We had the most wonderful stay at Salina, one of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily.
Here’s our guide:
When: definitely in low season, when there are no tourists. I would recommend april or may (spring or early summer), or September- October. In spring, the island is green, the trees are blossoming. In the fall it’s more dry, but then you can enjoy all the fresh fruits and vegetables that grow on this fruitful island. We heard that the peach (freshly squeezed) spritz is to die for.
How to get there: Fly to Catania and catch a ferry from Milazzo, Sicily. We booked our tickets through Liberty Lines, because then we could bring our car. In that way, we were free to explore the island whenever it suited us (bus connections are very poor). Make sure you have enough time, since everything is on Italian schedules (which cannot always be trusted!)
Stay: Hotel Ravesi. It is the most idyllic Hotel, and we’d love to stay here again. Their aperitivo drinks are epic. Have them by the pool and watch the active vulcano Stromboli. It is totally magic.
Hike: Pollara – make sure you see the sunset from here. Monte Fossa Delle Felci is also a great 2h hike with a great view.
Do: Rent a boat (with a driver) to take you around the Island. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Visit a vineyard.
Eat: Anywhere. Most restaurants are local and serve great seafood pasta. All alimentaries make super good sandwiches with mozarella, pruciutto, and tomatoes to go, which are perfect for lunch to go. If we come back, I think we would have tried the michelin restaurant at Hotel Signum.
Beach: Pollara (rocks), or Rinella (lava beach) were our favourite spots.