October 28, 2014

Where are the best beaches in Italy Vol. II

Italy beaches: Eolie
Not long time ago we said in this post that there's a rule to find the best beaches in Italy. Do you remember? It's quite easy:

The best beach is the hardest to reach

And which one is it then? Our answer was the tiny islands that surround the Italian coast, from Tuscany to the south of Italy, to the Adriatic side. Maybe not as many and renowned as those of the Greek sea, but this is why Italian islands are more attractive than Greek ones: there are no airports and even few ferries to reach them.

And as promised, after talking about Elba and Giglio, the two islands off the coast of Tuscany, in a more "developed" region of Italy than the average in terms of tourism, we want to talk today about another stunning archipelago, set off the coast of Sicily and Calabria, the two regions considered in Italy as the less advanced in relation to the enormous touristic potential they have.

We are talking about the Aeolian Islands, in Italian "Eolie", name that derives from Aeolus, the greek god of winds, a small paradise that emerges from the cobalt blue waters of the Tyrrhenian sea, technically part of the region of Sicily.
Italy beaches: Eolie

Declared Unesco World Heritage Site, the archipelago is formed by the seven islands Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi.
The Eolie have all in common the volcanic origin, but each one has unique characteristics that make it different from the others.

Wild and beautiful, Vulcano is the closest to the coast distinguished by the beautiful bay of black sand, hot springs and its lunar landscapes.

Largest and most populous, Lipari is the only one with real towns inside and it is also one of the most vibrant islands of the archipelago.

Less known than the others, Salina, land more devoted to agriculture than tourism, with its white houses surrounded by gardens and vineyards.

To the west Alicudi and Filicudi seem very close but are characterized by a rough nature which has hindered human settlements, and appears identical to half a century ago.

To the east there are the two most touristic islands of the archipelago: Panarea, the most beloved by celebrities, and finally Stromboli, with its extraordinary volcanic explosions and lava flows along the "Sciara di fuoco" that give striking performances to the ferries passing by, its magnificent beaches and the magical feeling of isolation.

In the Eolie you can do pretty much everything you can imagine from a summer holiday: relax on sunny beaches, explore unspoiled nature, go for shopping and tasting the delicious Sicilian food in the cute villages and play a lot of exciting outdoor activities, like swimming, boating, diving, and even climbing the smoking craters of a volcano!

But first you must get there... We have tried to find the fastest way to reach the most accessible of the 7 islands from Rome:
- First you get a train from Rome city centre to the Fiumicino airport which takes about 30 minutes.
- After the waiting time in the airport you take your flight to the Reggio Calabria airport, which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Once there you must get a bus to the port which lasts 30 minutes
- Finally here take a boat to the island of Vulcano, which is the closest from this port: the ferry takes about 2 hours and a half.

Estimated time: 6 hours if there are no delays! But if you see these pictures you will agree it's worth it!
Italy beaches: Eolie
Italy beaches: Eolie
Italy beaches: Eolie

There are many more small islands around Italy! Stay tuned for the next post!

PS. Get to the Eolie is a little stressful but at least the accommodation offer is wide! Check out available hotels clicking here!

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