The Aeolian Islands are so beautiful! I had always wanted to visit. It was very difficult to decide which of the lovely islands was the best one for a base!
- Stay on Salina
I settled on Salina as the island to stay on. This was for a few reasons. I wanted somewhere a bit happening but didn’t want to be on the biggest island as that never feels like a good idea. I have wonderful memories of watching Il Postino and being entranced by the town and it was shot in Salina. Salina seemed to have a good mix of restaurants and hotels without compromising on size. Malfa is definitely the place to stay within Salina. It is rather hilly and you do want to be somewhere where you are able to walk to the main street and to the beach.
2. Boat trip to Stromboli
There are ALOT of boat trip options on Salina! You could visit all the other islands, you could hop on the main ferry, you could pretty much go anywhere – again spoilt for choice is the theme of these islands! I had recently done on full day boat trip in corsica which was rather crowded so was in the mood for something that wasn’t a 9-5 commitment with 100 other people. We wanted to go mid afternoon, to just go to stromboli, and of course to be able to have some wine! We headed down to the Malfa port and just asked. It wasn’t cheap but we were in a group of 4 so we could split things (was about 280 euros).
We headed out mid afternoon. Going to Stromboli means you get to sail past some of the other islands. We stoppped on the coast of stromboli and jumped off the boat into some of the loveliest clearest water I have ever swum in. The boat took us to Stromboli about one hour before sunset. We saw its startling black beaches, the home of dolce and gabbana was pointed out to us (very important) and we got to have a wander around stromboli which is lovely. And of course we had a cocktail before returning to the boat!
Once back on the boat dinner was served – very impressive to serve pasta on such a small boat! Oh and of course we had some wine! We then settled in to watch the volcano bubbling away. It was a bit difficult to see but we did see something! As we were there in August and it was very hot I had decided against climbing to the top of the volcano (there are many day trip that offer this from Salina). I was then quite jealous of the head torches I could see as we were in our boat. If the weather was cooler I think this would be a great thing to do.
We were back in port and a quick stroll to the hotel by about 10pm – a lovely lovely experience.
3. Stay at Hotel Signum
So I didn’t actually stay here. I wanted to stay here but there were a few of us and we were looking to keep costs down. Anyway as you will see in my next highlight I did eat here and it was amazing. I also had to check the whole place out and it was stunning! I so wish I had of stayed here!!! It had the most wonderful atmosphere – it was almost colonial. There was also a great looking spa. This is definitely the place to stay!
4. Eat at Hotel Signum
I ended up eating here twice. First was a bit of a lunch recce visit to check it out – and it looked amazing and did a mean simple lunch. So we all headed back for a big 3 course dinner extravaganza and it was fantastic! The restaurant atmosphere is wonderful – we sat outside and it is quite magical. The service as fantastic – we ended up facebook friends with the manager! The food was amazing – simple wonderful clean flavours. However the highlight was the Malvasia wine. I had been dying to try this famous dessert wine since arriving on Salina. this was the place to do it! There was almost a ceremony in the pouring of the wine and it was absolutely delicious! Do not leave the Aeolian Islands without trying this wonderful dessert wine!
5. Have a Granite in Lingua
Lingua is a tiny town on the island of Salina. There is a bus that goes around the island and leaves once an hour so we hopped on this for the scenic 30 minute trip to Lingua. I have to say there isn’t alot in Lingua – a cute little waterfront that is worth a stroll. But we had heard all about the famous Granite so we of course had to go! And it was fantastic! There were SO many flavours! Again the first world problem of too many fantastic options in the Aeolian Islands reared its head!
6. Have a sunset drink at the Hotel Santa Isabel terrace bar
This is THE bar to go to for a sunset drink! The view is absolutely stunning. It is a lovely outdoor bar with cocktails and a nice wine list. And best of all they put on some very tasty snacks! It is usually quite busy but you should still score a seat – definitely the place to go and watch the sun come down in the Aeolian Islands!
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Also published on Medium.