Despite being the largest of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari has a population of only 9,000! The town of Lipari has some notable buildings including the churches of Anime del Purgatorio, Saint Antonio, the Immaculate, Addolorata and 11th century Cathedral, impressive castle and city walls. Other sights include the Neolithic Village and Greek-Roman necropolis at Contrada Diana and the excellent Aeolian Archaeological Museum. The charming town also has a range of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars centred round the attractive port, about 5 -10 minutes walk from your hotel.
As its name suggests, the island has a volcanic history and an exceptional landscape as a result, including two craters. Volcanic activity has been reported since ancient times with the last report in the late 19th century. It is still evident with the boiling sea-water phenomenon caused by underwater jets of gas bubbling up through the sea, which is now considered to be therapeutic as are the mud-baths. The island is also characterised by caves, black beaches, old lighthouse and dramatic mountain scenery.
Almost entirely mountainous and the most active volcanically of the islands, Stromboli is best observed at sunset from the safety of a boat. Almost daily, and best viewed in the evening, the volcano issues a spectacular light and fire display, with stones and ashes thrown high into the sky. Evidence of ancient civilisations are to be found here, too, together with the charming villages of more recent times.
The second largest of the islands, Salina is the most cultivated and has a landscape characterised by vineyards and olive groves - the island boasts a unique wine, the aromatic malvasia. Evidence of ancient civilisations has been unearthed here as is the case elsewhere on the Aeolian Islands, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past, whilst the present settlements of Santa Marina, Rinella and Malfa have changed little over the past two or three hundred years.
Consisting of three extinct volcanoes, Filicudi (once know as Phoenicusa - the island of ferns), is famed for its stunning coastline of high, jagged cliffs and beautiful grottoes, including the Bue Marino (sea ox). It also boasts a picturesque harbour and delightful Capo Graxiano peninsular where a Bronze Age settlement has been unearthed.
The most westerly of the islands, Alicudi is the least-populated (150 inhabitants) and has a total area of 5.2 square kilometres. Its ancient name was Ericusa, because of the abundance of wild heather that grows there and a settlement dating from the 16th century BC has been discovered near the port. The west of the island is totally uninhabited with a dramatic coastline of enormous sheer rocks rising to an extinct volcanic peak.
The tiny island of Panarea, at just 3.4 square kilometres, is the smallest Aeolian island, but attracts the Italian jetset including prime minister Berlusconi who has a villa here. Its attraction lies in its unspoilt natural beauty and picturesque white-washed houses, whilst there is also fascinating evidence of past occupants dating back to the Neolithic Age. There is also evidence of Roman occupation at the islet of Basiluzzo where ruins of Roman houses have been discovered along with mosaics.
The Rocce Azzurre Hotel
The friendly, family-run three-star Rocce Azzurre Hotel enjoys a wonderful location overlooking the sea yet only a few minutes pleasant walk from the charming old town of Lipari. The walk is about 400 metres up a slight hill and there is no other way to get from the port to the hotel (though baggage is taken in a minivan). This walk has to be undertaken to join all the excursions to other islands.
Facilities at this typically Sicilian hotel include terrace and restaurant with spectacular sea views, attractive and charming public areas including bar and indoor dining area and sunbathing/swimming platform. Rooms are comfortable and spotlessly maintained with private shower, TV and telephone. Many have sea-view and/or balcony, bookable at a reasonable supplement. The hotel is a pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the port - downhill one way and up the other and there is no other way to get from the port to the hotel as the lane is not suitable for traffic.
Rocce Azzurre Hotel Website
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
We have been sending clients here for more than a decade and Adriano and his staff consistently offer a very warm, friendly welcome. The bar terrace and restaurant directly overlook the sea and offer a lovely Mediterranean atmosphere. Rooms are well maintained and comfortable and many offer a sea view and/or balcony which is worth the upgrade.
Please note that all flight times are provisional and subject to airline schedules and changes.
HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions.
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Catania. On arrival, transfer by coach to Milazzo (approx. 2 hours) and onwards by ferry to Lipari (approx. 1 hour 30 mins) before a short steep walk to the Rocce Azzurre Hotel.
Days 2 – 7: These days are free for you to spend as you wish, whether it’s exploring the islands on local excursions (these are optional extras to add to your tour, payable locally) or relaxing at the hotel. There are plenty of excursions (payable locally) available to the other Aeolian Islands.
Day 8: Transfer from the islands to Catania Airport. Fly from Catania to London Gatwick.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering escorted tours for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions started operating over 23 years ago with the clear intention of offering a range of cultural short breaks and extended tours which would appeal to 'travellers' not 'tourists' and whose itineraries were not readily available on the high street – the legion of loyal customers that travel with them year after year shows that this philosophy is succeeding!
As the years have passed, their range of tours has developed and diversified. More than 20 years ago they launched a rail holiday to Provence travelling by Eurostar and TGV to Avignon – today this is one of nearly 30 tours that use this mode of transport – the journey becomes part of the holiday and is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel.
They also offer a large range (72 in 2017) of special events in the UK with expert speakers, concerts, special dinners in historic locations such as the SS Great Britain and many other unique events that bring the culture and history of our wonderful country to life. This has been expanded to adopt the same principles on short educational trips abroad which is found in their Art & History Abroad programme.
The size of the group varies depending on the tour. They limit some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the holiday such as Walking in Western Crete, Cuba, India etc. These are limited to approx. 20-30 passengers per group to enhance your experience and reduce their impact on the local areas.
For their Europe by Rail series and most of their Europe by Air holidays, the maximum you will get in a group is 49 passengers but often they operate at around 30-38.
Most of their UK British Heritage Tours have a maximum capacity of 49 (some less) but the odd one or two such as Queen Victoria’s Island Retreat, Bristol and Brunel, can take up to 100 due to the size of the venue and nature of the event. However, if there are large numbers, you will be divided into two coaches of 49 each so you still do not feel as if you are in a big group.
Their philosophy remains the same however: 'to offer the benefits of group travel but to treat every customer as an individual'.
You can contact Travel Editions directly by: