What Sets Italy’s Aeolian Islands Apart from Other Island Getaways?

Italy’s Aeolian Islands aren’t just another exotic paradise – they’re a volcanic cluster that’s been forming for over 600,000 years, and they features some of the most fantastic natural phenomena on earth. UNESCO declared them a World Heritage Centre in 2000.

Explore Vulcano and Stromboli, islands sporting two of the most important volcanoes in the world for geologists and travelers. Shall we say they are hot ticket items?

It’s a Hidden Gem

Hike other-worldly landscapes on ancient, steaming volcanoes, and get a real sense of Italian culture in remote, picturesque villages where few travelers go. It’s a beautiful smoosh of geology, mythology and history, perfect for those seeking the road less traveled.

Volcanoes Provide Unbeatable Educational Opportunities

For over 200 years, the Vulcano and Stromboli volcanoes have been essential in helping scientists understand how these lava-slinging wonders of nature work. They are so important to the field of volcanology, scientists named two types of eruptions after them (Vulcanian and Strombolian). These destinations are two of the greatest volcano classrooms in the world.

It’s a classroom you and your kids will love: Stromboli is known as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” because of its near-constant activity and lava flow. You can trek halfway up the mountain to see and hear the volcanic activity from a safe distance. Alternatively, you can watch the lava flow down its “scar” during a nice evening dinner.

Here’s a hot language lesson: the word “volcano” in English and many European languages derives from the name of Vulcano Island! And Vulcano comes from the Roman god Vulcan, god of fire and metalworking.

Get Active and Explore

When you’re in the Aeolian Islands, do more than gaze at the pristine turquoise water – dive right in! Kayak to hidden caves and secret coves along Vulcano’s black sand beaches, enjoy a rejuvenating hot mud bath and swim at the second smallest Aeolian Island, Panarea.

On land, climb Vulcano’s most popular attraction, Fossa di Vulcano, a dormant crater that rises over 1,200 feet. Reaching the top offers stunning views of Lipari, Salina and Panarea as well as the endless Tyrrhenian Sea.

That’s a lot of activity! During your downtime, you’ll get to taste Sicilian wines at a local winery and enjoy stunning views of the water. The islands are perfect for the adventurous and the relaxation-minded alike.

The Environment is Unlike Anything Else

Six-hundred thousand years is a long time for cooled lava to form an island, but these millennia have defined the geology that make the Aeolian Islands an unforgettable experience. The black sand beaches of Vulcano are fascinating and fun – they get their color from bits of basalt that come from the island’s volcanic activity. They also make a good spot for enjoying the waves!

If you’re hoping for some hot tub time in Italy, don’t worry – Vulcano’s mud baths and thermal spas have you covered. Caused by subterranean heat seeping through vents in the earth called fumaroles, these natural pools are warm and tranquil. The characteristic odor of sulfur is used for inhalation therapy, and the water is believed to have strong healing powers.

Sicily is Right Next Door

The Aeolian Islands are a relaxing and awe-inspiring travel destination, but the adventure gets even better: Sicily is a short boat ride away! While you’re on this historic island, discover the ancient city of Catania, filled with baroque architecture at every stop: Piazza Duomo, Basilica della Collegiata and Cathedral of Catania. Hike Sicily’s most prominent figure, Mount Etna: an easy 800-foot elevation gain ending in a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily.

The Aeolian Islands give you the culture you expect, the adventure you want and the relaxation you’ll need, and they do so in perfect Italian form – wine-tasting, mountain hiking and mud spa bathing. The Italians love these secret islands, and now is your perfect opportunity to see why.