Sicily’s Fiery Little Sisters
Prepare yourself for unspoilt nature and breathtaking vistas, swimming, snorkelling and diving, crystalline waters and great sceneries, some of the most stunning underwater spots in the whole Mediterranean and the most active volcano in the world - Stromboli. On each island you can get around on foot, bike, bus, scooter, car or taxi.
The islands are named after the Greek ruler of the winds, Aeolus, who was born on Vulcano and lived on Stromboli, the ancient Aeolia.
Greek myths, thousands of years of history, unique beauty, great beaches, lush green, breathtaking views, mountain and volcano hiking, coastal walking galore, swimming, snorkelling and diving, untouched nature, two active volcanoes, crystal clear waters, steaming hot mud baths, archaeological sites, stunning rocky coastlines, mouth watering cuisine and sweet dessert wines - the Aeolian Islands are an archipelago of seven enchanting islands and a number of tiny islets scattered throughout the cobalt blue Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily – they were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Each island has its own atmosphere and charm. You may well have been introduced to the Aeolians without even realizing. Some fabulous films have been shot here, such as “Stromboli - Land of God” with the unforgettable Ingrid Bergman, and Michael Radford’s romance “Il Postino” with a great Massimo Troisi in the main role.
A great way to see all islands and meanwhile relax is a one week cruise on a Gulet, sailing or motor yacht. They are all equipped with fishing and snorkelling equipment, serve good food, and everybody of the family can do what they like: go swimming, fishing, diving, hiking, do some volcano trekking, or explore archaeological sites, wander villages and unspoilt nature, eat, drink or just hang out. See more at Services, Sights & Attractions and Things To Do.
enchants with pastel-coloured houses, an old castle, wild coasts, turquoise and ink-blue waters, a Greek Acropolis, high cliffs, sea stacks, wide bays, hot springs, fabulous beaches and the wonderful Museo Archeologico delle Eolie. It is the biggest of the islands with a vivid nightlife in summer. There is an excellent bus service on Lipari.
features four volcanoes, hot fumaroles and mud for cures of skin diseases and rheumatism (a very smelly experience, but fun), geysers, scenic villages, sulphur vapours, the “Valley of the Monsters”, a SPA park, a picturesque coast line and geothermal swimming pools. To tell you the truth, its restaurants are not so good. The walk up to the crater make a pleasant day trip from Lipari.
is the island of the international jet set. It features white villas nestled in lush green, a dazzling flora, rock caves, dramatic sceneries, poor beaches but wonderful clear water with a colourful sea world, gorgeous panoramas and a Bronze Age Village. Picturesque Panarea is the most fashionable and exclusive spot of the Isole Eolie. In particular the terrace of the Hotel Raya is the place to be in August. The rest of the season it is very quiet and a great place for relaxing holidays, offering beautiful walks and unique opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and in particular diving.
is most active volcano of Europe with an uninterrupted activity for millennia. There are constant eruptions and lava and ash fountains. A night excursion to the Fire Slide is an unforgettable experience. You can do volcano trekking and overnight on the top. And you can visit to the house where Ingrid Bergman lived during the shooting of " Stromboli - Land of God". On Stromboli you will find some reasonably priced hotels and restaurants.There is also nightlife (apart from the eruptions...): the younger generation can choose between lively clubs and cafés.
is the greenest island of all, dominated by the twin cones of two inactive volcanoes. There are excellent hiking routes, endemic fauna, great views and a crystalline sea. It is one of the best diving spots in Sicily with plenty of fishand other sea animals, and submerged craters.
The Bay of Pollara is one of the most splendid in the entire archipelago. Salina became famous to the world by Michael Radford’s film "Il Postino". The islands’ main products are capers, fish and the sweet dessert wine Malvasia. Local tip: stop at Bar Alfredo in the village of Lingua for a granita!
Alicudi and Filicudi
are the less developed islands of the archipelago and still unspoilt by tourism. There are pebbled beaches, rocky coasts, stunning volcanic rock formations, steep steps, narrow streets and a wild landscape. On Alicudi are only one hotel, some houses and a few shops – it is a holiday paradise for those in search of total relaxation. Filicudi features three villages, a few restaurants, car, scooter and boat rental.It is still an undiscovered spot for holidays. Please note that car ferries are available only in summer.
Jet Set Life has kindly provided the following video for disposal - thank you, Kim and Rob!
Eating & Drinking
The Aeolian cuisine focuses on fresh fish, capers, peppers and tomatoes. The local table wines are very drinkable, while the sweet Malvasia, or “Malmsey” (second to Admiral Nelson’s sailors) is particularly famous. Make sure you have a glass or two while you're visiting. See Restaurants
There are numerous hotels - also some very luxury ones, bed & breakfasts, rooms to let, holiday apartments and villas for all budgets and needs. Nearly all arrange a pick up at the port. If you are planning a stay in July and August, you'll have to book well in advance. There are also some rental properties to enjoy long term holidays on the islands. More at Accommodation
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And it should be clear that the Aeolian Islands sure are a nature paradise, but not made for shopping aficionados.....Nevertheless we want to recommend some shops where you can find really special souvenirs and gifts: Chantal Creazoni Gioelli (Vulcano), La Fede Eoliana (Lipari) and Carpe Diem (Salina). See more at our Shopping page
The biggest yearly event of the Aeolian Islands is the fire dancing theatre, the “Teatro del Fuoco”, that traditionally takes place the last week of July in Lipari. Find more festivals on the Aeolians and in Sicily here and at Events
Diving & Snorkelling
The Aeolian Islands feature some of Sicily's best diving spots. Divers should look for an accommodation on Lipari or Salina, but also Alicudi and Filicudi boast some great underwater places, and Panarea's beaches are poor, but its rocky coasts and exceptional waters make for unique diving experiences. On Salina you should pay a visit to the "Aeolian Dolphin Center".
How to get to the Aeolian Islands
The Aeolians are easily reached by ferries and hydrofoils from Milazzo (far the most boat departures), Palermo, Messina and on the Italian mainland from Naples and Reggio di Calabria. In summer frequent ferries, fewer in spring, autumn and winter. Reduced services all year round on Sundays. All car rental agencies offer special deals allowing the traveller the use of a car one-way from the airports of Palermo and Catania to Milazzo. These deals are not available without reservation in advance. Please note that ferries can be cancelled due to rough seas, in particular in spring, autumn and winter. You should plan the night before and after your stay in Sicily, especially the night after, just to make sure not to miss your plane. There is a bus connection from Catania airport to Milazzo.
Please check the timetables of the ferry lines in advance, to allow plenty of time for connections, as ferries and boats can be early or late.
If you are going to Messina by train, consider taking a taxi to the port. It is only one kilometre away from the train station, but the narrow way is not really made for pedestrians with luggage. If there is some time left until the departure of the ferry, you can leave your luggage in a small room at the ticket office – ask there. Most of the crossings arrive in Lipari, from where a series of local boats make regular visits between the islands.
If you want to take the short way to the islands you have to pay for it. There is no air travel available to the Aeolian Islands, except for the helicopter service which runs during high season from Catania airport to Panarea.
Touristic ports you'll find here