Welcome to the Aeolian Islands, a remote volcanic archipelago off the coast of Sicily, Italy. These islands are perfect for volcano hiking, beachfront rest and relaxation, and simply enjoying the refreshing breezes of the Mediterranean Sea. Half the allure and charm of these tiny islands is their less touristy feel, more rustic appeal and lack of massive crowds.
Perhaps it’s because they are not the easiest islands to get to! Boats are the only modes of transportation for getting to, and between these islands. Perhaps it’s the volcanos that created this archipelago and still spew and spit on two of the islands. One thing is for sure. Time spent in the Aeolian Islands is time that will long be remembered! And today we are off to experience perhaps the most well known island, Stromboli.
A Day Trip to Stromboli Begins
Come along with us as we spend the day leisurely making our way to Stromboli, and once there, fully appreciating the island’s main attraction of Stromboli Volcano. This day trip adventure is sure to be a highlight of any Aeolian Island experience.
The journey to Stromboli is as much the adventure as experiencing the island itself. It begins with a late morning departure from Vulcano, where we board our Stromboli bound boat. Along the way we’ll explore the islands of Lipari and Panarea, and a refreshingly wet respite too!
Hope you’ve worn your swimsuit because this boating adventure is not a direct one-way cruise to Stromboli! Come prepared for a refreshing water break along the way, where cannonballs off the boat deck into the deep blue sea below are in order.
Everyone takes a turn, or multiple turns, plunging into the crystal clear water, or simply cooling off. All refreshed and ready for the next experience en-route to Stromboli. Time to climb back on board and see where this Stromboli bound boat goes next!
Aeolian Island Hopping & Adventures
Seven islands make up the Aeolian Archipelago. After today, we will have visited four of them. In addition to Vulcano and Stromboli, there are two other popular island destinations, Lipari and Panarea. This cruise will take a short stop on each one. First up, Lipari.
Though time spent on Lipari is short, it is enough to embrace the ambiance of this largest Aeolian Island. Most notable is the 16th century castle looming over the village, worthy of the uphill hike for amazing views of the gorgeous blue waters surrounding the island.
All aboard! This boat is cruising on. Next stop – Panarea, the Aeolian Island’s upscale resort destination, where the wealthy and famous come to hide away and play. This picture perfect island escape may be upscale, yet it retains a low key, charming atmosphere.
Explore Panarea’s streets lined with classic white buildings, giving it an almost Greek Island feel. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading back on board for the final destination of this day trip adventure. It’s time for Stromboli!
Stromboli Explorations & Volcano Hikes
Welcome to the island of Stromboli, and today’s main adventure. Take a few moments to prepare for the experiences to come. Check out the trail map. Pick up water and a snack or two from a nearby shop. Look up to where the volcano looms above the village.
It’s time to lace up those hiking boots and head out of town! The hike quickly winds its way up through the tiny village of Stromboli, and beyond. Don’t forget to enjoy the panoramic views across the Aeolian Islands and the Tyrrhenian Sea along the way!
Stop just beyond the village’s edge, looking back at the bright white buildings standing in stark contrast to the black volcanic rock, lava sand beaches, and clear blue sea. On a clear day, and with good eyesight, one might even see Sicily far off in the distance!
The hike itself, though not extremely difficult, may be challenging for some. Paved trails are eventually left behind for rough, volcanic rock strewn paths through grassy fields, and then on to a more narrow, fairly steep ascent as the base of the volcano is approached.
Standing at the Edge of Sciara del Fuocco
It’s almost guaranteed you’ll see volcano action both from a distance, and especially up close! Stromboli Volcano is considered the most active volcano in the world, and has been erupting for as long as records have taken note. Though that doesn’t stop a handful of people from calling this active volcanic island home!
Listen closely as the trail leads ever closer. Sometimes, volcanic action is heard before it is seen. But soon, very soon, puffs of volcanic smoke spiral up into the sky, giving evidence to the broiling, bubbling turbulence that exists deep beneath the earth’s surface.
Though today’s hike does not summit the volcano, it brings us to the edge of the volcano’s Sciara del Fuocco, the Slope of Fire. Don’t worry! Stromboli Volcano is monitored daily and access is controlled accordingly. This trail brings one close enough to see, hear, even smell the action, but not close enough to be in any real danger.
As the sun begins to settle off in the horizon, stop to contemplate Mother Natures incredible, amazing fiery display of power as lava shoots out of the volcano and down the Slope of Fire. If you listen real close, you might just hear the hiss of lava as it hits the sea far below!
Good Bye Stromboli
Our volcano hike may be over, but our adventures here are not. The final act is an evening cruise to the other side of Stromboli, offering up a different perspective of the volcano and Sciarra del Fuocco. Our objective? To experience an eruption beneath a starry nighttime sky.
Settle in to the gentle rocking of the boat for an evening of crater viewing beneath a darkening sky, the culmination of a day’s adventures. The question is, will we witness volcanic eruption into the night sky, or spot molten red lava as it races down the Sciara del Fuocco?
Good night Stromboli. Though Mother Nature and Stromboli Volcano did not fully cooperate with a night time show beyond puffs of smoke, it was still a most enjoyable experience. But now, it’s time to sail for home. Or in our case, back to our home base of Vulcano!
Have You Been To Stromboli?
Though our time was short, our adventures and experiences in the Aeolian Islands were worth the time it took to arrive to and transfer between these awesome islands off the coast of Italy. Our day spent adventuring to Stromboli, followed by an up-close experience with an active volcano, was certainly a highlight of our adventures in this tiny collection of islands.
How about you? Have you been to the Aeolian Islands? Did you experience Stromboli Volcano and the Sciara del Fuocco? Did you witness a night time volcanic eruption? Do share!
Read more about our other Aeolian Islands adventures at: Exploring Vulcano.
All images by C.Biederman