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.
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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.
When to go
Thanks to its southerly location, Sicily enjoys mild temperatures all year round. Spring and autumn are both lovely times to visit, with temperatures in the high teens and early 20s (although up in the hills and on the slopes of Mount Etna it can be significantly cooler). In summer, you can expect temperatures in the high 20s – perfect for spending time on the island's beautiful beaches.
At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.
You don’t have to leave a tip in Italy – most Italians don’t tip for restaurant meals, bar drinks, taxi rides or hair and beauty treatments. However if you do leave a tip, you might receive quicker service.
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