The largest of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari sits between Vulcano Island to the south and Salina to the north. From this central island, it is possible to either explore the surrounding volcanic islands or go on boat tours to experience hidden beaches, caves and cliffs rising roughly out of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Like most of the islands around Sicily, Lipari have been conquered and fought over by numerous different civilisations in the last couple of millennia. Greeks, Romans, Normans and Saracens are just some of the past rulers of the Aeolian Islands, and parts of the old Greek walls and fortifications, along with other ruins, still remain visible on the island. Today, however, Lipari is the perfect escape away from the weekday. A serene island with lots of local charm and without the total remoteness and barren, volcanic landscapes of some its neighbouring Aeolian siblings. From its busy little harbour, it is possible to go on day trips to the surrounding islands of Stromboli, Vulcano – with its craters, black beaches and famous mud baths and Salina, before returning back to the relative urban bustle of the eponymously named city of Lipari. A smattering array of brightly painted houses and hotels line the narrow streets of the city, overlooking the harbour front and cobalt sea, on which yachts and ferries rest in the gentle waves. Along the cobbled streets you’ll find lots of quaint restaurants and cafés, where you can sample the local sweet Malvasia wine. You’ll also find numerous local shops from which you can pick up handcrafted jewellery and art made from the local black obsidian gemstone as well as the white pumice rock. The latter is mined on the island, and unlike the black beaches of Vulcano Island, these pale stones give the local coastline a unique contrast to its neighbours. This phenomenon is visible on the southern beach of Spiaggio Valle Muria, where the white stones complement the lightly coloured, rugged cliffs that rise above the bay’s pristine water. Lippari, like its Aeolian neighbours offer experiences that are off the main holiday map, while remaining focused on quality and stunning vistas.
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