Green hills, vineyards, mountains, little alleys, small hotel with infinity pool in a green garden – how does that sound to you? All this you can find on Salina island, a volcanic but very fertile and green island in the north of Sicily, Italy. We were so lucky that we found this place by accident – a real hidden treasure of Sicily or around.
All about Salina, the hidden treasure of Sicily
Salina belongs to the volcanic archipelago of the 8 aeolian islands. They are all result of former volcanic activities. Two islands are still active volcanos, Volcano and Stromboli, whereas Salina consists of some volcano peaks which are not active anymore. Salina is considered as the green island because the volcanic soil is very fertile and that is what makes the island so lovely. The whole island is covered by Mediterranean vegetation consisting of ferns, prickly pear cactus, olive trees, caper trees and vineyards. It seems as if every inhabitant has its own little vineyard in his garden.
The island is characterized by two big volcano peaks: Monte Fossa delle Felci (968 m), the highest one in the archipelago, and Monte dei Porri (886 m). But actually Salina consist of six volcanoes, the four other peaks are way smaller and not obviously visible as volcanos.
Where to stay on Salina island
We stayed in Malfa, a little town in the north of Salina island in a very cute hotel called „Hotel Ravesi“ which I definitely recommend. It is located in the hills of Salina above the coast and has just a few rooms which are distributed in different buildings tucked in a little garden. Each has it’s own balcony or terrace and gives you a feeling of privacy. The centre of the complex is formed by the pool which is small but resembles an infinity pool and offers a great view on Stromboli, one of the two active volcanos of the Aeolians, and Panarea, the luxury island. Sometimes we could even see smoke and lights from far away coming out of Stromboli which made us really want to go there (check out our Stromboli hike adventure).
The staff of the hotel is super friendly and helpful. We were surprised by a free upgrade and got a very clean and pretty room on the first floor with sea and pool view and great view on the other islands. In the evening you can take a typical aperitivo like a „Sprizz” (white wine, sparkling water and Italian Aperol) or White Sprizz (white wine, sparkling water and syrup of elderflower) at the bar of the hotel or in the beautiful garden and get free snacks from a little buffet such as different spreads and pestos, potato gratin and other Italian snacks. For me, Hotel Ravesi was the best pick in Malfa. But watch it and form your own opinion:
What to do in Malfa?
Malfa itself is a small town with a little main square which houses few cafés and restaurants. It is characterized by little alleys and white little houses and hotels tucked in the green hills and vineyards which characterize the island. Everything feels really peaceful and remote there, nevertheless you’ll find all you need including very modern, beautiful hotels. For us, Malfa was the perfect place to relax (also thanks to Hotel Ravesi) and instead of staying only one night we extended to two nights.
Malfa has a small beach which consists of big dark stones, so not the most comfy option to chill. Nevertheless, it is worth it a walk as a cute little café settled down there.
Best time to go Salina
Offseason, like May, June or October before high season starts is the best time to go there. It is already summer but there were just a few tourists when we stayed there at the end of May.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Salina is to take the Ustica hydrofoil (check timetable at http://www.libertylines.it/ ) from Milazzo or Messina in Sicily. There not that many boats per day, so plan well ahead.
Insider tip for the hidden treasure of Sicily:
The coolest thing to do in Malfa is to hike up Monte Fossa Delle Felci, the highest volcano peak of the island. The view is breathtaking, the hike super green and the sky deep blue. Check out our hike here.
Never stop exploring!