How to get to the Aeolian Islands, ferries and airports useful

How to get to the Islands

Means of transport to reach the Aeolian. All ferries available to connect to the Italian coast and to move between the different islands of the Aeolian archipelago.

How to get to the Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian archipelago does not have its own airport, but there are numerous and frequent connections by sea from the Sicilian coast, Calabrian and bells.

To reach the Aeolian Islands, you will then need to take a ferry or hydrofoil. Below you will find all the information on the connections available by ferry or hydrofoil and the airports closest to the main ports of embarkation. As for travel between the islands, please consult the dedicated page on How to move between the Aeolian Islands.

Ferries to the Aeolian Islands from Sicily

Milazzo is the main port of departure for the Islands with several boats departing every day throughout the year. The internal connections to the islands are managed by hydrofoil companies Ustica Lines and Siremar. The shipping companies Siremar and Ngi offer several ferry crossings to the Aeolian Archipelago. Most ferries arrive first at Lipari and then continue to the other islands.

If you have to take your car with you keep in mind that only Lipari, Vulcano, Salina and Filicudi are equipped with roads suitable for car traffic.

Finally, know that the ferry crossing from Milazzo to Vulcano takes an hour while to reach Stromboli or Alicudi takes 2 and a half hours.

We recommend to book well in advance your vehicle to reach the Aeolian Archipelago in the period from July to September.

Ferries to the Aeolian Islands from Italy

How to get to the Aeolian ? The Aeolian Islands are also accessible from the ports of Naples, Salerno, Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia, without having to stop in Sicily. Even if the trip will take more time, you will surely save time if you are not going to spend a few days in Sicily.

Hydrofoils for the Aeolian Islands

In addition to ferries, several companies also offer hydrofoil connections. Hydrofoils are light and fast boats that only allow the transport of people and not vehicles.

The shipping companies Siremar and Ustica Lines operate connections between the ports of Milazzo, Cefalù, Messina, Palermo and Reggio Calabria and the Aeolian Islands. From the city of Naples, the hydrofoils of the companies Siremar, Snav and Alilauro provide the service.
As an example, we inform you that the hydrofoil crossing from Milazzo to Vulcano takes 40 minutes, while to reach Stromboli and Alicudi, the most distant islands, takes 2 hours.

Useful airports for the Aeolian Islands

The Islands do not have their own airport with scheduled flights, but several airports offer excellent connections to the ports from which the hydrofoils and ferries to the islands depart. The most convenient airports are Catania, Reggio Calabria, Palermo and Naples.

Catania airport is two hours away from the port of Milazzo, the main access point to the Aeolian Islands, and during the period between April 1 and September 30 there is a bus service connecting with the hydrofoils or ferries to Lipari, Vulcano and Salina.

The airport of Reggio Calabria, also known as Aeroporto dello Stretto, is the closest to the Aeolian Islands. The airport is an hour and a half, including the crossing of the strait, from the port of Milazzo and just over an hour from that of Messina. Some hydrofoils to the Aeolian Islands also depart from the port of Reggio Calabria, located just 10 kilometers from the airport and easily accessible by taxi.

Palermo airport is located 2 and a half hours from the port of Milazzo. In addition, from mid-June, the shipping company Ustica Lines offers a hydrofoil connection between the port of Palermo and Lipari, the main transportation hub of the archipelago.

Naples airport is located just 9 kilometers from the port of Naples, from where the hydrofoils of the shipping company Snav depart. From May to September you can reach Stromboli, Panarea, Salina, Vulcano and Lipari.

Reach the Aeolian Islands by helicopter

The fastest way to reach the Aeolian Islands is by helicopter. The company Air Panarea manages helicopter transfers between the different islands of the archipelago and various cities in Sicily, including Catania, Taormina, Ragusa and Palermo, as well as several Italian locations such as Rome, Naples and Salerno.

The company Dedalus offers connections to the airports of southern Italy, allowing you to reach any destination in an extremely fast time.

Travelling by helicopter will also allow you to admire the charm of the Aeolian Islands from a unique and unprecedented perspective. Several departure airports are available for such services.

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Last updated on: 18/08/2023 00:20:16