Aeolian Islands, Italy
Salina is the second-largest island of Sicily's Aeolian archipelago (after Lipari) and is famous for its raw scenic beauty, exotic vegetation and dramatic volcanic cliffs.
On Ferryhopper you will find lots of useful information about the island, its beaches, food scene and ferries to / from Salina. Check out all the available routes and book your tickets to the Aeolian Islands with no hidden fees!
Gorse-carpeted hillsides on the island of Salina in the Aeolian Islands
Vacation in Salina
Salina is located in the center of the Aeolian archipelago. While the other Aeolian islands have a largely volcanic landscape, thanks to its natural freshwater springs, Salina is much greener. Salina is also divided into 3 autonomous municipalities (Malfa, Leni and Santa Marina Salina), unlike the other islands which are part of the Commune (council district) of Lipari.
A holiday in Salina means discovering unique natural attractions and picturesque villages amidst verdant mountains. Salina is certainly an excellent option for adventure lovers and outdoor travelers, but also for families and couples seeking tranquility.
And if you are wondering when is the best time to visit Salina, we would recommend the months of June and September without a doubt!
How to get to Salina
The only way to reach Salina and the Aeolian Islands in general is by ferry.
Salina has 2 ports: Santa Marina (in the east) and Rinella (in the south-west). Both are connected to Sicily (through the ports of Palermo, Milazzo and Messina) and to the other Aeolian Islands.
During the summer, you can also reach Salina from the ports of Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia.
Fishing boats pulled ashore in the village of Malfa, in Salina
What to do in Salina
There are many things to do and see in Salina, but one thing is certain: its pristine nature prevails over everything else!
Stroll through the streets of the village of Santa Marina, with ancient rural houses dating back to the early 19th century. Then head towards the coast and relax on the island’s pebbly beaches!
If you are a diving enthusiast visit Secca del Capo or Punta Tre Pietre. There are also many trails on the island for trekking lovers. Among the most breathtaking experiences is to hike Monte Fossa Delle Felci. Another activity not to be missed in Salina is the boat ride.
Finally, if you are a foodie and love good wine, then Salina is your go-to destination. Taste the famous Malvasia wine along with local cheese or almond biscuits.
Beaches in Salina
Although there are fewer beaches in Salina than on the other Aeolian Islands, the sea is still one of the principal attractions.
Here are 5 of the best beaches in Salina:
- Scario: this small pebble beach is a 5 min walk from the village of Malfa. It has crystal-clear waters and is great for snorkeling. There is also a bar where you can rent umbrellas and deck chairs or buy drinks.
- Rinella: this volcanic beach surmounted by caves has coarse black sand and is perfect for divers. Beyond the flora and fauna, divers can observe the famous sconcassi (powerful underwater gas and steam emissions).
- Santa Marina: located next to the port, Santa Marina is the most popular beach in Salina. It offers visitor amenities and is perfect for children.
- Lingua: this pebble beach is located in the namesake fisherman village, about 2km from Santa Marina. Its uniqueness is the presence of a salt lake.
- Pollara: this famous beach can be reached in about 30 min from the village of Pollara. Located under a steep cliff, it is made up of the remains of a volcanic crater. It is also known as the place where Michael Radford’s movie Il Postino, with Italian actor Massimo Troisi was set. Stay until sunset, you won’t regret it!
Fishing boats pulled ashore at Pollara beach in Salina
Sightseeing in Salina
The island of Salina attracts many visitors each year because of its natural attractions. Historical sites have also survived on the island.
Here are some of the most famous attractions in Salina:
- Pollara’s Belvedere viewpoint, famous for its sunset and view of the islands of Alicudi and Filicudi
- Church of San Lorenzo, the protector of Malfa
- Church of Santa Marina
- Via Risorgimento pedestrian street
- Ethnographic Museum in Lingua, dedicated to the history of the island
- Portella village from the Middle Bronze Age
- Roman thermal baths in Barone area
- Saracen Caves
- Necropolis of Vallone Mastrognoli, a rural settlement of late Roman age
- Malfa village, with its typical white houses
- The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito, the most important place of Marian worship of the Aeolian Islands
- Punta Lingua Lighthouse
The active lighthouse of Punta Lingua, in Salina
Nightlife in Salina
Salina is a fairly quiet island, but it is still possible to find several bars, clubs and restaurants.
You can stroll along the Corso di Santa Marina, wander in handicraft shops and have dinner at a cute restaurant on the harbor. End the evening with cocktails at Rinella. In Salina there is also a disco, Cyclops, offering a combination of good food and music.
During the summer, the island organizes many events. The Salina Jazz Festival, the MareFestival and Unda Maris (the Organ Festival of Salina), are only three of the events that keep alive a vast number of traditions and crafts.
Food in Salina
The principal reason why many visit Salina is for the food. Its cuisine is a perfect mix of ancient peasant and seafaring traditions.
Get ready to discover unique flavors and finish your meal with a glass of Malvasia - a sweet dessert wine produced in the local vineyards.
Here are some local dishes and delicacies you absolutely must try during your holiday in Salina:
- caper salad
- goat cheese
- caponata (chopped eggplant and assorted vegetables)
- pane cunzatu (seasoned bread topped with local delicacies)
- sfinci (a pancake made with flour, red squash and cinnamon)
- nacatuli (pastry rolled with Malvasia wine and stuffed with a soft filling made from almond and tangerine peels)
Tip: do not leave Salina without trying the famous granita at Da Alfredo bar. Try the one made with figs and almonds - pure heaven.
The delicious almond granita from the Da Alfredo bar in Salina, Aeolian Islands
Tips for Salina
Here are 4 tips that we hope will be helpful to you before your trip to Salina:
- The Aeolian Islands can be quite expensive in the high season. If you book your ferry and hotel in Salina in advance, you can save some money.
- On some ferries to Salina you can embark your vehicle. However, keep in mind that in the months of July and August the circulation of motor vehicles is prohibited to people who are not permanent residents on the island.
- Salina’s Caper Festival takes place every year on the first Sunday of June, in the square of Sant'Onofrio in Pollara. It offers the opportunity to taste the finest capers of Salina, as well as other typical produce.
- The beaches of Salina are mostly rocky. We therefore recommend that you pack a pair of water shoes for convenience!
Useful information for Salina
Salina is an island that offers many services to its visitors. In Santa Marina you will find most hotels, restaurants, shops, and everything else you might need during your vacation.
The most accessible accommodation for budget travelers is located in the areas of Leni and Rinella. On the other hand, the village of Malfa is perfect for those looking for a luxury trip. If you want to wake up to a stunning view, Pollara is an excellent choice.
As for health services, there are 3 pharmacies on the island and in Malfa there is a medical guard service.
Useful phone numbers for your stay in Salina
Here are some numbers that could prove useful during your holiday in Salina:
- Emergency medical service (Malfa): +390909844005
- Port office of Santa Marina: +390909022167
- Police (Santa Marina): +390909843019
- Pharmacy (Santa Marina): +390909843098
- Pharmacy (Malfa): +390909844188
- Pharmacy (Leni): +390909809053
- Post office (Santa Marina): +390909843402
- Tourist information office: +390909843175
- C.I.T.I.S. Salina Transport: +390909844150
- Taxi: +390909843481
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Salina
Once you arrive by ferry in Salina, you can move around the island on foot, by car, motorbike or by local buses.
If you love trekking, Salina is ideal to explore on foot thanks to its beautiful trails. However, since it is quite big, the car is the most recommended way of transport. You can rent a vehicle near the port of Santa Marina or bring your own car or motorbike by ferry. As for the local means of transport, CITIS provide a useful bus service across Salina.
The unique charm of Salina, however, is best experienced from the sea. Therefore, we recommend that you book a boat trip to explore the island’s impressive coastline.
Simple white and pastel cubed houses in the village of Malfa, Salina
Ports in Salina
Salina has 2 ports: the port of Santa Marina and that of Rinella. Ferries and hydrofoils departing from Sicily and the other islands of the archipelago dock here every day.
The port of Santa Marina is located in the eastern part of the island and is the main port of Salina. The one in Rinella, on the other hand, is located to the south and is smaller.
Near both ports there are bars, restaurants, shops, and rental services, but in Santa Marina there are certainly more choices for visitors. You will also find a small taxi fleet near the docks.
Useful info: you can take a ferry from Santa Marina to Rinella. The crossings are quite frequent and last only 10 min.
Island hopping from Salina
Thanks to its location, Salina is a great starting point for island hopping in the Aeolian Islands. Just choose which Aeolian island is right for you and continue your adventure.
Here's some additional information about the itineraries:
- Ferry Salina - Lipari: the two islands are connected with many daily ferry crossings all year round and trip duration ranges from 20 min to 1 hour.
- Ferry Salina - Vulcano: the route to Vulcano from Salina has up to 20 daily connections. The total travel time ranges from 30 min to 1 hour depending on the ferry company.
- Ferry Salina - Stromboli: the Salina - Stromboli ferry route runs around 10 daily connections. The total travel time ranges from 1 hour to 2.5 hours, depending on the ferry company.
- Ferry Salina - Panarea: the route from the port of Salina to Panarea is available up to 10 times a day during summer. The trip duration ranges from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on the itinerary and the operator.
- Ferry Salina - Filicudi: there are about 6 daily crossings from Salina to Filicudi, taking 30 to 45 minutes.
- Ferry Salina - Alicudi: the Salina - Alicudi connection has frequent departures during the day and the duration of the trip is 1 to 1.5 hours.
Tip: on our Map of ferries, you can find more about the available connections and schedules, so that you can easily and conveniently book ferry tickets from Salina to neighboring islands in the Aeolian archipelago.
Salina ferry: schedules and tickets
Salina can be reached by ferry from various ports in Italy. There are direct connections that depart from the cities of Palermo, Milazzo and Messina (Sicily) and from the ports of Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia (Calabria).
The companies that operate the connections to Salina are Siremar and Liberty Lines. Some routes to Salina operate all year round, while others are more frequent during summer.
Here you can find more information about all the ferry connections:
- Ferry Palermo - Salina: the route from the port of Palermo to Salina is available twice a day during summer. The trip duration ranges from 3 to 3.5 hours depending on the port of arrival.
- Ferry Milazzo - Salina: the connection to Salina from Milazzo is active throughout the year with up to 20 itineraries per day during high season. The journey can last from approximately 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on the port of arrival and the type of vessel.
- Ferry Messina - Salina: the connection from Messina to Salina is seasonal and includes 6 daily crossings. Crossings last from almost 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Ferry Reggio Calabria - Salina: the routes to Salina from Reggio Calabria operate up to 7 times each week with sailing durations from around 1.5 hours.
- Ferry Vibo Valentia - Salina: the connection from the port of Vibo Valentia to Salina operates up to 2 times each week and the rides last around 2.5 hours.
The picturesque port of Santa Marina in Salina
Where to book ferry tickets online to Salina?
Book cheap ferry tickets to Salina online on Ferryhopper with no extra fees. Find all the information you need about ferries to Salina, compare companies, trip duration and ticket prices, and organize your trip to Salina and the Aeolian Islands in just a few clicks!