MONTE PERONE (622 m) – MONTE MAOLO (749 m) – SAN MARTINO (340 m) – MONTE ORELLO (370 m) – MONTE TAMBONE (300 m)
Starting point: Marina di Campo (0m above sea level); Arrival point: Marina di Campo .
Degree of difficulty: challenging
Length 53 km
Duration 9 h
Total ascent 1,625m
Total descent 1,625m
Highest point 763 m
Lowest point 0 m
Type of terrain: asphalt, footpath, forest tracks, compact bottom;
Interest: naturalistic and panoramic
Retracing the route of the arduous Gran Fondo West Elbe , a historic mountain bike race took place on the mule tracks of the island. From the promenade of Marina di Campo and after crossing the pine-forest take the Provincial Road to Portoferraio and turn immediately to the left following the directions for Sant’Ilario.
Through a number of bends this paved road reaches the quiet village after which the road turns uphill to the right reaching 630 m. of height at Mount Perone (along the way look at the Romanesque tower and church of San Giovanni, recently restored).
From here a technical and panoramic track goes uphill to Mount Maolo, continues for Masso alla Quata (744 m.) and then descends through various bends to Castagnone at 600 m. From here a forestry track will take you to the windy high-ground valley of Piane del Canale. A beautiful track starts from the valley: it is surrounded by the colorful and scented Mediterranean bush and descends toward the gulf of Campo giving the unique impression of diving into the blue of the sea.
The track finishes near the granite quarries of San Piero (still in use), where skillful stonecutters maintain alive this millenary island tradition. After tasting the typical bread of San Piero made with potatoes return to Marina di Campo either through the paved road or by the steep lane. By now you will have cycled for about 20 kilometers and the most difficult parts on high ground are over. After about 4 kilometers of paved road on level land (direction Portoferraio) and just before reaching Procchio , there is a fork: take to the right towards Literno.
A shaded unpaved road uphill reaches a small valley and then, after 4.5 km., reaches Mount San Martino at 365 meters of altitude before descending quickly towards the quarries of Colle Reciso (327 m.). After crossing the Provincial Road to Lacona, continue on the unpaved road towards Monte Orello: there is a fine view over Portoferraio and its Medicean fortifications.
Mount Orello (377 m.) is an incredible maze of small roads and tracks, but our itinerary continues on the main forestry track and once reached the top leads to the fantastic panoramic downhill track towards the white beaches of Lacona. Again 3 km of paved road (direction Marina di Campo), then at the fork go left for Laconella.
The track climbs up to 377 m. at Mount Tambone: it is the last effort of this journey made of steep slopes and gentle hills. The white road now descends steeply but smoothly until on top of the gulf of Fonza, then at Costa di Segagnana turn into a track of about a kilometer that will take you back on the cycling track of Marina di Campo.