If you like islands, and at Shearwater Travel we do, then you’ll love these islands just off the north coast of Italy. Named for the god of the winds, Aeolus, they are popular place for Italians to holiday during Sicily’s sweltering summer. But they are also a lovely destination from April through to October. The landscapes here are unspoilt, the beaches pebbly or black and volcanic, the Tyrrhenian Sea azure blue and sparkling and the sea food delicious. There are seven islands but we feature just four, each with their own distinct identity:
- Lipari – the largest island known for black obsidian and pumice stone.
- Salina – the greenest island with verdant woods, caper gardens, pebbly beaches and vineyards producing Malvasian wine.
- Vulcano – lunar landscapes and sulphurous yellow with an active volcano and thermal mud to bathe in.
- Stromboli – black beaches and fiery eruptions from its live volcano.
There is lovely walking on each of the islands including hikes up the volcanos on Vulcano and Stromboli – in fact if you start early and time it right you can climb both in a day. To climb to the very top of Stromboli you will need a guide but you can climb to 400m below the summit without a guide. Elsewhere on both Lipari and Salina there are some lovely walks. Maps and a walking guidebook are available.
Sicily & the Aeolian islands
from £1210 per person
Salina & Stromboli
from £1580 per person
Vulcano spa week
from £1340 per person
From 1 January 2021 you can visit Italy for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa as a tourist. For further information see the FCO website
There are several boats and hydrofoils a day to the Aeolian Islands from the port of Milazzo on Sicily’s north coast. Crossing times vary from 45 minutes to Vulcano to up to three hours for Stromboli.