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Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Panarea, Filicudi, Alicudi and Basiluzzo, the eight volcanic islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Sicily, named after the mythical ruler of the winds, Aeolus. A must-see in every itinerary in Sicily, a trip to the Aeolian Islands is just a ferry ride away from the Northern shores of Sicily. The massive volcano of Stromboli meets cosmopolitan Lipari, the contrast between the vineyards of greener and quieter Salina and the celebrity glamourous Panarea is striking, with the backdrop remaining equally dramatic! Pick one of the islands as your first destination, but don’t just stay there; explore them all! As a very popular destination, the archipelagos tends to get fully booked soon, so plan ahead and book flights and accommodation in the Aeolian Islands as early as you can!
The ancient Greeks named the eight isles of the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Sicily after Aeolus, God of the winds who, according to mythology, used to live there. Since then, a veil of mystery covers the Aeolian Islands, adding up to their special charm that mesmerise visitors.
Two are the main volcanoes of this volcanic archipelagos – and they’re both active! Stromboli and Vulcano has always been a constant threat to locals and visitors ever since antiquity; however, they also form an eternal source of beauty, mystery and inspiration.
The Aeolian Islands were probably the region of Sicily to be first inhabited, during the Palaeolithic Era. In their attempt to understand and explain the existence of the massive volcanoes, ancient Greeks attributed their activity to Greek god of fire Hephaestus, with Roman equivalent being God Vulcan.
Not only the volcanoes never stopped travellers from visiting, but it’s safe to say that they helped attract more and more visitors, contributing to the tremendous growth and tourist development of the seven inhabited Aeolian Islands.
When you’ve satisfied your instincts of adventure, you can move on, exploring the idyllic villages with white-washed houses, flowered fields and vineyards and taking in the culture of the few permanent inhabitants that call the Aeolian Islands home.
The airport of Catania (Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa Vincenzo Bellini) is located 142 kilometres south of Milazzo and 109 kilometres south of Messina. You can reach either of the two cities by bus and then take a ferry or a hydrofoil to the Aeolian Islands.
Lipari, Vulcano and Salina, the three largest of the islands, are served by a quite good bus network and have a decent road system, so renting a scooter is also an option.
Stromboli and Panarea hardly have any roads, but they’re small and can easily be explored on foot.
Remote Alicudi and Filicudi are very poor in infrastructure, but the owner of your hotel or apartment should arrange your transportation within the island.
Boats are also available to rent for touring around the nearby islands.
Monte Fossa delle Felci is the highest peak in the Aeolian Islands!
A mud-bath is an experience you simply must have here; otherwise, there is not much to do on this island, so allow some time to get to the crater, have a hot mud-bath and prepare to venture out to the more remote of the Aeolian Islands!
The part of the island above sea-level is 900 metres high; but forms the top of a gigantic submarine volcano that rises 3,000 metres above sea floor.
Stromboli is one of Italy’s three active volcanoes and one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. It’s estimated that remains in a state of continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years, as it’s mentioned in the first ever written human testimonies!
It’s highly likely that if you visit Stromboli, you will witness signs of the activity of the volcano. Permissions to access to the summit are reviewed daily, due to the usually moderate to strong activity of the volcano. Depending on its state, you can probably hike to the main crater, but it’s very important you do that with a trained guide; otherwise, you will face penalties, fines and unexpected dangers. You can though reach as far as an altitude of 400 metres without a guide.
If you consider climbing to the crater, apart from the above, you should also take into account your physical state and shape; the path can be quite demanding!
Beyond the volcano, Stromboli features two beautiful villages and a number of black volcanic beaches – cameras ready, prepare to flash!
The official language of the Aeolian Islands is Italian.