Stromboli and Panarea, Italy: the most famous and spectacular of the Aeolian Islands


Panarea (Italy) is the smallest Aeolian island and it will amaze you with its colours: white lime walls and turquoise waters. Panarea (Italy) is very small and can be visited in a very short time: San Pietro, the only developed area of the island, is home to most of the island’s hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops and it is located more than a 5-minute walk from the port.

Around the charming little port, you will find a couple markets selling fresh local fruit and vegetables, along with swimwear shops, espresso bars and all-day cafés. Tidy and clean, Panarea is characterised by the little lanes and the typical white Aeolian houses.

In Panarea (Italy), there are no beaches, except for the Zimmari bay at less than 1 mile from the little town so we suggest you to rent a boat to visit the many jutting rocks offshore and the awesome and uncontaminated inlets.

If you don’t have access to a boat, Zimarri beach is a great place to take a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean. It is the only (brown) sand beach in Panarea (Italy). While it is a little cramped, you can hire a lounge chair and pick up snacks at the little Cala Panarea café by the shore.

The island is the favourite destination for young people, especially during the month of August, who come here for its disco clubs and parties organised everyday on the many yachts anchored here.

On the ground, the “in” place for an aperitif on Panarea is the Bridge Sushi Bar. With head-on views of Stromboli and offshore rock formations, Bridge is a sleek space of white painted floors that offers some of the best sea views of any Panarea establishment.

After dinner, enjoy a dance party on the terrace of the Hotel Raya, the disco overlooks the sea, and every few minutes Stromboli’s volcano lights up the night sky like a champagne bottle spewing fire.

During the other months of the year, this is the best destination for a relaxing holiday, far from noise and pollution.
The atmosphere still feels like the Sixties, it’s still the kind of place where neighbours are invited over simply because there are so few of them around.

Did you know? Cars and scooters cannot be ferried to the island. Despite several taxi golf carts whizzing around the island, walking is still the main mode of transport on the island. So, get your walking shoes on and start exploring!

There are not many accommodations
: most of them are hotels and the few available holiday houses should be booked very early. Accommodation prices are higher than on the other islands of the archipelago and also basic goods are quite expensive.

The Lipari- Panarea ferry route connects the two islands. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Liberty Lines Fast Ferries. The crossing operates up to 35 times each week with sailing durations from around 25 minutes.


Stromboli is the black pearl that has always attracted people looking for uncontaminated nature and total relax.

The island is famous for its volcano, one of the most active in the world: it is 926 meters high and reaches a depth of about 1,700 meters below the sea level. The vision of the eruptions is especially impressive at night, so we recommend the climb in the late afternoon and return at night or the following morning.

The hike to the crater of Stromboli is a unique and fascinating experience that allows you to admire a breathtaking natural phenomenon.

The hike to the top of the volcano takes about three hours of walking uphill and two downhill and is not particularly difficult, but it is recommended for good walkers.

Through a course of rare beauty, with unforgettable views, you arrive in the presence of one of the few active volcanoes in the world. The crater is constituted by a group of five mouths.

The persistent explosive activity is directly observable from a few hundred meters away: a succession of thunderous explosions that project into the air incandescent lapilli constituting a show that makes you forget the fatigue of the journey just ended.

For the lazy ones, an evening boat trip could be the best way to appreciate all the different aspects of this island.

The impressive steep Sciara del Fuoco at night, its volcanic eruptions with incredible regularity stand out the red lapilli fire against the black sky giving life to magnificent natural fireworks.

For a stroll on the island:
Once arrived at
Scari, where the port is located, you immediately notice the charm of this island surrounded by the colours and flavours unique to this high cliffs broken by small jet-black sand beaches and caves, the white Mediterranean houses, the green palm trees and the sea of intense blue.

Leaving the port there is a road that leads directly into the town, where you can find typical shops and taste local delicacies, all that will accompany you until you get to Piazza San Vincenzo (the main square) from which the Church takes its name.

Facing the square you will admire an extraordinary view: the harbour and the beach of Scaria and the Strombolicchio, the oldest volcano of the Aoelian islands which stands like a fortress on the sea.

Stromboli is the ideal destination for backpackers and simplicity lovers and for those who look for uncontaminated nature.

The island can be walked around quite easily and its beaches are all made of black volcanic sand. Non-residents’ cars and scooters are not allowed to disembark on the island and this is one of the reasons why it is so silent and peaceful.

Our tip:
-The island is small and there are very few hotels, self catering holiday houses and B&Bs: we suggest you to book your vacation early.

The Lipari Stromboli ferry route connects the two islands. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Liberty Lines Fast Ferries. The crossing operates up to 35 times each week with sailing durations from around 1 hour 5 minutes.

Panarea-Stromboli Hotels – Where to Stay

Best luxury hotel: Hotel Lisca Bianca , Panarea

Amazing location overlooking the sea

The Hotel Lisca Bianca with its central position in front of the touristic harbour has breathtaking views of the sea and the other little islands that are located in front of Panarea. The hotel is divided in small buildings surrounded by wonderful gardens with local flowers and plants. In July and August the main open air terrace of the hotel hosts a small dance club with music up until 2am.

Best mid-range hotel: Hotel la Terrazza 3*, Panarea

Romantic boutique hotel

Set on the tiny volcanic island of Panarea, the Terrazza offers characteristic rooms with sea view terrace. Boats from Lipari arrive at San Pietro Dock, a 5-minute walk away. All soundproofed rooms at the family-run La Terrazza provide air conditioning and a minibar. Each room is furnished in white and Mediterranean blue, with traditional tiled floors.

Best budget hotel: Hotel Ossidiana Stromboli 3*, Stromboli

Just 200 m from the port, the Ossidiana is located right next to a volcanic-sand beach in the fishermen’s neighbourhood of Scari. Guests are greeted with a free welcome drink on arrival. Breakfast is a varied continental buffet, offered in a panoramic room with sea views. Many typical Sicilian restaurants are located nearby. Panoramic Piazza San Vincenzo and the Vulcanology Museum are a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

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