Aeolian Islands, Sicily; visit the volcanic islands off the north-west of Sicily

Photo of Aeolian Islands

Visit Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian islands are a group of islands off the north-west coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. the group includes seven main islands, and numerous smaller islets. The islands are named after the Greek god Aeolus, the King of the Winds (hence why the name Aeolian is also used to refer to energy-generating windwills).

All the islands of the group are the result of volcanic activity, with the most recent barely 100 years old. Some have recent volcanic activity such as the volcano at Stromboli, or the geysers at the beach on Calcara (Panarea). The largest islands are those of Lipari, Vulcano and Salina.

Of course, the sea, coastal scenery and beaches play a significant part of the attraction for visitors to the Aeolian islands. In addition, the other numerous attractions such as the scenery, climate and cultural sites also mean that the Aeolian Islands have been attracting visitors since ancient times.

There are numerous options available - some of the very popular beaches are those at Lipari, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi.

Away from the coast there are also many scenic highlights on the islands. Among the most popular adventures are the night climb up the volvcano at Stromboli; the stunning scenic spectacle of the Grotta del Cavallo and the Swimming-Pool of Venus; and the curious volcanic rock formations at the Valley of the Monsters. Other options include Falesia di Pollara (on Salina island) and the Punta del Corvo (on Panarea) to see the ruins of a prehistoric village.

Visitors also enjoy taking boat trips around the coast of the islands, and taking organised trips in the volcanic regions, while diving is very popular on the remote western Aeolian island at Ustica.

See our travel guides for individual Aeolian islands for more suggestions and details.

See also:

Map of Aeolian Islands & places nearby

Selected places to visit in or near Aeolian Islands, Sardinia