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Lipari osservatorio

Weekend guide to Lipari, Sicily’s Aeolian islands

One of the most exciting place you should include in your Sicilian trip bucket list is by far the island of Lipari, part of the Aeolian islands archipelago!

Lipari is the largest (37,5 kmq) among the seven Aeolian islands in the northeastern Sicily. Its paradise like beaches, its charming historic centre and its breathless sunsets will make you fall in love with this unique place in Sicily.

WHERE IS LIPARI LOCATED?

Lipari island is the second closest island from Sicily mainland after Vulcano (actually the two islands are only roughly 6 kms away from each other).

Its strategic position allows visitors to easily move from Lipari to the other Aeolian islands by hydrofoil.

This is one of the main reason why Lipari is often chosen as a “base camp” for a trip to Aeolian islands. Nonetherless, the island itself is a beautiful place to visit and truly it is worth visiting Lipari!

View of Lipari from above,©Antonella Ravidà

HOW TO GET TO LIPARI

The most common way to reach Lipari island is by hydrofoil from Milazzo harbour.  Liberty Lines  is in charge of the hydrofoil journeys and you can book your ticket also online. The journey lasts 1 hour.

There are also maritime connections from Messina, Palermo, Naples and Calabria with companies Siremar, NGI and Caronte&Tourist (however mostly only during summer season).

Lipari’s Faraglioni,©Antonella Ravidà

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN LIPARI?

When planning your trip to Lipari Island, it is recommended to spend at least three days (two nights) to fully experience its beauty and charm. With its breathtaking landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and rich historical heritage, Lipari offers a plethora of activities and sights to explore. Whether you’re interested in hiking along its scenic trails, indulging in mouthwatering local cuisine, or immersing yourself in its fascinating ancient ruins, three days will provide ample time to savor the island’s highlights. From the stunning beaches to the charming city centre, Lipari offers a delightful Mediterranean escape that is sure to leave you longing for more.

Belvedere point in Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

THREE DAYS IN LIPARI ISLAND: WHAT TO DO AND THINGS TO SEE

As a Sicilian Travel Designer, I love when my travellers ask me to plan their tailor made tours to Aeolian Islands, as I literally adore this place. Lipari offers many different experiences, so you only need to choose how you would like to spend your time while in the island.

Let’s go through Lipari island’s top attractions and design a perfect weekend guide!

welcome to Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

DAY 1: Lipari historical centre and the Archaeological Museum

Depending on your arrival time in Lipari, the best way to get in contact with this island is by far wandering in the streets of the centre and breathing the atmophere that you only find at the Aeolian islands!

CORSO VITTORIO EMANUELE II

This is Lipari’s highstreet which starts from Marina Lunga harbour until Marina Corta harbour (less than 1 km). It can be considered as the heart of the centre, with its many small shops, cafes and restaurants which are perfect for some afternoon shopping or for an evening relaxing walk. By the way, if you have the chance, buy your souvenirs at these small local shops and help the local community that truly relies on visitors to keep its economy going.

Marina Corta,Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

MARINA CORTA HARBOUR

Marina Corta in Lipari is a picturesque harbor that showcases the essence of the island life. This charming waterfront area is a hub of activity, where fishing boats, yachts and ferries dock create a lively atmosphere. The marina is surrounded by colorful buildings, quaint cafes, and restaurants that offer stunning views of the sea. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade, admiring the boats bobbing in the crystal-clear waters. As the sun sets, Marina Corta transforms into a romantic setting, the perfect spot to sip on a refreshing drink and soak up the enchanting ambiance of Lipari.

Within close proximity to Marina Corta, you’ll find two notable churches that are worth exploring. The first is the Church of St. Joseph (Chiesa di San Giuseppe), a small yet exquisite church that houses a collection of religious art, including paintings and sculptures. The second is the pretty Church of The Souls of Purgatory (Chiesa delle anime del Purgatorio), built near the embankment, facing the sea. This lovely tiny whitewashed church keeps inside it a beautiful permanent nativity scene “Presepe del mare” (don’t miss a visit – ticket costs 1€- to this incredible treasure of artisan work which reproduces Marina Corta’s setting).

Nativity scene Presepe del Mare, Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF LIPARI

The Archaeological Museum of Lipari Luigi Bernabò Brea is a captivating destination that offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the island. Located in Lipari’s town center, in the area of the old Castle, this museum houses a remarkable collection of archaeological artifacts: ancient ceramics, sculptures, and other artifacts that provide insights into the lives of the people who once inhabited Aeolian Islands.

SUPRA LA TERRA BOROUGH

There is a very traditional area in Lipari centre called “quartiere Sopra La Terra” which in the last few years has been renovated with many beautiful murals painted on the facades of the local houses.

As you wander through the streets, you’ll be immersed in a world of color, creativity, and thought-provoking imagery. Each mural tells a unique story, reflecting the spirit of Lipari and its people. This project really gave a second life to this abandoned small district in Lipari.

Murals at Supra La Terra borough, Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

Nowadays, Supra La Terra with its “piazza dei mestieri” or “piazza dei murales” has become a tourist attraction and visitors come to experience this traditional neighborhood and make an instagram selfie with their favorite wall paintings.

A visit to the vibrant street art borough of “Supra Terra” in Lipari is a must for art enthusiasts and culture seekers.

By the way, if you are a street art lover, you will be pleased to explore many interesting examples of this urban art in Lipari. As a matter of Fact, walking among the narrow streets of the centre, you will often run across the painted doors from artist Demetrio Di Grado, which brought his contemporary art in the Aeolian Islands.

Street-art Demetrio Di Grado,Lipari©Antonella Ravidà

MARINA LUNGA

Marina Lunga in Lipari is a picturesque waterfront destination that exudes the charm and beauty of the Aeolian Islands. This bustling marina is a popular hub for boating and yachting enthusiasts, as well as a vibrant center for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Stroll along the promenade, lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine. The lively atmosphere of Marina Lunga creates a perfect backdrop for leisurely walks, sunset gazing, and people-watching. With its proximity to Lipari’s town center and easy access to nearby attractions, Marina Lunga is a must-visit destination that captures the essence of Lipari’s coastal charm.

ceiling paintings, Lipari’s Cathedral,©Antonella Ravidà

CHIESA DI SAN BARTOLOMEO, LIPARI’S CATHEDRAL

The Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew in Lipari is a magnificent religious landmark that is not to be missed. Located in the heart of Lipari’s town center, this historic cathedral boasts stunning architecture and is steeped in religious significance. Dedicated to Saint Bartholomew, the patron saint of Lipari, the cathedral showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Norman and Baroque influences.

NORMAN KIOSK

Located near the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, this kiosk is an ancient structure dating back to the Norman period. Its unique design showcases a fusion of Norman, Byzantine, and Arabic architectural influences. The Norman Kiosk is characterized by its ornate columns, intricate arches, and decorative details. Stepping into this well-preserved structure is like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into the island’s medieval past.

Norman Kiosk,Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

DAY 2: Private boat tour around Lipari island and sunset hunting by scooter

On your second day on this island, you could really get a feeling of its size and highlights booking a private boat trip around Lipari. If you are spending your weekend at the Aeolian islands during summer season, it is worth booking the excursion in advance, before your arrival.

There are many companies that offer boat tour of Lipari or combining Lipari and Vulcano. Of course, the price of these excursions changes according to the type of boat, duration and number of participants.

Private boat tour of Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

Also, there are companies that offer group boat tours, which of course are cheaper but also less comfortable.

Some local fishermen provide also tourist boat trips and they usually depart from Marina Corta.

On a three hours boat tour of Lipari you manage to navigate the whole perimeter of this island and also make a few stops for some diving into the crystalline water. You will stop to admire some of Lipari highlights such as:

Cave di Pomice (Pumice quarries)

The pumice quarries in Lipari are a fascinating natural attraction that draws visitors from around the world. Located on the island’s northeastern coast, Lipari is renowned for its abundant deposits of pumice stone. These quarries offer a unique glimpse into the volcanic origins of the Aeolian Islands. Pumice, a lightweight volcanic rock with a porous texture, used to be extracted from these quarries and used in various industries, including construction and cosmetics. Exploring the pumice quarries allows you to witness the impressive scale of the excavation sites and the raw beauty of the volcanic landscape. The contrast between the white pumice cliffs and the deep blue waters of the surrounding sea creates a visually stunning backdrop.

Cave di Pomice,Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

Canneto Beach

Canneto Beach in Lipari is a breathtaking coastal gem that offers a serene escape for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Situated on the eastern coast of the island (5 km from Lipari centre), Canneto Beach boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning panoramic views. Its tranquil atmosphere and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for family holidays. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or indulge in water sports, Canneto Beach has it all. With its range of beachfront amenities, including beach bars and cafes, visitors can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable beach experience.

Canneto beach, Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

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Circumnavigating Lipari you would also stop at Acquacalda beach, the Torricelle, the Lovers’ Cave, Cala Fico, Valle Muria, the Arco degli Angeli, the Faraglioni and Praia Vinci.

THE BEST SUNSETS IN LIPARI ISLAND

As you may know, in Lipari there are several incredible view points scattered around the island to enjoy some of the best views of all Aeolian Islands.

A great way to discover some of these “belvedere” is renting a scooter from the shops at Marina Lunga.

By scooter it will be very easy to reach most of the best sunset spots in Lipari.

OSSERVATORIO GEOFISICO DI LIPARI

This observatory point is used by the vulcanologists to observe Vulcano craters and also Mt Etna. From the square of the Osservatorio (and even better following the brief dirt road on the right) the view to Vulcano island is just stunning.

BELVEDERE QUATTROCCHI

Another great panoramic viewpoint in the southwest of Lipari from where you can even see the Faraglioni rockes and Vulcano island behind them!

CHIESA VECCHIA IN QUATTROPANI

 This “old church” in the borough of Quattropani is in fact the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima della Catena. If you decide to stop for a visit, you will enjoy an extremely quite and peaceful place with a marvellous view over Salina, Filicudi and Alicudi islands.

The view from Osservatorio,Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

DAY 3: Lipari’s natural landscape

On your third day in Lipari, take your time to discover the lush natural landscape of this island which is one of the best trekking destionation of Sicily.

HIKING IN LIPARI: THE BEST TRAILS

Aeolian Islands are a natural paradise for trekking lovers. The volcanic origin of these islands as well as the many paths, mule tracks and natural canyons that cover the islands’ surface are ideal settings for panoramic and relaxing outdoor walks.

There are several hiking trails in Lipari, I will suggest you two that are for sure the most popular:

Hiking from Lipari to Punta Crapazza (8km, +200m -200m, 4hs)

This moderate hike is ideal for for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photography enthusiasts, offering a memorable and rewarding experience in the heart of Lipari’s natural wonders. From the town of Lipari, you will walk southbound towards Punta della Crapazza from which you will enjoy stunning views over Vulcano island!

Cave di Caolino, Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

Hike to Cave di Caolino and San Calogero’s Spa (13,8 km, +480m, 5hs)

An interesting trekking to admire the old kaolin quarries and discover the ancient Mycenaean SPA of San Calogero. Starting from Quattropani (bus ride from Lipari port) the path leads first to the kaolin quarries where you have the chance to see the multicolour stones that caracterize this area. Following the path, you will get to Terme di San Calogero where, behind a XIX century bulding, you can still see the rests of the ancient spa where water reaches temperature of 57° (the Spa is currently closed to the public).

Best restaurants and cafes in Lipari island

When it comes to dining in Lipari, there is a fantastic culinary variety to choose from. The island offers many great dining locations both in the town centre and also in the less beated districts of Lipari.

Aeolian Salad and stuffed squids,Lipari©Antonella Ravidà

Some of the best restaurants in Lipari are:

Osteria San Bartolo

Located along Marina Lunga waterfront, this tiny restaurant offers traditional Sicilian meals presented in an innovative way. Its romantic location in front of the sea and its cozy atmophere make it a perfect choice for an unforgettable dinner experience in Lipari.

Trattoria Pescecane

Situated in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, in the heart of Lipari, this familiar restaurant and pizzeria is the perfect spot for a casual dinner with plenty of choice from traditional Aeolian recipes such as stuffed squid or a tasty pizza with Aeolian capers and olives.

Pizza at Ristorante Pescecane,Lipari,©Antonella Ravidà

Ristorante Sangre Rojo

The apparently esotic name actually refers to Sangue rosso district in Lipari, near Quattropani. You will need a car or scooter to reach this restaurant, which is roughly 20 minutes driving from Lipari town, however the spectacular view over the other aeolian islands at sunset is just priceless!

Eden Bar

This is one of the most popular stop to enjoy a fresh happy hour in Lipari centre after a long day at the beach. Try their tasty “pane cunzatu”, a typical crunchy bread with tomatoes, olives, capers, mozzarella, tuna on top … delicious!

Bar Tano

During your time in Canneto, don’t miss a stop to this traditional cafe where you can taste the authentic granita ice cream still prepared as locals do. My favorite granita from Bar Tano is by far coffeee and cream!

coffee and cream granita Bar Tano,Lipari ©Antonella Ravidà

HOTELS IN LIPARI, AEOLIAN ISLANDS

On your Aeolian islands itinerary, whether you prefer a seaside location with breathtaking views or a centrally located hotel in the heart of town, Lipari has options to suit all preferences.

Many hotels in Lipari boast modern amenities, including spacious rooms, private balconies, swimming pools, and on-site restaurants serving delectable local cuisine. With warm hospitality and attentive service, these accommodations provide a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for guests.

Room at TaliaKà B&B,Lipari©Antonella Ravidà

Whether you’re visiting Lipari for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, the island’s hotels offer a variety of choices to make your stay truly exceptional.

Check out a list below of some of the best hotels and B&B in Lipari, Sicily:

HOTEL VILLA ENRICA****

This boutique hotel not far from the town centre boasts a charming and refined design in a very peaceful atmophere. Its stunning infinity pool makes it the ideal place for relaxation and retreat. The hotel offers classic, superior and junior suite rooms also with beautiful sea view terraces.

HOTEL ORIENTE***

An historic hotel in Lipari centre, owned by an authentic “Liparota” in a very cozy familiar ambience. The rooms are simple but comfortable and the breakfast is very rich. Inside the hotel there is also the extraordinary Aeolian Etnographic collection by Edoardo Bongiorno who has been collecting ancient working tools on the island for over 40 years.

TALIAKA’ B&B

A brand new B&B in less than 1 km away from the centre, owned by a very genuine young couple who warmly welcome their guests with attention and passion for details. The rooms are very stylish and comfortable as well as the morning breakast which offers a variety of tasty homemade cakes and drinks. The terrace is one of the main attraction, ideal for a sunset aperitif overlooking the coast.

LA ZAGARA****

This hotel is located in Canneto, a popular beach destionation in Lipari island. This is a good choice for those you want to enjoy some relaxing beach days while in the island. The hotel offers a very panoramic terrace where breakfast is served.

Crystalline water, Lipari’s coast, ©Antonella Ravidà

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY IN LIPARI WITH A SICILIAN TRAVEL DESIGNER

Being Lipari the biggest of the Aeolian archipelago, it is not surprice that the island offers a variety of activies and experiences for its visitors. If you want to learn more about what Lipari can offer you and wish to tailor an authentic trip to Aeolian Islands, get in contact with me and I will be thrilled to help you craft your unique Sicilian holiday with tips and tricks that only a local expert can give you!

Curious to know more about Aeolian Islands?! Read my article on Stromboli Island and write me in the comments below.

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Antonella

Ciao! My name is Antonella and I am a Sicilian Travel Designer based in Catania, Sicily. My mission here is to share my knowledge and love for this amazing island of Southern Italy and to help you tailor your dream trip to Sicily.

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8 Responses

  1. I like Sicily too much and even though I have only been there twice, I would gladly go back. I would love to visit the islands and Lipari seems like a good place to start. Very nice the Presepe del Mare! 😍

  2. What a wonderful island!! I have never been to Lipari yet but I would like to organize a visit as soon as possible, to enjoy its mild climate and its natural characteristics.

  3. I visited Egadi Islands some years ago and I loved them! Now I can’t wait to see Aelion Islands, too. Your travel guide could be so useful 🙂

    1. Thank you Libera! I tried to include all the most useful tips you could get from a local! By the way, Egadi islands are also very beautiful and I’d love to go back there as well!

  4. I love Sicily but unfortunately i’ve never been to Lipari. Thank you for your precious information , the hiking to Punta Capazza would be perfect for my photos

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