Travel to the Aeolian Islands – Episode 493

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Travel to the Aeolian Islands - Amateur Traveler Episode 493

Hear about travel to the Aeolian Islands as the Amateur Traveler talks to Rick Zullo from about these historic but lesser known islands off the coast of Sicily.


The Aeolian islands have been named as a UNESCO World Heritage site. “The Aeolian Islands provide an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena.” Rick says, “There’s all kinds of restrictions on development there so they are pretty much as they have been for the couple hundred years. In fact one of the islands only got electricity as late as the 1990s. So there still very well preserved little fishing villages with lots to see as far as archeology, natural beauty (hiking, scuba diving, boating), history and wonderful wonderful seafood. This is a place where you go to see the Italy of years past.”

The Aeolian islands were mentioned as one of the ports on the long voyage of Odysseus. These small islands were ruled in turn by Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spanish.

Lipari is the main island and the one with connections to the larger island of Sicily by faster ferry. It makes a good base for exploring the rest of the island chain, which are also connected by ferries.

The island of Volcano has a volcano on it. You can bath in the surfer smelling mud baths although Rick was told you better have brought a bathing suit that you don’t want to keep as you will not get that smell out. At the near by beach the waters of the sea are also heated by the volcano.

The island of Salina was made famous by the film Il Postino and its famous with wine Malvasia. The island of Panarea is where the jet set hang out in August. Basiluzzo is uninhabited but you can see the remains of a Roman port which is partially submerged. The volcano which makes the island of Stromboli is active and you can routinely see lava erupting from it.

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Show Notes
Aeolian Islands (UNESCO)
Aeolian Islands
Ristorante Filippino
Il Postino: The Postman
Stromboli (food)
“Our Odyssey to the Aeolian Islands”


Paige commented on Travel to El Salvador – Episode 491:

This podcast made me happy! I love El Salvador so much, it’s one of my favorite places in the world for many of the same reasons that Joe brought up. Gorgeous beaches, fantastic national parks, Suchitoto (and Los Almendros! Love that hotel!) and the fact that Salvadorans aren’t annoyed with too many tourists, and don’t mind showing off their amazing country to travelers willing to make the trip. I’d like to add that Juayúa and the Ruta Las Flores is a great destination for less adventurous tourists, with solid tourist infrastructure, trails, waterfalls, handicrafts, and easy transport connections to Guatemala City. If you speak a little Spanish, other spots to see include massive Coatepeque crater lake, with some lovely little hotels and restaurants right on the water; Perquín, the old revolutionary capital that’s now a semi-developed base for ecotourism; Bahia de Jiquilisco, if you want to support El Salvador’s nascent sea turtle protection programs; and La Palma, the handicrafts center founded by Fernando Llort, plus a side trip into the cool cloud forests of El Mirador del Mundo. Joe was right, everyone who spends time there want to become an informal ambassador of El Salvador!

Please note that the State Department warning that says 34 US citizens have been killed in El Salvador since 2014 ignores the fact that their infamous organized crime organizations (gangs, maras, whatever you want to call them) are transnational, and most (if not all) of those deaths involve US citizens who are involved with gangs. The average USAmerican tourist is not going to have any problems with crime, much less violent crime. Obviously you want to travel smart, but I’ve spent months, much of it alone (as a middle-aged woman) working and traveling in El Salvador, using public transport, and have never even had problems with pickpockets or bribe-happy police officers. 11/11 would go there again and again.

Travel to the Aeolian Islands - Amateur Traveler Episode 493

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

6 Responses to “Travel to the Aeolian Islands – Episode 493”

Patricia Bunyrd


Just listened to episode 493 on Aeolian Islands. I am adding it to my list next time I go to Italy. The destinations is worth the effort to take the ferry over.



Glad you liked it Patricia!

Obaidul Huq


Episode 493 (Travel to the Aeolian Islands) very awesome podcast I have listening ever. Thanking you for creation. I will enjoy your others podcast.




Glad you liked it 🙂

Sam Oppenheim


Love these islands – went on my honeymoon, some things to add:
1) Salina has resorts with incredible food, rooms, properties, pools, spas, massages, etc. It is AMAZING.
2) Salina has archaeology sites from the bronze age and stone age, you can hike up and see them. not much to see, but cool history.
3) on all these islands you can hire a scooter and ride all around
4) Wine tastings at each vineyard, rewarding and fun, olive oils too.
5) Stromboli is worth the hike to the top
6) Stromboli has black sand beaches.
7) You can take a ferry from Stromboli to Naples, but as Rick said – they can run slow, we missed out flight connection in Naples.
I’d recommend 1 week in Sicily and 1 week on these Islands with an open jaw ticket into Sicily and out of Naples. We actually started in Malta. Totally amazing islands, beautiful people, food, landscapes, and calm atmosphere. I think they are like Kauai or the Azores and other volcanic archipelagos in the Caribbean.

Correction: Il Postino is a 1994 movie, set in the year 1950. The famous beach scene in that movie is on Salina and is distant from the hotels, we went by scooter and were the only tourists there. it is AMAZING. Pollara beach. I have photos of the hotels and beaches on my website, see below.

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