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PortoferraioItaly

Find superb architecture, a maze-like old quarter and Napoleonic history in this grand old town, safeguarded over the centuries by Medici-built fortifications.

Portoferraio is the largest town on Elba Island and an enchanting introduction to the Tuscan Archipelago. Explore the historic portside quarter and find a jumble of picturesque old buildings nestled around the town’s natural harbor. Experience the faded glory of Napoleon’s 18th-century palace or wander up winding hillside alleys to find artisans’ workshops and traditional restaurants serving fresh-caught fish.

Take a trip through time when you explore the storied streets of Portoferraio. It is believed that Greek heroes, the Argonauts, came ashore in Porto Argo near the modern town’s Ghiaie Beach. Skip forward to the Roman period, when Portoferraio was known as Fabricia because of its rich iron ore. Learn about the town’s Roman heritage at the Museo Archeologico della Linguella, which exhibits fascinating fragments from the town’s ore-mining era.

Admire the windswept 16th-century fortifications of Forte Stella, which were established by Cosimo I de’ Medici to protect his home against pirate attacks. Step inside Napoleon’s official residence, the Palazzina dei Mulini, which now houses the island’s Museo Nazionale. As you explore his restored palace, learn about the French emperor who spent 300 days in exile on Elba Island in 1814.

Stretch out on beautiful beaches hemmed in by dramatic cliffs and go swimming in the pristine waters. Punta Pina and Biodola are the town’s most popular swimming beaches.

Experience Portoferraio like a local when you take part in the annual festivities for the grape harvest in September. Check out jazz and classical music festivals or join the revelry at Vigilanti Theater, a magnificent old church that was transformed into a lively theater venue by Napoleon’s sister, Paolina. If you visit in April, don’t miss the tasty traditional octopus dishes at the “Polpando e gli antichi sapori” festivities.

Portoferraio is home to Elba Island’s major port. Catch a vehicular ferry from the port of Piombino and arrive in Portoferraio within 70 minutes. Spend the night in boutique hotels that look out across the town’s natural port.

Where to stay in Portoferraio

Portoferraio Old Town, Portoferraio, Tuscany, Italy

Portoferraio Old Town

You'll enjoy the museums and parks in Portoferraio Old Town. You might want to make time for a stop at The Napoleonic Residences National Museum or Napoleonic Museum of Mercy.

Portoferraio Old Town

Top hotels in Portoferraio

Resort le Picchiaie
Resort le Picchiaie
4 out of 5
Via Picchiaie, Portoferraio, LI

Situated in Portoferraio, this golf hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Arcipelago Toscano National Park, Acquabona Elba Golf Club and Roman Villa delle Grotte. ...

3.8/5Good! (39 reviews)

"The resort needs a refurbishing. The room a/c was terrible and the weather was very warm & humid. The staff did try to help as quickly as possible."…"

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2019

Resort le Picchiaie
Hotel Fabricia
Hotel Fabricia
4 out of 5
Golfo di Portoferraio, Portoferraio, LI

Located in Portoferraio, this beachfront hotel is in a regional park and within 1 mi (2 km) of Arcipelago Toscano National Park and Spiaggia dell'Ottone. Ottonella ...

3.8/5Good! (56 reviews)
Relaxing hotel

"Very nice hotel with a friendly staff. Located in a rural area, without much around in a relaxed environment. Great swimming pool area with private pebble beach access."…"

Reviewed on 7 Sep 2018

Hotel Fabricia
Baia Bianca Suites
Baia Bianca Suites
La Biodola 16, Portoferraio, LI

Nestled on the beach, this Portoferraio apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Biodola Beach and Procchio Beach. Villa of San Martino and The Napoleonic ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (17 reviews)

"Amazing!"…"

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2019

Baia Bianca Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Portoferraio

Baia Bianca Suites
Baia Bianca Suites
La Biodola 16, Portoferraio, LI

Nestled on the beach, this Portoferraio apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Biodola Beach and Procchio Beach. Villa of San Martino and The Napoleonic ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (17 reviews)

"Amazing!"…"

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2019

Baia Bianca Suites
Hotel Residence Villa San Giovanni
Hotel Residence Villa San Giovanni
3 out of 5
Località San Giovanni, Portoferraio

Situated in Portoferraio, this residence is within a 5-minute walk of Arcipelago Toscano National Park and Isola D'Elba Tennis Club. Roman Villa delle Grotte ...

4.4/5Excellent! (8 reviews)

"Bella la piscina. Molto curata. Gentile il personale. Un po' scadente la colazione perché servirà a causa del covid. A buffet sarebbe molto meglio."…"

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2020

Hotel Residence Villa San Giovanni
Appartamenti Un Amore
Appartamenti Un Amore
Via Dell'Amore, 51, Portoferraio

Located in Portoferraio Old Town, this apartment building is steps away from Arcipelago Toscano National Park, Misericordia Church and The Napoleonic Residences ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)

"Ottimo appartamento in posizione strategica. Le stanze sono pulite e in ordine; molto comodo il supermercato a due passi dalla casa. Sicuramente consigliato per un soggiorno in tranquillità!"…"

Reviewed on 8 Aug 2020

Appartamenti Un Amore
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Portoferraio

Castello del Volterraio
Image for Castello del Volterraio

Castello del Volterraio

Learn about the local history of Portoferraio when you spend time at Castello del Volterraio. While you're in the area, stroll along the beaches.

Top things to do in Portoferraio

Super Tuscan wine tour from Livorno, Lucca, Pisa & Piombino
Image for Super Tuscan wine tour from Livorno, Lucca, Pisa & Piombino

Super Tuscan wine tour from Livorno, Lucca, Pisa & Piombino

£353
Per adult
Try Scuba Diving
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Try Scuba Diving

£74
Per adult
Portoferraio, the fisherman village chosen by Etruscans, Medici and Napoleon
Image for Portoferraio, the fisherman village chosen by Etruscans, Medici and Napoleon

Portoferraio, the fisherman village chosen by Etruscans, Medici and Napoleon

£267
Per adult
Rent Ebike
Image for Rent Ebike

Rent Ebike

£33
Per adult
Piombino to Rome Private Car/Van Transfer
Image for Piombino to Rome Private Car/Van Transfer

Piombino to Rome Private Car/Van Transfer

£808
Per adult
Private Transfer from Portoferraio to Marina di Campo (EBA) Airport
Image for Private Transfer from Portoferraio to Marina di Campo (EBA) Airport

Private Transfer from Portoferraio to Marina di Campo (EBA) Airport

£83
Per adult

Reviews of Portoferraio

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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3 - Okay
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4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Jun 2019

Lovely harbour with luxurious boats from all over the world... our favourite & top restaurant was Pepenero on via della amore!

Cities near Portoferraio

Photo by karin.

Marciana

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Procchio

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Capoliveri

Photo by Altea Salami

Porto Azzurro