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The area is almost exclusively middle to upmarket Italians during July and August, with a small contingent of discerning Germans accompanied by a few Swiss. Many wealthy Italians have summer residences in the hills. Very few British. The clear waters make Elba a favourite among divers and snorkellers. The main hotels here are dotted in penny packets across the central, N and S coasts, augmented by simple family-run pensions, B&Bs and apartments. The verdant coastline is littered with small, picturesque rocky coves and some fine sandy bays nestling beneath rugged hills. Some properties have their own reserved sections that are scrupulously maintained and furnished with ranks of sun loungers, deck chairs and colourful parasols. Varied water sports include windsurfing, sailing and water-skiing depending on where you are based. Each local village has its own handful of unsophisticated tourist-orientated merchandise, with purveyors of fine jewellery and designer fashions remaining on the mainland. Activities and entertainment are very much centred around the beach and various water-sports. Numerous hilltop fortifications and several ancient villas purporting to have been Napoleon's former residence during his year-long exile.
Nightlife is generally low-key except during July & August. One or two nightspots and bars are open until the small hours in the principal villages, but be prepared to rely on motorised transport if staying at outlying hotels. Various boat trips and other excursions can be taken around the coast and to uninspiring mainland port of Piombino. Choice of historic hillside fortifications, ancient churches and Napoleonic residences such a Palazzina de Mulini and Villa di San Martino.