Category: Date visited
Lat: Lon:
Add Comment to Aeolian Islands
Date visited

The Aeolian Islands lie north of Sicily and have a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cool and wet winters. 

The prevailing winds are from the west and northwest (10-15 knots) and numerous secure anchorages are available.  While less frequent the wind from the southeast arrives in strong irregular gust, is hot and enriched in Sahara desert dust and Etna ash. 

Yachts need to plan accordingly if southeasterly wind is forecast.  Thunderstorms generally follow these southerly winds and these storms arrive and pass quickly. 

The currents between the islands are greatly influenced by the winds and can be very strong in particular between Alicudi and Filicudi. 

Another observed current is south of Vulcano, which runs east or west with the predominant wind.  These volcanic islands have beautiful coastlines yet also hazardous shoals and partially submerged rocks.  It is important to navigate at a good distance from the coast.  The depth drops off rapidly and care needs to be taken when anchoring. 

There are 2 secure ports the tourist pier of Salina and Porto Pignataro of Lipari.  Vulcano and Lipari have floating wharfs that are mounted each summer with laid moorings tailed to the pier, with stern or bow-to berthing and offer water and electricity. 

Take on fuel safely at Lipari and Salina. 

The Aeolian Islands are a great destination and in the year 2000 were awarded the title of an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 24-May-2006


Lipari has the largest city center of the archipelago and one of the most secure ports at Pignataro.  The island also has numerous mechanics and is the right place to go if you are having problems or if bad weather is forecast.  The city has a large supermarket (a bit of a walk from the anchorage) and numerous stores, bars, discos, souvenier shops, etc. 

The main anchorage is just offshore the city center at either Marina Corta or Marina Lunga.  Marina Lunga has a large and secure port called Pignataro, and in the summer numerous floating wharfs are reconstructed that offer water and electricity, yet are very exposed to back wash. 

Other great anchorages are at the southern end of the island at Vinci with a great view of Vulcano, on the western coast of the island at Vallemura offshore a beach of pebbles, on the northeastern coast offshore of Porticello in crystal clear turquoise waters, or offshore of the small tourist town of Canneto.

Il Miglio Blue [ Il Miglio Blue ] 22-Feb-2010
This is a wonderful island with much to see.

We rented an island tour which was very worthwhile.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 25-May-2006


Panarea is where the rich and famous are reported to hang out, but we did not see anyone in May. It is a very pretty town with flowers and painted walls and nice shops and restaurants.
Howard and Jayne [ Just Imagine ] 28-May-2006


Stromboli has brief eruptions about once an hour, that vary in intensity throughout the year.  During less intense periods it is possibile to hike up to the top of the vulcano with a professional guide (3 hours up and 2 hours down, very strenuous).  However, if the volcanic activity increases hiking is limited to only half way up. 

Probably the best way to watch the eruption is by boat.  However, it is not possible to anchor in a place where you can see the eruption.  The trick is to get to Stromboli during the day, and anchor offshore the town of Ficogrande.  Visit the town, have dinner, memorize the location of your boat between the other boats.  Then pull up the anchor and head over to the "Sciara del Fuoco" on the northwest facing coast of the island.  You won't be able to anchor, but turn the motor off and listen to the eruption and watch the show from your boat as you slowly drift (this can obviously only be done in calm weather).  After you have seen enough, head back to Ficogrande and lay anchor where you were previously.  Most likely you will get the same good spot.

Il Miglio Blue [ Il Miglio Blue ] 22-Feb-2010

After years of puffing and steaming, Stromboli has erupted with a full stream of lava.

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 06-Mar-2007
This island is one of the highlights of our summer cruise.
Howard and Jayne [ Just Imagine ] 27-May-2006


The channel between Lipari and Vulcano is very narrow (just 1nm) and in rough weather conditions, wave and wind are intensified.

Il Miglio Blue [ Il Miglio Blue ] 22-Feb-2010
The two main anchorages are the "Porto di Ponente" and "Porto di Levante". Another fantastic anchorage is on the southern coast of Vulcano in the bay of Gelso offshore a beautiful black sand beach.  This is a good place to stop prior to heading back to the Sicilian mainland.
Il Miglio Blue [ Il Miglio Blue ] 22-Feb-2010
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 24-May-2006


Salina has a very famous bar known as Bar d'Alfredo that serves Granita, a Sicilian icey treat served with cream and eaten with sweet bread.  A visit to the aeolian islands is not complete without a tasty Granita enjoyed on the pomerade of Lingua, a small town located on the southeast coast of Salina.  You can anchor offshore (not the best anchorage) or hike down from the secure marina of "Santa Marina". 
Il Miglio Blue [ Il Miglio Blue ] 22-Feb-2010
Salina is a lovely island, although the weather got suddenly cold and rainy.

We did manage to take a long bus ride to the other end of the island, but had to get off one bus and wait in the rain for the next. We were cold and miserable, but in beautiful surroundings.
Howard and Jayne [ Just Imagine ] 01-Jun-2006