Just off the coast of north-eastern Sicily there is a small archipelago of extraordinary beauty, deep blue waters, small bays, wild nature and active volcanoes, the Aeolian Islands are an ideal destination for those who love to sail and relax by boat. The best bases from which to start this adventure are undoubtedly the ports of the Messina area: Porto Rosa, Milazzo but also Marina Capo d’Orlando. On Boatsandgo, you will find all the fleets that offer various solutions to rent the right boat for you. (https://boatsandgo.com/en/boats/list/?filter_zones=136&start_date=2021-07-01&end_date=2021-07-08)
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Let's go to the discovery of some of these places full of enchantment with this which will be only the first of a series of articles on these fantastic islands.
Let's say right away that there is no "canonical" itinerary for your visit but, you can indulge yourself, letting the wind carry you from one island to another. However, there are definitely places that you absolutely cannot miss, one of these is Stromboli. The whole island is a volcano characterized by intense and continuous activity and will give you a spectacle of nature with its "sciara". To observe it, you can either opt for a guided tour on a trekking route that will take you to the edge of the caldera (to be booked on the island) or, preferably see it from the sea at night. Remember that "Iddu" as the islanders call the volcano roars quite often, at most every half hour but often more frequently. The stretch of sea from which to observe the sciara during the summer is often quite crowded. The seabed is very deep so there is no other solution than to stay on the leeway since it is impossible to drop anchor. It is not easy to capture a beautiful image with cameras, between the moving boat and the phenomenon that suddenly clicks, however you will always carry in your heart the experience of being close to an erupting giant, with its incomparable colors but also with powerful sounds and with all the wonder that our mother earth offers you.
Another stop not to be missed is Panarea. Small island of indisputable charm, the holiday destination of many famous people who it is not uncommon to meet while walking through the alleys of the center. Beautiful beaches, with unspoiled nature like that of the other islands of the archipelago, dotted with prickly pear trees and centuries-old olive trees. At night the area near the port, which is actually just a small landing place consisting of a concrete pier for the docking of hydrofoils, comes alive, giving life to a very refined "nightlife" with gourmet restaurants and bars. For those arriving by boat there are buoy fields where you can plan your stop in complete safety and sheltered from the prevailing winds. Keep the tender ready and be ready to disembark, this small island will give you unforgettable emotions.
The largest and most inhabited island of the archipelago is Lipari instead. Well connected by hydrofoils and ferries, it has a relatively large and well-equipped commercial port. It also has marinas where you can easily plan your mooring for the days we want to stop on this pleasant and beautiful island. Mobility on the island is quite simple, public transport operates regularly and connects all parts of the island. In addition, there are a series of private taxis that connect the key points even in sharing mode for an affordable rate. The island offers many tourist activities from typical restaurants to night clubs, from boat trips to beach activities. Street food certainly deserves a special mention, arancini, pythons, pane cunzato and other island specialties are an experience not to be missed. Not to mention the sublime and unique pastry, with cannoli and cassata or with granitas and brioche for breakfast. Finally, you cannot leave the island without purchasing capers and cucunci, which will give your dishes an "Aeolian" touch all year round.
From a strictly naturalistic point of view, the beautiful and very particular beach of pomici is worth a visit. A long white beach where there are the ruins of an industrial plant for the extraction of pumice of which the entire beach is made up. The very white color of the pumice gives the sea a characteristic turquoise color that you will not tire of admiring.
Small but very exclusive is the island of Salina, lush green, fertile and rich in water (a rarity for the archipelago), offers a small but very well-equipped port and a tourist system organized to satisfy both one one day visits and high-end customers. Gourmet restaurants alternate with small fishermen's shops seamlessly. As mentioned, the port is small so it is difficult to find a berth if not booked well in advance and at fairly high prices. However, you will have several bays of incomparable beauty. For example, do not miss the lighthouse of "Punta Lingua" with a very characteristic small village, where you will find bars and restaurants to taste the Aeolian specialties. Also in this case, tender ready for landing !!
The island closest to Sicily is Vulcano. As its name suggests, also in this case we are facing a volcano in full activity. In truth, there are more than one volcanoes and their activity is continuous with the presence of fumaroles both at altitude and in the sea. Very different from the activity of Stromboli, in fact it lacks the characteristic explosions of the latter. The activities of two volcanoes are evident, the largest called the "volcano of the pit", further north there is "the little volcano". The consequences of their presence are very famous natural spas. On the beach near the port, there are volcanic muds where you can relax and, moreover, bathing often meets fumaroles that with their hot jet will make your experience extremely relaxing and unique. The two main parts of the island are connected by an isthmus of sand which at the same time divides the two main bays where you can decide to stop, eastern bay and western bay. This island also offers you numerous tourist activities very well organized from excursions to the spa passing through excellent gastronomy.
Alicudi and Filicudi are the most distant and least inhabited islands, some say they are the wildest. Filicudi is certainly the larger of the two and has a fairly well served port. In addition to the core of the port there is another town on the other side of the island, Pecorini a Mare. Here you will find a buoy field and going ashore also various services such as bar and restaurant but also a small market for shopping. In Alicudi, however, it is very difficult to find a suitable place to anchor. The waters are very deep and the coast line is steep. It has a small port, consisting of a concrete pier for hydrofoils and ferries. Inhabited by just over a hundred people, on the island there are not only vehicles and the only means of transport are mules. All this makes her truly unique and like her sisters you cannot help but visit and fall in love with her.