Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Aeolian Island Hopping (

GAC Mar 9th, 2005 06:44 AM


Given your expressed preferences, I think you may want to keep the car thoughout your stay, garage it in Milazzo for a couple of days, then use it again along the northern coastline around Cefalu, and finally return it to Palermo.

I don't see how you could take it to Stromboli (I pretty sure it's not allowed), and you don't really need it on Lipari, with the local buses and scooters available.

As for the northern coastline towns versus Favignana Island, I would choose the former. All three Egadi Islands can be interesting (you'll see them from Erice on a clear day), but they really don't compare well to the Aeolian Islands. Moreover, of the three Egadi Islands, Favignana would probably be my last choice (I would prefer Marettimo and Levanzo). Favignana is rather plain and flat, more suitable for a leisurely beach vacation. Marettimo, by contrast, has good hiking trails and is much more "remote". And I would want to see the Grotta del Genovese on Levanzo.

I would choose the northern coastal towns over the Egadi, given the fact you're going to Stromboli and Lipari.

Too bad you're going to miss Pollara Beach on Salina Island: it's where the seashore scenes and Pablo Neruda's house of the movie Il Postino were filmed. Salina also has great hiking possibilities, and it the "greenest" of the Aeolian Islands.

Patrick Mar 9th, 2005 06:52 AM

We visited the Aeolian's during a long vacation with a lease car. We parked in Milazzo at a large and secured lot that provides transport to the docks for the boats and picks you up as well. It was only a few dollars a day to leave the car there. So I wouldn't hesitate to do that instead of getting two different rentals, and also take advantage of the very cheap boat fares to and from Milazzo instead of the more expenisive longer ferry fares.

TeresaJAT Mar 9th, 2005 03:41 PM

Thanks GAC and Partick for your help. You are most helpful! We're expecting a great vacation!

GAC Mar 15th, 2005 02:00 PM

For 2005, the DAILY hydrofoil service between Naples Mergellina and the Aeolian Islands will operate as follows:

SNAV: once daily from 28 May through 10 September

Ustica Lines: once daily from 29 June through 30 September

Departures are subject to cancellation due to bad weather.

peregrini Nov 19th, 2006 06:47 PM

Does anyone know if it is possible to book a cabin online for the overnight Siremar ferry from Stromboli to Naples?

GAC Dec 6th, 2006 01:56 PM

Negative You must e-mail or call the Siremar booking center in Naples, or use a private booking service such as

kaz55 Jan 2nd, 2007 01:49 AM

Hi Have questions. We are going to Italy at the end of Sept we will be spending a week in Positano and then we are going to the Aeolian Islands.
Question 1 Can we get a ferry from Positano to the islands. If not we will get the train to Messina. We then plan to have a night there and we then will have 5 nights to spend in the islands. Our plan at the moment is to spend 3 nights in Lipari (this will be a base to go and see the other islands)and then 2 on Stromboli. We want to climb the Volcano one night and then catch the boat the next night to watch it from the water. Next question can we then get a ferry from Stromboli to Naples. We heard we can we would need to catch it on a Friday as we have to be in Rome on the Friday night to meet up with the rest of our party. Do the ferries /hydrofoils run every day. Hard to look at timetables at the moment as the sites come up with services suspended. Thanks in anticpation.

janevisick Jan 14th, 2007 07:42 AM

We are going to the islands in May 07 and wondered if we will be able to find rooms when we get there? All the sites I have looked at are for weekly rentals or expensive/exclusive hotels, We would prefer small local places off the beaten track. We have booked flights to catania and after a visit 2 years ago are familiar with how to get to the islands but have only visited Volcano for a day. Normally I'm a bit of a control freak about holidays and have everything booked in advance but this year I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and we will travel round the islands and stop when we like something!Has anyone else tried this? Is it possible? Or will we be kipping on a park bench?

sglass Jan 14th, 2007 10:19 AM

I loved the Aeolian Islands! We were five nights on Lipari as a base. One day we went to Vulcano (amazing!!!), and another used a tour boat for "Stromboli at night". A caveat- at least two summers ago, you couldn't hike on Stromboli (to the top, that is) without a guide. The excursions that offered this (with a ton of waivers!)were only once a week-this was in August- and then, they ended up cancelling with not enough people signed up. (But this was from Lipari.) I found the Lonely Planet Sicily book to be a wonderful resource. My daughter took the ferry from Lipari to Naples and it stopped, I believe, in Stromboli. Long! Seasick! It was better to use the hydrofoils to get around than the ferries, between the islands, and from Messina- much faster and certainly way more reliable. The ferries were ponderously slow and often late...

TravMimi Jan 16th, 2007 07:53 AM

I've taken the overnight ferry from Naples to Lipari many times and really enjoy it. This year I'm taking some friends for a 3 day mini cruise there. The question is, if I book return passage FROM Lipari and we decide to visit Stromboli that day, can we catch the night ferry FROM Stromboli or must we board from Lipari where our ticket states? Thanks

GAC Jan 17th, 2007 02:36 PM

Here are my replies to the previous four postings:

1. From Positano to the Aeolian Islands: BEST way is to take the direct SITA bus from Positano at 17:45 to the Naples Port (arrives 19:55), then the SIREMAR overnight car ferry at 21:00.

2. The SIREMAR ferry to and from Naples departs only TWICE per week for most of the year. Look up schedules at

3. There is no problem finding lodging on the Aeolian Islands during May. You don't even need advance reservations. I suggest that you TELEPHONE the hotel a couple of days before arrival. They will meet you at the port and escort you to the property.

4. On whether you can board the SIREMAR ferry in Stromboli (bound for Naples) even if your ticket reflects boarding in Lipari: I don't know the answer. My guess is that you can (since you're paying slightly more). You could also CHANGE the ticket at the Siremar office in Lipari on the morning of your departure. You can also ASK Siremar by sending an e-mail to their call center in Naples: [email protected]
or call them at: 39.081.0171998

kja Jan 17th, 2007 02:43 PM

I'd also like to take the overnight ferry from Lipari to Naples during May, and have been checking the Siremar web-site for schedule information - so far, without success. (It seems to be showing timetables only through the end of March.) Does anyone know when they will likely post the May times?

P.S. GAC - I've found the information you post extremely helpful. Thanks!

janevisick Jan 18th, 2007 01:47 AM

thankyou GAC,
very helpfull, If we pick up any usefull tips on our visit I will post them on this site.

TravMimi Jan 18th, 2007 03:51 AM

another thanks to GAC. Didn't think of trying to change them at the local office in the morning. I'm sure our little team of travelers will know by then if we want to try a Stromboli climb before we board. They have just been bothering me so much about it!! I did a climb some years ago with a group of vulcanologists and we spent the night on the top. It was my personal National Geographic moment.

NeoPatrick Jan 18th, 2007 05:04 AM

The problem with topping a thread that's over two years old when it is about something like "transportatin in the Aeolian Islands" is that half of the information is likely to be outdated.

GAC Jan 18th, 2007 09:12 AM

Reply to kja:

The Siremar schedules for May should be posted during the last week of April.

From Lipari to Naples, I am fairly certain that the schedule will be identical to that of last year: departures on Mondays and Thursdays ONLY, except that the ferry will depart Lipari around 17:20, and arrive in Naples at 8:00 the following morning. The routing will be: Lipari-Rinella-Panarea-Ginostra-Stromboli-Naples.

There will be more frequent crossings beginning in July (through mid-September).

There will also be hydrofoil service beginning around June 1st. (hydrofoil) (hydrofoil)

I have a VERY detailed description of the Lipari to Naples overnight car ferry in the website for Slow Travel:

"Naples to Aeolian Islands: the complete details"

kja Jan 18th, 2007 09:21 AM

Thanks so much, GAC! I have seen your postings on slowtrav - VERY helpful! I'll be a bit nervous until I see the actual Siremar schedule for May - I've made plans that call from me to take the overnight ferry from Lipari to Naples on a Thursday. I know I can make other arrangements, but that ferry seems perfect for my interests.

Troycygnet Feb 5th, 2007 02:53 PM

GAC - I read your posting on how to get from Malpensa to Bellagio - but I noticed it was from 2004. I am planning a wedding for September 17th, 2007 and would like to provide my guests a few options on how to get to Bellagio where most of our hotels are - could you help? Thank You! joanna

GAC Feb 6th, 2007 08:04 AM

I'm going to post separately on the question of how to get from Malpensa to Bellagio, because this thread concerns the Aeolian Islands.

jsbono Feb 7th, 2007 04:58 PM

We are planning a trip 2/27 through 3/7 in Sicily. Never been there. Can anyone recommend "must see" cities while there, and of those which would be good to stay at? I think we would enjoy smaller/older coastal towns with restaurants, bars, windy streets, museums, points of interest, etc. Perhaps I've described all of sicily. We will have a rental car. Any advice on an itineary would be appreciated.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:07 PM.