Visit Aeolian islands - Lipari

The Aeolian islands are of volcanic origine. The archipelago is located to the north of Sicily and is composed of seven islands: the largest of which Lipari, Salina and Vulcano; to the west, Filicudi and Alicudi; to the north-east, Panarea and Stromboli. 

Lipari is the largest island of the archipelago. It covers a total area of 37,6 square kilometres and it is 9,5 kilometres long. It is 42 sea miles away from Sicily. Its high and steep coast are bordered by rocks and caves. The highest peak of the island in Monte Chirica (602 mt) and it is a privileged point of observation for a fine view of the archipelago. 

As already mentioned, the archipelago has an obvious volcanic nature, witnesses the 12 volcanic systems, phenomena such as solfatara and thermal springs and the presente of obsidian and pumice stone, which are clearly of volcanic origin. Firstly the name of the island was really poetic: “Meligunis”, that is to say gentle slopes; then it was called “Lipara” from the name of its mythical king. 

According to some archaeological finds, the first traces human settlements dates back to 4000 B.C. The village of Meliguni developed under the Greeks and continued to prosper under the Romans. The Normans established an Archbishopric here. Throughout the Middle Ages and until modern times, it was a fortified town characterized by a powerful boundary wall and a massive castle. That is Lipari’s history in a nutshelll, although it is in fact much more complex.  

Viewed from a distance, Lipari looks like a majestic white ship, speckled with black and red; it is an optical effect due to the obsidian superimposed on the quarries of pomice, a sort of wedding of 2 materials reminding one of the island’s volcanic origin.  

Lipari is a small town full of welcoming and fashionable haunts. The heart of all activity is the city centre, which is also the first landing place of the island, where ferries and hydrofoils land. The town goes from the shiphold of Marina Lunga to the one of Marina Corta and it is dominated by the Castle with its fortress walls erected by the Aragoneses around 1500, its remains of Medieval tower and its Greek tower dating back to the 5th century B.C. 

 Lipari is the ideal starting point to visit all the Aeolian archipelago: it is centre of all activities and it makes easy to organize a tour of the other Aeolian islands. 

For a breathtaking view go to the International Geophysics Observatory, reachable after 3 hours walk from the hospital, through a path immersed in the green. 

Near the spring of sulphate-bicarbonate-iodate hypothermal waters and, there is a natural sauna in a cave dating back to the Roman age. 

A half hour route leads to an old verdant crater down which a bed of solidified obsidian, 600 mt large and 1 km long, lays. 

Nature orders the rhythm of farm life while, during the evenings, the small fishermen’s boats glide on the waters rippled by the soft sunset colours. 

Accommodations, from fishermen houses to the best hotels, are all high quality. The Tourist information point on the island will provides all the information and addresses.  

The Hotel Carasco (link to web site) is the most picturesque in the island built on a spectacular elevated location above the sea. 

Hotel Rocce Azzurre: (link to web site)

Villa Meligunis: (link to web site

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How to visit the Aeolian islands:

Siremar - SNS , ferries, connects the islands with Milazzo every day and all year round

LIBERTYlines , hydrofoils every day from Milazzo and Messina

Sicily Sailing Tour , a whole week vacation on sailboat in the Aeolian islands.