WHS: Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), Italy

After driving around Mount Etna and its discontented rumblings, our next stop was Milazzo on Sicily’s northern coast which is the main ferry port to embark on a visit to today’s World Heritage Site:

Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands)


The Aeolian Islands provide an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena. Studied since at least the 18th century, the islands have provided the science of vulcanology with examples of two types of eruption (Vulcanian and Strombolian) and thus have featured prominently in the education of geologists for more than 200 years. The site continues to enrich the field of vulcanology.

The weather and timing wasn’t on our side unfortunately, so we don’t have any spectacular pictures of our own to display for this visit; the striking eruption picture above we borrowed from Visit Sicily’s Aeolian Islands page:

The seven islands, all of volcanic origin, each with its own strong identity, are located off the northern coast of Sicily. They will leave us speechless.

Let us learn to call each one by its own name: Lipari, Vulcano, Panarea, SalinaAlicudiFilicudi, Stromboli.

We will feel in a world lost in time, an intimate conversation with nature, a volcanic land and its ancient history. We will discover beaches, caves, creeks, cliffs, stacks and an incomparable variety and richness of the seabed…

Lipari is the city on the islands you’re most likely to stay at, but by most accounts the highlight of a visit is the island of Vulcano to climb the crater and experience the sulfurous mud baths —

— the other major volcano to visit is Stromboli that has been in an almost constant state of eruption for over 2000 years now!

Our main direct advice for you though, is to plan your visit well ahead. If you show up on the spur of the moment right in the middle of high season like we did, you’re going to find that ferries and hotels are completely unavailable, at least in generally accessible price ranges…


p dir=”auto”>… so this time around, we took a look at the peaks off in the distance and decided to skip actually climbing them on this visit or we’d never manage to touch the rest of the Sicilian sites on our itinerary. Definitely going to do a proper cruise around the islands whenever we make it back to Sicily, though!

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I go places.

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