Above: Town of Lipari on the island of the same name in Italy

Exploring Other Aeolian Islands

Salina, the island that hosts our recommended hotels, provides a good base for day trips to other parts of the Aeolian archipelago. Vulcano, Lipari and Panarea are nearby, while Stromboli is farther afield but well-served by ferry services because of its popularity. To the west, Alicudi and Filicudi are tiny and tranquil.


View from Gran Cratere on the island of Vulcano in Italy - Flavio Vallenari/E+/Getty Images

The third-largest Aeolian island, and the closest to the northeastern coast of Sicily, Vulcano offers an olfactory greeting the moment you arrive, since the air here often carries a harmless whiff of sulfur. The Romans gave the island its name, after that of Vulcan, their god of fire, different iterations of which have entered modern languages as the word for “volcano.” They also mined alum and sulfur here, and extracting these minerals was the main activity on the island until the 19th century, when Scotsman James Stevenson planted vineyards and built himself a villa, where he lived until the eruption of 1888 (the last major volcanic event on the island).

Vulcano was formed by three volcanoes that eventually merged. The only one still active is the Fossa cone, whose smoldering Gran Cratere is a steep, 45-minute climb from Vulcano Porto, where the ferries arrive. Many people also visit the island to wallow in warm volcanic mud baths, to which are attributed a variety of therapeutic properties. For those not planning to hike up to the Gran Cratere, the most relaxing way to see Vulcano is to take one of the boat tours that circumnavigate the island. These often put in at the yellow-sand beach in Gelso, where Trattoria da Pina di Maniaci will provide a simple but delicious lunch of pasta with capers and wild fennel, or a squid-ink sauce, and maybe a fritto misto.

Join Andrew Harper today to continue reading our exclusive content.
Above: Town of Lipari on the island of the same name in Italy

Read More from Our Trip:

Wines of the Aeolian Islands Aeolian Cooking and Our Favorite Restaurants Italy’s Unspoiled Aeolian Islands Exploring Italy’s Salina Island