Off to a scuba adventure? Look no farther! I had a great scuba adventure in the Aeolian Islands! To start your adventure, you can pretty much arrive at any airport in Italy and head down to Sicily. The starting point is really going to be Messina. Messina is just a big port town. There is lots of hustle and bustle; lots of coming and going. Here, you can find a ferry that will take you across to the islands.
Your first drop off will be Lipari. Lipari is definitely the more tourist of the islands. There are plenty of small hotels, private residence or camping for accomodation. There is also plenty of shopping and dive shops around the island.
I had a camping experience that was not so wonderful….my first 2 days went great but mid August isn’t the great time to be surrounded by a packed campground and a tiny travel tent without air conditioning! The heat set in and I found myself sick and throwing up. The rest of the “scuba” holiday was really kind of just trying to keep the food down. Fortunately the people at the dive shop where I was taking my scuba class gave me some upgraded accomodations from the campground and let me stay in their guest room! By about the 5th day I was feeling better!
After things turned around, I was able to enjoy some great diving around Lipari and Vulcano. Vulcano is the more unique of the two islands. In general the visibility is excellent and around Vulcano you can actually swim through warm areas of water. The marine life is definitely one of a kind here, simply because many species of plants and marine life live in the water under the volcanic rock. The colors are phenomenal! There seems to be more life here than the other areas of Lipari!
Vulcano also has the mud baths, if you are interested to have a go at it. Many say that it is great for the skin, however I am convinced that humidity and mud just don’t go together. To each their own.
Another side trip is taking a hike to the top of the volcano. I would recommend the hike even though it takes a couple hours. From the top, you can get some excellent views of the Mediterranean and on a clear day can see just about all the islands!