Shaped by volcanic activity, the Aeolian Islands, scattered off Sicily's north coast, are nature at its most dramatic, with flowing lava and beaches of black sand. This unique archipelago also has pockets of Italian exclusivity, as well as ancient cultural sites, secret coves and shipwrecks to explore on your yacht charter.
This is an example of an eight day yacht charter itinerary around the Aeolian Islands. Itineraries are created individually for every client based around personal preferences and how you want to spend your time onboard.
Join your luxury motor yacht or sailing yacht in the city of Catania. Enjoy a delicious lunch onboard of fish fresh from the market. After lunch, explore the city on foot to discover the ornate architecture – Catania was rebuilt during the baroque period following Mount Etna’s eruption in 1669. Take a trip by 4x4 up to the moonscape of the volcano. Head to the rooftop bar at Una Palace hotel for sundowners and the best view of Mount Etna gently puffing away, before dining on a wonderful taste of Sicily at Me Cumpari Turiddu.
Wake up at the foot of Taormina and take the cable car to visit this hilltop town. Visit the beautifully preserved 3rd century Teatro Antico, perched on top of steep cliffs with panoramic views. Beach lovers should head to Letojanni beach, a gorgeous swathe of golden sand. Make the most of the yacht’s water toys in the bay or explore the coves and caves - the yacht's crew can take you to Grotta Azurra onboard the tender. Enjoy another locally sourced dinner in the atmospheric courtyard at Osteria RossoDiVino, then head back to the yacht for an overnight cruise.
Stromboli is thought to be the inspiration behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Mount Doom’. It also found fame in the Bergman/Rossillini 1950 film named for the volcano. Today you can hike up to the top with a guide, to encounter fire and glowing rocks spitting from the crater. Wander the streets of Stromboli town reaching the Piazza San di Vincenzo. Take in stunning views and walk the black sand beach at Ficogrande. Dine onboard as the yacht sails to the west of the island for the main show: red-hot glowing lava pouring down the slope.
Shipwrecks and Glamour
Breakfast in chic Panarea, followed by a stroll around this tiny and exclusive car-free island. The whitewashed village and port San Pietro hosts designer boutiques draped in bougainvillea. History lovers can also visit a village dating from the Bronze Age on the other side of the island. On water, explore the five islets just offshore, dive the wreck of a 19th century ship or snorkel from the pretty cove Cala Junco. Kick off your evening at the Bar del porto or the Bridge Club, then dine at the fashionable Hotel Raya before dancing all night at its open-air club.
Walk on the Moon
The island of Lipari is popular with the glitterati of the Italian fashion world. Its lunar landscape, the result of volcanic activity, left the island with a thriving business in pumice stone. Hike up to Quattrochhi for the best photo opportunity over the south of the island. Visit the Archaeological Museum of the Aeolian islands, or simply stroll the alleyways browsing shops. Head to the well-established Filippino restaurant in Lipari Town or, for a quieter evening try Le Macine outside town.
Land and Fire
Have a leisurely breakfast as the yacht re-positions to the nearby island of Vulcano. Named for the Roman god Vulcan who made the weapons for the other gods, the island is hot and rugged and home to yet another volcano. Take an easy hike up to see the crater belching smoke and wallow in the therapeutic thermal mud - or alternatively head to the Spa at Therasia resort for the more refined version. Cocktails onboard precede a sumptuous meal at the Michelin-starred Il Cappero.
Spoilt for Choice
After an overnight cruise, start your day in Syracuse. This beautiful city overflows with baroque piazzas, Greek temples and fashionable districts. Head to the Archaelogical Park to explore ruined theatres and temples. Sip espresso in the Piazza Duomo as you take in the history around you. Visit the pretty historic village of Ortigia, or take a trip inland to the fascinating village of Ragusa perched on two hills. Choose between two Michelin star restaurants, Ciccio Sultano and Ristorante La Fenice, for your final dinner of the trip.
Enjoy a champagne breakfast on the final morning of your holiday as your luxury yacht cruises back up to Catania, where you will disembark for your onward voyage.