I have found the perfect European summer holiday destination! Don’t tell anyone!
The moment we stepped off the boat I could feel that this place was special. Everything was calm and quiet. There were plenty of little cafes and restaurants and a small number of tourists milled about happily as we slurped on our granitas looking out at the blue sea from from dappled shade under the trees. Ladies and gentlemen we had arrived in paradise. I present to you the Aeolian Islands!
This here is Salina and in the distance is Panarea.
We stayed on the northern coast of Salina in a village called Malfa. Our B&B was down a little alleyway that lead to the sea. Our room looked out to the sea and a path lead down to this rocky beach. The waves thundered and rolled crashing the rocks at the waters edge. But it was a gentle beast. Once in the water you float. A little beach shack serves food and drinks and hires out air beds and sun umbrellas.
We hired a little smart car to explore the island. It is tiny and can be seen in a day.
Look – isn’t it absolutely beautiful. This village is called Pollara. It felt like we were a million miles away from city life. The volcanic scenery remind me of pictures I’ve seen of Hawaii.
There are two extinct volcanos on Salina. Edd climbed this one early in the morning. I was still a bit whacked from various illness and injuries so slept in.
We hung around waiting for the sun to set from the hill above Pollara. Check out these colours!
Afterwards we drove down that steep hill to the village for dinner – with my foot permanently on the brake!
The food on the island is a mixture of simple dishes made from local ingredients. Fish, capers, tomatoes, lemon, potatoes, fruit. It felt like the land of milk and honey. The raw ingredients were the freshest juiciest specimens I had ever tasted.
On the last day we took a boat trip to Panarea and Stromboli. This was the highlight of the highlight of the holiday :).
We left Malfa pier at 12.30 and sped over to the little islands in the distance. We explored the coves and stopped to snorkel at every opportunity. The water was so salty there was no need for life-vests.
We docked at Panarea and went in search of lunch. There were so many lovely cafes but as usual we went for Arancini balls and a salad.
Afterwards we had a peach granita. It was the most delicious and refreshing thing!
Then back on the boat for more exploring – this time Stromboli!
Stromboli is the only active volcano and can be seen lighting up with its explosions at night. There is a town on the other side of the island and it was busy and cheerful.
We stayed to see the sunset again before heading back to Malfa in the dark. We sat at the front of the boat with the full force of the night breeze in our face and the stars in full glow above us. Out there I realised how small we are but still connected to the rest of this universe. I am and was so thankful to be able to see, hear, taste, smell and feel this beautiful place we call earth. I guess life is just one big mystery and adventure and we are here to enjoy every second of it. So just get out there and experience it – all the the good, the bad and the ugly. After all we can’t know good unless we know bad.
In the distance the glow of Malfa guided us home. At 12 midnight we arrived and stepped off the boat.
And walked through the dark peaceful roads and alleyways back to our B&B.
We are so, so lucky to be a part of this beautiful world.
Ciao Italy, until next time…..I love you 🙂