Salina volcano hike

What Stromboli offered in terms of godsmacking and brutal live volcanic beauty, the tranquil, laid back and lush Aeolian archipelago island Salina matched elegantly with her silent volcanos looming towards the sky. I spent a night at Isola Salina both the first and last day of my short trip – and the last evening became absolutely magic!

The amphitheatre-shaped “crater-town” Pollara, where half of the crater dropped below sea level after an eruption a very loooong time ago – the island is actually formed by six collapsed craters. ( If you take a boat trip by sea-side here you will see some awesome rock formations). 

Hiking the trail on Monte dei Porri in the first afternoon with a view towards the abandoned lighthouse Semaforo di Pollara – afterwards I walked back to the village Malfa again for a tasty italian meal and the last bus back to my stay in Santa Marina.

A starry night view towards beautiful Lipari island from Salina in the evening – I got a perfect spot to practice some night photo shooting

Hiking Monte Fossa delle Felci:

From Santa di Marina I could see the volcano peaks were covered with fog and rainy clouds where threatening. But this was the last chance to climb the volcano, so I packed my backpack and went up to the main road and jumped on the bus, which by the way is a pretty spectacular drive itself 😉

Your hotel will most likely give you an easy-to-read bus schedule and the driver will inform you the best he can in italian). After a bus change in Malfa, I jumped off at Santuario Santa Maria del Terzito (the driver will probably give you a hint) near the beautiful ValdiChiesa church in the valley that splits the Felci and Porri volcanos. (Take a look at the map link further below to localise the place and route).

Then I followed the signs upwards from the church. (It is possible to hike/climb up (and down) from several other places on the island if desired, but I think this one is the “main trail”).

I was so lucky with the weather, after clouds and rain it switched into a hot afternoon sun, but thankfully there are trees and bushes here and there along the trail up to hide behind from the sun – preferably when taking a sip from the water bottle. The trail is varied, but not so hard to hike, but it depends on your fitness. I think it took me about 90 minutes including photographing here and there. Closer to the summit you can follow a nice comfortable forest road for… a while – this is for sure not a small volcano crater.

The only people I met up there at the summit was a nice french couple, and they told me they climbed to the summit of Monte dei Porri-peak the day before, but the view from here was far better than from Porri. After photoshooting they rushed down to catch the bus, but I decided to not rush this and take the last bus – and had the whole panoramic view completely to myself …wow… this is not a view you want to leave!   

Totally alone up there for a whole magic hour with this incredible view from the Aeolian archipelagos highest point– the summit of Monte Fossa delle Felci  (962m) towards the regular cone of Monte dei Porri (860 m) .

View from my stay on Salina towards Isola di Panarea the first afternoon – so thankful that I once again found a good stay for a reasonable price – with a sea view and a wonderful helpful host. Italians = great hospitality!

Other travel posts with information and photos from my trips to the spectacular Aeolian Islands and Sicily:

I found the site below useful with some information about transport, hiking trails and an interactive map of Salina:

http://www.trasportisalina.it/index.php/en/mappa

Stromboli volcano

So, where else can you enjoy a starry sky, reflecting moonlight, beautiful sunset and powerful lava eruptions – all at the same time??? Stromboli rules!stromboli-nature-moonlight-sunset-vulcano-night-landscape-photo-liss-myraas

Tutto bene! I’m finally back at the Aeolian Islands – this amazing volcanic archipelago based north of beautiful Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. These islands have spellbound me since I visited the islands Lipari and Vulcano 4 years ago, including mount Etna in Catania.

This time I once again was on a quick trip with only 3 whole days to spend on these islands, so I planned as well as possible ahead – and despite a flight delay spending 8 hours in Düsseldorf airport I managed to do what I really wanted to do thank’s to the wonderful Italian hospitality! Grazie!

Isola di Stromboli

Stromboli stratovolcano in daylight and a glimpse of the village church below it stromboli vulcano village church mountain landscape view photo liss myraas

 

One of my dreams for a long time was a trek up to Stromboli’s craters to observe the still active volcano and lava eruptions. In the morning that day I went for a walk to the restaurant L’Osservatorio where you can enjoy a good meal(try a tasty spaghetti ala Stromboli), drink cappuchino’s or vino’s, and hear/observe Strombolis rumbling and eruptions (mostly visible at night from this place).

From this restaurant you can also trek up to about 400 meters to Sciara del Fuoco view point for a free view.  But if you for some reason don’t want to trek anywhere at all – you can instead enjoy a nice boat trip around the island to view the eruptions from the sea side.

The evening before the top trek I joined a boat trip around Isola di Stromboli that included a 2h disembark to visit peaceful little Ginostra, which I warmly can recommend for those who seek some tranquility stromboli ginostra aeolian islands sunset landscape photo liss myraas

 

Top trek evening: It was not that comfortable to put on my trekking shoes in the sweaty afternoon heat, but fortunately the trek upwards Stromboli’s trail was mostly shadowed by trees and bushes – and by the time you reach the sandy and stony area the sun beams are no longer able to grill you.

The amazing views will also make you forget anything else.  Pretty cool to look upwards and see the long zig zag serpentine trail of trekkers going upwards – Stromboli (3,031 ft) is one of the world’s most active volcanos, and also one of the most popular to visit – so you are certainly not alone up there!

Cant stop smiling – so happy to finally be up here – especially since the weather was absolutely brilliant  stromboli sunset vulcano landscape hike liss

 

Getting close to the crater area we could here Stromboli “roar” now and then – a lil’bit like the Balrog in The Ring. Now we where above the clouds, and the ongoing sunset was absolutely magnificent scattered with clouds. Steam and black smoke arisen from the craters and mix together with the surroundings in perfect harmony. For me this is pretty close to heaven – and you also get aware of and really feel that in the end the earth is in charge!

When beauty have no words…stromboli sunset active vulcano above clouds photo liss myraas

 

We went further up and crossed along a sandy ridge to have a good view down to the active craters. There was a bunch of trekking groups lined up along the view points, but the mood was mostly low-voiced – people just waited and enjoyed this special moment of being so near powerful forces of nature. And Stromboli did not disappoint us!

The short, powerful and spectacular lava bombs/explosions occurred quick and with no forewarnings – Wow! So instead of panicky trying to catch the bursts on camera I decided to just enjoy the show instead. Weird how that feeling of being so small compared to nature forces also can be so wonderfully euphoric – respect

Stromboli in the afternoon sunstromboli ginostra seaview aeolian islands sunset photo liss myraas

 

The trail downwards again is steep – but safe – you will walk in very soft volcanic sand and also wear a mask for protection against the fine dust, everything enlightened with your own headlamp.

Back at the hotel you better strip off your clothing upside the room (if possible) – or else you will find volcano sand all over the place.. and sometimes on very unexpected places ..ha..ha.. 😉

Tips & Tricks:

  • It is forbidden to trek up to the craters without an authorized guide – the penalty is 500 EUROS
  • Wear good hiking boots (some showed up in soft summer shoes of textile) – or hire the boots
  • Bring an extra sweater or a wind jacket – it can get windy up there
  • The guide will provide you with a helmet and mask for a reason, use it
  • Bring your own headlamp – you will need it in the streets too as there are barely any streetlights on this island
  • Bring a packet lunch (I had bananas, bread sticks, prosciutto ham and lots of water)
  • Prepare your fridge with some chilled drinks/foods before you leave for the trek in case the shops are closed when you get back (I was back in my room at 23:30 and went over to a nearby hotel to buy more chilled water)

 

Oh… don’t forget to see the cool volcanic plug Strombolicchio piling up about 2 km outside Stromboli. There are boat trips out and around this plug and it’s lighthouse, but you will not be allowed to disembark or walk up the steep stairs strombolicchio stromboli landscape lighthouse italy photo liss myrås

 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to ask and I will try to answer as best I can. You will find more information about Isola di Stromboli’s geology at Geology.com and Italysvolcanoes.com

I have another amazing trek from this are coming up here soon …so stay tuned as always my dear readers! 🙂

Have an awesome moment and view Stromboli live cam here: https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/italia/sicilia/messina/stromboli.html

 

 

Vulcano’s Fossa-krater

På väg upp till Fossa-krateret över svart lavasand och röd kompakt jord – mot blå himmel och hav –  vackra kontraster! 

I strålande vackert väder åkte vi en kort sväng med hydrofoilen från Lipari över till ön Vulcano. Här  finns bl a vulkanen Fossa som fortfarande räknas som en aktiv vulkan.

lTake a walk on the wild side…dumdidumdidumdidi ♫ ♪

ll

För drygt hundra år sedan exploderade vulkanen och skickade några stackars fångar till himmels (de plockade svavel nere i krateret) tillsammans med delar av krateret. Svavelutsläppet har ökat de senare åren och det sägs att ett nytt explosivt utbrott kan ske (varje 110-30 år) – dock inte just den dagen vi var där *ler* Man får väl lita på mätinstrumenten som syns här och där.

llKrater-pose….. – eller halva “måken”

llll

Fantastiskt fridfyllt att bara få sitta där uppe och njuta den fantastiska vyn över havet och de Eoliska öarna. Med draken Fossa liggandes “brevid” mig, andandes och ångandes… och väntandes…

Hittade det största äpplet jag nåsonsin beskådat i en liten lokal affär – räckte gott och väl till lunch – puss!

ll

Svavelångan väller ut från massor av hål i vulkanberget för att “lätta på trycket” – och när vinden vände fick man flytta på sig för att undvika att andas in för mycket som kan vara giftigt – det stack rejält i ögongen om man inte var snabb nog… och vilken jävla stank! ha..ha.. 😀

Megaplåster på såret: Missade halvmaran ja – men hoppande glad för att jag istället fick uppleva denna dag!  

ll

Det var egentligen en klättretur upp till Stromboli (by night) med sin kontinuerliga lavastöm som  lockade oss ut till de Eoliska öarna – men utanför sesong blev det svårt att hitta en guide som kunde ta oss med helt upp (där får man nämligen inte gå på egen hand). Vi får nog prova igen under högsesong.

Nu drar iallafall vi vidare till the ‘Friendly Giant’ (ja du får väl googla lite då) 😉