Category Archives: Sailing

The Aeolian islands: Vulcano

Within a mere 5-6 days of travel the Aeolian islands had generated so many emotions in us. So many breathtaking island views, amazing sights and .. volcano experience of course!

And to wrap this awesome trip up, departing from Stromboli we paid a visit to the very island that made up the word ‘volcano’ – the island of Vulcano. Vulcan was the god of fire in Roman mythology and because of its active volcanoes, the island got its name as the island of god Vulcan. The word volcano derives from this island.

The island, along with Stromboli, boasts of the only active volcanoes in the Aeolian archipelago. Moreover, it has the second most dangerous volcano in Italy after Vesuvio – Fossa. In case of volcanic activity, 2 kms around Fossa crater will be affected, and the village of Porto, reaching 10,000 inhabitants in the summer, lies within this area.

The Aeolian islands: Stromboli

Stromboli was the key highlight in our visit to the Aeolian archipelago. We knew there was an active volcano there, and ever since the first day on the islands we started seeing the smoke coming from the island. At night, being anchored in any neighboring island, we could see the orange halo at the top of the island and the bursts of lava now and then. Even from a big distance this was an awesome view. Some evenings we were just staying on the boat, staring at Stromboli and exclaiming when big bursts were seen.

The Aeolian islands: Panarea

After the quick visits to Lipari and Salina, we had more time to dedicate to our third island – Panarea. It’s the second smallest island from the Aeolian archipelago (3 km wide and 2 km long), but the most picturesque for me. If I had more time – this is the island I would spend several days on. It doesn’t have cars on it, only motorbikes, 3-wheeled trucks and golf cars. So – it was pretty quiet and unpolluted.

The Aeolian islands: Salina

When you are sailing sometimes your sightseeing plans don’t happen the way you want. So, we couldn’t see much of Lipari, but made it up in Salina, which was just a couple hours sailing away.

Salina seems a serene island with not much to offer, but when you go inside it – it’s truly charming. It’s also the greenest island from the Aeolian ones.

The Aeolian islands (Sicily)

The lizard and the volcanoes – the symbols of the Aeolian

Have you heard about the Aeolian islands? A year ago, neither had I 🙂 I was having a 6 am breakfast in a lovely Cefalu (Sicily) bed and breakfast, with an amazing view north of Sicily..when I spotted those islands. “These are pretty close to Sicily and to one another, there are several of them… sounds like a good sailing destination, isn’t it?’ was an instant thought. Few months later – there we go with a sailing crew!

In a series of blog post I will cover what we saw when visiting 5 of these 7 islands. Why series? Because there was so much to see. And I’m sure we didn’t cover even half of the best views and sights. Hope you’ll enjoy the posts, but go see these yourself!

The Aeolian islands are named by the Greeks after Aeolus – God of the Winds, because of the constant high winds in the area. There’s even an Aeolian triangle here where bizarre things happen to sailors (similar to the Bermuda triangle). Alas, not to us, though I had dug all possible literature for this phenomenon and was ‘prepared’ 😉

8 Kids-friendly activities in the Saronic islands in Greece

The Saronic Gulf in Greece is located to the south-southwest of Athens, and has 7 inhabited islands in it, called the Saronic islands. All islands are easy/fast to reach from the capital, with the farthest one – Spetses – taking just 2-3 hours by ferry or flying dolphin.

With its wonderful beaches and picturesque villages the Saronic is one of our favorite locations for spending a family holiday. If you happen to be around for your summer vacation, here are the eight places/activities we enjoyed most as a family.

Poros island

Walk around Poros city, enjoy magnificent views from the Clock Tower
Poros is just an hour from Athens by hydrofoil, but is perhaps one of the most picturesque islands in Greece. Its main town, Poros, beautifully spreads out on a hill, thus offering great views to the port, and the lovely bays just nearby.

A week’s sailing into Greek Sporades Islands

It’s been our third year sailing the Greek islands, but it is the first time we visit the Sporades. Sporades is a lovely group of 24 islands located to the east of central mainland Greece. Just 4 of those islands are inhabited though – Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Syros.
‘Sporades’ means ‘scattered islands (from the word ‘sporadic’).

Unlike the Cyclades we have sailed to so far, all Sporades islands are very green, and have numerous bays. They are also more populated than the Sporades, and some of them (Skiathos, Alonissos) are even too touristic and noisy.

Our first stop from the trip (excluding a quick layover in Thassos, which was on our way from Kavala to Sporades) was Alonissos. Among the 4 inhabited Sporades islands this one is farthest to the East, and considered least touristy from all, though we saw huge crowds coming and going away on ferries and bigger boats. Most signs and restaurant menus were also written in Italian, and also the locals spoke mostly Italian and not English, so suppose many Italians enjoy the quietness of the island.