Travelling is a fundamental part of life; many believe that to have an experience, you must spend thousands of pounds. But in actuality the perfect holiday is only a stones throw away and a fraction of the price. Having recently travelled to Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands of Italy; I’ve a new love of Europe and its plethora of beautiful holiday destinations essentially ‘on the cheap’.
Although the travelling process grew tiresome fairly quickly, having used five means of transportation – plane, rental car, ferry, a second ferry and then a taxi – we arrived at our destination and were no longer exhausted by the sheer length of our voyage. Before arriving on dry land once again however, both my counterpart and I thought to ourselves, ‘is this even worth it?’ and then we saw it, in front of us were sky-high hills, a raging sea at every corner, volcanoes and smiling excitable faces, each eager to show us their town and our home for the weekend.
Before we could get on our first ferry however, we opted for a rental car to get us to the initial port. The road trip was amazing as we were given the opportunity to tour the Sicilian towns of Catania and Milazzo, and were treated to intense views along the highway. Making sure to document everything along the highway via the ever present Snapchat, as the speeds we travelled at were much to fast for our trusty Mark 5 camera.
For such a small island, there was a wide range of activities and things to see in Vulcano. The pair of us quad-biked, toured nearby islands via sailboat, bathed in a sulphuric mud bath, went for morning strolls along the black sand beaches, sampled the finest of Italian foods and of course indulged in Italy’s finest wines. A favourite of these activities being the sailboat, as the pair of us met a number of locals eager to take our photo, something of the Jay and Bey variety. The nearby islands, just as beautiful as our own, opened us up to just how much culture Italy has to offer. One object in particular that fascinated the entire crew, was the statue of a mermaid located in the middle of the sea. The common questions being: How did it get there? Where did it come from? And how long has it been there for?
We also spotted a number of lambs, clinging onto the sides of mountains in search of nourishment.
With three neighbouring islands so close to our own – one of which is the lone island of Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands – we were able to explore more than just our original chosen holiday destination. The island of Lipari is a brisk twenty-minute boat journey away and is home to beautiful balamory-esque buildings, yachts and a number of coffee establishments. Although our visit was brief, we were able to take in and fully embrace all of the culture that Lipari had to offer.
Although we didn’t speak the language – being the only English speaking individuals on the island – we picked up on the subtle words and phrasings an example of this being ‘vino russo’, which fortunately for us translates into red wine. And to think, we randomly stumbled across this deal online and took the risk. One incredibly beautiful and cultural holiday later, we neither regret nor have any disappointment in our choice and would surely return given the chance.