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Hike GTE – the great Elban crossing on your own 2024

hikers_in_elba_island

When? Every day on request

Price: from € 885,00/person

Duration: 5 days hiking/ 7 nights

Die Grande Traversata Elbana oder GTE stellt die bedeutendste Route im Wanderwegenetz der Insel Elba dar. Es handelt sich um einen Kammweg, der die meisten Pfade Elbas verbindet, was es ermöglicht, die unglaubliche geologische, vegetative und morphologische Vielfalt der Insel zu beobachten. Die Route, klassifiziert als Schwierigkeitsgrad E (Wanderweg), gabelt sich in der Nähe des Monte Capanne. Es werden somit zwei Routen identifiziert. Eine führt von Cavo nach Patresi, ist 57,99 km lang und benötigt 24 Stunden und 20 Minuten. Die andere führt von Cavo nach Pomonte, ist 49,57 km lang und benötigt 19 Stunden und 30 Minuten.

This Self guided hiking package takes place along the route from Cavo to Pomonte.

Hikes: On this trip, all hikes are relatively strenuous and comparable to mountain hikes. The ascents and descents are often steep, the paths narrow and rocky and/or with steps. Physical fitness and sure-footedness are absolutely necessary. If the weather is bad, it is not recommended to go on the GTE. There are bus connections from each accommodation (or at least nearby) that can be used to reach the next accommodation depending on the season. In the roadbook, we will also provide contact numbers of private taxi companies.

Luggage transport: The luggage transport takes place approximately between 9:30 am and 3 pm. The transport is provided for 1 piece of luggage per person, size max. 65x50x40cm, max. 20 kg. If there are more pieces of luggage or significantly larger or heavier ones on site, there may be an additional charge. Each piece of luggage should be clearly and legibly marked with the respective name. The transport is only for luggage, not for passengers.

–> Please note that the journey is best carried out between 01.04. – 25.06. and 10.09. – 31.10. Our prices refer to these periods. During the two summer months, it becomes too warm and you would really need to carry a lot of water because there are no fountains along the way on the individual daily stages.
In the winter time between November and March, many hotels are closed, and the journey is then available upon request (we will check on a case-by-case basis whether and how it can still be carried out).

 

Tour description

The route follows paths that for centuries have been secure routes of the local population to travel from Cavo in the east to the northern extremities of the island andElba into the distant granite areas (Pomonte or Patresi). The trail, as a modern long-distance hiking trail “GTE”, was first described in the 80s by Renato Giombini and Mario Ferrari. Due to its technical characteristics as well as its scenic, natural, and cultural values, it has become a classic of international hiking over time. Even today, there are two different endpoints to choose from (Pomonte and Pratesi). This is because, at that time, the bus stop was located in the first town and the only hotel open all year round was in the second. Fortunately, things are a bit different today; our tour ends in Pomonte.ù

The GTE begins in the far northeast in the small, somewhat sleepy town of Cavo and runs along the ridge to the west, above the village of Porto Azzurro. It then continues inland up to Monte Perone. Afterwards, it reaches the base of Mount Monte Capanne, the highest mountain on the island, at a place called Passo delle Filicaie or Malpasso, where it splits into two arms. One path leads south and reaches the town of Pomonte, following the ridge that separates the Vallebuia valley. During the hike, one alternates between the sea, the hills, and the mountains, among the island’s ecosystems and its natural and scenic heritage, admiring one of the most fascinating panoramas the Italian mountains offer: facing Corsica, the Tuscan islands, and the Italian mainland.

1st day

Individual arrival on the island of Elba. There are several options for this: In high season, ferries go directly to Cavo, the first location of the trip. Otherwise, ferries also go to Portoferraio and from there there is a public bus to Cavo (trip approx. 1.5 hours).
If you arrive by car, you can drive directly to Pomonte (last location) and park there in the public parking or the hotel parking of the last accommodation. This way, you will already have your car when you arrive after the hike. We would then organize a transfer to Cavo on the day of arrival.
Or, of course, you can park in Cavo itself and pick up the car on the departure day.
The transfer is not yet included in the travel price.

Overnight stay in the 3-star Hotel Maristella or similar. Dinner in a nearby restaurant.

 

2nd day

Elba_sea_hikingAfter breakfast, hike to Monte Fabbrello. Upon request and for an additional fee, the hotel can prepare a packed lunch. This first section is also the longest and one of the most demanding. However, it runs along some beautiful viewpoints from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the island.
The GTE route starts in the village of Cavo, the northernmost village and the one closest to the “continent”. Along the way, with a short detour, one can admire the Tonietti Mausoleum, the only Art Nouveau testimony of Elba. A long ascent follows, but at the top of the Monte Grosso saddle, there’s a magnificent panorama over the sea, back to Cavo, and the three islands in front: Topi, Palmaiola and Cerboli. Another equally worthwhile detour leads to the small church of Santa Caterina and the botanical garden, the Orto dei Semplici. The path then runs above the old mining town of Rio nell’Elba. Later, dramatically like an eagle’s nest, the ruins of the Volterraio rock fortress come into view before the panorama opens to the vast bay of Portoferraio, the island’s capital.

Distance (without detours) 20.6 km. +/- 970 m.
Luggage transfer to Montefabbrello. Overnight stay at Agriturismo Montefabbrello.
Dinner is also available here from their own produce. The agriturismo also produces its own wine.

 

3rd day

After breakfast, hike to Procchio. This section of the path is a bit shorter and also a bit shadier. At the agriturismo, you can have a packed lunch prepared (for an extra charge, order the day before).
The path leads through vineyards, olive groves, and gardens on this day. Later, it climbs and crosses beautiful pine forests near Monte Orello. Occasionally, there are views towards Portoferraio. On this section of the path is the only water source along the entire GTE. A detour of about 30 minutes leads to the ruins of the old church of Santa Lucia, which was of great importance in the past. The present-day church of Santa Lucia and the hermitage were pilgrimage sites and accommodation for hermits for years, and more recently, the destination of the traditional procession from Portoferraio on Ascension Day. It seems that the ancient village of Montemarsale and the fortress Lucéri were located on this hill, which was destroyed by the pirate Barbarossa.
Later, you will reach the point Molino a Vento – Windmill. The old and imposing ruins of the mill overlook both sides of the island: in the north the Gulf of Portoferraio and in the south the Gulf of Lacona and Capo Stella. About 100m west of the mill, there is a stone boundary marker with a carved Maltese cross, which was placed in 1579 to indicate the boundary between the Medici-Kosmopolis and the rest of the island, which belonged to the Principality of Piombino.
The main path to Procchio crosses fragrant Mediterranean maquis and passes some isolated farms before comfortably reaching the village. A longer variant can also lead via Villa San Martino, the famous villa where Napoleon stayed during his time on Elba.

Route distance: 16.5 km. +/- 500 m.
Luggage transfer to Procchio.
Arrival in Procchio and overnight at Hotel Brigantino or similar. Dinner at the hotel.

 

4th day

Elba_GTEHike from Procchio to Poggio or down to Marciana Marina. Accommodation can be in a small family-run agriturismo with its butterfly garden along the hiking trail or in one of the hotels in Marciana Marina by the sea. Both accommodations have limited availability and it will be communicated which solution we book upon booking.
The agriturismo is located in the middle of nature, a small paradise. With this solution, the hike on day 4 is a bit shorter, and the hike on day 5 is longer. When staying in Marciana Marina, it is the other way round – day 4 is longer, day 5 a bit shorter.

The hotels are located in Marciana directly by the sea, which means that you have to leave the main path of the GTE (which is at 400m altitude here), hike to the sea, and climb up again the next morning (or use the public bus, which runs quite regularly during the season).
You can also shorten the day and skip part of the route – however, that would be a real pity. One of the most beautiful sections of the GTE runs between Poggio and Marciana Alta below Monte Capanne, the highest mountain on the island. This should not be missed at all. This will be clearly highlighted in the roadbook.

Route to Agriturismo Fonte di Zeno: 8.6 km +450/-130 m
Route to Marciana Marina via Poggio and Marciana on the GTE: 18.3 km +/- 800 m
Route to Marciana Marina directly without Poggio and Marciana: 8.6 km +/- 360 m

Luggage Transfer.
2 x overnight stay at Bed & Breakfast Imperia (Marciana Marina) or similar, or at Agriturismo Fonte di Zeno.
2 x dinner at the Agriturismo or at a local restaurant.

5th day

We planned a two nights stay here, so that you can relax and enjoy Elbas nature.
If you want to hike also today, we really suggest to hike to Monte Capanne, the highest mountain of the island.
To get down you can then use the yellow gondola lift to Marciana, visit the hamlet, and walk the street back to your Agriturismo or use the bus.

 

6th day

 

Hike from Poggio or Marciana Marina to Pomonte. It’s a magnificent panoramic tour, with a steep descent. This tour is again very long but also quite spectacular. Along the way, you pass interesting granite formations, which sometimes remind you of mythical creatures. Stone shelters (Caprili) were erected here long ago by goat herders and served as shelter in bad weather. The views from here are breathtaking, looking out to the islands of Pianosa, Montecristo and Corsica. At the end, you reach the valley of Pomonte, a fertile valley where wine was cultivated on terraced fields, and the ruins of the old vineyard houses remain.

 

Elba-PomonteRoute from Agriturismo Fonte di Zeno: 15 km +1,200/-900 m
Route from Marciana Marina without bus: 14.4 km +/- 900 m

Luggage transfer to Pomonte.
2 x half-board overnight stay at the 3-star Hotel Corallo.

 

7th day

A free day in Pomonte for swimming or another hike, perhaps into the valley of Pomonte or to Fetovaia. Dinner at the hotel.

 

8th day

The journey ends after breakfast. Optionally, a transfer to the ferry port of Portoferraio can be offered if you do not have your own vehicle.

Prices, Options & Services

 

Prices

WITH HALF-BOARD
Price per person in a double room (months of April, May, September): €1.020,00
Price per person in single room (months of April, May, September): €1.190,00

BREAKFAST ONLY
Price per person in a double room (months of April, May, September): €885,00
Price per person in single room (months of April, May, September): €1.055,00

 

Included services

– 7 x overnight stay in a standard double room with a private bathroom in the 3-star hotels, Agriturismo, or Bed & Breakfast, including breakfast.

– For half-board: 7 x dinner (3-course, excluding drinks).

– 4 x luggage transfer from one hotel to the next, i.e., 1 piece of luggage per person.

– Roadbook and voucher in advance by email and at the first hotel, hiking map.

– A packing list.

 

Not included

Local taxes, snacks, drinking water, drinks during dinners, lunches, gratuities and anything not mentioned under “Included services”.

 

Notes

Prices are net and include Italian VAT.
Availability is generally on request and not automatically guaranteed. If a particular accommodation is not available, we will search for suitable alternatives. These can, however, lead to a change in prices and/or the route. We hope our offer is of interest to you. We can gladly customize it according to your wishes.

 

Availability

Please take note that this service is always on request. No allotment has been blocked yet and availability will be checked at the moment of the request.
All offered hotels/guesthouses are very small and popular family run places. Thus program changes can be possible as well as alternative accommodations in case of booked out spaces.

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