Panarea

Aeolian Islands, Italy

Panarea is the smallest of the seven Aeolian Islands and a favorite destination for those looking to spend their holidays in contact with nature. 

On Ferryhopper you will find useful information about ferries to / from Panarea, must-see places, beaches, and local delicacies. Check all available ferry routes from Panarea and book your ferry tickets with just a few clicks!

Panarea's white houses close to the harbor

Panarea's small white picturesque houses by the beach

Vacation in Panarea

Panarea has a total surface area of about 3.3 km2, yet it is among the most popular summer vacation destinations. 

Known as the most fashionable island of the Aeolians, attracting international jet-setters and fashionistas, Panarea is actually suitable for everyone; from the more adventurous travelers to those looking to relax at the beach during the day and party until late at night. 

With its dreamy beaches, natural beauty and its nightlife, Panarea is in fact the ideal destination for families with children, young people and couples looking for an unforgettable honeymoon destination.

How to get to Panarea

The only way to reach Panarea, and the Aeolian Islands in general, is by ferry

There are frequent connections from the Sicilian towns of Milazzo, Messina and Palermo to Panarea. You can also travel to Panarea from Naples year-round and from the ports of Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia during summer.

Moreover, if you are already in the Aeolian Islands, you can take advantage of this and visit Panarea just for the day. In fact, direct or stop-over ferries to Panarea depart from almost all the islands of the Aeolian archipelago. 

Ferry to the Aeolian Islands

 Ferry reaching the Aeolian Islands

What to do in Panarea

You can easily explore Panarea on foot. Get lost in the narrow streets of its historic center and admire the elegant white houses decorated with flowers. Dive into its cobalt blue waters and when night falls, get ready to experience the island's nightlife. 

You will also find history, art and culture in Panarea. Its simple churches, archaeological sites and breathtaking views will leave you in awe. Another must-activity during your stay in Panarea is the boat tour. Set off on a guided excursion or rent a boat to explore the coast and discover the many little-visited coves, cliffs and islets. 

Moreover, if you’re into diving, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful seabed of the islets near Panarea, such as Lisca Bianca, with its famous wreck. 

Panarea also offers various options to those who love trekking: you can climb from the harbor to the island's summit, Punta Corvo, and admire the great view to the other Aeolian Islands.

Beaches in Panarea

Panarea does not have many beaches, which is why most of them are quite crowded during peak season. The few that are present, however, are beautiful and great for a casual swim. The beaches are located in the eastern and southern part of the island, and only a couple are accessible by land. 

Here are the best 3 beaches of Panarea: 

  1. Spiaggia della Calcara: located north of St. Peter, it is a pebble beach that’s famous for volcanic fumaroles. You can reach it by crossing through a path starting on the Iditella Trail.
  2. Cala degli Zimmari: located in southern Panarea, this is the only sandy beach on the island. In fact, the color of the sand of Cala degli Zimmari is reddish. Backed by a cliff and Mediterranean scrub, it can be reached from the harbor on foot in 20 min.
  3. Cala Junco: considered the most beautiful in Panarea, this pebble beach with turquoise waters is located directly below the prehistoric village of Capo Milazzese. Its dramatic rocky cove also makes it an ideal destination for snorkelers.

The rocky beach of Cala Junco, in Panarea

The famous little beach of Cala Junco, in Panarea

Sightseeing in Panarea

Panarea is not only a sea lover's destination, but also one with a rich history and culture. Here are some attractions not to be missed:

  • The church of San Pietro
  • The port of Panarea in San Pietro, the main hub for all activity
  • The district of Drautto, immersed in nature
  • The museum of Panarea
  • Museo diffuso, an old fishermen's house that tells the history and traditions of Panarea 
  • Punta Corvo, the highest point on the island 
  • The prehistoric village of Punta Milazzese

The promontory of Punta Milazzese seen from the sea

View to the village of Punta Milazzese from the sea

Nightlife in Panarea      

Panarea is considered to be the queen of the nightlife of the Aeolian Islands. 

The center of the island’s summer nightlife is the small town of San Pietro. Even in the Drautto district, however, you can find plenty of action. Enjoy a sea-view aperitif from the terrace of Bridge Sushi Bar and admire the view of the archipelago!

After dinner, dance until dawn in Panarea's only nightclub, Raya. In fact, Raya is one of the most famous clubs in the Aeolian Islands and, perhaps, in all of Sicily.

Food in Panarea

Fresh fish is central to the local gastronomy, and is cooked in a variety of ways. All dishes will make your taste buds explode with pleasure thanks, in part, to the expertly blended herbs.

Here are some local dishes and delicacies you absolutely must try during your holiday in Panarea: 

  • calamari alla panarillese (squid stuffed with various herbs)
  • l'insalata di arance (salad with oranges, fennel and olives)
  • smoked swordfish
  • Il pane cunzato (seasoned bread)
  • almond cakes

A stuffed squid dish with herbs, traditional of Panarea

A tasty dish of squid panarillese served at a restaurant

Tips for Panarea

Here are 3 helpful tips for your holidays in Panarea:

  • Although Panarea is the smallest of the Aeolian islands, it is among the most popular summer destinations. We therefore recommend that you book ferry tickets and accommodation well in advance.
  • Panarea is more expensive than expected. If you are looking for a low-cost vacation, the island may not be the most suitable place.
  • Among the local events not to be missed is the feast of St. Peter (the island's patron saint), which is celebrated on June 28 and 29. There are rowing-boat competitions, dancing and singing, and fireworks displays. 

Useful information about Panarea

Panarea is the smallest of the Aeolian Islands, with about 280 permanent residents. There are three main centers on the island, San Pietro, Ditella and Drauto.

The most active of these is San Pietro, since it offers the most services and nightclubs. Drautto and Ditella, on the other hand, are known for their hot springs and beaches. 

If you are looking for the best accommodation in Panarea, there is actually no one place better than the other, as distances are minimal. However, accommodations range from luxury hotels to beachfront apartments

Prices are generally high, so if you are looking for something cheaper, you might consider visiting Panarea on a day trip from some other Aeolian Island. 

As for health care, there is only one medical guard and one pharmacy in Panarea, both in the San Pietro area.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Panarea

Here are some useful contacts to keep within reach during your trip to Panarea:

  • Guardia Medica: +39090983040
  • Pharmacy: +393471840322
  • Carabinieri: +39090983181
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Panarea

Panarea is so small that it can be easily explored on foot. Of course, once you arrive at the island you can also decide to rent a scooter, bike or quad bike

Moreover, the island has a taxi fleet comprising a number of golf-style buggies. To enjoy the coast at its best, get closer to the nearby islets and discover Panarea's seabed, we recommend booking a boat excursion or renting an inflatable boat. 

Useful Info: if you are planning to board your car on the ferry to Panarea, you should keep in mind that due to the lack of passable roads, from May to October there is a complete ban on the disembarkation and circulation of all motor vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds.

Part of the wreck of Lisca Bianca on the seabed of Panarea

The submerged wreck of Lisca Bianca, off the coast of Panarea

Port of Panarea

The port of Panarea is situated in the eastern part of the island and is known as Scalo Ditella. Located near the town of San Pietro, it is the daily port of call for ferries and hydrofoils from the other Aeolian Islands and Italy. 

In the harbor area there are a few bars, restaurants, stores, a bakery, and rental services.

Island hopping from Panarea 

From Panarea you can visit the nearby Aeolian Islands like Stromboli, Lipari, Salina, and Vulcano. Connections from Panarea to these islands operate year-round with multiple trips per day. Just choose which Aeolian island is right for you and continue your adventure. 

Here's some additional information about the itineraries: 

  • Ferry Panarea - Lipari: the two islands are connected with many daily ferry crossings all year round and trip duration ranges from 25 min to 1.5 hr.
  • Ferry Panarea - Vulcano: the route to Vulcano from Panarea has up to 5 daily connections. The total travel time ranges from 45 min to 1.5 hr depending on the ferry company.
  • Ferry Panarea - Stromboli: the Panarea - Stromboli ferry route runs up to 7 daily connections. The total travel time ranges from 30 to 45 min, depending on the ferry company. 
  • Ferry Panarea - Salina: the route from the port of Panarea to Salina is available up to 4 times a day during summer. The trip duration ranges from 30 to 45 min.

Panarea ferry: schedules and tickets

You can get to Panarea by ferry from various parts of Italy. There are connections from Sicily itself (via the ports of Milazzo, Palermo and Messina), from the port of Vibo Valentia and from Naples. 

The companies that operate the routes to Panarea are Siremar, Liberty Lines, Alilauro, and SNAV. Some routes are seasonal, while others operate year-round by both ferry and hydrofoil.

Here you can find more information on the ferry connections to Panarea:

  • Ferry Palermo - Panarea: ferries between Palermo and Panarea operate from mid-June to early September with 1 daily crossing. The ferry connection is performed with a stopover at the port of Lipari. The total crossing usually takes 4 h 40 min.
  • Ferry Milazzo - Panarea: the connection from the port of Milazzo to Panarea operates year-round. In winter there are 4-5 daily connections, while in summer you can travel up to 8 times a day. The crossing usually ranges between 1 h 25 min and 4 h 25 min depending on the company and type of vessel. 
  • Ferry Messina - Panarea: the route from Messina to Panarea is seasonal. The route is served daily from mid-June to mid-September with up to 4 direct connections of about 2-4 hr.
  • Ferry Vibo Valentia - Panarea: the connection from the port of Vibo Valentia to Panarea is seasonal. There are up to 2 connections per week (Thursdays and Sundays) with 2 hr crossings.
  • Ferry Napoli - Panarea: the connection to Panarea from Napoli is seasonal and operates from June to September. There are 1-2 routes per day and ferries take about 5 hr to reach Panarea.

Ferry docked at the port of Panarea and view of the Aeolian archipelago

Beautiful view to the port of Panarea and the archipelago

Where to book ferry tickets to Panarea online

Book ferry tickets to Panarea online on Ferryhopper with no extra fees. Find all the information you need about ferries to Panarea, compare companies, trip duration and ticket prices, and organize your trip to Panarea and the Aeolian Islands in just a few clicks!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Panarea has direct ferry connections with 15 ports :

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