Symphony World Travel - Fetcham
Italy – Sicily & the magical Aeolian Islands
Seven volcanic islands, just 45 minutes by hydrofoil from mainland Sicily, rise out of the cobalt seas off Sicily’s northeast coast. These Unesco-protected pearl drops of islands are a little piece of relatively undiscovered paradise, offering stunning waters for water sports enthusiasts, swimmers and divers as well as trek worthy volcanoes, bubbling thermal springs and a gourmet heaven not to mention outstanding views.
The seven Aeolian Islands are Lipari, Vulcano, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi.
Start with a couple of days in the historic town of Taormina on mainland Sicily – fabulous accommodation lies on the beach and in the town itself.
Mount Etna dominates the east coast of Sicily and rises majestically above Taormina. Adventurous travellers can explore Etna by 4×4 or cable car – less ambitious visitors can stop half way and enjoy the extraordinary panoramic views of the volcanic landscape.
The town itself boasts several fabulous restaurants to enjoy fresh and local Sicilian cuisine at its very best.
Lipari, the ‘capital’ of the islands, is the largest and liveliest so the ideal introduction to a stay in this stunning area.
For some volcanic action, a spot of nature and complete relaxation, a stay on Vulcano is a must – a boat trip from Vulcano to Stromboli, which erupts every 15 minutes and provides a stunning backdrop to any cocktails-at-sunset boat excursion, should not be missed.
The other islands provide a mix of accommodation and can be explored with differing levels of adventure. The example itinerary below offers a taste of what the islands have to offer and can be completely tailor made.
Day one: Fly to Catania and transfer to Taormina for 2 nights. Why not stay at the beautiful La Plage Resort – on the beach and close to the town.
Day three: Transfer to Milazzo to meet the hydrofoil which will whisk you on a 45 minute journey across the crystal blue waters to Lipari for 2 nights. Enjoy a couple of days at beautiful Hotel Mea, privately owned and a haven of tranquillity just a hop, skip and jump from the lively town centre and its plethora of typical local restaurants and bars.
Day five: A short 10 minute boat hop across to Vulcano for a relaxing stay for 3 nights. Therasia Resort and spa is a great choice – utter bliss and offers 360 degree views of the beautiful ocean and neighbouring islands.
Day eight: Transfer back to Milazzo then onto Catania for flight home.