Boat trip: 5 islands where volcanoes smoke
Boat trip on the volcanic islands. The starting point of the trip, we chose the city of Catania, which is located at the foot of Mount Etna. This is the best place in the area where you can rent a car to go to conquer the volcano. The Rifugio Sapienza platform at an altitude of 1900 meters can be reached by car, then everyone changes to the funicular, which goes up to 2500 meters. You can drive another 500 meters up on a special bus, and only further on foot. The main thing to do with this is to be prepared for a change in temperature. Upstairs it’s cold and windy enough, so even if the day is very hot, you need to bring a jacket and closed shoes with you.
The landscapes above are simply Martian. Fantastic films can be made here: the crater smokes, there is no vegetation, bizarre-shaped stones are scattered everywhere, the wind carries black volcanic sand. We stayed on the volcano for about an hour, after which we went to our first port – Portorosa. On the way we stopped for lunch at the Murgo winery, bought food on the road and drove onto the A-18 expressway, which passes by Taormina, the resort of Giardini Naxos, and the Etnaland amusement park. Well, of course, all the way they admired the picturesque Strait of Messina.
This is a cozy marina, from where yacht routes often start towards the Aeolian Islands and the island of Vulcano, closest to Sicily. Here, up to 700 boats can be moored at the same time, but in season there may not be enough space. It was in this port that we rented our yacht, here we will have to return at the very end of our trip. Portorosa also has a Europcar car rental service. Booking a car on its Italian page is cheaper than on a Russian-language one. And in the marina there is a beach, however, for a long time no one lingers here.
We reached the first stop, the island of Vulcano, only in the evening. There was already a full house: absolutely everything was occupied by the anchorage (it’s understandable, it’s free), so we had to get up at the pier for money. The cost of such parking is about 70 euros per team, but you can go ashore at any time without using dinga (editorial note “dinga” – a small inflatable boat).
Vulcano is a small volcanic island with black sand beaches and fantastic landscapes. Several of its volcanoes have long been silent, but one is still considered active. To look at it, you need to spend about five hours (unfortunately, cars do not go there). Therefore, we all weighed, abandoned the idea of storming another volcano and went to watch the mud baths and fumaroles, which are located just 15 minutes on foot from the marina. poisonous yellow coating forms). It is on these fumaroles that retired Europeans like to sit-warm bones, although the smell next to them is simply terrible.
The main attractions of the island are mud baths, where you can swim, and Acque calde beach with underwater fumaroles, so the sea in some places boils like a jacuzzi. That is why you need to go into the water very carefully and only in beach slippers, otherwise you can burn your legs. The feeling of being from a bee sting is not fatal, but unpleasant.
A 15-minute walk from Acque calde there is the usual Ponente beach with black volcanic sand – the best beach of the Aeolian Islands.
Keep in mind that after local mud baths, the body smells of hydrogen sulfide for several days, and the clothes so absorb the smell that you can get rid of it only after a few washings. Next to the “bath” there is a shower, which can be used for 2 euros.
We went to Lipari the next day. This time the sea was as calm as the last day. Therefore, it was possible to have fun in full: we rode on a ding, tied to the stern and on mooring lines (editorial note “hemp or wire rope”) under the motor of the yacht. We managed to arrive at the marina early, so we managed to take a place in the parking lot.
Among the islands of the archipelago Lipari is central. In addition, it has a small city of the same name, which is better to get to from the marina by shuttle bus. Although the distance is small, about three kilometers, the road here is narrow and runs in the mountains, so walking on it is not safe at all. The capital of the archipelago is a small, very picturesque and very sleepy city, where after a siesta it is difficult to find an open store. Around the old quarter stretches the ancient fortress wall. If you walk along it, you can walk to the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew – the patron saint of these places. Near the temple there is a panoramic platform from where the surroundings are remarkably visible.
There are a lot of cats on the island, and in some places there are even signs: “These meowing people are photomodels, and if you photograph them, please be kind, help the poor poor to eat!”