Vulcano, Sicily

© Giancarlo72 –

Irregularly shaped and full of bays, Vulcano is one of the nearest islands to the coast of Sicily and the Milazzo ferry departure points. Vulcano and Vulcanello, the two craters which formed the island, are known for their strong sulphur odour and healing muds.

Extremely beautiful, with a profusion of oleander and mulberry bushes, Vulcano’s dormant but still active crater still sends out fumes that fill the air. The island is famous for its hot mud baths captured in tufa rock.

The craggy dark rock coastline meets the sea in a colour contrast that is particularly spectacular in the marine amphitheatre of Piscina di Venere and Grotta del Cavallo.

It is an island of varied landscapes with high ground towards the crater in the midst of verdant vegetation on the lower slopes and an experience not to be missed for walkers. The lower plains, with their pasture and agriculture and the Punta dell’Asino headland, are one of the most magical of the archipelago.

And the island’s bars and clubs liven up the atmosphere in summer with frequent live performances including the music of Sicily’s folk dances.

Vulcano town

Vulcano town’s uniqueness strikes you immediately – the houses, bars and other buildings are extremely close to the crater. And whilst your common sense may tell you that this is worrying, it is this very nearness that lies at the heart of the town’s, and the island’s, vibrancy.

The most evident sign of this symbiosis is Villa Stevenson, a mid-nineteenth century manor house built by an English sulphur mining entrepreneur. Actually a rather kitsch villa, the castle in front of the famous Pozza dei Fanghi thermal baths is the oldest building on the island and one of Vulcano’s most popular meeting places. Full of the most fashion conscious tourists sipping aperitifs, it symbolises the identity of Vulcano town, a 60s and 70s jet set destination and still one of the most fashionable night spots of the Aeolian isles.

Beaches in Vulcano

Beautiful black pebble beaches fringe the island’s craggy coastline. Vulcano has a magnificent sea and an infinite variety of small bays and headlands. The two best places to enjoy the crystal clear waters are Punta dell’Asino, with the beautiful town of Gelso behind it, and Spiaggia delle Sabbie Nere near the western port.