Italy has not shortage of beautiful vacation destinations, but the Aeolian Islands are among its most enchanting regions. The eight islands that comprise the Aeolian group are situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north of Sicily. Roughly 200,000 people visit these islands each year making them a popular Italian vacation destination and it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The largest Aeolian Island in the chain, Lipari is located in the archipelago’s center. The island was first inhabited by Neolithic peoples in the fourth millennium who mined the island for its obsidian. The ancient poet Homer referred to Lipari as the “floating island” due to its sheer cliffs. Lipari’s scenery is stunning and its only real town, Lipari Town, is filled with cobblestone streets, shops, and restaurants. The island’s beach is renowned for its turquoise waters.
The southernmost of the islands, Vulcano is home to a volcano. The volcano’s sulphurous odors are not to everyone’s taste, but anyone with an interest in geology would benefit from a day trip to the island. Travelers also enjoy the island’s hikes and mud baths.
The island of Stromboli is home to one of the country’s three active volcanoes. Fewer than one thousand people make their home on the island, but views of the volcano draw many travelers. Local guides are available for hiking up the volcano. Scuba diving off the island’s coast is also a popular activity.
Salina is the second largest island in the Aeolian chain. The island is home to roughly four thousand permanent residents. The island is well-known for its June caper festival that boasts a multitude of caper-inspired dishes. Many travelers come to the island to visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito which is a renowned pilgrimage site.
Filicudi is a breathtaking island known for its beautiful scenery and archaeological tours. The aquamarine sea surrounding the island has caused many to call it the chain’s loveliest island. One of the island’s sites is a Bronze Age village. The coast is filled with enchanting natural caves while the island’s single beach is sun-drenched and popular with visitors.
This island is an untouched nook of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With fewer tourists than the other islands, Alicudi is more remote and perfect for anyone looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday. With few facilities, life is simple on Alicudi, but also extraordinarily beautiful.
This lovely island is frequently compared to the islands of Greece; it does exude a Grecian air with its white houses and buildings. With its port filled with yachts, Panarea is regarded as a luxurious travel destination. Visitors to the island enjoy scuba diving for sunken wrecks or dining in one of the delightful trattorias.
An islet with a craggy appearance, Basiluzzo is a popular day-trip from Panarea which is two miles away. The islet boasts Roman ruins as well as many small coves and hidden grottoes. The steep slopes and sharp rocks of the islet offer a dramatic view as they rise up from the emerald sea.
The Aeolian Islands are popular among travelers for their old-world charm and unspoiled beauty. These islands, with their ancient past, are ideal vacation destinations. Both Italian and dialects of Sicilian are spoken on the islands. Travelers will find a genuinely friendly atmosphere amidst the timeless beauty of these extraordinary islands.
To explore more of Italy, take a look at An Exciting Array of Day Trips from Parama, Bologna and Modena.