April 11, 2010, 09:41 PM
Elba - travelling questions
Elba looks beautiful, and we are hoping to arrive there on Wednesday 7 July, from Florence. We are aiming to get the train from Florence to Piombino, then a ferry to Portoferraio, and then a bus to Sant'Andrea.
Can I ask:
How much the ferry to Portoferraio is likely to cost as foot passengers (no car)?
Should we book the ferry trip (return) in advance?
How long is the train likely to take from Florence to Piombino in the first place?
We do not have a car so would need to get to Sant'Andrea from Portoferraio by bus.
Can I again ask:
Are there buses that go in that direction of the island (Sant'Andrea)?
How much will a journey cost?
How long will the journey take?
We would be staying for five nights, so leaving Elba on Monday 12 July. We would want to leave early - would there be buses going back to Portoferraio on this day, early in the morning? What time should we book the ferry back to Piombino on the mainland to be safe?
Many thanks for any help!
April 12, 2010, 02:30 PM
Elba Island Transportation
Yes, Elba is fantastic! Blue and clear water, both sandy and rocky beaches ... it's almost like heaven
- The ferry boat from Piombino to Portoferraio costs about 20-30 Euros per person (no car). There are two kinds of ferries: the regular ferry taking 60 minutes and the hydrofoil taking 40 minutes. Companies offering the service are Toremar and Moby Lines (Tirrenia).
I suggest you book return in advance, because you could have problems finding a place later on.
- The train from Florence to Piombino takes about 2.30-3 hours. You have to take the train to Pisa and exchange there to Piombino. There are really few direct trains Florence-Piombino.
- There is a local bus service that goes from Portoferraio to Sant'Andrea taking about 1 hour. The bus is 116 by ATL. It stops nearby Sant'Andrea. At the moment summer schedules are not available. The ticket should cost around 1 Euro.
Regarding return, it depends on what time you want to be in Florence. There are early ferries and probably early buses. You should consider that from Portoferraio to Florence, presuming that all connections are in time and perfectly matching, you need at least 4 hours. From Sant'Andrea to Portoferraio, if the bus doesn't run early in the morning you can think on taking/booking a taxi.
My final advice is that you think about renting a car or a scooter when you are there in Portoferraio. You have to consider that public transportation aren't great on an island and if you want to move around and discover Elba it can be a real challenge by bus. Only if you are planning to stay 5 days in Sant'Andrea you won't consider this advice.
I also suggest you ask for more information about moving around and renting a car/scooter to your hotel or accommodation on Elba islands. Locals have generally some useful tips to share
I hope these suggestions answer your questions. Don't hesitate to come back with any other question.
I also hope you'll share your experience with us when back
April 12, 2010, 09:34 PM
getting and moving around Elba by bus is possible!
Looking at Toremar their calendar says both the 7th and 12th of July are considered "low" season because they are weekdays.
You can see the times for the ferries and clicking at the far right see rates ("tariffe").
The rates Valentina gave above are not exactly correct, I think she might have given you the average car rates.
If you click on the rates link, you'll see rates for passengers (passegeri) runs from €5,30 to €7,10 from low to high season. As both days are low, then the rate should be €5,30 per person for each trip. I don't know why the site is only in Italian, it probably doesn't help them at all when competing against Moby.
Moby seems to cost more and they do have their site in English. You can buy tickets ahead of time for both companies, but the lack of English on Toremar doesn't help them. Moby costs about €15,20 euro per person but you can get a slight discount if you buy online, rates also depend on the time you select. Check out both sites to get a better idea of the times (returning from Portoferraio, Moby has a ferry at 6.30am while Toremar's first ferry is at 5.30am so that might be more convenient for you).
If looking at the time schedules you already know which ferry you want to take, I'd go ahead and buy the round trip when you purchase your tickets going out to Elba. It just makes it easier to not have to get back to the port earlier to get in line and buy tickets.
For bus 116, you can see the map Valentina linked to shows the bus stops near Sant'Andrea but doesn't actually head down into the bay. I don't think the stop is too far (I think La Zanca would be your stop), but depends on where you're staying - if you already have a place booked, you should contact them and ask for tips about getting around by bus on the island. I am sure they'll be the most informed about their own area.
The summer schedule for 116, once they're posted, should appear on this page on the "isola d'elba" link: http://www.atl.livorno.it/
Just from looking at bus schedules for winter, you can see that buses from Portoferraio travel in both directions in a circular route, first toward Procchio and then from there toward the northern part of the island to Pomonte, and also from Procchio to the southern part of the island to Marina di Campo. Winter in Elba means most everything is closed, summer is when it thrives so I am sure that there will definitely be more bus services running that and all the other routes in July. As you see from the map, moving around by bus should be, if not super convenient, still feasible.
For trains - you can see precise schedules by searching on http://www.trenitalia.com/homepage_en.html - the schedules for July aren't yet available but if you search for June you'll see schedules which will likely be the same in July.
If you need any help with these sites, let us know, we'll try to help as much as we're able!