Fly with BA or Thomson Airways to Catania Airport, and grab a taxi or hire car to the Sicilian port of Milazzo, less than two hours’ drive away. Then take one of the regular ferries from Milazzo to Santa Marina port on Salina, which is a 15-minute drive along the panoramic coastline to Malfa. You can pick up a taxi from Santa Marina for about €20.
There’s a station at Milazzo, on the Sicilian mainland, but it’s easiest to get around Salina by road (or water). A reliable bus service connects the main villages, and you can rent a car or a moped to zip around Salina in style.
You can rent a car at the airport or from the hotel itself. Taxis on the islands tend to be rather sporadic, so ask the hotel to arrange a service on your behalf.
If you’re thinking of making a day trip or two, there are regular ferries from Salina to the other main islands in the Aeolian archipelago. For more intimate expeditions, you can hire your own boat from the various operators in the harbour (or ask Hotel Signum to arrange one for you). And for the adventurous, there’s always a ride in a chopper. A helicopter from Catania Airport to Salina will set you back €1,800, or you can take one of the sight-seeing flights around the Aeolian islands (ask the hotel for more details).
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel can organise boat excursions around Salina and to the other islands. Ask about diving and the fisherman’s boats available for you to escape in à deux. On dry land, you can head up to the mountains with trained guides. There are tennis courts at guests’ disposal a few kilometres from the hotel. You can even hire a helicopter to take you back to the mainland or, even better, give you a tour of the other islands: how about stopping off and climbing Stromboli volcano (ask at the hotel)?
Beaches Many of Salina’s beaches feature boulders, rather than sand. Steps from the hotel, Scario Tip is recommended. Near the town of Pollara, you’ll find the most magical bay in the Aeolian archipelago, famed as the backdrop to Il Postino. Descend a few hundred steps, and you can dive off the rocks into the deep plunge pools. The beach at Rinella is another favourite, and good for snorkelling: follow the paths to the Tre Pini campsite.
For lazy lunches, Portobello in Santa Marina (+39 090 984 3125) serves up fine seafood and classic Italian dishes. In Lingua, also within walking distance of the hotel, A Cannata on Via Umberto (+39 090 984 3161) has a sunny terrace where you can try fantastic penne alla salinara with peppers, pine nuts, capers and olives. When you want a change from delectably fresh fish, head round the corner to Pizzeria a’ Lumeredda’ on Via San Lorenzo (+39 090 984 4130) for a simpler supper.
A stunning all-white outdoor bar, Santa Isabel Lounge is a two-minute stroll from Hotel Signum, and great for sunset G&Ts to chilled-out beats. In Lingua, Da Alfredo serves the best granitas on the island.