I like volcanoes and volcanic islands.
I used to live in Kos, from where I guided an excursion every week to Nissyros to visit a crater and a small town there.
Now I live in Lanzarote famous for its Timanfaya Natural Park with its 300 volcanoes (I wrote about its lunar landscape here).
And I used to live in Sicily, which is itself a huge volcanic island, living at the feet of the Etna was amazing. Now it erupted again… In 2014 it happened too, we were there with my team on the top of the mountain and we could experience it LIVE.
However not only on Sicily can you find volcanic activities in that area. From Sicily you can visit the Aeolian Islands, which are created by volcanoes (Stromboli and Vulcano).
The Aeolian Islands are named after Aeolus, the demigod of the winds and are one of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy. It consist of 7 islands off the coast of Sicily: Lipari is the largest island, where you can find historical sights too. Panarea is where you can find white houses with blue windows, Stromboli is for those who would like to climb a volcano and see an active volcano that erupts every 5 minutes. Vulcano is famous for its mud baths. Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi are the most remote ones.
On one day I went on our excursion to Lipari & Volcano. From Sicily the ships / ferries can go from Cefalu and from Milazzo too. The day started really early, we had to go by bus from Taormina/Giardini Naxos to Milazzo’s harbour on the North coast of Sicily, then it took for about 1,5 hours to reach Lipari.
On Lipari you can do many things in those few hours. You can walk up to the Acropolis and visit the Archeological Museum.
Stroll along the streets of the old town. The main street is called Corso Vittorio Emanuel.
Have an ice-cream or a cold drink at one of the restaurants at the harbour.
Go shopping, there are plenty of shops.
Go to the beach. Or go on an island tour to see the shores from different lookout points.
I did the tour, we went around the island and stopped at many lookout points, like
– on the top of the hill to see Lipari town from there;
– at the Quattrocchi, from where we had a view over Vulcano. Quattrocchi means ‘four eyes’, some say because we would need four eyes to take in the view of Lipari and Vulcano;
– at the Quattropani we could see 3 other small islands, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi.
After returning to Lipari town we got on the ship again and sailed to Vulcano. It didn’t take more than 20 minutes to get there.
The journey between the two islands is also exciting since you can find many interesting stone formations, caves, cliffs on the way like “Faraglioni” (‘Rocks’),
“La Grotta degli Angeli” (‘The Angels’ Cave’),
“Lo scoglio della Mummia” (‘The Rock of The Mummy’), “Piscina di Venere” (‘The pool of Venus’) until you reach Vulcano.
Vulcano, which gives its name to all volcanoes, is famous for its sulfurous mud baths and its main crater. On Vulcano according to the Greek mythology was the forge of Hephaestus (in the Roman mythology Vulcan), the God of Fire who worked as a blacksmith. The Romans believed that Vulcano was the chimney of Vulcan’s workshop and that is why named the island after him. Vulcano was making weapons for Mars and his armies in his forge.
What you can do on Vulcano during these 2,5 hours free time is easy:
Either you can go to the volcanic crater, good walking shoes are recommended.
Or you can do what I did and go and have a swim in the hot sulphurous water and have a mud bath.
It is not only a beauty treatment, it has healing effects too. Swimming in the sulphuric water helps with respiratory diseases (eg. asthma), dermatological problems (eg. eczema) and problems with the motor system (eg. rheumatism, sprains, dislocations).
I went in it because I had heard it makes the skin beautiful and it is true. My skin became so smooth after it, even weeks later I could feel it.
The same thing was with the smell too unfortunately. The sulphur has a strong not so pleasant smell (in Nissyros those who went down to the crater smelled for days). The dress I was wearing I had to wash 2 times at least to let the smell go. My bathing suite was already old, but the water destroyed it totally (I suggest you too not to go into the water in your brand new bikini). And I smelled too for days, even after taking a shower and washing my hair at least 3 times a day it didn’t go away easily. Never mind… The whole day was a great experience 🙂
More info on Lipari: Italy Heaven – Lipari
More info on the Aeolian Islands: Italy Heaven – Aeolian Islands