August 28, 2019
It’s been an unofficial goal of mine to visit as many of the Aeolian Islands as I can while living in Sicily. Last year, we made our first visit to Stromboli island, where we spent seven hours scaling an active volcano just to look over the rim and watch it erupt right before our eyes. It was pretty epic! This past summer, we relaxed on Salina island while checking out some of what Malfa had to offer. We loved it. But considering there are seven Aeolian Islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi), and we had only visited two, I knew we needed to step up our game. So our trip to Vulcano island was born.
We usually travel on our own, but this time we decided to join a tour group here just to lessen the burden of having to drive, park, and do research. Traveling gets exhausting when you add all of those factors in. We are so glad we did the tour because the guides showed us some of the best local places to go. We got to check Vulcano off of our list AND climb another volcano and look down into it’s caldera.
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure (or just some pure relaxation), here are some things to know before you go!
– Vulcano is the southern most of the Aeolian Islands.
– It’s approximately 8 square miles
– It’s home to one of the four active volcanoes in Italy
– It last erupted from 1888 to 1890
There are several hiking trails in Vulcano. We hiked the Gran Cratere (3.15 miles – pin info here). The hike is deemed “easy” online, but I would beg to differ. That being said, we did enjoy the hike and would definitely do it again. Once to the top, you can look down into the caldera, walk around the rim, and experience live sulfur vents. Note to self, they are stinky!!
On one side of the rim, you can walk through sulfur fields which are quite stinky and hot, but really neat to see and experience. Our guides told us not to stop walking. We did and the result was REALLY hot air (aka a burn). So, yeah, don’t stop walking through the sulfur vents!
One of the most unique things you’ll find in Vulcano is this sulfur mud bath. It is SMELLY, but apparently has incredible health benefits. Since it’s a thermal mud bath, it’s a bit hot. Also, the smell is pretty bad, so I would recommend wearing a swimsuit you are fine with tossing because I doubt the smell will ever come out. Entrance was only about 3€. It was so hot this day, we didn’t end up doing it. But we want to go back when it’s cooler to give it a try!
Lunch: Don Piricuddu
We had amazing pasta dishes and wine here. We stopped for a bite on our way to the spa directly after the hike.
Vulcano is famous for its geothermal spas. We got a day pass to this one and enjoyed trying out all of the different geothermal pools. Just to note, this spa does NOT have lockers. So you need to keep your things by your pool chair. They do have many different pools to choose from, spa services, and a bar!
Overall, this was a great day trip from Catania. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment or message me on Instagram: @mandalynrenee!