getting to lipari - isole eolie
In the Summer of 2007, I used a package-deal to visit Lipari, which basically took care of everything (see package deals page). However, knowing these islands well, I would suggest the following if you were doing it alone.
(1) Fly Heathrow to Catania on a Saturday via an airline like Alitalia, Air Malta, BMI etc)
(2) From Catania to port of Milazzo (about 90 miles) by either taxi (expensive £100 ish), hire car or bus via Messina. Or the recommended method is by GIUNTABUS bus which is cheap.
(3) Milazzo to Lipari. Take your pick either ferry/boat and enjoy the views or the faster hydrofoil. Basically they go to and fro all day long very frequently. I usually grab whatevers in port. Ferry will cost you about 6e, hydrofoil about 12e. Tip : There are 2 or 3 different companies operating these boats. Make sure you check out the timetables for each and jump on the right companies boat.
(4) Iin Lipari most hotels are within walking distance, or catch a taxi.
GIUNTABUS bus (daily)
• From Catania Airport to Milazzo Port: leaves at 16.00 and arrives in about one hour 45 minutes
• From Milazzo Port to Catania Airport: leaves at 8.30 and arrives in about one hour 45 minutes
Giuntabus also has frequent local buses running between Messina and Milazzo.
From Milazzo to Lipari there are 13 hydrofoils daily (17 in the summer). There are also 3 car ferries daily (5 in summer). The Hydrofoil takes 1 hour, and usually stops briefly at Vulcano Island. Traditional car ferry takes two hours, with a stop at Vulcano. "Fast" car ferry during the summer takes 1 hour, non-stop.
You can also reach Lipari all year-round by hydrofoil from Palermo, Cefalu, Messina and Reggio di Calabria, and (June through to September only) from Naples.
You can also reach Lipari all year-round by overnight car ferry from Naples (twice weekly from November through March, thrice weekly in April, May, June and October, five times weekly in September and six times weekly in July and August).
www.tirrenia.it (Siremar car ferry and hydrofoils)
www.usticalines.it (hydrofoils only)
www.bookingitalia.it (useful private booking agency)
All trains on the Messina to Palermo line stop at Milazzo.
There is a daily local bus service from the Milazzo station to the dock.
From April through September, there is a daily airporter bus between the Milazzo dock and the Catania Airport.
Main bus station is by the main port of Lipari. The attendant speaks English. Most cost effective way if you intend using the busses a lot is to buy a book of tickets.
The small busses to the next town of Canneto (beaches) run every 15 minutes. These buses get very full so be prepared to be a sardine.
Tip... at Canetto get on one of the earlier bus stops before people from the latter ones get on. I think from memory its about 4e each return.
The bus to Acquacalda is bigger and more comftable. It also gives you the opportunity to see more of the island. Theres a beach and food at Aquacalda. Plus it goes via the white beaches.
Buy some powder Penicillin for cuts.
Visit Stromboli (climb it ideally).
Hire a car/mopeds and go around Lipari.
Buy a granita lemone.
Use the buses but beware of overcowding.
Visit Rinelli on Salina.
Visit the Museum on Lipari.
Go snorkling to patrol for jelly fish.
Take jewellery off in Vulcano's mud baths.
Dotted around Lipari are telephone boxes.
The cheapest way to phone home is to buy a phone card from any Tobacconist.
The card you need is called "International Phone card".
It costs 5e or 10e.
A 5e card is about 1 hour worth of calls to the UK.
The card has a scratch off number on it.
You have to dial in 3 sets of numbers.
(1) A number written on the card
(2) The scratched off number
(3) The telephone number you are dialing.
There are prompts (selectable on the phone in english) to help.
It takes a few attempts to get it right.
In the seas around Lipari are quite a few jelly fish. They are not big enough to do any serious harm, but they have very painful stings. I would strongly advise having a snorkel and mask if going into the water, as you can spot and swim away from them.
Also listen out to other people. Because if you hear someone shout "Medusa". You know there is a jelly fish close by.
If you catch a jellyfish in a bucket make sure you bury him on land so some one doesnt stand on it.
All the tour operators offer this trip at 80e a head.
You do need to have a set of hiking boots, long trousers, a woolly and torch with spare batteries.
oh and drinks... so make sure you pack them or purchase/rent at Lipari.
Tip.. Do this trip as soon as possible because sometimes they get cancelled due to rough seas.