The Aeolian Islands

The Islands of the Wind

The Aeolian Archipelago is made up of seven islands: Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli and Vulcano. It is said that their incomparable beauty enticed Aeolus, God of the wind, to make his home there. The islands belong to a single, huge volcanic system: there’s no longer any volcanic activity on Alicudi, Filicudi and Salina, but Lipari, Panarea and Vulcano have hot springs, steaming fumaroles and hot mud pools. Only Stromboli has had regular eruptions for thousands of years, earning itself the nickname “Lighthouse of the Tyrrhenian Sea”.

The sea and climate

One sea, many seas…. is the only way to describe the water around the Aeolian Islands. Blue caves, bubbling pools, warm and cold currents, black sandy beaches with bright lidos and intense shades of blue and green. On top of all this, nature’s elements have created incredible rock formations, some of them with anthropomorphic features. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it. The Aeolian Islands, also known as the ‘Lipari Islands’, enjoys a temperate climate, typical of the Central Mediterranean region. Generally mild in winter and not too hot in the summer, the climate is influenced not only by latitude and geographical position but also by the sea. The wind the islands are named after gently caresses their shores, making the sun-filled days even more pleasurable. Lots of the natural treasures that are hidden to the majority of tourists who choose to tour the island by land are revealed in all their glory to those who explore the Aeolian Islands by sea. Truly exceptional sights and experiences await them: caves with natural pools, hot springs with therapeutic properties, the incredible sea stacks, Lipari’s pumice quarries, Stromboli and the ‘Sciara del Fuoco’, Filicudi with its stunning ‘Grotta del Bue Marino’ (Cave of the Sea Cow), not to mention the wonderful Calajunco Beach on Panarea and Pollara Beach on Salina.


A brief history

Amidst myths and legends

In ancient times Vulcano was known as Therasia (meaning hot), then Hierà (meaning sacred) in honour of Hephaestus, the God of Fire, who had a workshop there. The Romans’ name for Hephaestus was Vulcan, and they renamed the island Vulcano.  

For centuries this marvellous territory was shaken by violent eruptions that evoked fear and respect in ancient populations. The soil on the island was rich in sulphur and alum, which became its most precious natural resources.

A big volcanic eruption between 1880 and 1890 destroyed the island and left it largely unpopulated until people began to repopulate the whole archipelago in the years between the two world wars.