Looks like the Italians are on to a good thing!
One of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secrets, the Tuscan island of Elba is the perfect destination for an Autumn walking holiday, as the summer crowds have long departed and the temperature has dropped to a comfortable level. It is also when the Tuscany Walking Festival takes places allowing participants to discover the natural and historic treasures of the island free (or, in some cases, a few Euros).
If visitors travel in September and October, they have the chance to join one of the Tuscany Walking Festival events, whether it’s a hike to the English Fort built in 1700, a moonlit silent walk appreciating “mindfully” the late night smells and sounds of Marciana, watching the annual bird migration or keeping fit with Elba No Limits as they take participants on a walk incorporating an open-air gym session, there really is something for visitors with every kind of interest.
And walking is probably the best way to discover Elba's true beauty, as it takes visitors off the beaten track and allows them to enjoy the extraordinary richness of its landscape that makes it a unique destination in Tuscany. High granite cliffs and sandy beaches alternate along the rugged coastline, with each inlet different from the last. Inland, footpaths take walkers through shady forests up to high peaks and ridges with 360° views across the island and down across the bird-rich maquis to the Mediterranean Sea.
Visitors will experience an old-fashioned, unmanaged peace; it really is for those who enjoy the simpler pleasures in life, and it's a cheaper alternative to neighbouring Sardinia or Corsica, with the same attractions (great beaches, climate & food), as well as history.
Hotel Ilio has a long association with wine; it was built above the winery of Maurizio’s grandfather and today Maurizio continues the tradition of winemaking with a local group of producers.
Though the main building is 150 years old, the hotel has been completely modernised, with – for example – solar panels and the heat generated by the kitchen both being used to produce the hot water used by guests; innovations introduced by Maurizio, a tourism specialist who lectures in the off-season, who likes to keep abreast of the latest industry developments.