaks of Mount Capanne. But beyond the huge variety of flora (there are more than 40 species of orchids alone, some of which are native), in every trekking itinerary we will be immersed in the sounds of the birdlife: from that of the sea to that of the mountains.
In the massifs of Mount Capanne we will also meet the mouflons, the undisputed stately masters of the heights. Walking on Elba will allow you to discover and get to know these and other things, thanks to the enormous concentration of interesting things that this small large island offers, ideal for an active holiday dedicated to trekking excursions in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.
La guida 'A spasso nel Parco' (PDF)
Scopri La Via delle Essenze (PDF)
Elba, with its 147-kilometer-long coast, indented with grottos and stupendous inlets and small bays, all surrounded by a crystal clear sea, is rich with life and ideal places to go sea-kayaking.
But to go kayaking on Elba is also a voyage into a huge variety of scenery, with different types of beaches and changes of colour that the morphology of the island presents you: from the white, golden or black sand beaches to the granite pebbled coasts that show you an intense blue; to the white pebbles over which the water flows with a transparency so clear as to make the kayaks seem suspended in air; to the eastern coasts covered in an emerald green.
Paddling around Elba we will get to exclusive ravines, accessible only by sea and because of this even more natural and wild. Thanks to the agility and manoeuverability of the kayak and, in the silence of its movement, we can approach the two different types of cormorants and, naturally, the splendid Royal seagulls, curious and friendly, as well as the smaller passage seagulls.
What is bio watching? It is the observation of nature in all its forms. With biowatching every walk becomes an opportunity to acquire knowledge and awareness of the wealth that surrounds us. Flora, fauna, rocks, every time the way we look at things changes and brings us closer to the wonderful harmony of nature. We are nature enthusiasts and passionate about the richness that this beautiful island offers from the point of view of biodiversity, we want to share and promote this way of approaching the beauties and the importance of maintaining and protecting them. Our hotel is one of the few hotels located within the borders of the Tuscan Archipelago Park and on the Costa del Sole, where you can still enjoy a protected and in many ways still 'virgin' territory. Knowing is the first step to love, appreciate and defend the world and its wonders, and sharing knowledge is an enrichment for everyone.
In our biowatching corner, you will find books, guides and field guides on flowers, plants, animals and nature in general; a space where you can discover, deepen but also share or draw your observations, an experience that will enrich not just the dedicated library/section but also the other guests’ visits.
To practice biowatching well, especially at the beginning, it is very important to have a few experts that can come with you during your first walks. Then you will need a few field guides on flora and fauna, small manuals for comparing forms, colours and aspects of what you will observe during the walk. It is also important to have binoculars in order not to miss the far away shapes in the sky.
With a small notebook you can record note what you see, and in case of unidentified species, the more salient characteristics.
Clothing has to be the most suitable for the habitat with soft and not showy colours, comfortable trekking shoes, a small rucksack with water and food (depending on the length of the walk) and a waterproof jacket in case it rains.
Books for sale in our bookshop:
ELBA ISLAND (guide) Viatoribus (IT and ENG) Debatte Editore
THE SIMPLE GARDEN - Ancient fruit and spontaneous plants in the Elban food tradition - ETS editions
Notebooks of the Park and Biowatching Notebooks including:
- Butterflies in the Tuscan archipelago
- Habitats conservation
- Amphibians and reptiles of the Tuscan archipelago
- Discover nature
- Coastal plants
- Cetaceans of the Tuscan archipelago
- Moths of the Tuscan archipelago
- Plants, essences and traditions in the Tuscan archipelago
- Birds of prey in flight
- PATRESI – Scoprire Patresi Storia e Tradizioni IT