Green and volcano? Not possible? That’s what I also thought before visiting Salina, a volcanic island north of Sicily. I already hiked up some volcanos in my life and visited volcanic islands. And each and every experience was different: From yellow craters with fountains of sulfur gas in Indonesia to red glowing lava eruptions of Stromboli in Italy, to non-fertile volcanic islands like Fuerteventura. The most different and breaking ranks experience was definitely to hike Monte Fossa Delle Felci, a 962 m high non-active volcano on Salina island – the best among hiking trails on Salina island.
Surprisingly, this mountain is very very fertile and it is even greener than normal mountains, for instance, the alps and the sky are as blue as nowhere else. The whole hike leads through green bushes, ferns, pine and chestnut trees and many yellow flowers which characterize the island. Accompanied by the sun in a deep blue sky, the view of the second big peak of Salina and other volcanos, like Isola Filicudi which altogether form a beautiful scenery along the whole hike including a stunning view on the top. Check out the video:
Salina is one of 8 Aeolian islands which form a volcanic archipelago in the south of Italy, north of Sicily. Two of these islands are still active volcanos, Volcano and Stromboli, whereas Salina consists of six volcanos which are not active anymore. Two of these are only obviously visible and form the characteristic shape of the island. Only approximately 5% of all volcanos of the Aeolians are over water which are visible as the islands for us and the main part of the volcanos are underwater (like the iceberg principle).
Hiking trails on Salina: Monte Fossa Delle Felci or Monte dei Porri
Salina turned out to be the perfect spot to relax and calm down for some days. For those who prefer active holidays, you should definitely take the chance and hike Monte Fossa Delle Felci (962 m), the highest volcano peak of the island next to Monte dei Porri the little brother (886 m). I definitely recommend Hiking up Monte Fossa delle Felci and not on its little brother
The hike in detail
The starting point of the hike is Valdichiesa which you can reach by bus from every town of the island. Take the street towards Monte Fossa Delle Felci till you reach Santuario della Madonna del Terzito, a yellow church from the 19th century which you can spot already from the bus stop.
On the left side of the church the path to hike upstarts. Always follow the signposted path towards „Monte Fossa“. We chose the path through fields, bushes and ferns, partly a bit overgrown. But we also saw a street of serpentines going up which seemed a bit of an easier walk. Nevertheless, the signs indicate the little green path. The first half an hour leads through rich vegetation of ferns, bushes and flowers with only little shadow and partly quite steep.
At some point, the track leads into chestnut and palm trees which provide more shadow and from time to time we crossed the serpentine street we saw in the beginning. You can always choose to take the street which is easier to walk or the more adventurous challenging path through the wood which is faster. From the beginning of the trek, you can enjoy a great view on Monte Dei Porri and the valley of Valdichiesa which separates the island into two parts.
The way up took about two hours and even before reaching the peak we could catch a glimpse of the even more stunning view which was waiting for us on top.
Always keep following the signs till you reach the summit cross. Sometimes we were not sure which way to go, it seems as if more paths lead up, just keep sticking to the Monte Fossa signs. After reaching the summit cross we were rewarded with an extraordinary view. Not only on the second peak of Salina, Monte Dei Porri, but also on two more volcanic islands, Isola Filicudi and Isola Alicudi. The fertile vegetation over the whole island and the deep blue sky and sea completed the stunning experience.
After enjoying this view for almost an hour we made our way down which was the same way as up. The hike is so worth it and not to miss when in Salina!
What was also a highlight was that we were the only ones doing the hike, we didn’t meet anybody on the way, nor on the peak.
How to get the hiking trails of Salina
From Santa Marina, Malfa, as well as from Leni a bus brings you to Valdichiesa where the hiking trails on Salina starts. Check the current timetable here. There is more or less one bus per hour but consider that times may vary during weekends and holidays.
There is no special equipment necessary for the hiking trails on Salina. We hiked with sneakers as we are experienced hikers, but hiking shoes might definitely make the walk easier. Bring a lot of water and food as there is no possibility to buy anything, neither in the valley of Valdichiesa (at least we didn’t see any supermarket on the way) nor during the hike or on top.
Insider tip: take the first bus
Take the first bus and hike in the morning as the temperature is more chilly in the morning in general. Hiking trails on Salina will be emty in the early morning. We hiked in the end of may and were literally the only ones, we didn’t meet any people during the whole trek! So choose any month of the main season between late June and August and you’ll enjoy a off-the-beaten-track experience.
Also check my article about relaxing in Salina, the best play around Sicily.