The Aeolian Islands are a stunning archipelago located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the northern coast of Sicily. This volcanic paradise consists of seven islands characterized by dramatic landscapes, including active and dormant volcanoes, rugged coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation. The islands attract with their diverse range of activities, outdoor adventures and attractions and being close to each other, they are perfect for island-hopping.
Autumn is a perfect moment to escape to the Aeolian Islands and enjoy the mild climate with sunny days and temperatures ranging from 24°C to 28°C ideal for outdoor activities. Our 5-day itinerary takes you yo explore the islands of Lipari, Vulcano, and Stromboli to discover the stunning volcanic scenery while enjoying fun outdoor adventures and activities on land and water around Sicily's the Aeolian Islands
Day 1: Arrival in Lipari and enjoy the great pleasures of the island
Arrive in Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands, by ferry or hydrofoil from Sicily's or Italy's mainland. You can catch a ferry from Naples, Milazzo, Messina, and Reggio Calabria. The journey duration varies depending on your departure point, but it typically takes 1.5 to 4 hours. Hydrofoils are faster and available from some ports like Milazzo and Messina. The hydrofoil ride to Lipari takes around 1 to 2 hours.
In the afternoon head for a relaxing swim at Spiaggia Canneto, one of Lipari's most popular and easily accessible beaches. It features dark volcanic sand and clear blue waters. There are beachfront bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities. Alternatively, you can go to Spiaggia Bianca (White Beach), located on the northern coast of Lipari. This beach is known for its white pumice stone sand, which contrasts beautifully with the deep blue sea. The crystal-clear waters here are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
In the evening you can enjoy a wine tasting. Lipari has a small but notable wine production industry. The unique volcanic soil and climate of the island contribute to the production of distinctive wine. Probably the most renowned one is the Malvasia delle Lipari. This sweet dessert wine is made primarily from the Malvasia grape variety, which thrives in the volcanic soil.
You can take a guided tour of the cellar and a short walk of the vineyard. The tasting is paired with some traditional specialties and best of all with an awe-inspiring view of the sunset.
Day 2: Lipari - Get out on the water and enjoy kayak and snorkel adventures
Get out in the morning to rent a kayak and explore the crystal-clear waters around Lipari. Lipari's coastline is dotted with sea caves and grottoes, many of which are accessible by kayak. Paddle through these natural formations and marvel at the play of light and shadows on the water. While kayaking, you can also observe the unique lava rock formations that make up the shoreline; some of them have intriguing shapes. Passing secluded coves you have the chance to reach hidden beaches that are often inaccessible by land. These spots are perfect for a break and a swim!
In the afternoon you can go snorkeling at Punta Castagna and explore the underwater world of the Aeolian Islands. Punta Castagna is known for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and fascinating underwater landscapes. As you put on your mask and snorkel you might encounter colorful fish, sea urchins, octopuses, and a variety of aquatic plants. The waters are known for their exceptional clarity, offering excellent visibility. This means you'll be able to see the underwater world in great detail, even at depths of several meters.
Day 3: Vulcano - Climb the top of the crater and swim in warm (muddy) waters
Take a ferry to the neighboring island of Vulcano, dominated by its sleeping but active volcano. Here is exactly where your outdoor adventure of today starts: the climb to the summit of the volcano the "Cratere della Fossa,”. It is a unique and thrilling experience that allows you to get up close to the volcanic activity and witness the island's raw, natural beauty. The hike starts from the town of Vulcano Porto (where you arrive with the ferry). The hike up the volcano is relatively steep and can be challenging, but it offers breathtaking views. As you ascend, you'll notice the terrain changing from lush vegetation to barren volcanic rock. Along the way, you'll encounter fumaroles (volcanic vents emitting steam and gases) and sulfur deposits. As you climb higher, you'll have panoramic views of the island and even the surrounding Aeolian Islands!
The ultimate goal of the hike is to reach the main crater which impresses with its surreal and otherworldly landscapes. You can explore the crater's rim and walk around its edge, taking in the stunning views. The smell of sulfur is strong, so be prepared for the distinct aroma of volcanic activity.
Once you return to Vulcano Porto, consider taking a dip in the island's famous mud baths (Laghetto di Fanghi) and thermal waters followed by a swim in the waters of the Baia di Levante.
Day 4: Stromboli - Enjoy a boat tour and witness the volcanic eruptions from up close
More volcanic adventures are awaiting you on this day, visiting the island of Stromboli, known for its constantly erupting volcano. Take a boat tour from Lipari and enjoy the relaxing views over the water, while you sail among islets towards Stromboli.
When you disembark on Stromboli, you can visit the charming and picturesque village of Stromboli, also known as San Vincenzo. It has narrow winding streets, white-washed houses, and lively piazzas. Visit local shops, and try some delicious Sicilian cuisine at the island's restaurants. Stromboli offers also a few beautiful beaches where you can relax and swim. Ficogrande Beach, Piscità Beach, and Black Sand Beach are some of the popular spots to soak up the sun and swim in the clear waters.
Later you start a guided hike to the summit of Stromboli’s volcano to witness the volcanic eruptions during the evening. The departure time is usually about 2 hours before sunset. It takes about 2 hours to reach the (maximum authorized) altitude of 400 meters. Here in front of the active craters you can (safely) admire the explosions of the volcano and the sunset on the Sciara del Fuoco. This is an incredible and unique experience!
Day 5: Lipari - Free time and departure
Spend your last morning in Lipari, relaxing on the beach or exploring the charming streets of Lipari town. The heart of Lipari Town is its historic center, which is a charming maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and colorful bougainvillea-draped balconies. Perched on a hill overlooking Lipari Town is the Castello di Lipari. This well-preserved medieval fortress is a historic landmark and now houses museums and exhibitions that you can visit. Lipari Town boasts a variety of shops and boutiques where you can find souvenirs, local handicrafts, and artisanal products, perfect for a little present to bring home.
In the afternoon you catch the ferry or hydrofoil to go back to mainland Sicily and finish this short but intensive itinerary full of volcanic adventures.