Aeolian Islands, Sicily Overview
- Earth, wind, fire and water
- Coast life
- Lazy days, active volcanoes
The ‘seven sisters’ of the volcanic Aeolian Islands are scattered like stars across the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily.
Once believed to be the home of Aeolus and Vulcan, the god of the winds and the god of fire, they are now worshipped by island-lovers drawn to the cobalt waters, secret coves, brooding volcanoes and windswept mountainsides. The islands mix elemental forces in extraordinarily variety: the fiery volcano of Stromboli; black-sand beaches of sulphurous Vulcano; glamorous bougainvillea-framed hideaways on Panarea; the lush vineyards of Salina. Serene and peaceful and yet volatile and capricious – a playground fit for the gods.
See our separate guide to mainland Sicily.
Absolutely Aeolian Islands, SicilyHire a boat to reach the secluded coves and grottoes that line the coasts of the archipelago. The harbours are full of local operators ready to charter, or ask your hotel to arrange a vessel.
- Golf buggies on Panarea (hold on tight!); three-wheeled Vespa pickups on Vulcano. Taxis can be scarce and somewhat undependable. Get your hotel to order one for you.
- Tipping culture
- A service charge is often added to restaurant bills, but an additional tip of ten per cent is usual for good service.
- Packing tips
- Only Lipari has good banking facilities so make sure you arrive with enough cash in your pocket. Salina is popular with mosquitoes; pack some repellent.
- Recommended reads
- The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa.
- Dishes make extensive use of fragrant herbs and locally produced capers. There is a big focus on fresh fish and squid; the Aeolian speciality of scorpion fish is fantastic. Don’t miss the sweet Malvasia wine.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Italy: 39. Aeolian Islands: 090.
- Do go/don't go
- Spring and autumn are warm and tranquil. July and August can be very busy and prices soar. Ferry and hydrofoil services are sometime cancelled, particularly in winter, due to heavy seas.