Visit Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands, the magic of volcanoes

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You’re in the Aeolian Islands to discover its natural wonders and you’ve decided to visit Vulcano? Discover our dedicated article!

The Pacific Ring of Fire may be far, far away… but Europe is a volcanic land! Italy andIceland are two countries that have learned to live with the fear of a volcanic eruption at any moment.

Southern Italy in particular has a tragic history, with mountains that can explode in anger. Vesuvius, Stromboli and the island of Vulcano are names we all know. Names that can be frightening… but they’re also great natural landscapes to visit!

This article aims to give you all the information you need to visit Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands, as well as some ideas for original excursions.

Vulcano, discovering volcanoes

Visiter Vulcano dans les îles éoliennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Marco Crupi

Vulcano takes its name from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. Although the island is made up of four volcanoes, only the one known as La Fossa, the large crater, is still relatively active.

To visit Vulcano is to discover an impressive and complex natural site. Unlike Vesuvius, ancient authors and their contemporaries said little about eruptions on Vulcano. It has to be said that it’s an isolated island, not very dangerous for human beings. Indeed, after the 16th century, eruptions became rare, with the last one occurring between 1898 and 1900.

Once you’ve arrived on the island, you can smell the volcanic activity in the truest sense of the word, with the characteristic smell of sulfur rising from the crater. It’s often compared to the smell of a rotten egg! This smell is accentuated by the constant release of fumaroles, plumes of steam that are constantly escaping from the crater. These fumaroles are also responsible for the characteristic yellow and red colors of the hiking trail to the crater.

Vulcano, an extraordinary place with astonishing activities

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Photo credit: Shutterstock – Alfiya Safuanova

At first glance, the image of Vulcano is not a pretty one. The smell is bad, you have to watch out for fumaroles and the volcano could erupt at any moment! But that would be missing the point. Vulcano is above all a journey into the magic of nature. And you’ll soon forget all about the rotten eggs left in the magma pot!

For anyone approaching a volcano for the first time, the surroundings seem unreal. In addition to the characteristic colors, it’s certain geological formations, such as the Valle dei Mostri, that astonish. Vulcano is also home to sulfurous mud, formed by a mixture of water and volcanic ash. You can bathe here without risk, in an idyllic setting. Vulcano is also a hiker’s paradise, with some of the most astonishing places on earth.

In short: unforgettable moments for all those who enjoy Vulcano! What if it were your turn?

What to see and do on Vulcano

Visiter Vulcano : que voir et que faire ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock – easy camera

Visiting Vulcano is all about hiking. The main one, the one you can’t miss, takes you up to the great crater. From the top, the view is splendid!

Vulcano also means discovering unique and astonishing places. The first is the Valle dei Mostri, near Vulcanello in the north of the island. These rocks, shaped like dinosaur statues, come from the stigmata of ancient eruptions. The second is the famous sulfurous mud, which we absolutely recommend you try! The third is the Acque Calde beach, located between the main crater and Vulcanello.

It releases volcanic matter in the form of steam from the seabed. The water is warmer than on the island’s other beaches, and you can even enjoy a free hydromassage! Vulcano also offers magical views. In addition to the view from the large crater, there’s the Piscina di Venere and Monte Saraceno.

How to visit Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands

By boat to Vulcano and Lipari

Excursion en bateau jusqu'aux îles

Photo credit: Shutterstock – duchy

    💰 €65 per person, generally available from March to October.

    👍 The little extra? The chance to sail between the Aeolian Islands and visit Vulcano and Lipari!

What could be better than visiting Vulcano and the Aeolian Islands by boat? This excursion takes you from Sicily to two of the archipelago’s islands, Vulcano and Lipari.

You’ll meet your guide early in the morning at the port of Messina, from where you’ll take the bus to the port of Milazzo. From here, you’ll board a boat for the Aeolian Islands. After an initial sail, the first stop is Lipari, at around 10 am. For around 3 hours, you’re free to visit the largest island in the archipelago, an island where life is so good. We love its cobbled streets and old town, its café terraces and restaurants, its pretty beaches and its general atmosphere. You’ll have plenty of time to choose a restaurant and discover the local specialties.

In the early afternoon, we return to the boat to discover the south of Vulcano island. The program includes a climb up to the crater to admire the splendid view and the fumaroles. At the foot of the volcano, enjoy a bath in the sulfurous mud! Once in the boat, you’ll sail to the north of Vulcano: Vulcanello. Here, you can admire the Valle dei Mostri, go around the island to the natural swimming pool known as the Piscina di Venere.

Then it’s time to return to Milazzo, to look back on a wonderful 12-hour day spent between the magnificent passes of the Aeolian Islands!


Visiter Vulcano en kayak

Photo credit: Flickr – Alain Rouiller

    💰 From €67 per person (maximum 12 people), available all year round.

    👍 The little extra of this activity? Discover places that can only be reached by kayak!

With this ticket to Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands, you cancombine a sporting activity with the discovery of magical places!

The tour departs directly from Vulcano’s famous Acque Calde beach, close to the sulfurous muds. For 3 hours, with a very friendly guide according to the opinions of former travelers, you’ll discover the bowels of Vulcano. You’ll be able to see the fumaroles escaping from the seabed, as well as caves and tunnels dug by lava from previous eruptions.

Swimming in the warm turquoise waters and snorkeling are also on the program. The route is designed to appeal to everyone – from beginners to seasoned kayakers – because it’s so special and unique. After all, it’s not every day you pass under a volcano! Once back on land, you’ll have the pleasure of carving through the volcano to the main crater.

All in all, a perfect excursion for those who want to try their hand at kayaking and discover secret caves built by lava!

How do I get to Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands?

The classic way to visit Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands is by plane and then by boat.

By plane

There are three airports within easy reach of Vulcano. These are Naples airport and the two Sicilian airports, Palermo and Catania. As the choice of location is very different, it’s up to you to define your priorities. Would you like to visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius? Head for Naples. Are you dreaming of Sicily? Head for Palermo or Catania.

There’s no real difference between Naples and Sicily in terms of airlines serving airports from France, or in terms of prices. Take a look at our partner site Skyscanner to find the right combination.

By boat

Although Vulcano can be reached from Palermo, boats generally depart from Naples and Milazzo in Sicily. These are either classic ferries or hydrofoils. For those new to the word, a hydrofoil is a boat whose hull rises, supported by submerged wings. It’s a truly astonishing experience, and one that whets our curiosity!

Hydrofoils are faster and more expensive. So it’s up to you to choose what suits you best. Of course, there are more boats in high season than in winter. Some companies only operate for a few months of the year, so booking in advance in summer is highly recommended.

Are combined tours available?

Visiter Vulcano : visites combinées ?

Photo credit: Flickr – Alain Rouiller

Combined sightseeing is one of the hallmarks of the Aeolian Islands! We’ve already mentioned it in part above, with the cruise between Lipari and Vulcano. The Aeolian Islands are widely spaced, so we can choose our favorite islands. You can also choose a volcanic theme with Vulcano and Stromboli.

For others, it’s possible to visit Palermo or Messina in Sicily, followed by Vulcano. Vulcano is the closest island to Sicily.

Good addresses

Good places to stay

There are so many options that we could devote an entire article to them. Generation Voyage has selected three for you.

In the Aeolian Islands
Loger dans les îles éoliennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – 1234zoom

What better way to visit Vulcano than to spend the night in the Aeolian Islands? You can stay directly on Vulcano or elsewhere, such as Lipari.

There are many Airbnb accommodations available, both apartments and houses, and you’re bound to find something to suit you! You can also use a hotel comparator to get the best deals.

Beautiful apartment with terrace in Milazzo

Milazzo is the ideal base for visiting Vulcano and the Aeolian Islands, as well as Sicily. We’ve selected this accommodation for you!

Visiter Vulcano : airrbnb à milazzo

Photo credit: Airbnb

Located close to the port of embarkation for the Aeolian Islands, this apartment in Milazzo is perfect for a small family of four. All amenities are present, and there’s even a large terrace!

Neapolitan luxury

Staying in Naples is ideal for travelers who want to enjoy the nearby wonders of Vesuvius, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

As mentioned above, it’s perfectly possible to take a boat from Naples to visit Vulcano and the Aeolian Islands. Here’s the accommodation we’ve selected.

Magnifique Airbnb à Naples

Photo credit: Airbnb

We’ve chosen a high standard of accommodation for your stay in Naples. You may well spend some time here! The premises are sublime and the furnishings have that 1700s chic feel that we really appreciate.

An excellent apartment for a family or two couples of friends!


As with accommodation, restaurants depend in part on where you choose to stay. In Naples, of course, you have to go to a traditional pizzeria. The must isAntica da Michelle, with its succulent traditional pizzas at €5!

In Vulcano, we highly recommend the Malvasia restaurant for its traditional dishes and its setting, including a large terrace with a view.

If the restaurant is full, as it often is in summer, head south of the island to Trattoria da Gaetano, an affordable family restaurant with generous portions.


Visiter Vulcano : les meilleurs spots

Photo credit: Shutterstock – photovideoworld

The first spot is from the summit of Vulcano’s great crater. The view over Lipari and the deep blue sea is breathtaking and extraordinary. It’s a magical, photogenic place, which we enjoy admiring for several minutes… as long as the fumaroles are far away!

The Valle dei Mostri is the second spot, for its geological shapes as well as its view of Lipari a few metres away. Although less impressive than the view from the large crater, there are no crowds up to this point. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the silence and meditate in front of this superb panorama!

Monte Saraceno is the third spot and lies to the south of the large crater. If Monte Saraceno is a volcano, it’s well dormant, as the summit is green. A narrow path takes us close to what was once the crater. From up here, it’s the best place on the island to watch the sun set into the deep blue sea.