Photo of Salina

About Salina

If you're looking to escape the grey skies and grey buildings of modern life, to a small, green world peopled with wildflowers, pure unpolluted waters, gorse bushes and hills soaring with grapevines, then look no further and welcome to Salina. The second largest island in the Aeolian archipelago just off the Sicilian coast, it is topped by the twinned peaks of two volcanoes and is a rare and magical place that's ideal for writing a novel or simply escaping the humdrum of the city. With a population of 2,500 people and 400 different species of plant, you are far from the madding crowds of tourists: indeed, you are far from anywhere, and our collection of the best places to stay in Salina prize themselves on cleansing the soul of all the anxieties that modernity brings.

Salina has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and was settled by Greek colonists in the 4th century BCE. However, in spite of the breadth of its long life, there are few historical sites to see. But the charm of Salina lies in her vibrant natural world: the volcanoes, Monte dei Porro and Monte Fossu delle Felei, rise up to 860m and 962m respectively, and are great for long hikes and splendid views. Many of the beaches are pebbled and rocky but the waters themselves sparkle clear and warm: awash with plants, fish, caves and submerged volcanic craters. The Bay of Pollara is arguably the most beautiful in the whole archipelago, the sheer sides of the cliffs rising up like golden walls in the heat of the sun. An utterly beautiful place, it lies untouched by the throngs of tourists and celebrities that tend to descend on Lipari and Panarea in the summer months.

Peppered with hamlets, villages and a few ancient ruins, the island is infamous for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, who can normally be seen lounging on the harbour walls. It is also famous for its sweet dessert wine, Malvasia delle Lipari, which you will be encouraged to taste in local bars, along with their cuisine based on seafood, capers and olives.

Malfa, the largest village, encapsulates this laid-back spirit and is perched on a hillside that leads down to a shingle beach where stands a palm-thatched cocktail bar.

Santa Marina, with her whitewashed houses stacked against the hillside, teeming with cafes and boutique shops, is the main port and where you can hire boats, go scubadiving or travel on a hydrofoil to nearby islands.

Rivella, a tiny hamlet of pastel-coloured houses on the southern coast, has some amazing swimming spots.

What Not to miss

  • Scuba diving: between June and September, the Muciara Diving Centre in Santa Marina opens for business. An impeccably professional place, offering everything from free diving and scuba courses to marine biology courses for both children and adults. Travelling to 15 diving spots around Salina, it is great fun and you get to see some incredible things submerged beneath the waves.
  • The volcanoes: both Monte dei Porri and Monte Fossu delle Felci are wonderful for hiking, and provide sublime panoramic views of the island and the surrounding seas. They teem with wildflowers and all sorts of animal life. Do not miss this opportuntiy!
  • The Bay of Pollara: one of the most beautiful bays in the whole archipelago, it is ideal for swimming. 
  • Hydrofoils: in both Santa Marina and Rivella, there are numerous hydrofoils that whizz travellers to nearby islands as well as the mainland.

If serenity is what you want out of a holiday, then Salina will undoubtedly tickle your tastebuds. A hidden gem of green slopes lined with grapevine, it promises peace and quiet: our collection of the best places to stay in Salina offer just that.

The best places to stay in Salina

For Beach life

  • Mamma Santina: a stunning property near Santa Marina with 17 rooms, a restaurant, outdoor pool and jacuzzi.

On a budget

  • La Salina Borgo di Mare: a charming hotel with 24 rustic whitewashed rooms, spacious terraces and beautiful views of the sea.
  • La Locanda del Postino is a charming hilltop property on Salina's west coast, located within the Aeolian Islands' oldest crater. The sunsets are epic, the restaurant serves traditional cuisine and the prices start from €100 per night B&B.

Romantic escape

  • Principe di Salina: a small and lovely hotel with 12 rooms with their own balconies overlooking the sea, with a restaurant, outdoor pool and a hot tub.

Luxury living

  • Capofaro: a minimalist concept resort with 18 rooms set in sprawling white cottages facing the sea. There is a restaurant, enormous pool and a spacious sun deck.
  • Hotel Signum: a beautifully renovated country house with 26 rooms surrounded by citrus groves, with a spa, restaurant and cool stone floors in the sleepy village of Malfa.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you think that you'd prefer a self catering option, our partner Booking.com has a wide ranging collection of villas and apartments.

Travel information

  • Travel by plane to either Catania or Palermo in Sicily and then get a hydrofoil to Santa Marina. There are buses on the island and a fairly unreliable taxi service!
  • Best time to visit is In the summer months, when the temperature can get up to 34 degrees celcius.
  • If you want to rent a car, don't hesitate to contact our partners Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Salina

  • La Salina Borgo di Mare Salina 24 rooms from £69

    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 islands
    On the beach  -  Private beach exclusively for the use of hotel guests
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • La Locanda del Postino Salina 10 rooms from £87

    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 crater
    Families
    Groups
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Mamma Santina Salina 17 rooms from £95

    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 hotel
    Great walks  -  Hike up Salina's extinct volcano
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool with Jacuzzi
    Private Hot Tub
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  • Principe di Salina Malfa, Salina 12 rooms from £121

    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 destination
    On the beach  -  The nearest beach is just 0.7 miles away
    Sights nearby  -  5 minutes' walk from the centre of Malfa
    Views  -  Overlooking the sea
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  • Hotel Signum Salina 26 rooms from £130

    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 hotel
    Spa breaks
    Foodies
    Spa  -  Natural hot springs feed the outdoor wellness area
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
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  • Capofaro Salina 18 rooms from £200

    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 Stromboli
    Wellbeing
    Active Holiday
    Foodies
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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