Aeolian Islands

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WorldMediterraneanItalySicilyAeolian Islands
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38°28′N, 14°58′E
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Typical Aeolian Islands scenery

The Aeolian Islands (in Italian Isole Eolie) consist of seven volcanic islands lying 35 miles N of Capo Orlando on the north coast of Sicily and 50 mile WSW of Tropea on the Italian mainland. The archipelago comprises Lipari, the main tourist island, and the wine-producing island of Salina (the only ones with proper harbours); the still-active volcanic islands of Stromboli and Vulcano and the smaller, less-frequented islands of Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi, which offer only settled weather anchorages. The archipelago has been occupied since Neolithic times and was much prized for its deposits of obsidian, the volcanic glass-like rock used for cutting implements prior to the discovery of bronze. It was subsequent Greek settlers who named the islands after Aeolus, the god of winds, in recognition of their exposed situation. The population of the islands was much depleted by the rigours imposed by World War II and its aftermath and the economy has only recovered in recent years with the growth of tourism. Today, the islands’ hotels and pensions are packed to capacity throughout July and August and their few protected harbours and anchorages thronged with cruising yachtsmen from all over the world. However, the price of a cruise around the islands is constant attention to the weather outlook, since space in the few protected harbours is at a premium in the summer and a yacht may even be forced to seek shelter on the Sicilian coast in extreme weather conditions.


British Admiralty
172 - Isole Eolie
Italian chart


The prevailing winds around the Aolian Islands during the summer tend to be from NW or NE, although in calm weather seabreezes can be encountered from any direction blowing onto and between the islands. While infrequent, gales are not unknown during the spring and early summer and careful forward planning is necessary as there are only two harbours which offer adequate shelter (and even then, not in strong southerlies). In winter, the gregale is a strong NE wind that can affect the whole of the island group and blow for several days.

Sources for weather forecasts:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at Roma, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Augusta (Sicily)


See Mediterranean.


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


See individual island entries for details.


See individual island entries for details.

Islands in the Group

Yacht Services and Repairs

There are few facilities in the islands for anything other than emergency repairs. Pignataro marina on Lipari, with a mobile crane (70 T) and basic engine and electrical repair services, is the best spot for yachts in difficulty.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel stations in Lipari and Salina.

See individual island entries for details.

Tourism and Things to do Ashore


See individual island entries for details.

Grocery & Supply Stores

See individual island entries for details.


See individual island entries for details.


See individual island entries for details.


See individual island entries for details.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in Lipari and Salina.

Garbage Disposal

See individual island entries for details.



Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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