Vulcano – Eolian islands

Visiting Vulcano island is an experience that sticks with you for a while: if anything the smell of sulphur certainly will!

We got to Vulcano easily after 3 and half hours sailing. There was little wind so we had to motor almost all the way there from Milazzo.

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The sea was finally calm after a few stormy days, some whirlwinds still forming in the sky, stretching all the way to the water.

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Incredible to see at a distance – not very pleasant to experience directly with the boat, I’m sure.

We anchored on the eastern side of the island, Porto Levante, opposite Fumaroles Beach, where the mud pond and the hot springs are.

The morning after we decided to climb up the vulcano. The only one still active on the archipelago, together with the more spectacular Stromboli.

It’s an easy walk, not to steep and the vulcano is only 386 metres high. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water as there are no refreshments available along the way.

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Once on top the view is grand: the huge crater below you, the blue sea all around and the gas emissions coming up the volcanic soil: the so called fumaroles. Make sure you don’t breathe them in for too long tough, they are quite toxic.

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We walked along the edge of the crater and managed to spot Gladan, safely anchored in the well sheltered bay.

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It was quite hot on top, despite it being the beginning of October, and our stomachs had started to rumble so we decided to make our way back to the centre and enjoy a well deserved meal after our short but intense adventure!

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After lunch we went back to the boat and had a very pleasant surprise: some fishermen came around with their boat offering some freshly fished capone and gamberoni. What a dream! With 15 Euros we secured a delicious dinner for the 4 of us. DCIM100MEDIADJI_0033.JPG

We couldn’t leave the island without visiting the mud pond and experiencing the ticklish sensation of swimming above the hot springs. It’s 3 euros to access the pond so we paid the entrance and made our way to the mud pool.

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I did it many times as a teenager when the entry was still free and I remember the funny looking people all covered in mud walking around the pool waiting for it to dry out. Somehow though I did not remember it being so gross…!

When we stepped in the initial feeling was of disgust! You really feel like a pig crawling into mud…and there are so many people in such a small space.

After the first few odd minutes though we started to enjoy it. The mud was hot and felt very good, forming a protective layer and gently releasing heat on the skin.

The abrasive consistency of the mud and the acidity of the sulphuric acid peel off your dead skin and leave you with a baby skin when you wash it away. The mud treatments are also supposed to be highly beneficial for arthritis, cervical and skin problems.

And there is always the fun side of it! Who can resist the temptation of turning into incredible Hulk for a few hours..

Once the mud is dry and you get tired of the very intense smell of sulphur surrounding you, it’s time for you to go down the staircase and immerge your body in the warm sea water. Follow the bubbles coming up from the sea bottom and you’ll find the hot springs. Relax while washing off the mud. Be careful as you should definitely try not to get any in your eyes as Gc very well knows!

A quick stop at the supermarket to buy some Insolia wine and some crisps to accompany our G&T and there we were, back aboard of Gladan, sipping our aperitif and getting the bbq ready for the night. We had fresh fish to cook…What a treat!

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The day after we started making our way to Lipari but stopped very soon for a yoga session on the beach of the Faraglioni. The perfect spot to feel blessed and perform a sun salutation while breathing in the sun and breathing out all your worries…if you still have any left after such a great time around the Eolian islands!

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