The Aeolian Islands

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About The Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are like small chips off the Sicilian Coast, set adrift, and offer the same wonderfully contrasting landscape: beautiful sandy beaches in a range of colours, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and verdant rural idylls. There’s a lot of variety in the accommodation options on our list of the best places to stay on the Aeolian Islands too, from traditional seaside hotels, to converted villas and farmhouses, and resorts with plenty of style and all the bells and whistles. What our recommendations seem to share is a preference for white paint and elegant arches, plus room rates that might surprise you. Because, at the moment, the best places to stay on the Aeolian Islands are still just under the radar of many travellers.

The seven Aeolian Islands are Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi, but the ferry routes dictate that most visitors arrive on Lipari, which offers clear seas off postcard-perfect sandy beaches, a wealth of Greek and Roman archaeological sites to explore, and walking trails that run all over the island. Salina is the lush, green island, because of numerous fresh-water springs, which have lined the volcanic craters with fantastic flora — perfect for walkers and foodies. Vulcano is spectacular, but flawed a bit by its sulphuric mud baths — though these are seriously therapeutic, so this is a great pick for spa lovers. Stromboli is the youngest island, with volcanoes that still spit gas and magma, but it's an incredible place, and amazing for divers! Panarea is small and exclusive, its marina parked with luxury yachts, and its restaurants loved by sun-drenched glamour-pusses, but it still makes for a serenely beautiful escape. Filicudi and Alicudi both offer a sense of being the very remotest outpost of civilisation.

What the best places to stay on the Aeolian Islands all offer is the chance to stay on an island paradise, and for a reasonable price too.

The Best Places to stay in the Aeolian Islands

For an Island Resort

  • The Therasia Resort is a five star, ocean-side resort on Vulcano. It’s big, with 97 rooms and suites, including some excellent family-sized options, but it’s set in an isolated spot and well spread out, so it still feels remote, peaceful and intimate. This is the kind of property with multiple restaurants, a huge range of watersports facilities, an impressive spa and gym, and the chance to have your own private pool or hot tub should you choose to splash out.
  • Salina’s Capofaro is a traditional, Aeolian-style hotel given a resort makeover. So the original simplicity becomes minimalist, the whitewashed becomes white-on-white, and the pool gets a beautiful wooden deck and elegant sun loungers. The beautiful views of the sea and surrounding vineyards are thankfully unchanged, and the restaurant and bar are excellent. With just 18 rooms and suites it’s small, but still has resort facilities like tennis course and charter boats.

For a Beach Break

  • The Hotel Les Sables Noirs is a charmingly simple hotel in a beachside spot on Vulcano. Its 53 rooms and suites are smart and unfussy, with a traditional feel and a white and blue colour scheme — the family suites have self-catering facilities and living space — but the hotel lays on a very generous breakfast too. The beach in front of the hotel is reserved for guests, but there are plenty of other beaches to choose from too, and the hotel has a huge pool, plus a spa with sauna.

For a Relaxed Island Escape

  • The Principe di Salina is another traditional Aeolian villa-esque charmer, with a smooth white, Greek-island style facade, and 12 rooms and suites. The interiors offer simple style in white and terracotta, with private balconies and fantastic sea views. The pool faces the sea too, with an infinity edge on one side and arches with sun loungers on the other. The restaurant has a delicious Sicilian menu. Perfect for exploring the island.
  • The Hotel Signum is a charmingly converted collection of farm buildings overlooking the water in the quiet village of Malfa on Salina. Surrounded by citrus groves, this hotel smells amazing, as well as offering fantastic views. Its 26 rooms and suites are simple and traditional, with tiled floors and cast iron bed frames, but it's the excellent restaurant and welcoming spa that elevate this hotel to our Gurus’ list.

For Romantics

  • The Quartara Resort Hotel on Panarea is small and chic, with sea views and interiors that chime with the best seaside conventions: plenty of white, with a bit of wood and a bit of blue. Expect elegance and gauzy drapes, bougainvillea and a serene terrace with day beds, a spa and wonderful views. The restaurant has a Sicilian menu.
  • La Settima Luna Hotel is peacefully positioned on a beautiful stretch of sandy bay off Canneto on Lipari, a stylish, white villa hotel with just seven rooms, plus a rooftop lounge bar and a breakfast terrace with a view. The decor is minimal and white, offering light, airy, soothing serenity. Ideal for an affordable honeymoon!
  • Panarea's Hotel Raya is designed to offer relaxation in a sophisticated setting — a setting which includes diving and sailing facilities and a nightclub — as well as the gorgeous infinity pool and spa you might have been expecting. The 30 rooms and suites, plus one private six-bed villa, are arranged so that they all have sea views and private balconies, and while the interiors are simple rather than glamorous, the atmosphere is certainly exclusive.

For Families

  • La Locanda del Postino is a great family pick on the island of Salina. It’s built into a crater, and rises out of it to enjoy the sea views. You’re not far from the water, but being set back, and raised up means the views are extra special. And it’s very affordable. There are just ten rooms and suites, with many suitable for families, and most with private balconies or terraces. There’s also a great restaurant serving traditional Aeolian cuisine, and an excellent wine list. Charming and relaxed.
  • Salina’s Mamma Santina is a traditional island hotel just a few blocks from the ocean — it’s low rise, and of the 17 rooms our Gurus recommend the top floor, because this is where the private balconies have the best ocean views. Inside the hotel has stone or tile floors, cast iron bed frames and lots of light, outside there’s a resort style pool, terraces with banana palms, and a restaurant and bar. Great for families, but also couples — some of the private balconies have hot tubs.

For Great Value

  • Lipari’s Hotel Cincotta is also wonderfully traditional: whitewashed, with arched terraces and balconies, overlooking the sea and its own private stretch of beach. There are 29 rooms, decorated with patterned tiled floors, wrought iron bed frames and large windows, echoing classic seaside simplicity. The many terraces offer a hot tub, salt-water pool, a bar and an excellent restaurant. Romantic, charming, great for families, lots to do, and really super value.
  • La Salina Borgo di Mare is a charming, traditional, sea-facing hotel on Salina. Its 24 rooms and suites are decorated with a rustic edge, and feature traditional tiled floors, whitewashed walls, and big windows — our favourites have private terraces with sea views. It also has a private beach. There’s no restaurant, but there are plenty of options within a very pleasant stroll.

For a Private apartment or villa

  • If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • None of the Aeolian Islands have their own airport, so if you’re flying in you’ll most likely be arriving via one of Sicily’s four airports: Palermo Airport and Catania Airport, which are both international airports with flag-carrier and low-cost airlines, and Trapani Airport and Comiso Airport, which are both favoured by European no-frills carriers. From there it’s a ferry trip. Naples Airport is another option, about four hours away from the ferry port by train.
  • If you plan to hire a car, which we would advise if you want to get out and explore further afield, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The Aeolian Islands have a Mediterranean climate, which broadly speaking means hot, dry summers and mild, wetter winters, but because they’re islands they get some temperature regulation from the sea, so it’s only really hot mid-July through mid-August. The busy season for visitors runs throughout summer, though, and if you want to visit at any time in July or August you need to book early. For that reason our Gurus recommend April and June, or September as the best times to visit the Aeolian Islands. Spring is beautiful, and the tourist resources are just starting to open up again, whereas during September the water is still warm, but many visitors have left, so there’s more space on the beach! Travelling in these windows will probably mean you pay less too.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in The Aeolian Islands

Best Hotels in The Aeolian Islands

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

    Views  -  Great views over the surrounding islands
    On the beach  -  Private beach exclusively for the use of hotel guests
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Air conditioningViews

    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. See More

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  • Hotel Cincotta Panarea (ME) 29 rooms from £78

    Beach Life  -  With beautiful terraces overlooking the sea and a short walk from the port and beaches, an ideal Mediterranean seaside retreat
    Great walks  -  Walk over the Isthmus, past some pretty ruins, to beautiful secluded swimming spots
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViews
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    A cliffside hotel with its own private staircase to the beach. Simple whitewashed walls and airy terraces conceal a salt-water pool and hot tub both offering breathtaking views. Interiors are unfussy yet smart, echoing classic seaside simplicity, and the top quality cuisine is a real draw. See More

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  • La Locanda del Postino Salina 10 rooms from £87

    Views  -  Enjoy spectacular sunsets from this unique location inside the Aeolian islands' oldest crater
    Restaurant  -  Serves traditional Aeolian dishes
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViews
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    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. See More

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  • Mamma Santina Salina 17 rooms from £95

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Great walks  -  Hike up Salina's extinct volcano
    Restaurant  -  Traditional Aeolian cuisine
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool with Jacuzzi
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    A lovely 4 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. See More

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  • Hotel Les Sables Noirs Vulcano 53 rooms from £97

    Beach Life  -  Offering private beach access and close to lots of other lovely beaches
    Great walks  -  Hike up Vulcano's active and imposing volcano, where the view of the Aeolian Islands and the sea is exceptional
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningSpaSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    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! See More

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  • La Settima Luna Hotel Canneto, Lipari 7 rooms from £104

    Beach Life  -  The area of Canneto is home to some of the loveliest beaches on the island, so this is ideal for coastal exploring
    Great walks  -  Go on the stunning yet challenging Monte Rosa walk which offers good views of Canneto to the north and Lipari town to the south
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Lipari's Norman cathedral, its picturesque harbours and the Necropolis Diana
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Principe di Salina Malfa, Salina 12 rooms from £121

    Beach Life  -  A great beach destination
    Sights nearby  -  5 minutes' walk from the centre of Malfa
    On the beach  -  The nearest beach is just 0.7 miles away
    Restaurant  -  Traditional cuisine, open for lunch
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Hotel Signum Salina 26 rooms from £130

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Spa breaks
    Spa  -  Natural hot springs feed the outdoor wellness area
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    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. See More

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  • Hotel Raya Panarea 27 rooms from £156

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Total relaxation
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    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. See More

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  • Capofaro Salina 27 rooms from £200

    Views  -  Across the vineyards and sea towards Panarea and Stromboli
    Active Holiday
    Air conditioningTennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViews
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    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. See More

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  • Quartara Resort Hotel Isole Eolie (ME), Panarea 14 rooms from £208

    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.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Therasia Resort Vulcano 97 rooms from £363

    Views  -  Stunning views over all the Aeolian Islands
    Families  -  Suites sleep 4.
    Spa breaks
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    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. See More

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