On a recent episode of Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape, the charismatic chef visited the Aeolian Islands near Sicily. Travelling to Salina and Panarea, Gino showed viewers how to make Italian dishes using local ingredients, such as his Spicy Salad, made with red squid from the waters around Panarea.
If watching Gino’s adventures sparked your interest, here is our guide to the Aeolian Islands, including travel tips for the perfect Aeolian Islands holiday.
Aeolian Islands: The Basics
The Aeolian Islands are a group of volcanic islands nestled in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily’s mainland. They are famous for their unique landscapes and, because they enjoy a warm climate, an Aeolian Islands holiday is a popular favourite. In fact, because of their special beauty, the Aeolian Islands were announced a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
The group consists of Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo. By far, Lipari is the largest and the islands are sometimes referred to as the Lipari Islands as a result.
Two of the islands, Vulcano and Stromboli, are home to active volcanoes. Stromboli, in particular, erupts regularly, putting on a magnificent light show for the locals and visitors to the island. Thanks to the volcanic activity, Vulcano also has some wonderful natural springs and sulphur mud baths that are thought to have skin-soothing properties.
Known for their natural beauty, there has been a key focus on curbing development of the Aeolian Islands. The construction of new buildings is restricted, although existing properties can be restored to strict guidelines. This means that the Aeolian Islands have retained their charm and splendour, making an Aeolian Islands holiday the perfect trip to reconnect with nature in an idyllic setting.
Where To Stay
As Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, it is the richest in hotels, bars and restaurants. If you want to be amongst the hustle and bustle of island life, we recommend staying in Lipari. However, if you want to escape and mingle with the locals, Salina and Panarea are both excellent destinations for your Aeolian Islands holiday.
There is also the option to stay in Sicily and visit the Aeolian Islands on a guided day trip. For this option, we recommend staying in Cefalu, as regular day trips are available from this Sicily beach resort.
What To Do
On your Aeolian Islands holiday, we highly recommend taking some time to simply relax and enjoy the scenery. The sunsets that you can experience here are magnificent and have the ability to relax and rejuvenate even the most stressed traveller. For some of the best sights, take a walking tour of Stromboli – the nature that you can discover here is quite unique and, if you are lucky, you will be treated to an evening light show as the volcano gently erupts into the night sky.
We also recommend enjoying the coastal scenery. The Aeolian Islands have some fantastic sea caves that are simply magical. Our favourites are Grotta del Boe Marino and Grotta del Cavallo. To explore the best of the coastal scenery, we recommend taking a boat tour or Aeolian Islands sea cruise. These tours will also allow you to enjoy water sports, such as snorkelling, so that you can see some of the rare sea life that populates the waters around the islands.
Finally, if the Aeolian Islands’ history and archaeology intrigue you, we think you’ll love the prehistoric ruins at Cala Junco and the ancient settlement of Santa Marina Salina.
Our Aeolian Islands Cruises
No matter what your interests, we’re sure an Aeolian Islands holiday will delight you. For a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, we offer Aeolian Islands cruises aboard charming Italian sailing ships:
- 7-night Aeolian Islands Cruise (from £835 per person): Click here to find out more
- 14-night Aeolian Islands Cruise (from £1380 per person): Click here to find out more
- Palermo, Catania and Aeolian Islands Cruise (from £1539 per person): Click here to find out more
Our Aeolian Islands cruises can be incorporated into a Sicily multi-centre holiday and, because we offer a tailored travel service, we can arrange all aspects of your Aeolian Islands holiday, including return flights, airport transfers, accommodation, activities, car hire and restaurant reservations. No matter what you want from your Sicily vacation, we can arrange the dream trip. To find out more, call us on 01223 637331 or click here to send an online enquiry.