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About Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands look as if they've been cast off the coast of Sicily and scattered by the wind - which is where the name comes from, Aeolus: the Greek keeper of the winds. The islands are brimming in contrast, with the beautiful beaches and scenic vistas also home to active volcanoes and sulphurous mud. If you're looking for accommodation recommendations go straight to our guru's list of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands. Otherwise, here are a few highlights of the four islands and some of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands to enjoy them.
The Islands and their Hotspots
- Most visitors to the islands arrive on Lipari, of the postcard-perfect beaches, clear waters and trekking trails to a wealth of archaeological sites. One of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands for swimmers who want to explore by water, there is also plenty to see here on land, including a reconstructed Norman church and the Greek and Roman ruins of the Diana District Archaeological Park.
- Salina's landscape is lusher than the other islands, thanks to her numerous freshwater springs. Especially verdant are her twin volcanic craters, Monte die Porri and Monte Fossa della Felci, which fill with wildflowers in season. The dramatic cliffscapes help to make this one of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands for walkers.
- While beautiful, the island of Vulcano smells very sulphuric, so it's probably not the ideal base, though it's an excellent place to visit: the landscape is tranquil and unspoiled whilst the therapeutic mud baths are truly revitalising.
- But, if you're looking for a holiday with volcanic edge, Stromboli is for you. The youngest of the Aeolian volcanoes, Stromboli still spits gas and liquid magma from its craters, and the most recent dramatic eruption was in 2007… What's more, the fascinating caves below the island's surface also make this a top spot for divers.
- Only 3kms long and 2kms wide, Panarea is the most exclusive island of the lot, and the best place to stay in the Aeolian Islands if you want to be seen. The marina is loaded with the luxury yachts of the island's guests, but there's also space for the ferry which brings in the day trippers.
Use our guide to the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands and start to plan your summer holiday.
- If you're looking for something fresh and unique, we'd recommend Capofaro. This minimalist concept resort is all about the spectacular views across the sea to Panarea and Stromboli, fabulous food and seafaring activities. All in a simple whitewashed package of individual cottages. Eat, swim, sail, play tennis, learn to cook, relax. This is definitely also one of the best hotels in the Aeolian Islands for foodies.
- La Locanda del Postino is an unusual accommodation option, located inside one of the island's craters. The views here are even more spectacular than at sea level, so this is hwhere to stay in the Aeolian Islands for enjoying the sunset. All the private balconies are equipped with a hammock.
- The Aeolian Islands can be pretty busy in summer, but this is still a relatively fresh destination. So there are still some opportunities to find budget options, with La Salina Borgo di Mare being the one to book for those watching their wallets. Right on the sea, this traditional hotel has a rustic chic vibe. What's more, its private terraces dotted around the property also make it one of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands if you're looking for somewhere romantic.
- Hotel Signum is a top spot - set in a lovely country house surrounded by citrus groves and offering unspoilt sea views. With chic accommodation in creams and whites as well as a spoiling spa, this is a wonderful escape.
- Mamma Santina is an unfussy 3* boasting traditional accommodation on the seafront. Escape from the sun with a refreshing dip in the pool or unwind with a good book in the lovely gardens. A top family spot.
- If you're looking for five star relaxation, we'd recommend the Therasia Resort. On its own, right by the sea, this resort has a fantastic spa and excellent restaurants. There's a good choice of accommodation, from simple cream rooms with private balconies, to suites with private hot tubs. Definitely the place to book if you want to pamper your whole family!
- For sophistication, one of the best places to stay in the Aeolian Islands is the Hotel Raya. As well as the sailing and diving you might expect, this hotel also has its own nightclub and a rooftop restaurant.
For An Apartment Or Villa
- If you'd rather the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- The Aeolian Islands have a typically Mediterranean climate, experiencing mild winters and warm sunny summers. The best time weather-wise to visit is from June to August, with average daily temperatures between 25-30°C.
- This is the middle of peak season, however, and so there'll be plenty of tourists around and accommodation will be expensive. If you fancy a quieter and cheaper time then consider visiting in September or October, when the weather's still lovely.
- There's no airport on the islands, so international visitors should fly into Catania Airport on the island of Sicily.
- From the airport, you can either hop on the train or on an express bus to Milazzo port, before taking a ferry on to the Aeolian Islands.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Aeolian Islands
La Salina Borgo di Mare 24 rooms from £70Salina
A lovely traditional sea-facing hotel. Rustic chic bedrooms with white washed walls, stone floors, and private terraces. Terraces dotted around the property, perfect for a day in the sun. A romantic spot.Views - Great views over the surrounding islandsOn the beach - Private beach exclusively for the use of hotel guestsRemote - Off the beaten track.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Hotel Cincotta 29 rooms from £79Panarea (ME)
A cliffside hotel with its own private stairwell to the beach. Simple whitewashed walls and airy terraces conceal a salt-water pool and jacuzzi both offering breathtaking views. Interiors are unfussy yet smart, echoing classic seaside simplicity, and the top quality cuisine is a real draw.Beach Life - With beautiful terraces overlooking the sea and a short walk from the port and beaches, an ideal Mediterranean seaside retreatGreat walks - Walk over the Isthmus, past some pretty ruins, to beautiful secluded swimming spotsSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolBack to Nature
La Locanda del Postino 10 rooms from £88Salina
Rustic hillside hotel with fabulous views. Rooms and family suites simply decorated with private balconies and hammocks. Delicious breakfast and a great wine list. Ideal for families.Views - Enjoy spectacular sunsets from this unique location inside the Aeolian islands' oldest craterFamiliesGroupsBirdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - Sawdays
Mamma Santina 17 rooms from £96Salina
A lovely 3 star hotel on the sea front. Traditional rooms with stone floors, cast iron beds, and private balconies, some with hot tubs. Lovely pool, restaurant, bar and scented gardens. A peaceful spot.Views - Great views from hotelGreat walks - Hike up Salina's extinct volcanoSwimming Pool - Outdoor Pool with JacuzziPrivate Hot Tub
Hotel Les Sables Noirs 53 rooms from £98Vulcano
A charming Aeolian hotel in a simple white building with lovely terraces and private beach access. Rooms are unfussy yet smart, with fresh white furnishings and splashes of turquoise adding some vibrancy. A generous breakfast is served, and don't miss the indulgent spa, sauna and large pool!Beach Life - Offering private beach access and close to lots of other lovely beachesGreat walks - Hike up Vulcano's active and imposing volcano, where the view of the Aeolian Islands and the sea is exceptionalSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolViews - Great views from hotel
La Settima Luna Hotel 7 rooms from £105Lipari
A bayside hotel set in a fishing village, with a pretty facade and terraces offering wonderful sea vistas. Rooms are minimal and fresh with crisp whites setting the tone, giving rooms a very light and airy feel. Featuring a lovely breakfast terrace and a rooftop lounge bar. A glorious island escape.Beach Life - The area of Canneto is home to some of the loveliest beaches on the island, so this is ideal for coastal exploringGreat walks - Go on the stunning yet challenging Monte Rosa walk which offers good views of Canneto to the north and Lipari town to the southSights nearby - Visit Lipari's Norman cathedral, its picturesque harbours and the Necropolis DianaSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
Principe di Salina 12 rooms from £123Malfa, Salina
Charming small hotel in typical Aeolian style - tones of white, terracotta and pink, with simple furniture, private balconies and wonderful sea views. Fantastic infinity pool and pretty colonnaded terraces. Delicious Sicilian food. A gem of a hotel perfectly situated for exploring the island.Beach Life - A great beach destinationOn the beach - The nearest beach is just 0.7 miles awaySights nearby - 5 minutes' walk from the centre of MalfaViews - Overlooking the sea
Hotel Signum 26 rooms from £132Salina
A gorgeous country house in the sleepy village of Malfa. Wonderful sea views from renovated farm buildings surrounded by citrus groves. Room and suites in creams and whites with stone floors and elegant furniture. Excellent spa and authentic cuisine. A gourmet spa spot for an active holiday.Views - Great views from hotelSpa breaksFoodiesSpa - Natural hot springs feed the outdoor wellness areaRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Johansens
Hotel Raya 27 rooms from £158Panarea
A very sophisticated island hotel meant for total relaxation, though there's sailing, diving and a nightclub. Chic rooms, suites, and a private villa all in white with attractive fabrics and private terraces. Spectacular views from the roof top restaurant. Romance on a peninsula.GroupsViews - Great views from hotelWellbeingTotal relaxationRecommended by - CN Traveller
Capofaro 18 rooms from £202Salina
A minimalist concept resort on the sea front surrounded by vineyards and an old lighthouse. Sprawling white cottages make up beachy rooms and suites with private terraces and lounging areas. Fantastic pool and sun deck, really delicious food and lots to do on the sea. Relax, eat, sail, swim.Views - Across the vineyards and sea towards Panarea and StromboliWellbeingActive HolidayFoodiesRecommended by - I Escape
Quartara Resort Hotel 14 rooms from £211Isole Eolie (ME), Panarea
A small boutique hotel set on the small and beautiful island of Panarea. Chic rooms feature white on white style juxtaposed by elegant dark wood furniture and blue tiling. A large terrace is ideal for soaking in the spectacular views and there's a quaint Sicilian restaurant and a spa too.Total relaxation - A luxurious and tranquil property on the small and picturesque Panarea Island, ideal for simply unwinding.Diving - Discover the flora and fauna of the ocean on a diving excursion.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Views - Great views from hotel
Therasia Resort 97 rooms from £367Vulcano
A Five Star resort on the sea front with a fantastic spa and excellent restaurants. Rooms and suites in contemporary design, all in creams, with private balconies, some with private hot tubs and a pool. The perfect spot for total relaxation, family friendly too.Views - Stunning views over all the Aeolian IslandsFamilies - Suites sleep 4.Spa breaksWellbeingRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels