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Located off the northeast coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea, welcome to the Aeolian Islands, an UNESCO protected archipelago rich in history and full of natural wildlife and lush flora and fauna, all rising majestically out of deep cobalt seas which are as inviting for sailors as they are sealife.
The long passages and deep water anchorages are perfect for an adventurous, confident sailor and the long summer climate a welcoming advantage for those looking to partner a quality charter encounter with some no doubt well deserved R&R.
The Aeolian Islands can be reached by sailing west from the Italian mainland town of Tropea, along the northern coast of Sicily from the city of Palermo, or, thanks to a brand new partnership with yacht company, Eolian Sailing, via a short, northern navigation from the Capo d’Orlando Marina. We are excited to welcome Eolian Sailing onto our ever growing list of select yacht charter partners and even more delighted to be able to offer LateSail customers a chance to sail the Aeolian Islands without the need for a longer passage, meaning more time to explore these natural wonders. Take a look at our suggested itinerary below for some Aeolian sailing inspiration.
The Aeolian Islands are named after Aeolus, demigod of the winds
The largest of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari is the most densely populated but still holds all of the charm and history that you’d expect from an island colonised during the Neolithic period. The island is brimming with ancient relics, notably the old castle which is home to the Aeolian Archeological Museum. Visit the ancient acropolis and the Cattedrale di San Bartolomeo to see magnificent architecture and lavish decor and spend some time relaxing on the pebbly beach of Spiaggia Valle i Muria.
Lipari is one of the Mediterranean’s largest producers of obsidian
Affectionately known as ‘the lighthouse of the Mediterranean’, Stromboli is home to one of three active volcanoes located in Italy and its constant activity, providing short eruptions of fire and light, act as a pointer for those approaching the island from the sea. When sailing around Stromboli, keep an eye out for the Strombolicchio cliff, a huge rock face situated on the north of the island and visit the sea caves, dotted all around, including the cave of Aeolus. On land, walk barefoot along the black sands of Ficogrande beach and dine with the elite at La Tartana Club.
While the volcano on Stromboli is over 8,000ft high, only 3,000 is visible above the water
The southernmost of the Aeolian Islands, Vulcano is a literal melting pot of activity for visitors. Famous for its thermal baths and warm mud pools, the island is a popular location for those looking for a relaxing day experiencing these natural phenomenon. Once you are adequately chilled, visit the Spiaggia Sabbie Nere beach and enjoy lunch on the black sand before setting sail to Grotta del Cavallo where you can watch the sunset through its enormous arch.
Vulcano is said to be the sacred home to the Roman God of fire, Vulcan
An ideal place for nature fans, Salina is largely populated by the Riserva Naturale del Fossa delle Felci e dei Porri, a huge nature reserve that encompassses the island’s two mountain peaks, Monte Fossa delle Felci and Monte Porri. Moor at Salina Marina for a small fee and head inland where you can hike up the impressive Monte Fossa delle Felci and visit the small village of Portella. Sail west to the town of Rinella where you can visit the eerie black sea caves before enjoying dinner on the deck while you watch the sun go down.
Several scenes from Il Postino were filmed in Pollara Bay on the east coast of the island
A popular celebrity spot, Panarea is as beautiful as it is mesmerising, Its clear cobalt waters are home to a huge number of fascinating sea creatures and as such, the island is well known for its excellent diving spots, where you can see schools of colourful fish, whales and dolphins. Instagram fans will be in their element at the Cala Junco ravine, where the backdrop is magnificent, making for the perfect photo opportunity. While on the island, take time to visit the Adelina – La Trattoria where intimate views out over the bay are combined with delicious Italian cuisine including freshly caught fish and traditional Sicilian dishes.
Panarea is home to just 280 residents and is the smallest of the Aeolian Islands
Alicudi and Filicudi
The epitome of romantic Italian charm, Alicudi and Filicudi are perfect examples of how man and nature can live in harmony. West of Lipari and round in shape, Alicudi is an ideal place for a leisurely stroll around its many little villages and the island’s isolated location is perfect for enjoying the vast array of wildlife that are housed below the surface of the clear blue waters that surround it. On Filicudi, visit the caves of Grotto del Bue Marino and the archeological site of Capo Graziano before watching the sunset from Stimpagnato.
There are no cars on Alicudi. If you want to go anywhere, you’ll have to hop on a donkey, the island’s official mode of transport!