Capraia is a small paradise of nature conserved thanks to its original use as a farming penal colony and later, after the prison was closed, to the protection guaranteed by the Arcipelago Toscano National Park. This has allowed for the small, western-most island in the archipelago to be preserved. Closer to Corsica than the mainland, Capraia is at the centre of an area known as the Cetacean Sanctuary, with coasts jutting out into the crystal-clear waters.
Though small, Capraia is perfect for hiking enthusiasts. Peaks, rocky ridges, valleys and canyons make it the ideal terrain for hikers, who can tackle trails with varying levels of difficulty. Whether starting from the town or the port, you can explore these highly interesting paths. Walk through the Mediterranean scrub, with its fragrances and colours: heather, myrtle, orchids and water plants in the Stagnone dot the way and offer relief during breaks. You can climb the highest peaks or walk along the ridge as you take in the cliffs that hang over the sea and stop to admire hidden corners and the bays that line the coast.
Walk in silence, interrupted only by the wind and the sounds of the sea or when you meet the island’s quiet locals: it’s common to run into wild rabbits and sheep, tree frogs and migratory birds on the banks of the Stagnone. To walk this island means to walk through history, from the trails, which are often ramparts dating to the Napoleonic era, to the ancient Roman settlement of Piano to the abandoned penal colony, with its buildings that speak of the history of the prisoners held in this small paradise.