Lipari is also called “the queen of the white bays”, because it has six stunning white bays you must absolutely to visit, once, in your lifetime, at least. But Lipari is also the name of the main isle of the archipelago that forms the Aeolian Islands. This is the first connection to the other isles. Being some of the most ancient and remote places in Sicily, the other Islands are less known in the world and Lipari is often the first destination to visit the other six islands of this breathtaking archipelago, namely Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea, Salina, Vulcano and Stromboli . The latter is still an active volcano.
In addition to be an island with wonderful white bays, Lipari is a municipality included in the province of Messina. The municipality consists of the six islands of the archipelago, excluding Salina, and small isles and unhabiited cliffs. They have all togheter a shape of Y. They are located off the Northern coast of Sicily, in front of the Tyrrhenian sea.
In 1693, an awful earthquake destroyed a large part of Sicily, included Lipari. Many inhabitants prayed their protector, Saint Bartholomew, to save them from death. Indeed, many Aeolians (this is the name for the inhabitants of the Aeolian Islands) managed to escape death. To thank their protector, they built the Saint Bartholomew Cathedral (see the image), the main Church and one of the monuments you can see in Lipari. The Saint is also the current protector of the island and is celebrated with a picturesque summer festival, every year, on August, 24.
What to see in Lipari
This island has also an archaeological Museum that keeps the most important Greek ruins of Sicily. But if you visit Lipari in the summer, I suppose you want to swim in the marvelous turquoise waters of its enchanting bays (see the image below). Lipari and the other six islands are magic places where sky, land, sea and mountains offer spectacular and unforgettable sights. Of course, you can also stroll the old fashioned streets of Lipari. There are four towns in the island: Acquacalda, Canneto, Pianoconte and Quattropani. The first two ones have also wondeful beaches connected to them (as you can read in the following paragraph). They are tied to Lipari through a scenic road that goes along the entire island. From this road, you can climb Chirica Mount. That is a high hill where you can admire the entire Aeolian archipelago. In the villages, you can see the churches, the cathedral and a Norman castle. There, you can also visit shops to buy traditonal Sicilian products and bars to taste the delicious Sicilian granita. But, the main tourist attractions are just the beaches. There are six in the island and they are regarded as the most beautiful and picturesque beaches of the world. They are so famous because there, once, it was extracted pumice stone. Today, these beaches are surrounded by picturesque white grottos, which, along with the white sand, make the bays of Lipari really scenic and absolutely evocative.
As I said above, the sea and the beaches are the main tourist attractions in Lipari. If you miss them, you miss your entire vacation in this stunning island. Lipari has six stunning and picturesque beaches. They are: Canneto, Acquacalda, Porticello, Spiaggia Bianca ( White Beach or Papesca Beach) Valle Muria and Praia di Vinci. Follow the descriptions below and visit them as soon as possible.
Canneto beach is on the Eastern coast of Lipari, 3 km away from the downtown. It is pebbled and sandy. It is famous for a stunning bay with deep and intense turquoise waters. Along the beach, you can find an outfitted area with umbrellas and sun chairs.
Located on the northern coast of Lipari, this beach has the same name of the village where is located, namely, Acquacalda. Its main feature is a magnificent background made of pumice stone. The shoreline is mainly pebbled and contains an iron bridge stretching along the waters up to 100 meters.
This bay has a pebbled and pumice stone beach, in addition to the white grottos of Campo Bianco and the well visible red black rocks on the coast. The outfitted area is in the North, a few kms away from the town of Lipari.
4 WHITE BEACH OR PAPESCA BEACH
Thanks to the white seabed, which is mainly formed by a pumice stone surface, this beach is regarded as one of the most evocative of the Aeolian islands. The bay is on the North East coast of Lipari and has a landscape made of stunning obsidian and pumice grottos. Still today, you can see the bridge and the facilities to extract pumice which make the entire shoreline white colored. Due to this, the beach is also called “Papesca” or “Beach of the Pope”, because the shoreline is entirely white as the dress of the Pope. The waters, instead, are mild and with a striking turquoise color.
5 VALLE MURIA
This beach stands out for being literally embraced by a rocky promontory which opens in front of your eyes to show you a breathtaking landscape, over the cliffs of Pietra Menalda and Pietra Lunga. It is on the opposite side of the downtown of Lipari and you can easily reach its black sand bay from Marina Corta port.
6 PRAIA DI VINCI
That is a still today untouched bay you can reach only by boat. The beach is sandy and sometimes pebbled, rich of small bays and inlets which made it one of the favourite destinations for snorkeling lovers.
How to reach Lipari
You can reach this Sicilian isle from Catania, Palermo, Reggio Calabria and Naple, but the air companies don’t offer regular departures to the Aeolian Islands. Hence, if you want to visit this lovely place, you must take a ferry. Ferries are available from the town of Milazzo. Follow my advice: land in Catania or Palermo airports and then reach the port of Milazzo by bus or train. From there, you’ll find several ferries which will take you straight to Lipari. On the Internet, there are several ferry services, but believe me, the unique path to reach LIpari is from Milazzo. Hence, reach this city, as I said in this paragraph, and you’ll enjoy your vacation in Lipari without drawbacks.
Lipari hotels and accommodations
In Lipari, you can find over 210 hotels and accommodations. Among them , you can find B&B and apartments. The most of them are near the magical bays of the island. if you want to book for summer, they can be very expensive. Indeed, the average reservation prices go from 44 to 600 euros per night. B&B offer cheaper rates, around 50 euros per night. They are fairly comfortable and picturesque. The accommodations in the downtown of Lipari are less expensive. To book your favourite one, see here.