Photography by Roberto Ridi
«Il Termine – Terminus in name and in fact! For those wishing to visit the whole island, this place could also be considered the “terminus” in the sense of the emotional conclusion of a journey to discover the colours of Elba ». The photographer Roberto Ridi tells us, accompanying us in an intense and unexpected adventure, and continues: «Or the terminus could also be the end of an intense journey inside the Mining Park. A place to visit with an open heart and without expectations, to be simply surprised by something truly extraordinary.
Trekking at “Il Termine”
This is certainly one of the less known faces of the island, especially for those who are more familiar with the beaches. Yet “il Termine”, so intimate and private, is a place I adore and where I often go for a walk for the unmatched emotions I feel, just by virtue of the warm colours and the remoteness from the crowds.
The area is a small naturalistic gem that can also be reached from the path for the little lake, Laghetto di Rio Albano. Continuing along the dirt road, keeping to the right of the junction that leads to the next lake of the Conche, and walking up through the maquis, you soon can take a detour leading to this sort of small desert in the midst of the green countryside.
You’ll find yourself among the ups and downs of hills and scorching terraces, punctuated from time to time with delightful, verdant Mediterranean shrubs.
You can continue on foot or, if you love the idea of a more daring experience, venture on two wheels and enjoy the completely spontaneous and natural acrobatics arena that this place offers. The slopes and sides of the embankments sculpted by time and water have become a real adventure park for mountain bikers. The area, part of the “Elba Gravity Park”, is run by an organization of two-wheel enthusiasts, committed to the upkeep of the surrounding paths and trails.
Elba Gravity Park
If you prefer to walk, bring a camera with you, as some do, and take a selfie with the Termine behind you, your friends will think you’re in Arizona!
Those who come here, on foot or by bike, are left spellbound, the colours are taken to the limit and the occasional cloud often adds a touch of truly enviable white. What is generally most surprising is the roughest stretch, without vegetation, and its lunar charm. The colours are very reminiscent of Mars, with sand, pebbles and slopes embedded by water.
The trees lining the southern border stand out against the red earth and create an astonishing colour contrast.
The lighting makes the difference, as those like me who work with light will know.
The wide horizons opening out above the peaks are also surprising; il Termine is a place to spend time, let go, look around and observe the intriguing conformations.
Continuing to climb, you will have a view of the village of Cavo and possibly a sensation of arriving back in the real world».
TIPS FOR SINGLES
Have fun pedalling a mountain bike in the park, where you’ll find many naturally formed ramps. For info: Elba Gravity Park >
TIPS FOR COUPLES
Visit the harshness of heart of the Island, the Mining Park, and then enter the colourful and crystalline paradise of S.Andrea! Stay in a romantic hotel, like this nearby Boutique Hotel >
TIPS FOR FAMILIES
Bring your children to visit the Mining Park and board the picturesque little train that tours the mining landscape. And then have fun pedalling in this little desert of the Termine. Equipment is available for hire. For info: Elba Gravity Park >
Photo ©Roberto Ridi