The Aeolian Islands
Basic informations about the itinerary
A few miles away from the Sicilian coast, it’s possible to admire the Archipelago of the Aeolian islands, a wonderful show of nature, composed by 7 islands: Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi. This Archipelago was considered, by the ancient Greeks, to be the dwelling of the god of wind and of fire, Eolo. It hosts 2 majestic active volcanos, Stromboli and Vulcano, both part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The presence of these 2 volcanoes generates stupefying natural phenomena like underwater hot water springs and therapeutic thermal mud. The islands, surrounded by wild and uncontaminated vegetation, give the possibility of many activities, in close contact with nature and sea: excursions on the volcanoes, hiking, trekking and diving on sea beds and through marine grottos. There is no shortage of romantic atmospheres either, such as those offered by the numerous restaurants and bars on the seacoast that allow you to enjoy fresh fish with unforgettable sunset views.
Lipari: it’s the biggest island of the Archipelago. Its Archaeological Museum, situated in the Castle of Lipari, is well worth a visit. Also of note are the Greek acropolis and the Norman cathedral. The tour of the Island by boat can’t be missed, with its gorgeous coves and its several wonderful beaches, like Vinci, Valle Muria, Punta della Castagna and Capo Rosso.
Panarea: it’s the smallest and the most ancient of these islands. Every year Panarea attracts countless tourists thanks to its untouched coasts, its underwater eruptive phenomena and its nightlife. This island, together with other small islands (Basiluzzo, Spinazzola, Lisca Bianca, Dattilo, Battaro, Lisca Nera) and the rocks (Panarelli and Formiche) form a mini-archipelago. The town of San Pietro is characterized by typical fishermen houses, artisanal workshops and various small shops.
Vulcano: it’s an island of mud and fumaroles (natural “vents” in the planet’s crust that emit gases). On this island, it’s even possible to watch these natural volcanic phenomena: jets of steam spouting out of underwater fumaroles and sulfuric mud, known for its therapeutic properties.
Stromboli: the island hosts “Iddu”, the most active of the European volcanoes, with its many spectacular and frequent eruptions. With a bit of luck, you can witness the “Sciara del Fuoco”, i.e. lava flowing directly into the sea. The visit of the village San Vincenzo can’t be missed, with its quaint white houses. Ginostra also worth it, as well as the rock of Strombolicchio, Ginostra is another small village, built on a rock and reachable only by a mule track.
Salina: it has the highest elevations of the whole Archipelago and is the second largest Island of the Archipelago. It hosts a beautiful fern forest (la Fossa delle Felci), that overlooks breath-taking beaches, like Pollara, considered to be the most pictureque place of the island. It’is also renowned for the production of capers and “Malvasia” (a variety of grape used to make both white and red wine).
Alicudi e Filicudi: these islands are the most westward of the archipelago, as well as the smallest and least crowded. They host to many hidden spots and virgin forests, craters of extinct volcanoes and lush sea beds, making it the perfect place for those one who are seeking peace and primitive, unspoiled scenery. With no paved roads, Alicudi and Filicudi give visitors a chance to explore the island’s quaint hamlets and mountains on top of mules. Of note are the Faraglioni La Canna, the Scoglio della Fortuna, the uncomparable Grotta del Bue and the Scoglio della Galera.