Live la dolce vita as you set sail to the incredible volcanic archipelago known as the Aeolian Islands. Just off the coast of Sicily, this cluster of seven islands were named by the Greek settlers after the god of wind. This UNESCO World Heritage site’s volcanic origins have left it with a dramatic legacy of black sand beaches, smouldering craters and jagged rocky coastlines. These hard-to-reach islands, two of which still have active volcanoes, are surrounded by turquoise and cobalt blue waters that are mostly only accessible by private boat. On this incredible journey, you’ll snorkel in magical blue coves, explore ruins and abandoned villages, feast on fresh seafood and homemade Italian cuisine in picturesque traditional villages, get to know friendly locals and maybe even spot a celebrity or two. But best of all - seize the opportunity to hike up a live volcano to see lava up close and personal, at night!
Portorosa, around a 3 hour drive from Catania airport or a 5 hour drive from Palermo airport
Meet your skipper and your chef on the main island of Sicily in the northern town of Portorosa, the perfect starting point to sail the Aeolian islands. The port is a 5-hour drive from the airport, so expect a long day to reach your sailboat and get settled in. All of which will be rewarded with your first Italian dinner in Sicily!
After a brief overview with your skipper to become more acquainted with your floating home for the week, start your journey into the Tyrrhenian Sea with a stop at one of the live volcanic islands. This rugged and barren island gives off the slight scent of sulphur from its live crater (don’t worry, you’ll get used to it quickly). Get ready for an active day full of adventures. You can hike the crater for some amazing views of the other six islands. Hire bikes, quads or even kayaks to explore the island by road or by sea. Then treat yourself to a very unique and therapeutic mud bath in the island’s hot springs.
Today is the real highlight of this incredible journey. Stromboli’s 300-foot high volcano offers an awe-inspiring experience just by gazing at it from the sea, as you watch smoke smoulder from the volcano’s top. Explore the island's seaside village and delight in its charming whitewashed buildings and the few cars on its tiny roads - best paired with a slice of mouth-watering pizza.
Spend the afternoon seeking out wild bays on your boat while your chef prepares lunch. For the active hikers and thrill-seekers, Stromboli offers the experience of a lifetime, to gaze into the active craters exploding with shoots of lava. This 5-hour hike starts just before sunset, to reach the craters in the dark for your best chance to actually see the spectacular erupting lava. You will be able to hear and feel the eruptions as you walk up through thick vegetation that turns into a barren volcanic landscape, all while taking in one of the world’s best sunsets over the rich blue sea. As if that wasn’t enough, the restaurants on Stromboli are a foodie's paradise, serving meals with an unforgettable ambience that treat you to some of the best culinary delights in the region.
Today’s longer sailing day is the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes, as your skipper teaches you the basics of sailing. We’re headed to explore the natural wonderland of Filicudi. This tiny sleepy island was apparently the first of the islands to emerge from the sea 600,000 years ago. Less than four square miles, it is inhabited by only 200 friendly locals who enjoy a slow-paced life. It’s an excellent place to savour a long seaside lunch at a traditional Italian restaurant. We recommend trying some Aeolian favourites, like spaghetti allo scoglio with mussels, clams, whitebait and wild fennel. In the afternoon, we’ll head to a natural bay for the night. Enjoy long nature walks with incredible views, snorkel and dive in the turquoise waters then watch the sunset while you feast on an Italian dinner prepared by your chef.
Set sail to the raw romantic beauty of Salina, with colourful fishing boats on pebbly beaches, green hillsides covered in wild capers and colourful cosy villages. This peaceful paradise was one of the first islands in the Aeolian to be named as a national park. Stroll along the village's beachside walkways, stop for a lazy coffee, hike down stone steps to an old abandoned cliffside village on the beach, or rent a scooter and explore the wild landscape. In the evening, join us for a delicious wine tasting at one of the many vineyards on the island.
After so many days spent in such rural settings, Lipari’s small yet bustling port will feel like a city. This idyllic island is the capital for the Aeolian Islands, with a beautiful pastel-coloured harbour lined with cafés, restaurants and shops. Follow narrow streets through elegant townhouses and simple dwellings, with flowers pouring over the balconies. After exploring the town, you can walk up the long flight of stairs to reach the citadel, the historic fortified part of Lipari. We highly recommend the excellent Aeolian museum that exhibits remains from the Bronze, Greek and Roman ages. Venture beyond town and explore the natural windswept landscape with rocky cliffs and white sand beaches. Join us for an exceptional dinner together as we look back on an incredible quest!
Show off your new sailing skills and enjoy the force of nature at your fingertips as we make our way back to Portorosa, Sicily. Stop for a swim break and brunch prepared by your chef before finally disembarking this journey and looking forward to your next one!