Aeolian Islands – Vulcano, Panarea, and Stromboli – Italy

This post was written by jd on June 14, 2010
Posted Under: Travel

One of the days we took a beautiful cruise to Panarea and Stromboli, with the purpose “to see Stromboli at night.” Stromboli is an active volcano for the last two millennia, spewing sparks and red hot rocks into the air. In the daylight, you can only see puffs of steam but at night it is fantastic, about every 10-15 minutes there is an explosion as you can see several in the video.


First we stopped at Lipari the biggest island, and the administrative head of the whole group of about 7 livable islands, and some rocky crags, as you will see.  That was just to take on passengers, so we only got shots from the Boat. Lipari is a white island, rich in pumice. The Aeolian Islands’ culture extends back 6000 years and there is evidence of trade with virtually every Mediterranean culture from the Etruscans to the Greeks

Then we were off to Panarea, where we were able to get off for an hour, and have some gelato! Panarea is the smallest island and the most exclusive (according to the tour book), it is known for its coves (you will see a neat one), rocky islets, clear water for diving, and nightlife.

After that stop we went to Stromboli, had several hours wandering the island and having a nice dinner at reasonable rates. We also saw a (clearly) state sponsored film about the lava flow and emergency services protections in place on the islands. Ha! With the volcano erupting every 15 minutes and recent lava flow in 2001 that covered some houses, they can use all the protection they can get, but we can’t say it made us feel any safer!  Then out trip at night, around the back for the show, and back to Vulcano.

A bit about Vulcano, it is technically a “spent Volcano” but it still has a constant sulphur emissions seeping out of the ground all over… and I mean all over, sometimes in the ocean, causing little warm pockets of water, sometimes just out of the side of the mountain and a lot from the crater itself, as well as the famous fanghi mud baths (too stinky for Judy). It turns the rocks yellow and red, and on one side there is a beautiful black sands beach we walked. As you drive around you frequently smell the rotten eggs result of the emissions, thankfully not where we stayed though!

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