Sailing Holidays in Lipari

Lipari is the largest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie or Isole Lipari in Italian), a volcanic archipelago off the coast of Sicily. The island has the biggest town of the archipelago, also called Lipari; a lively busy place with picturesque streets, an attractive harbour and a historic castle-citadel. Like its island neighbours, Lipari has volcanic origins. The last eruption on the island took place around 1,400 years ago, and there are currently no signs of volcanic activity other than thermal springs and fumaroles. The island's geology is the most visible reminder of Lipari's origins; until recently one of its main industries was extraction of pumice, created by past eruptions. The island's population is around 10,000. Lipari is the most practical base for visiting the Aeolian Islands. Fast ferry connections from Sicily all stop here, and there are plenty of boats and hydrofoils to the other islands. Outside the main Italian tourist season (late July - August) Lipari town is large enough not to feel overwhelmed by tourism. It also has a good choice of accommodation for different budgets, a supermarket, bars, restaurants, shops and other services. When I toured the islands I stayed here, and loved the Italian small-town feel and island atmosphere. You can easily spend a day pottering around Lipari and touring the museum, with a leisurely lunch and an afternoon drink by the harbour. If you have longer, you could make the interesting and scenic journey around the island on its principal circular road, with breaks at viewpoints and ruins (see below). Lipari's second town, Canneto, is not particularly interesting, but you can stroll along the seafront and sunbathe, swim or boat from its long pebble beach (there is a better beach, with sand, just past Canneto). When the temperature isn't too hot, walking is a good activity on the Aeolian islands, and there is a panoramic headland walk possible from Lipari town, which I've described below.