When you see the seven sisters off the northern coast of Sicily, you’ll be left speechless.
The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly comprises Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Alicudi, Filicudi, Stromboli and Panarea (with five other small islands: Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca).
Prepare to enter a timeless dimension, an intimate conversation with nature, the volcanic soil always ready to tell its ancient story. You will discover beaches, coves, caves, inlets, sea stacks and an incomparable variety and richness of the seabed.
Here is a list of ten things to do in the Aeolian Islands. Make sure you don’t skip any of them!
From Vulcano’s highest peak, viewing the succession of all the Aeolian Islands
The first thing you must do is climb to Mount Vulcano’s crater, where the view awaits you is incredible, in the true sense of the word. A full panorama of the entire island and the other six sisters! On clear days, you can also see the Tyrrhenian coast of Messina very well. As I said, you won’t believe your eyes.
Vista da Vulcano – ph. Roberta Iannì
Sampling Malvasia wine
Among the DOC Sicilian wines, Lipari’s Malvasia is a naturally sweet raisin wine, produced exclusively in the Aeolian Islands. Its taste of sun-ripened sultanas is veritable poetry, to be recited every evening on the spot.
Eating “u pani cunzatu” of Lingua in Salina
In the square overlooking the small lake in Lingua, a small fishing village south of Santa Marina, you will find several places to eat ‘u pani cunzatu with caper pesto, almonds, grilled aubergine, cucunci (caper berries), tomato, mint and a mountain of grated baked ricotta on top. An exultation of taste!
Pani cunzatu – Lingua – Salina – ph. Roberta Iannì
Snorkeling amidst the fumaroles
If you love diving,Panarea is home to intense underwater fumarole activity. The phenomenon is due to the release of volcanic gases that press under the earth’s crust and is frequent in volcanic areas. In the Aeolian Islands there are fumaroles everywhere, and you can easily observe them up close.
Night climbing on Mount Stromboli
Of all the Sicilian vulcanoes, Iddu (in the Sicilian dialect He) awaits you for an extraordinary night-time experience. The Stromboli guides are highly skilled in navigating the best trails to the summit, depending on the eruptive phases. In any case, the spectacle is assured, rich in emotions that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Tasting the mulberry “granita” with cream
Everyone knows that the Sicilian granita is a cold spoon dessert, typical of Sicily. It is a semi-frozen liquid mixture of water, sugar and fruit. However, not everyone knows about mulberries, a fruit that is widespread throughout Sicily. In summer, in the courtyards of many country houses in the Aeolian Islands, it’s common to find is easy to see large mulberry trees dropping their fruit onto the nets specially arranged under the branches.
.Alicudi does not have roads, and the steep climbing paths are trodden by mules and donkeys that tirelessly carry tourists’ luggage up and down. A few days of this simple life will easily make you forget the hectic bustle of city traffic. If you like the idea, discover other places where else these wonderful creatures can take you!
Soak in the sulphurous waters
These volcanic islands, like many other places in Sicily, offer numerous sites where you can relax your body and mind in a true natural open-air spa. Mount Vulcano is famous for its mud baths and also for its “hot” waters. In the open sea, there are sulphurous areas that can be exploited for thermal treatments. Beneath the surface of the water, dozens of underwater fumaroles release steam, like in a whirlpool bath.
Fanghi di Vulcano – ph Paolo Barone
Viewing the scenery from the Quattropani old church of on Lipari
The effort it takes to reach this small church will certainly be rewarded by an extraordinary view of Salina, Filicudi and Alicudi. If you plan the excursion to enjoy the sunset, you will experience a moment of pure happiness.
Lipari Panorama dalla Chiesa Vecchia di Quattropani-ph. P. Barone
Boat trip around the Panarea’s smaller islands
Gli isolotti di Panarea – ph. Paolo Barone
There are five islets in the vicinity of Panarea: Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca. We can get an up-close view from just offshore.
For film buffs, it will be interesting to know that in the waters around Lisca Bianca were staged the scenes of “L’avventura” by Michelangelo Antonioni and the itinerary is dedicated to the great director.