Aeolian Islands

Enchanting islands offering unspoilt landscapes and escapism

If you like islands, and at Shearwater Travel we do, then you’ll love these islands just off the north coast of Sicily.  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.  

Ideas for a trip to the Aeolian Islands

Here are some ideas for trips to the Aeolian Islands all of which can be adapted for you and we are always happy to create a bespoke trip from scratch.

Sicily & the Aeolian islands

from £1210 per person
Spend three days exploring the delights of elegant Taormina on Sicily before taking the boat across to Lipari. Here you can explore Lipari, hike some of the trails or take a boat trip around the island or to other islands. After two nights on Lipari take the boat to Vulcano where you can climb the volcano and bathe in the thermal muds before taking the ferry back to Sicily for your flight home.

Salina & Stromboli

from £1580 per person
Spend three or four nights on each of Salina and Stromboli delighting in their contrasting landscapes and the activities on offer including a self guided walk to just below the summit of Stromboli volcano. Alternatively we can organise a guide to take you to the top. Your accommodation will be in a 5* hotel on Salina and 4* on Stromboli.

Vulcano spa week

from £1340 per person
In an unrivalled location right by the water’s edge on the island of Vulcano, Therasia Resort Sea & Spa boasts stunning views across the sea towards the entire Aeolian archipelago.There are two infinity pools, direct access to sea bathing via steps, a sea edge platform and a shuttle service to the beach 1km away as well as to the town Porto di Levante. Treatments are available at the wellness centre, there are opportunities for gentle walks or a trek up to the volcano, and a day trip by hydrofoil to one of the surrounding islands can be easily arranged.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.