Aeolian Islands

 

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Aeolian Islands.

The Aeolian Islands are seven in number and are characterised by the transparency of the water around their shores, the accompanying sandy beaches, and the hot sunny weather that is present for more than two thirds of the year. They were formed due to volcanic activity and scientists have discovered artefacts from the Neolithic period and other remnants indicating that the Greeks, Romans and Byzantium cultures also developed on these islands.

Travellers have always been drawn to their shores due to their mention in mythological literature; scientists, writers and painters all came to appreciate the beauty and unique culture and lifestyle of these islands off the north coast of Sicily. The archaeological museum of Lipari (the largest of the seven islands) deserves special mention due to its world famous collection of artefacts from all seven islands and their surrounding waters.

Numerous battles were fought to establish control of these islands due to their strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.For nature lovers these islands are irresistible. The island of Salina has a nature reserve named ‘Montagne delle Felci e dei Porri’.
This fascinating feature was formed by two volcanic cones which now have deciduous woods in each of the craters.  Alicudi is the "kingdom of silence" as the island is made of one rocky cone that rises to the height of 670 metres.The west side of the island is made up of canyons formed by the lava flow and has a rugged coastline.

On the island of Vulcano there are natural thermal baths and visitors come to soak in the waters and cover their bodies in the mud due to its therapeutic qualities. Panarea has the most elegant villas and interesting little shops, however, it is best to avoid visiting in August as it becomes overcrowded with yachts which spoils the romantic atmosphere of this island. Filicudi has pretty little villages scattered all around the island and fortunately its once abandoned olive groves and vineyards are now being tended again.

Stromboli's main attraction is its active volcano which frequently explodes sending out showers of ash rain and fragments of rock. Visitors can take excursions up to the volcano before bathing in the clear water of the Tyrrhenian Sea.