Discovering the Aeolian Islands off the Coast of Sicily

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The famous Aeolian archipelago is also called the Lipari Islands. It is located north of Sicily and is composed of seven islands of volcanic origin and other smaller islands. The archipelago is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea and includes two active volcanoes: Stromboli and Vulcano. Fortunately, this does not prevent visitors from reaching these fantastic Sicilian islands which have become a very popular tourist destination in recent years. Let’s get to know the 7 major islands of the Aeolian archipelago and discover a bit of history.

The Aeolian Islands in Mythology

According to Greek mythology, these islands are named after the god Aeolus (the god of wind). Aeolus is said to have taken shelter on these islands- precisely in Lipari- where he managed to forecast the weather by observing the shape of the smoke that came out of Stromboli. Aeolus gained notoriety and the fame of the “king of the winds” thanks to this skill of his and that is why the islands bear his name. Many others names were given to these islands in various historical periods. The best known are: Efestiadi (vulvanoids) from Greek; Aeoliae and Lipari Volcaniae from the Romans; and finally, from the myth according to which Liparo colonized and became king of these islands, Lipari.


Lipari is the largest of the seven islands that make up this archipelago. Undoubtedly, Lipari is the perfect mix of nature, fun and comfort. Its beaches are truly spectacular and surrounded by greenery that contrasts with the crystal clear sea. Lipari is also famous for its amazing food and nightlife. The bay of Marina Corta is full of bars, pubs and everything a tourist could ask for during a holiday. If you want to enjoy a breathtaking view and take advantage of a little trekking or just a stroll, we suggest you reach Monte Sant’Angelo, Monte Chirica or Monte Mazzacaruso. The island can be easily traversed by car or motorbike, but to enjoy it to the fullest, the best choice is on foot or by bicycle. Lipari can be reached by ferry from Naples or Palermo or Milazzo.



The second-largest island is also in the heart of the Aeolian archipelago: we are talking about Salina. Reachable by ferry from many ports (Naples, Palermo, Messina, Milazzo and Reggio Calabria), this island has a whopping six extinct volcanoes. Its central position and the protection of the surrounding islands makes it perfect for families and for relaxation, but at the same time, it’s also a hot spot for young people. Its beaches and its blue sea will make you fall in love with this island. The best way to get around the island is by car or motorbike. To fully admire the beauty of Salina, the absolute best solution is by boat which allows you to reach Scoglio Faraglione- a completely, uninhabited rocky island rich in flora and fauna.


Approaching the northern coast of Sicily, we find the third-largest island- Vulcano. It boasts four extinct volcanoes. Given the size, it is recommended to tour this island by bike, motorbike or scooter. This pearl of the archipelago, in addition to a fantastic natural landscape and a unique sea, offers visitors the benefits of sulfurous, thermal waters.


Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes on earth. Strombolicchio island is another island just off its coast and is completely uninhabited. Its amazing scenery is postcard-worthy thanks to the presence of the lighthouse. Stromboli itself only has about 400 residents making it a unique experience!


Alicudi and Filicudi

These two small islands are the westernmost of the archipelago and the least populated, but very visited! If you’re a fan of wild nature, these two small oases are perfect for an adventure! You’ll breathe in lungfuls of salty, sea air and immerse yourself in the Mediterranean scrub. The paths and dirt roads allow visitors to explore on foot, but you can also rent a scooter or a bike. If you’re really adventurous, there’s always the mule alternative! An interesting feature of these two islands is the total absence of pubs. The most you’ll find are a few cafes and restaurants that close in September. Another peculiarity is that there is no street lighting!


Last but not least, Panarea is the smallest yet the most popular of all the islands. If you’re looking for relaxation, a beautiful sea, nature, social life and fun, look no further. It really has everything you could want from a holiday from every point of view. That’s probably why it’s a favorite of the rich and famous. Gorgeous hotels, luxury restaurants and trendy bars perfectly accompany the crystalline sea and the rocky coast of this jewel of an island.


These are the seven islands that make up the famous Aeolian archipelago,
but did you know that the region of Sicily has more than 100 islands?
Dooid has you covered!