Of all the beaches on the island, Norsi is similar to those people who live under a concealed identity, never easily found but once discovered, it becomes difficult to forget them.Personally, I started to go to the beach of Norsi for a change to the white beaches of Portoferraio when there is a Mistral blowing. When this wind blows Norsi really comes into its own. And I started to love her with a true love.
I must say that Norsi has become acceptable in high summer just this year, thanks to Michela and her husband, young people with a vineyard and house behind the beach, where this year they opened a parking place which for a few Euros protects us from the merciless sun when walking in search of unlikely and distant parking areas where there is always a risk of a fine. The access to the central area of the long beach is by two paths, one of which is pretty wild, as is customary on the island.
If the first time, instead of immediately finding a place to plant your umbrella, look around, and the impression is of being at the centre of a very wide, kilometre long gulf bound by two massive headlands, while right in front of you, many miles away in the middle of the open sea, you can clearly see the massive ancient island of Montecristo. To the east the great gulf is closed by two large rocks emphatically defined the Gemini Islands.
If we wanted to be schematic, we could divide Norsi beach into three distinct, although seamless areas. Eighty percent of the swimmers for several reasons, not least the availability of sun beds and umbrellas, always stop at the centre of the beach where there are two bar-restaurants, one of which is very rustic, just as I like it, and very different from the restaurants you will find in other parts of the island.. The two restaurants seem to have been raised spontaneously from the woods that lead to the sea shore during storms, but they are still well equipped and legal, while retaining that air of improvisation and originality. They offer good food and they are not expensive, you can book in advance too. You can relax overlooking the gulf, eating in the shelter of a simple pergola in bamboo and watch the sun go down with the sound of the sea in the background..
If you don’t stop in the middle of the beach but continue to the right (west), you will see it is less crowded and you can lay your towel on the dark gravel of the beach and heaps of dried seaweed of Poseidonia. The western edge of the beach is made up of a dark, steep cliff of serpentine that divides Norsi from Acquarilli beach, something that sooner or later I’ll have to deal with in this blog. The reef is very dark green colonized by low vegetation, and beaten by the Scirocco wind. If you do not limit yourself to two swimming strokes, I recommend you swim to Acquarilli. You can see it up close and even sit under the beautiful rocks seen from the top of the main road, which in part because of their colour, give an impression of the primordial and the mysterious . If then, you come to Acquarilli starting from Norsi (extremely feasible) you will avoid a fierce hike up the steep, bumpy and only access path to the beach from the ground. On the way back, as on the first leg, with a mask contemplate the beautiful depths, where submerged rocks and lovely poseidonie plants mingle and alternate, making the backdrop for numerous small (even smaller) schools of resident fish in the area..
In the other direction to the left (east), after a few meters of crowds, near a small rock just meters from the shore there is access to a rock ford with two tips that your kids will immediately adopt as the island that doesn’t exit of Peter Pan. After this rock the beach bends sharply inwards and becomes as welcoming and as cosy the as the disreputable sea allows, as this part of the sea has a bottom with large pebbles that will test your balance. On the land, however, a large group of old tamarind trees are growing at the mouth of a dry ditch, offering a cool shelter and a pleasant environment and nearby a young maritime pine tree leans toward the sea to offer protection to us humans. Do not count too much on, however, finding a place in the shade, in fact, although this part of the beach is not crowded, the shaded parts are nearly always busy. Also this beach area of Norsi ends with a cliff, but the nature and form are completely different from that of the West: the beauty of the island of Elba, is that there is always variety in a small space! If West beach is predominately dark serpentine, to the east the low cliff is of a light brown, made up of ancient sedimentary rocks, and covers the igneous serpentine (which is magma submarine), so intensely that it is metamorphosed to look like pieces of logs formidable fossil trees. I love this part of the beach because it always manages to stimulate in me a nostalgic feeling of “how we were” with every living reality.
The reason why Norsi doesn’t stand out amongst the beaches of the island, is perhaps due to the fact that usually “beach” means a clear sandy expanse. At Norsi the sand is in the sea! You see it as soon as you dive in. On the beach the pebbles are more or less fine and dark. Yet I am sure that if you are going to Norsi on a sunny day of the Mistral wind, you will not fail to be full of wonder, and nothing and no one can take away from you that great feeling in the mind that Nature provides when it is left free to express itself..