Salina, Sicily

© enrico zacchetti –

Made up of two volcanoes side by side, Salina is the second largest and greenest island of the Aeolian archipelago and owes its unusual shape and its name Didyme, which means twins, to this fact.

Salina is famous worldwide not only for its profusion of Mediterranean colours and fragrances but also as the main Malvasia wine growing area with its fertile soil and generous climate perfect for vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards.

It is a vibrant island with the second largest population after Lipari and has been lived on longer – Rinella dates as far back as 5000 BC. Its name comes from the salt lake on the coast opposite Lipari and its salt production.

There is an abundance of vegetation in Salina and more than half of it is a nature reserve perfect for walkers and cyclists with its unpolluted environment, migratory birds and chestnut forests.

A popular tourist destination in summer Salina’s family run restaurants and bars, its natural attractions, its peaceful but lively atmosphere and characteristic Aeolian cuisine make it the perfect place for couples and families.

Santa Marina di Salina, Malfa and Leni

3 distinct towns with 3 separate town councils. This is an unusual feature of Salina as all the other towns of the Eolie are under the jurisdiction of Lipari. Port, agricultural and seaside town Santa Marina’s archaeological site with its Roman houses and Saracen grotto – possibly the island’s first Greek settlement – with its altars and cavities is well worth a visit.

Malfa and Leni are smaller and more secluded inland country towns, five minutes from the sea, with a more traditional atmosphere. Cinema buffs may want to visit Pollara, near Malfa, where Il Postino was filmed with Massimo Troisi and Philippe Noiret.

Beaches and sea

Salina’s beaches are pebbly and secluded and without beach facilities for the most part. There’s even a little sand at Rinella, the island’s second port and a busy tourist hub in the summer months. The little coves of Pollara and Scario (near Malfa), with their crystal clear waters and rocky sea bed, are magical.