Our newest Italian base, Portorosa is nestled into the north east corner of Sicily, sheltered under the gaze of the majestic Mount Etna. Spend your first day exploring the town of Tonnarella, or reclining on one of Sicily's many beaches. Chart briefings run between 6pm and 7pm local time, and you will also be given a thorough yacht briefing on your first afternoon.
Named for the steaming peaks that crown this fair island, Vulcano is actually better known for the therapeutic qualities of the local mud and the natural hot springs. Although it has a harsh, barren terrain, the island also boasts a black sand beach, and the spectacular Fossa di Vulcano. The smouldering crater is encrusted with vivid red and yellow crystals, which make the one-hour hike well worth the effort. You can then either take a steep path down to the crater floor, or walk on the level around the rim and enjoy extraordinary views out over the islands to the north. There is even a volcano museum on the island. The south and northwest coasts are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. Anchor in Porto di Ponente for good protection from prevailing easterly winds.
Filicudi is the wildest and most beautiful Aeolian Island, with its stunning Blue Grotto and a network of hiking trails allowing visitors to explore the island’s scenic interior. The Scoglio della Canna (Cane Reef), a rock obelisk located off the north-western coast, is also worth a visit. At Capo Graziano, a short walk south-east of the port, are found the remains of a prehistoric village, dated 1800 BC. Hiking trails across the Island are spread over a huge network, leading to the abandoned village of Zucco Grande and to Fossa Felci, a mountain in the centre of the Island.
Renowned for its vibrant plant life and lush vegetation rare for such volcanic land, Salina has three of the highest peaks in the area, as well as three villages and a handful of smaller hamlets. The abundant greenery is supported by the numerous freshwater springs. Embrace the slower pace of life on the island and rent a bike or scooter to explore Salina and her mighty peaks, Monte Fossa dell Felci (962m); Monte dei Porri (860m); and Monte Rivi (850m). Once at the top, you'll revel in sensational views that stretch across the entire Aeolian archipelago. Salina has good amenities, and several restaurants line the waterfront in Santa Marina Salina, with seafood dishes a real highlight.
Rising an imposing 924m from the sea and behind only Mount Etna as the Europe's second-largest active volcano, Stromboli belches imposing clouds of steam skywards. This dramatic lava mountain plunges all the way down to 2000m below the surface, and at night you can see the red hot flow weaving its way to the sea. There are two small villages on opposite sides of the volcano and Stromboli has the blackest beaches of all the Aeolian Islands. There is no quay anchorage at the port where the ferries and boats come in however there good buoy anchorage on the west side of the harbour and water and fuel are available.
Stop off in Panarea, the smallest but by far the most picturesque of the islands in the group. Or visit the island of Basiluzzo, close to Panerea, which is uninhabited and an ideal stop off for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. Lipari is both the largest and oldest of the Aeolian Islands, which are often named in its honour. The Aeolian Museum in Lipari Town is excellent and houses treasures from the islands throughout the ages. Lipari is the most populated of the Aeolian Islands, with its population concentrated on the eastern side of the island, where the vineyards produce some really good local wine, and about half living in Lipari Town.
From Lipari, you can plot a direct 22nm route back to Portorosa, or opt for a more relaxed route, winding your way back to our base. Pop into the Vulcano National Park for a scenic final stop, or set a course for the Milazzo Peninsula. On your return, you will complete a quick but thorough debrief, after which you are free to enjoy your final night on Sicily as you please.