Travel itineraries: Aeolian Islands

The seven volcanic cones rising from the abyssal Tyrrhenian plain, with anchorages of often challenging depths, make for a fascinating cruising itinerary for its landscapes, shore excursions, typical cuisine and Sicilian Baroque-style villages.

Starting from the west we find Alicudi, a small circular volcano with steep coastlines that can be reached only in declared good weather. Its small village of a hundred souls appears suspended in time. 

Filicudi, another volcano with the most improbable rock formations and a couple of bays suitable for anchorages; for the past few years mooring buoys have been placed for a fee in the Cala del porto and near the village of Pecorini a Mare.

Salina, the greenest, formed by two volcanoes, is home to several villages, Malfa, Rinella, Leni and Santa Marina with its tourist marina; in addition to the splendid sea, the island produces prestigious wines. We point out the anchorage of Pollara and that of Lingua.

Lipari, is the most rugged; its western bays and ancient volcanic pumice quarry are splendid. The port of Pignataro, in Lipari Bay, is the only one worthy of the islands' appellation besides the marina at Salina. Make reservations in advance.

Alternatively there are floating docks in the bay but exposed to the annoying waves of ferries.

The austere Vulcano is worth a shore excursion for its thermal mud, crater visit and black beaches. Mooring options in the eastern and western harbors.

Little Panarea, with more practicable seabed and favored by young people for its worldly vocation.  The anchorages of Dattilo and Lisca Bianca are beautiful.

From afar looms the unmistakable silhouette of Stromboli, which, with its often fiery plume, is the only visibly active volcano, with splendid black sand beaches, the village full of charm and with a peculiar atmosphere, surely due to coexistence with "idda," the rumbling mountain.

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