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- Burano, Murano and Torcello – review of Viator tour
- A photo diary of Venice
- Perfect little lunch spots in Venice
- Sight-seeing in Venice – Secret Itinerary, Museum Pass and Chorus Scheme
- Searching for Romeo and Juliet
- Verona card review and top picks
- Best Gelato and Ravioli in Verona (or the World…)
- The Ultimate Hiking Guide to Porto Venere
- Vulcano – Part 1 of the 3 Boat Trips You Must Take in the Aeolian Islands
- Lipari – Salina: Part 2 of the 3 Boat Trips You Must Take in the Aeolian Islands
- Panarea – Stromboli – Part 3 of the 3 Boat Trips you Must take in the Aeolian Islands
- A Night hike up Stromboli
- The Ultimate Guide to the Aeolian Islands
- A Short Guide to Taormina
- Top 5 things to do in Palermo Sicily
- Top 5 things to do in Catania Sicily
- Mount Etna tours review – a geo adventure
- Club di Giulietta – The secret life of a Secretary of Juliet
- A budget foodie’s guide to Verona
- The Ultimate guide to Verona Opera Festival – tips and expectations
- Top 5 of Padua, Italy
- Mantua – a hidden town of palaces
- The Ultimate Guide to 48 hours in Milan
- Things to do in Sirmione – an escape to Lake Garda
- The Ultimate Guide to Cinque Terre
- Secret Spots in Verona – off the beaten path
- Day trips from Venice: 7+ quick escapes for you
- Lago di Soprais – how to do the Lake Soprais hike in the Italian Dolomites
- Cortina d’Ampezzo Summer guide for hikers
- Lagazuoi hike: seeing WWI tunnel warfare in the Dolomites
- 6 day Dolomite itinerary for the photo + hike enthusiast
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo: how to hike the classic three peaks in Dolomite Italy
- Bologna food guide: best restaurants, gelateria, and what to eat
- What to do in Bologna aside from eating
- What to see in Treviso Italy
- What to do on a San Marino Day Trip
- Day Trips from Bologna: amazing cities in Italy you don’t want to miss
- Northern Italy Itinerary: 5 different 10-14 days itineraries
The northernmost Aeolian Islands, Panarea and Stromboli are arguably the most popular. Since we have taken the Vulcano boat trip and climbed up its volcano, as well as the Lipari-Salina trip, we went for the 3rd and final boat trip during our stay. Although small in size, Panarea is home to the famous Cala Junco beach.
- See my Aeolian Islands guide or full Italy series and itineraries here
Panerea quick overview
The cove behind the beach is a protected area, and boats will usually take you to its entrance for photos and you can swim in front of it or go around to the beach.The island is also home to some luxury apartments, villas and resort. Because of the distance from Lipari – we weren’t able to stop probably on Panarea and head straight on to Stromboli.
Stromboli is even further north and the jewel of the Aeolian Islands. It is home to the active volcano of the same name. Although violent eruptions do occur intermittently (the last one being in March 2007), most of the time it is safe for tourists with mild, basic composition eruption. These small, gentle eruptions can occur daily and you can view it from a boat at sea during night time or do a hiking tour up. We did the later and watch out for my blog post coming soon.
The best boat trip company in the Aeolian Islands
We were based on the island of Lipari for our time in the Aeolian Islands. The largest of the Aeolian Islands, the town center and the port are full of tour companies selling identical trips to one and other and it can be hard to choose between. It doesn’t help that the price are pretty universal, save for those by the port.
After taking a stroll along the main street talking to various vendors, my sister and I had decided to put our faith in the Compagnia Marinacorta Company. Mostly because the guy there was the nicest and explained each trip to us very well.
And because I really don’t want you to get ripped off, the universal price for all the day return boat trips are 25 euros (as of July, 2015).
And beware because some tours overload their boats and it can get very difficult to get on and off for a swim and take photos.
(The boat – Nicolas we set sail with, her captain is sitting right at the front)
We took the Vulcano trip and the Lipari-Salina trip with the Nicolas and her captain and sailor were a delight. The boat only takes around ten people at a time, so there was plenty of room for everyone. We were constantly encouraged to jump off the boat at any point to swim and I was even probed into jumping off from the top:
(Actually, this is my sister, if you want to see a video of me jumping off a boat, see the video at the end of the post)
(A photo of me with the captain (left) and sailor)
We would have taken the boat trip with them on our third and last day to Panarea and Stromboli too, but my sister wanted to hike up the volcano itself which turned out to be a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There is only one or two tour company from Lipari that offers the boat trip + hike experience, but my advice is if you want to do the hike – stay at Stromboli. Because these trips tend to be super crowded and you won’t get back to Lipari until well past 1 am, when all you want to do is have a shower and crash.
Here’s a video of my entire trip (including the climb to Stromboli – more here):