For decades, Italy has starred in the list of the most favorite countries for travelers from the Holy Land, the vast majority of whom arrive in the capital city of Rome and settle there (honor is in its place). As wonderful as it is, there are quite a few more spectacular tourist spots in the Land of the Boot and if you ask us – the Aeolian Islands are undoubtedly at the top of the list.
With black volcanic sand, jagged rocks bursting dramatically from the clear turquoise waters, volcanoes spewing smoke and lava and coloring the night sky in intense shades of red, sulfur springs and traditional villages – the Aeolian Islands will provide you with a wealth of unforgettable experiences.
The Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari Islands, are a group of volcanic islands named after the god of the winds Aeolus, who according to Greek mythology resides there. It is actually no less than an hour islands adjacent to each other whose common factor that makes them such a popular tourist destination is the volcanic activity visible to the naked eye.
The origin of this activity is a volcanic chain that extends from the Etna volcano in Sicily to the Vesuvius volcano near Naples – between them are the spectacular islands that attract many visitors every day. These are mainly reached by ferry as part of a day trip, when the main destination from which the fascinating trips depart is the city of Milazzo, which is a desirable tourist destination in itself.
A little about the Aeolian Islands
As mentioned, the Aeolian Islands are one of the most interesting attractions in this region of Italy and although for travelers from Israel they were relatively anonymous until very recently, it is a vibrant and colorful destination that attracts visitors mainly in the summer months which are the peak of the tourism season in this region and in Italy in general.
In addition to being a famous tourist site, they also serve as the residence of approximately 15,000 residents in total. Some of them work in the local tourism industry or in traditional workshops, while others work on the continent itself and mainly use the hovercraft service to travel to and from the island.
Historically, the Aeolian Islands have an impressive history that is an integral part of the history of Italy with some fascinating anecdotes, such as the concentration camps that operated in them during the fascist regime, where mainly political prisoners who went against the government were imprisoned.
In addition, the islands are known for their spectacular nature reserves, where you can find a wide variety of animals from different families, which together create a beautiful mosaic that nature and landscape lovers will enjoy, but not only. This nature, which gives the area a particularly authentic and colorful atmosphere, makes the visit to the Aeolian Islands especially wonderful for families, and they helped the islands to be selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
How to get to the Aeolian Islands, transportation and mobility
There are several ways by which you can reach the beautiful islands, depending on the destination you want to reach of course. Among the different ways, the most popular way is via a cruise departing from Naples, but there are other cruises departing from the city of Milazzo in Sicily (for those arriving in Sicily). It is recommended to buy the tickets in advance and of course to be updated online about the hours and duration of the cruise.
Another option, which also involves a cruise, is to reach the islands as part of an organized trip. There are two main companies that operate tours to this area, most of them as day trips starting at nine in the morning and ending around six in the evening. The price range is 25-100 euros per person.
The Aeolian Islands are the most popular with travelers
Volcano Island – Vulcano
As can be expected from an island with such a compelling name, it is an island with extensive volcanic activity and many attractions surrounding this activity and considered the most popular among visitors to the place. As soon as you arrive at the island, you will be able to notice the water vapor that surrounds the port and its surroundings and nearby, emanating from the nearby volcano and bringing with it the characteristic smells of sulfur.
Among the recommended activities on this island you will find, for example, a lake with warm sulfur water located in the harbor, a fun ATV trip that goes between the popular sites, hot springs attributed to various healing properties, a close-up view of the crater of the volcano and also some beautiful beaches. This is also a recommended place to stay for those who want to spend more than a day on the islands and besides appropriate clothing, it is important to remember to bring mosquito repellent with you.
Lipari island – Lipari
This is the central and most famous island among the seven islands and it is also the one where there is the largest settlement and therefore it has more hotels, restaurants and paved roads relative to its neighbors. Even from a tourist point of view, this island is considered more touristic, even though the nearby volcano is dormant. Not bad, there is no lack of fun activities around the island such as the great citadel built in the 16th century by the Spanish, green spaces, picturesque villages and magical bathing beaches.
Due to the picturesque appearance of this island, it also attracts quite a few locals and is considered a favorite holiday destination among the Italian elite and has some of the best restaurants in the area, so if you are a seafood lover – this is the place to visit.
Stromboli Island – Stromboli
If you want to extend your stay in the area and are looking for a place to stay, you should seriously consider one of the hotels located on this island, which is considered one of the most beautiful and authentic of the Aeolian islands and offers a vacation in a somewhat mystical atmosphere, as if it were a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. And it is true that he is not alone, but it seems that nature makes its own efforts to disguise him and therefore those who look at him from a distance see a volcano surrounded by a huge white cloud.
On this island you will find a volcano that is considered active and therefore every few years the local residents are evacuated for fear of an eruption – which is eventually forgotten and calms down, but provides visitors with spectacular images of lava that is regularly emitted from the smoking crater. However, it is important to recognize that the last eruption was very recently, in 2003, so if you are asked to evacuate the area – take it seriously.
A tip from us: during your visit to this island, take the time to close your eyes and listen to nature – if you are lucky (and have good hearing…) you will be able to hear the roar of the stones rolling down the mountain and the bubbling of the boiling water – this is a volcanic activity that occurs on the mountain often and when it is dark Looks like breathtaking fireworks.
Salina Island – Salina
In the eyes of many, this is the most interesting island among the seven islands because there are not one, but two connected volcanoes that in the last two centuries give the impression of being dormant, but before that they were on the list of the most active volcanoes in the world, so in the eyes of many it is a matter of time until they return to their strength. Today, this island is known mainly for its beautiful bathing beaches where a spectacular volcanic landscape can be seen from them, and also their soft sand is black volcanic sand that will provide an impressive and dramatic setting for especially photogenic photos.
Filicudi Island – Filicudi
This island mainly attracts tourists looking for a quiet and calm atmosphere, lovers of nature and landscapes, as well as families with children who want to enjoy the nature on the island and its immediate surroundings. This island is actually a declared nature reserve and the most favorite activity of its visitors is a cruise where you can meet an abundance of beautiful animals such as sea turtles and dolphins.
In conclusion, the Aeolian Islands are a great destination to visit in any vehicle and it is not only reserved for the brave but for anyone who wants to see up close what is considered one (or seven) of the most spectacular natural wonders, alongside cozy hotels, excellent restaurants and a beautiful fireworks show that takes place every night courtesy of The local volcanoes.