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.

Lipari island as seen from Salina (Santa Marina). The two islands are really close by.

The current name of the island derives from a salty lake which extends along the coast towards Lipari. Time ago the salt produced here was used to produce fish and capers (Salina is the only Aeolian island with extensive caper crops). Before that the Greeks called the island Twins because of the two volcanoes – Fossa delle Felci and Monte Pirri(currently extinct). Fossa delle Felci is a great destination for a one-day trip, they say you can see all Aeolian islands from it. We chose to visit the island villages instead.

The islands has 3 main villages: Santa Marina, Malfa and Leni, and a few smaller ones – Lingua (just a few kilometers from Santa Marina), Pollara (close to Malfa, the movie ‘Il Postino’/’The Postman’ was filmed there) and others. You can visit them easily with the island buses – depart every 30 minute or so, some people rented bikes from the port instead.

Santa Marina is the main village and port – it lies just below Monte Fossa delle Felci. It’s a fairly quiet residential village with lovely seaside alleys. Still, in April it was the most lively place on the island, with a few open shops and seaside cafes.

One of the main streets in Santa Marina

Looking for a beach to make our first dip for the season, we took the bus to Malfa, where my guide said there were nice black sand beaches. The name Malfa was given by residents of Amalfa near Naples, who moved to the island some centuries ago.

Following the ‘beach’ signs for about a kilometer we reached something which I would call a quiet rocky bay, not exactly beach, but still you could take a bath in the salty, coldish water. The black rocks popping out from the sea were already hot from the sun, so once you started freezing – you can just get on a rock to warm up 🙂

The beach in Malfa

Content from getting our first bath, we started walking randomly around Malfa – a village that seemed so desolate, as if coming from a story by Stephen King 🙂

Malfa: the central square

Now and then we came across tourist couples, but that was all! Charming, white village streets, vineyards, lemon gardens – but no people!:)

Malfa: the desolate streets

How come there are no people but flourishing flower pots? Hmm..

At some point, all of a sudden we came across a single cafeteria/bakery that was just opening for the season, hosted inside a lovely lemon garden. Did we try most of the sweets there, with our coffee? You bet! 🙂

We could walk around peaceful and desolate Malfa for hours if it wasn’t so hot in the midst of this island! We headed back to Salina and the seaside, and there it was nicely windy and refreshing.

Santa Marina: the church on the main square

The morning before our departure, I took the chance to get a coffee at Lingua – it was a 30 minute jogging session from Santa Marina. Laid just at the southeast corner of Salina, within minutes you could enjoy several views toward the neighboring islands. An 8 am coffee, combined with the pleasant post-jogging fatigue and amazing view made for an unforgettable moment. Make sure you check out the village, once on the island.

I regret not being able to visit Pollara and Monte dei Felci volcano. But, within the day we had for this island, we experienced and saw a lot.

On the next day we left for the amazing Panarea island which opened so many exhilarating views ..to an ancient village, amazing rocks and bays with turquoise water..more in my next post.

One Response to The Aeolian islands: Salina

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