How You Can (Do) a Romantic Holiday in Salina in the Aeolian Islands

More and more couples choose Sicily and its historical landscape beauties for a holiday. However, those wishing to spend an ultra-romantic should consider Salina, on the Aeolian islands, not only for its breathtaking views but also for the sweetness of its Malvasia wine and famous capers.

 

The island of Salina is elegant, but without pomp. Green and luxuriant like no other. Its name comes from the salty lake in the locality of Lingua. Locals used its salt to preserve the food. The Greeks called it Didyme, “twins”, for its two mountains. A well-equipped marina in Santa Marina welcomes yachts of various sizes, while the hydrofoil pier guarantees tourist connections a hundred meters away. With hydrofoils departing throughout the day from Milazzo, Palermo or Naples, traveling to the island is fairly straightforward.

 

As soon as you disembark the hydrofoil, refrigerated with air conditioning, the fresh wind immediately envelops you, softening the sun’s rays on your skin. Santa Marina is a simple town with an alluring seafaring soul. Yet there are enough elegant and expensive shops where you can buy artistic ceramics, oriental drapes and handmade objects from local artisans.

Trekking in Salina can be magical

Scooter rental in Salina is the best way to explore the island, while those who want to combine exercise and relaxation can attempt to move around by bike.

 

The best way to get to know the soul of Salina is to take the many paths that cross it, stopping occasionally to recognize (and taste) the many varieties of plants that populate it, from wild fennel to asparagus, from wild celery to catmint. Here lovers of trekking, sea and nature will find everything they need; among the adrenaline-filled experiences to do as a couple, there is the excursion to Fossa delle Felci, a mountain at 962 meters from which you can enjoy a splendid view.

 

For a volcanic experience, just hop into neighbouring Stromboli to hike the summit and watch the volcano’s daily fireworks. The excursion lasts about five hours. It does not present particular criticalities; it does not require particular training or experience, but only a satisfactory physical condition and the right equipment (which can be rented locally). Only authorised guides can guide you to the top of the volcano, at about 900 metres above sea level. Without a guide, you can reach a maximum altitude of 400 metres, enough to admire the lava display from an excellent position.

The sunset in Pollara

Somewhere in Pollara, the house inhabited by Mario Ruoppolo, aka Massimo Troisi, hides in Il Postino (The Postman), the five-time Oscar nominated film that made the poetry of Salina known to the world.

 

Unfortunately, it cannot be visited. However, it is worth stopping at the nearby Locanda del Postino restaurant to admire the spectacle of the sun diving into the sea behind Alicudi and Filicudi.

Sun and Sea

To enjoy the sea at its best and avoid small beaches of uncomfortable pebbles, you may rent a small motorboat. Prices range from 80 euros up for a day, excluding fuel. But if helming is not for you, you can still get on the various boats that organize island tours lasting about three hours, with stops for a swim in the most beautiful coves.

 

Among the most beautiful bays of Salina stands the Pollara beach, made up of small pebbles and lava rocks. Also, the beach of Leni, with shallow and sandy bottoms, is extraordinary and is especially suitable for diving and snorkeling: jets of gas and vapors, the so-called baffles, characterise the seabed, creating an attractive seascape. The striking, crescent-shaped beach of Rinella stands out with its black sand.

Alfredo's granita.

Any excursion on the island can only end at Bar Alfredo, on the seafront of Lingua. Its granita is an institution in Salina: soft and grainy, cold at the right point, with or without cream. You can enjoy it sitting at the bar tables or, even better, on the warm sunny wall.

ice cream in salina
Alfredo In Cucina

Dining

Having a poor meal in Salina is practically impossible. At lunch, you can’t miss the “Pane Cunzato”, it translates as “dressed bread”. You can dress it with anything, excellent if stuffed with anchovies, capers and a drop of olive oil. In the evening, instead, there are various restaurants where you can taste traditional and innovative Aeolian cuisine.

 

The best restaurant is certainly Mamma Santina. From the terrace, you can enjoy the colors of the sunset while tasting the fish dishes. The house speciality is spaghetti with 14 herbs, a pesto paste containing all the flavours of Salina and the Mediterranean.

 

Another noteworthy restaurant is the Tinkitè, also in Santa Marina. The restaurant—whose name evokes abundance—winds through the open spaces of a hotel. Ask to eat on the terrace. No lights and only candlelight. The view over Lipari is breathtaking. The restaurant offers Aeolian cuisine, cleverly revisited by the chef. The Capers semi-freddo is not to be missed. A delicacy.

 

For Malvasia wine, a special mention goes to Carlo Hauner, a winery that has made school and marked the history of the Salina grape variety. The aperitif is excellent, with plenty of appetizers and the possibility of purchasing and shipping your favorite bottles. Pleasant location, especially in the evening at sunset. Simple to organise everything (just call them), polite and professional.

Where to sleep