A popular day-trip from Lipari is to visit the most notorious of the Aeolian Islands: Vulcano. True to its name—and the origin of the term—Vulcano has a profusion of fumeroles sending up jets of hot vapor, though the volcano here has long been dormant. This is an island most travelers wish to visit, perhaps to soak in the strong-smelling sulphur springs, but not to stay on: when the wind is right, the odors greet you long before you disembark. The island has some of
the archipelago's best beaches, though the volcanic black sand can be off-putting at first glance. Ascend to the crater (1,266 feet above sea level) on muleback for eye-popping views or take a boat ride into the grottoes around the base. From Capo Grillo you can see all the Aeolians. Ustica Lines (0923/873813; www.usticalines.it) has high-speed passenger vessels that make the crossing from Lipari in 10 minutes. Frequent daily departures are offered year-round, with round-trip tickets priced at €11.60.