Take the ferry to Salina and discover the second largest island of the Aeolian islands, with an authentic aura, discreet and quiet for a truly relaxing holiday!
Choosing Salina, the traveler will definitely not find a cosmopolitan tourist island like the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre of Italy but a charming place with a rustic, romantic and picturesque atmosphere. Most of the tourism is in the summer months and comes from local tourism (Italy). What is enviable about Salina is that it contains many elements of other famous areas of Italy with a flavor of Tuscany and Venice!
The ancients called Salina " Didymos", a name derived from the Greek word "twins", referring to the two inactive volcanoes since 13,000 years Monte dei Porri (860m) and Monte Fossa delle Felci (962m), two of the highest peaks of the Aeolian. Salina takes its name from a former salt lake in Linga, hence the name of the island, while the salt water springs are responsible for its lush green landscape and pristine nature full of forests, wild flowers, gorden bushes and endless stretches of vineyards covering the hillsides.
Salina is a quiet island with green hills overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the volcanic island of Stromboli. It consists of three municipalities Malfa, Santa Marina and Leni, with their villages spread out on the slopes of the island's two volcanic peaks! Each village has its own charm and is definitely worth a visit with colorful flowers popping up among the quaint little houses. The attractions are few but remarkable and it has beautiful pebbled or black sand beaches and is ideal for various activities, for those who love diving and hiking.
For foodies and lovers of good wine Salina is the ideal destination. Food and wine are fundamental , as are the fresh fish and the famous capers of Salina, which are abundant on the island and considered the best in the world, having been recognized as a Slow Food Presidium. Capers can be found in almost all the island's dishes in salads, pasta or as a garnish for meat or seafood dishes, but also in the typical pane cunzato that the locals love!
The famous Malvasia and Zibibbo wines are worth tasting, produced from the extensive vineyards that together with the olive trees make up Salina's lush vegetation, along with local cheese or almond biscuits.
Until the late 19th century, vineyards once covered much of the island and then were destroyed by phylloxera, resulting in the collapse of the island's agricultural economy and the emigration of many Salinas people.
Contributing to all this vegetation explosion is the island's diverse fertile climate where vineyards, millennia-old olive groves, chestnut trees and prickly pear cacti thrive!
Pack your bags for Salina and book your tickets in advance in order to enjoy a relaxing experience with the intoxicating smell of capers pleasantly following you long after your visit.
Salina ferry schedules
Salina ferry schedules from the ports of Santa Marina & Rinella are to the other islands of the Archipelago of the Aeolian Islands and to cities in mainland Italy with the most frequent connection to and from Milazzo, which is only 50 km from Salina. From the ports of Salina there is a direct connection to the other Aeolian Islands without changing the ferry.
More specifically the ferry connections from Salina are:
- Salina - Lipari: the connection is one of the busiest between the Aeolian islands and is carried out throughout the year with frequent routes that reach 14 daily during the peak season. The two islands are neighboring and are only 12 kilometers apart with sailing times ranging from 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on the ferry
- Salina - Alicudi: the schedules are regular during the week and a journey time of less than an hour
- Salina - Filicudi: the itineraries are approximately four daily with a journey time of 25 to 40 minutes
- Salina - Panarea: this route is very frequent (almost 10/ per day in peak period) and connects two of the most popular of the seven Aeolian Islands. The distance between them is about 20 kilometers, and the journey time ranges from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the ship and the shipping company. The connection is made with both ports of Salinas
- Salina - Stromboli: both islands have 2 ports , Salina, Santa Marina and Rinella and Stromboli, Ginostra and Stromboli with about 7 daily sailings during the summer season. The connection is available all year round and operates at different times between the respective ports. The journey time varies from 50 minutes to 2.50 hours, depending on the ship, the shipping company and the port of departure/arrival
- Salina - Vulcano: is one of the most popular routes in the Aeolian Islands, which are 17 km apart. The number of crossings reaches 19 per day and the journey time ranges from 25 minutes to 1 hour depending on the ferry operator and the ferry
In addition there are direct connections from the Sicilian cities of Palermo, Milazzo and Messina as well as from the ports of Calabria, Reggio Calabria and Vibo Marina.
- Palermo- Salina: the route is available all year round with about 4 daily departures in the high season. The duration of the trip varies from 2 to 3.5 hours
- Milazzo - Salina: is one of the busiest routes from mainland Sicily to the Aeolian Islands. High season sailings can reach up to 18/day and the duration of the trip ranges from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the type of ship
- Messina - Salina: the connection is available all year round with approximately four daily services. The distance between the two ports. A distance of 87 kilometers separates Messina in mainland Sicily from Salina in the Aeolian Islands with a journey time of 2 hours and 20 minutes
- Reggio Calabria - Salina: this route is operated only by hydrofoil and only during the high season. From Reggio Calabria you can travel to both ports of Salina: Marina and Rinella. The journey time varies from 40 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Vibo Marina - Salina: a route connecting the Italian mainland in Calabria with one of the Aeolian islands of Sicily. The crossing is not daily (about twice a week) and the journey time varies from 40 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes
The ports of Salina
The ports in Salina are two, that of Santa Marina and that of Rinella!
The port of Santa Marina is the main port of the island and is located in the eastern part of the island while the port of Rinella is smaller and is located in the southern part of the island. From Santa Marina hydrofoils and ships depart to the islands of the Archipelago but also ships from the Sicilian cities (Milazzo, Palermo, Masina and others) anchor.The port of Rinella connects the Italian island of Salina with the mainland of Italy (Naples and Ginostra) and the Aeolian Islands!
In the area of both ports there are many services for visitors such as bars, restaurants, shops, rental companies for vehicles and taxis. There are certainly more services in the port of Santa Marina since it is bigger and has more connections.There is also a very frequent connection from the port of Santa Marina to the port of Rinella with a sailing time of only 10 minutes.
Transportation in Salina
Getting around Salina can be done by car, motorbike, bus and taxi. Perhaps its beautiful paths may tempt the visitor to tour Salina on foot but it is certainly not the ideal way as it is quite large!
Definitely the best way to explore the island is by car or motorbike and if you don't have one you can rent one on arrival at the port in Santa Marina! In addition you can also take a taxi which you will find several in the port area and for an economical solution is local transport with the local CITIS bus service which is quite reliable and provides coverage all over Salina.
With such an impressive coastline there is nothing more ideal to explore the island by renting a boat which will enable you to see the other Aeolian Islands.
Vacations in Salina
A holiday in Salina is definitely a unique travel experience in a place that has earned the title of the most beautiful island in Italy! The island has three main towns, each with its own charm that offers different experiences to the traveler!
Santa Maria, the sunny town and main port of Salina with ancient history and impressive sights that is the most vibrant part of the island, Leni which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located between two mountains at Monte Fossa delle Felci with an altitude of 962 meters and Monte dei Porri with an altitude of 860 meters, with the conical shapes of the volcanoes clearly visible with many shops, cafes and restaurants and Malfa with a strong artistic atmosphere (a famous documentary film festival takes place every year), with a beautiful square and the famous Malvasia vineyards overlooking the town!
Salina is a city to fall in love with, as the imposing volcanic cliffs hanging over the sea create a truly poetic setting!
In Salina, the visitor will discover beautiful authentic villages such as Lingua, a small fishing village in the southeast corner of the island, with a Venetian air with its small lagoon or Pollara a magical village in a volcanic crater famous for its capers and other charming places!
Moreover its climate , its beaches, its coastline, boat rides, and its amazing food will satisfy the traveler to the fullest!
Important sights of Salina
On the island of Salina there are some historical monuments as well as interesting sights that are worth visiting.
The following are some of the most important sights of Salina:
- Necropolis of Vallone Mastrognoli: is an agricultural settlement of the late Roman era with up to 16 graves identified until now
- The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito: built in 1630 on the ruins of an older sanctuary from antiquity, it is located in Valdichiesa and is the most important place of worship of the Virgin Mary in the Aeolian Islands
- Roman thermal baths in the Barone area
- Portella Prehistoric Village: it dates back to the Bronze Age between the 15th and 18th centuries BC and was discovered after the reconstruction of the main road from Santa Marina to Malfa in 1954
- Church of San Lorenzo: is dedicated to the patron saint of Malfa. It was originally built in 1773 and then changed over the centuries, while the last restoration took place in 1933 after an earthquake destroyed it
- Museum of Emigration: launched in 2009, it includes a collection of photographs, documentaries, films and other important objects that can tell the story of the migration of wind populations between 800 and 900
- Church of Santa Marina: is located in the homonymous port of the island and was built in 1622 and completed in 1725. It is decorated with hand-painted majolica tiles from the original designs of the 700's and beautiful chandeliers
- Civic Museum: is dedicated to the history and traditions of Salina and there is a collection of old everyday objects while inside the museum there is a human-powered mill, milling machines and a wheat mill
- Archaeological Museum: is located in Lingua and inside it exhibits materials from two important archaeological sites, the Bronze Age village of Portella and the Roman baths, in Contrada Barone
- Hiking to Monte Fossa delle Felci: one of the most magical experiences is hiking to the highest peak of the island with an altitude of 962 meters
- Filo di Branda: walking through paths you will reach the direction of Pizzo del Corvo, where there is a beautiful view of the Prajola coast and the cliffs of Filo di Branda which is a nesting colony of Eleonora's hawks
- Lighthouse Punta Lingua: is an active lighthouse on the southeastern tip of Salina Island, which is part of the Aeolian Islands, in the municipality of Santa Marina Salina in the Tyrrhenian Sea
- Saracen Caves: are fascinating and are located in the Serro Dell'Acqua area, where the local population fled around 650 AD to escape the barbarians and the raids of the Saracens
- Pollara Village: is a dream village in a half-destroyed volcanic crater on the sea side of Salina. It is famous for its capers and the black sandy beach of Balate and for its sunset view of the islands of Alicudi and Filicudi
Beaches in Salina
The beaches in Salina are not many however according to the rankings in tourist clubs it is the second most beautiful and unspoilt beach in Italy. You can relax on one of these beaches and enjoy beautiful landscapes of incredible natural beauty.
If you are planning your holidays in Salina, here are Lipari beaches not to be missed :
- The beach of Scario: is located in the community of Malfa and consists of pebbles in a green environment with clear crystal clear waters
- Pollara’s Beach: is located in the homonymous village of Malfa, with crystal clear waters and a dark stone and gravel beach. From this beach you can admire the spectacular sunset, considered one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world
- Rinella’s Beach: is located in the community of Leni and is a small black sand beach and is a real paradise for snorkeling lovers
- Beach of Santa Marina: located next to the main port and it is a wide shore with big smoothen stones, with a clear cobalt blue sea
- Lingua Beach: is a pebble beach located 2 km from Santa Marina and is located in the homonymous fishing village
Hotels in Salina
- Hotel Capofaro: is a boutique resort with white cottages featuring rooms and suites with private terraces and a stunning swimming pool. The sea view and the landscape surrounded by vineyards and an old lighthouse are unique
- Hotel Signum: is a handmade design hotel consisting of a set of traditional houses in the village of Malfa! Wonderful sea views , elegant rooms and suites in a natural setting of citrus groves. It has a spa for a relaxing holiday
- Principe di Salina: a beautiful small hotel just 5 minutes walk from the center of Malfa! It has a typical aeolian style - in tones of white, terracotta and pink, with simple furniture, private balconies with unique sea views and a fantastic infinity pool
- Hotel Punta Barone: is located on the promenade of Santa Marina Salina at a distance of 1 km from the ferry terminal to the Aeolian Archipelago islands. The rooms are very nice and the sea view is impressive
- Hotel I Cinque Balconi: is centrally located in Santa Marina Salina, with retro-style rooms and all public areas furnished with Majolica ceramic tiles. The sea view is very beautiful and there are many shops and restaurants in the surrounding area
- Hotel Ravesi: is surrounded by lush gardens and is located just a few steps away from the main square of Malfa. The hotel is housed in renovated 19th century farm buildings and has beautiful rooms with garden or sea views. There is an infinity swimming pool with views of the Malfa Bay and the islands of Stromboli and Panarea
- Hotel Punta Scario: is a beautiful hotel with rooms decorated in the local color of the region with balconies or terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea
- Hotel La Locanda Del Postino: is a 4 star hotel with rustic style rooms with terracotta floors and beautiful balconies
- Sunrise (B&B): is 800 meters from the beach of Punta Barone and has beautiful accommodation
- A Alera Room & Breakfast: located in Malfa and featuring a spacious terrace with sea views, with elegant rooms with a balcony or patio. It is chosen by many couples. Scario beach is just 600 meters away
- Le Sette Vele Da Riccardo(B&B): is a traditional Aeolian building with rooms decorated in Mediterranean style. It is about 200 meters from the beach of Santa Maria Salina