- Coastline 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.
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.
- Planes The nearest airport is Palermo. You can reach the islands by five-seater helicopter with Air Panarea (www.airpanarea.com).
- Boats Hydrofoils connect the islands with Milazzo and Reggio di Calabria, as well as Messina, Palermo and Naples (summer only).
- Automobiles A car is unnecessary. If you want your own wheels then scooters can be hired on the larger islands. Panarea is car-free.
- Taxis 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.