The Aeolian Islands, named after the ancient Greek god of the winds Aeolus, are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea situated on the North of Sicily. Breathtakingly beautiful and diverse in nature, the seven islands and many uninhabited islets of the Aeolian archipelago were claimed a Unesco World Heritage site in 2000.
An amalgamation of stunning waters, rocky coastlines, smoldering craters and black-sand beaches is what makes these islands truly unique. Each island has its individual charm and the archipelago is a paradise for island hopping.
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands and the most practical place to start your yacht charter. Lipari Town is a picturesque port characterized by its pastel colored buildings and stunning views. The excellent collection in the Aeolian Archaeological Museum is a must for anyone interested in Mediterranean history.
Panarea, is one of the smallest and considered the most exclusive of the Islands. Spend a lazy morning wandering the cobblestone streets and browsing the elegant shops of San Pietro, then snorkel or kayak the natural tunnel at the south end of the small islet of Dattilo. If you wish to dine off the boat, the deck at the Hotel Raya is a fabulous sunset venue.
Alicudi and Filicudi are the most remote of the islands: two extinct volcanoes emerging from the sea. Cruising towards Alicudi you will admire a shoreline formed of dramatic ridges and fissures. On this peaceful island of fishermen, there are no roads and the only means of transportation are donkeys. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the little town, admiring the island’s simple painted dwellings.
Filicudi, considered by many the most beautiful of the islands, is known for its coasts of deep aquamarine waters and secret caves. Grotta del Bue Marino (Cave of the Monk Seal) is ideal for snorkeling and its luminous show of reflected sunlight is a magical sight.
The island of Vulcano, has a growing appeal among travelers thanks to its hot springs and stunning black sand beaches. For anyone looking for a little ‘rejuvenation’ the island offers sulphurous natural mud baths in pools right at the water’s edge, known for their therapeutic benefits. For those looking for an easier hike, make your way up to the Gran Craters, which are an hour’s walk from the anchorage of Porto di Ponente. Although not as dramatic, they still offer impressive views of a volcano crater.
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