Departing from Porto Azzurro, this beathtaking route reaches Rio nell'Elba and the Volterraio castle stopping off at the various local farms on the way.
With the sea at your back, depart from Porto Azzurro in the direction of Rio Marina. After a first stretch of gentle incline, the road begins to rise more steeply, but still rideable, leaving the coast behind and running through Mediterranean scrub. After about 6 km, Rio nell’Elba gradually comes into view. The road becomes almost flat, and before entering the town a stop can be made at the Coppi Fountain, where a commemorative stone reads, “1960 - 2010 The champion of fifty years’ racing slaked his thirst here”.
From here you carry on towards the town. At the intersection where the roads start for Volterraio (left), Ortano (right) and Rio Marina (straight on), take Via Aldo Moro, which climbs up towards the village. Keeping right, go around the town and into the built-up area to the north. Once through the town, continue on along the most strenuous part of the itinerary to Volterraio.
From the square, the road runs steeply uphill to Via Sabino Galletti, which joins the road for Volterraio after about 1 km. The road gains in altitude and leads to Volterraio without difficulty, offering a breathtaking view of Portoferraio bay and the Tuscany coast. Near the ruins of the ancient castle, the road begins to descend steeply, curving and counter-curving through Mediterranean scrub. It is one of the most spectacular stretches of the itinerary. After about 3 km, you come to Magazzini, and after about 2 km, turn left towards Monte Fabbrello farm. Continue on to the Aquabona winery, where you go back onto the asphalt road that leads to the Mola fork and then on to Porto Azzurro.
Optional detour: To avoid the last stretch of asphalt, where there can be heavy traffic from July to September, you can take Via del Buraccio from the Acquabona winery to Porto Azzurro. The road rises continually, and for four km you keep left, ignoring all four turn offs to the right. At the fifth, turn right and carry on towards Porto Azzurro (about 2 km) on Via di Pontecchio. There is a stretch of rough road on the first part of the descent, which is better done on foot.
N.B. The optional detour is highly recommended in high season, but requires attention to orientation (better with a guide) and can only be done with a mtb or roadster suitable for dirt roads.