6 things to do on the Aeolian Islands of Vulcano and Lipari

The Aeolian Islands located in the Tyrrhenian Sea consists of seven beautiful islands that have a “Y-shaped” configuration when viewed from the sky. The islands include Stromboli, Vulcano, Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea, Lipari, and Salina. They are collectively called the “seven pearls of the Mediterranean” and according to history, they were named The Aeolian Islands after the Greek god of the wind, Aeolus who is also referred to as “holder of the winds”. The Islands were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000 in recognition of the pure natural beauty possessed by the islands. The islands offer ideal locations for tourists to hike, sun bath or just take in the endless and amazing scenery. For the more serious visitors, the islands are rich in history, both architectural and archealogical.

The Lipari and Vulcano Islands are the favourite destinations for tourists largely because they offer similar yet different experiences and they are very close to each other. As a matter of fact, it would take ten minutes to go from Vulcano to Lipari by hydrofoil. Lipari is the most populous and it is also the largest Aeolian Island with easy access to the other islands. It is a very lively town and receives more tourists than the other Aeolian Islands. There are many historic sites, charming streets and quaint restaurants offering the local cuisine and sea food. Lipari is always bustling and as such it has many options of affordable accommodation and various facilities for visitors, which makes it a great place to stay if you plan on visiting the other Aeolian Islands. Vulcano is a “quieter” version of Lipari and it can be described as a vibrant land where one can relax and get reconnected with nature. The island boasts of volcanic rocks, therapeutic sulphur mud and also alum caves. The hotels are exquisite and offer the visitors a serene, romantic and perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy Lipari a few minutes away. Therefore, if you love the city life, you can stay in Lipari but if you prefer calm and quiet, it is best that you sleep in Vulcano.

During your visit to these islands, there are some things that you must experience so as to have the real taste of both islands of Lipari and Vulcano, and six of them will be mentioned as follow.

1. Stay at the 5 stars Therasia resort

The charming Theresia Resort is located on the Island of Vulcano and it is an amazing sight to behold. The hotel was built with an ingenious balance of locally sourced materials and contemporary décor. The allure of the hotel lies in the balanced link it has with the surrounding; the combination of colored terracotta and volcanic stones as well as its location between the black rocks of the Vulcanello and the blue sea makes the hotel warm, welcoming and absolutely amazing. The hotel also has three amazing restaurants and two well-stocked bars which offer enviable quality of service. The Arcipelago offers lunch and dinner which consist of Italian Cuisine and carefully selected Sicilian wines; the I Grusoni also serves Italian cuisine and is a great choice for snacks, pizzas and casual dates; the Il Cappero is a one Michelin Star restaurant which serves Mediterranean Cuisine using ingredients of Sicilian Origin. The bar and lounge is a great place to sit after a meal at any of the restaurants and enjoy the sites as well as the wide selection of wines and drinks offered.

The Theresia Resort boasts of exquisitely furnished rooms which are within walking distance of the beautiful beaches and visitors can take relaxing walks in the evenings after a long day of sightseeing. The atmosphere at the Theresia Hotel is refined and creates a sense of intimacy and privacy that makes it a wonderful location for a luxury vacation.

Therasia Resort, Vulcano

2. Take a hike to see the active volcano top at Vulcano Island

A major attraction in Vulcano is the hike up to top of the active and imposing volcano. The view of the Aeolian Islands and the blue sea from the top is exceptional and is bound to remain etched in your mind for a very long time. At the summit, you will also get a view of the inside of the crater where you can observe the sulphuric gases and the swirling smoke of the volcano.

There are some major volcanic centres which should be visited while on the island; the Old Stratovolcan cones on the southern part of the Island, the Gran Cratere which is the most recently active centre which in the last 6000 years, has had at least seven eruptions and the Vulcanello on the Northern part of the Island. A hike up any or all of these volcanic centres gives one the feeling of experiencing the elements of life, the sky (air) above, the sea (water) beneath, land and fire. The feeling is remarkable.

vulcan top, Vulcano

3. Visit Lipari town

Lipari town was built several years ago (about 6000 years), but it still retains most of its original walls as well as the setting of the town, especially the Acropolis which is the heart of the old town. The major attraction of the old town is the citadel which houses a 16th century church of Saint Catherine and also the rich altars of the Addolorata which boast of a 17th century gilded stucco work. The cathedral of San Bartolo, the patron saint of the Aeolian Islands serves as home to a number of artworks including a picture of “Madonna of the Rosary” in the 17th Century and also a silver statue of St. Bartholomew. The building style of the cathedral is quite interesting and for lovers of architecture, the old Lipari town is a must-visit.

Old Town, Lipari

4. Visit the Lipari Antic Museum

The museum in Lipari contains archaeological remains from different eras including the Roman, Greek, Neolithic and Bronze Age. It also has a section dedicated to volcanology, underwater archaeology and has different objects from different parts of the world. The items being exhibited includes remains from shrines long forgotten, pottery, ceramics, rocks, coffins of ancient kings, and many other things which tell the story of times long gone. The Lipari antic museum is a repository of history and it is the highlight of any visit to Lipari.

eolian island Sicilly, Lipari

5. Taste Malvasia wine at Tenuta Di Castellaro

Tenuta di Castellaro is a notable producer of natural wines from Lipari. The vineyard boasts of wines that are naturally grown, harvested and processed and the Malvasia delle Lipari is one of such wines. The Malvasia is a raisin wine produced from Corinto and Malvasia delle Lipari grape vines grown on the rich, volcanic and sandy soil of Lipari. The taste of the wine is a fine balance between acidity, mineral taste and sweetness which is a result of the complex hints of apricot, white fig and dried rose the wine possesses. Words cannot really do justice to the taste of this exquisite wine, so when you visit the Tenuta Di Castellaro, make it a point of duty to taste the Malvasia delle Lipari. You could also taste the other wines in their collection.

Tenuta Di Castellaro, Lipari

6. Have a nice lunch or dinner at Chimera restaurant

The Chimera restaurant is located in the Mea Hotel, 500 meters from the center of Lipari. The restaurant is a true Sicilian Slow food restaurant which serves traditional, tasty and fresh fish. The restaurant offers patrons a sensational experience of the flavors and aromas of the Aeolian Islands. The cuisine consists of traditional Sicilian and Aeolian dishes creatively reinvented with a modern touch by the chef. The desserts are homemade and taste really great, especially the Pistachio Ice-cream which the restaurant is known for. The service is of high quality and the meals are accompanied by an appropriate selection of Italian, Aeolian and Sicilian wine guaranteed to give you an awesome experience.

Chimera restaurant, Lipari

Olivier Templar-James is Chief Editor at Luxury Travelers Guide.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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