Vulcano. The southernmost Aeolian Islands in the Sicily region. While Sicily is famous for its mix of culture, weather, food and vibe – to me, the jewel of this southern isle is the beautiful Aeolian Islands. A cluster of volcanic islands north of the mainland, the natural beauty of these gems is hard to rival. I have never seen sea this blue nor geology this cool and my four days there wasn’t nearly enough.
Since the Aeolian Islands are, well, islands, there is simply no better way to go around them but by boat. So here, I bring to you the first of the top 3 boat trips you must take in the Aeolian Islands (Not all the trips I have taken are from the Lipari Island).
Boat trip to Vulcano
Vulcano is the southernmost island of the group, a mostly green island with its own volcanoes. Most famous for its sulfur springs and volcanoes – its last eruption was in 1888 which lasted 2 years, releasing a vast amount of pyroclastic materials. In the Greek Mythology, it is the secret workshop of the blacksmith god Hephaestus. In fact, the volcanism is a result of plate tectonics – where the Africa Plate in the north is moving under the Eurasia Plate in the north.
The boat trip first took us around the outskirt of the island, stopping by the infamous Venus pool. The pool is a roughly oval shape reflecting a gorgeous aquamarine colour from the boat. Even though it might look a little unassuming when you swim around – if you look down as you swim out of the pool into the open ocean, you will be greeted with a spectacular change of depth and colours. In fact, I was a little freak out by how deep it was outside the pool.
We then head on to see the Orisis Cave, although this one is less memorable and more like just a cave. However, the black sand beach we go to after is well worth swimming ashore for a quick snoop and photos.
(There’s me posing in front of the cliff, and a random tourist caught in the shot :P)
Before we dock at Vulcano, we stopped by a small bay for swimming and there were actually a few jellyfish swimming around. The captain of our boat decided it would be a grand idea to give me a net to try and fish them out – but it was my sister who succeeded in this feat:
We arrived at Vulcano around 15:15, and were free to roam around town until 17:00. After grabbing a quick bite in town, we decided to forego the sulfur baths that unsurprisingly reeks of bad eggs, i.e. sulfur even though it only costs 2 euros, and made our way to the main crater.
The beach next to the sulfur spring is filled with small gas fumaroles bubbling through and makes for a wonderful sight with the shallow rocky platforms.
A word to the wise: wear hiking boots and a hat. In the scorching heat of the afternoon sun with no shade, it’s kind of like the path to hell as you struggle up the volcanic black sand path.
(This is probably the hardest part -with the sand sinking beneath your feet countering your effort. They are a dream to glide down though)
If you forgot to pack or bring any, you can easily rent a pair of boots and even a hiking pole from the shops you see along the way.
this means you are almost there!
Even though it’s a testy climb, the view again is well worth it. You can also hike all the way around the rim – although it does look a bit periculous and it shares the same view of the crater.
You also have a clear view all the way to the little island of Vulcanello, formed by another eruption and connected by an isthmus.
And of course – a cheeky selfie at the top of the crater:
You will probably get back to Lipari at around 18:00, giving you plenty of time for dinner and to relax.