PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
An Aeolian Island adrift from Sicily’s northern shore, mysterious Vulcano is an island well worth unpicking. A favourite of visitors looking for the unexplored, Vulcano’s beautiful volcanic landscape means fantastic hiking, black-sand beaches and natural mud springs. It’s quickly earning its spot on Italy’s ‘volcano trail’; you can reach its peak, Fossa di Vulcano, in around three hours. Vulcano Porto, the main town, is filled with a handful of restaurants and shops, but it’s really Vulcano’s remoteness that is the basis of its appeal – and mystery. It’s not hard to see why the island crops up in Greek myth; according to legend, the Romans named the island after the god Vulcan, believing the smoking volcano to be the chimney of his workshop.
The activities on Vulcano go to extremes, ranging from hydrothermal spa treatments to challenging hikes. Many people day-trip from a neighbouring Aeolian Island via a ferry that deposits them in Vulcano Porto. The closest hot spring is right next to the little ferry terminal, or you can follow the roads north to the double helping of slate-grey sandy beaches at Porto di Ponente. It’s also the place to go for a therapeutic thermal mud bath.
There’s a tiny dormant crater in the north of Vulcano. It’s home to the weird and wonderful rock formations of the Valle dei Mostri – Valley of Monsters – as well as views of neighbouring Lipari. But the best views on the island come from the Gran Cratere. You’ll know it when you see it – this gaping volcanic crater is ripe with hiking trails that lead you to wall-to-wall views over the Aeolian Islands.
The closest airport to Vulcano is Catania (CTA), which is approximately 3 hours from Vulcano via ferry. Direct flights to Catania are available from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester and take approxmimately 3 hours.
Vulcano’s food and wine scene is low key and authentic. The majority of food and drink venues can be found in Porto Levante and generally focus on fresh and local ingredients coming together to create deliciously simple dishes. From quirky gelaterie to atmospheric trattorie, dining options in Vulcano are great for those wanting a taste of authentic Italy.