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Salina is the second largest island of the Aeolian Islands but also the one that hosts the highest peak of the archipelago, Mount Fossa delle Felci (962 meters above sea level). This is also the only island of the Aeolians to be detached from the municipality of Lipari. It is divided into three administrative units: the first municipality of Santa Marina Salina, the smaller  Malfa and Leni. To continue the list of Salina’s records it must also be said that it is the only island to have woods on the territory – in the central part and on the two twin peaks. And it is the only one to have natural water sources.

The island has two high mountains, Fossa delle Felci and Mount Porro, which used to be two underwater volcanoes. They merged together at the time of their emergence from the sea. Today the two volcanoes are extinct but their soil rich in nutrients allows intense cultivation, especially in orchards and vineyards. Capers are also very common, as in all the Aeolian Islands. Strange to say, Salina is the least touristy of the islands … little considered. And this is wrong, because it is one of the most fascinating. Let’s go and discover it together.

What to see in Salina

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santa marina

Surely one of the first things to see in Salina is the Lingua lagoon, where in  past they obtained salt  – hence the current name of the island (once it was called Didyme, “two twins”). This pond arises from a natural reef obstruction that created the saltwater lagoon. Today Lingua is a romantic village, to be admired especially in the sunset light.

Santa Marina is the largest town on the island, the one that houses some of the most important artistic monuments: the church of Santa Marina, the Addolorata and the church of St. Bartolomeo. The small marina is also very nice. To the south, in the municipality of Leni, stands the sanctuary of Maria Santissima del Terzito. It is located in the center of the island, along the Valdichiesa hamlet which runs at the foot of the two craters. The wildest part of the Monti Porro and Felci Nature Reserve is located in Malfa.

Salina also has numerous archaeological sites, including ancient coastal caves that were used by the Saracen invaders during the assaults on the archipelago. Remains of prehistoric villages can be found in Villaggio Portella, in the Barone area, and on Mount Fossa delle Felci. Ancient salt basins from the Greek era are located not far from the village of Lingua.

What to do in Salina

Visiting all these places is a must if you want to get to know this very green and beautiful island. But tourists at

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the Aeolian Islands look for relaxation and sea. So if you are in Salina you will surely want to lay in a fascinating beach. We recommend Lingua, of course, Punta Sicario or the cobbled beaches of Rinella. The most touristic beach is the one that rises right under the central square of Santa Marina.

Do not miss to visit the black sandy beach of Pollara, set of the film “The Postman” by Massimo Troisi. Other interesting activities to do in Salina: excursions to the two extinct craters, trekking along the paths of the interior of the island. Also try scuba diving, boat trips around the island, exploration of the Saracen caves. In summer there is lots of entertainment organized for tourists. In winter Salina offers interesting events too: the local carnival, for example, or the festivals of the patron saints.

More information

Salina is usually part of many organized tours departing from Milazzo, but the stop on the island is just two hours before continuing towards the more touristic Lipari and Vulcano. If you want to get to know it better, book – well in advance, already in January or February – a house to rent for the summer and spend a few weeks in this special land.

Salina can be reached with hydrofoils and ferries departing mainly from Milazzo. The island of Salina can be traveled by motor vehicles as it is equipped with roads in good condition and with standard measures for cars. In summer, however, there are often bans on disembarking vehicles, which are allowed only to residents. (photo by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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