A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Aeolian Islands comprise eight small volcanic islands off the northeastern coast of Sicily. Famous for beautiful coastlines and beaches, active volcanoes and mud baths, pretty resort towns, and leisurely pace, this archipelago is a popular day trip destination.
The Aeolian Islands are popular during summer, when their beaches and fishing villages fill with tourists. The largest island, Lipari, is the main transportation hub for boats and ferries to the other islands. A few of the islands, such as Stromboli, still have active volcanoes. You can visit the islands on a day trip from Sicily by boat tour, or on a helicopter tour that includes Mt. Etna or Taormina.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring your swimsuit, whether you’re taking a boat tour or exploring the islands on foot, as the beaches are some of Sicily’s best for sunbathing and swimming.
- Remember a hat, sunblock, and plenty of water when visiting the islands.
- Passengers must be agile enough to board and disembark on boat tours, so those with limited mobility should confirm accessibility.
- A boat or helicopter tour to the Aeolian Islands is a fun break for kids.
How to Get There
The Aeolian Islands are situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily and can be reached by ferry from Milazzo, or by private boat or helicopter tour from a number of ports and cities along the Sicilian coast.
When to Get There
The archipelago is famously crowded in summer, when Italian and European sun worshippers flock to its beaches. Late spring and early fall offer a more peaceful experience, because crowds are smaller but the days are still warm enough for visitors to swim or sunbathe.
The Eight Islands of the Aeolian Archipelago
The largest island is Lipari, where there is a permanent population of more than 10,000 people and a number of towns and fishing villages. Salina, Vulcano, and Panarea also have permanent residents and services, including transportation and accommodations. The smallest islands of Filicudi, Alicudi, and Basiluzzo are little more than islets with pretty coastlines and views.