Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

Last update: 25 January 2022

Stromboli is the stuff of legends. It’s the ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean – it has been erupting its mesmerizing glow for over 2000 years. In such a consistent way that it actually became the geological ‘type locality’ for it. A Strombolian eruption is the classification for its specific eruptive behaviour.

Obscured by clouds…

When I saw its triangular shape looming on the horizon, it was pulling me like a force from the centre of the earth. I bumbled up its slopes on a perfect sunny day, excited to finally see the strombolian action from up close. But when I reached the top at dusk, a relentless foggy cloud had formed around it, and the spectacular fire-breathing craters were obscured from view.

Only distant rumbling in the background indicated that they were there.

View down the slope of Stromboli volcano, Italy
View down the slopes of Stromboli, with worrying amounts of fog rolling in…

View into the fog-filled craters of Stromboli volcano, Italy
Frustration! Fog-filled craters on the top…

View to the top of Stromboli volcano, Italy

Stromboli volcano eruptions

The next evening, I was screaming out in frustration as I watched it from a distance at the observatory on the lower flank. In all its cloud-free glory…

I would have climbed it again without hesitation if I’d known there was a clear view that night.

Strombolian eruption, Aeolian Islands, Italy
Strombolian action!

How to get to Stromboli

Stromboli is one of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic island group just north of Sicily. Milazzo on the north eastern tip of Sicily is the departure port for several ferries to Stromboli (as well as the other Aeolian islands of Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea and Salina). It takes about 2,5 to 3 hours, depending on the route and type of boat.

Another option is the overnight ferry from Naples directly to Stromboli, taking 10 to 12 hours.

Underground passage to Stromboli
Signpost to the Centre of the Earth.

And somewhere, nearly 3600 kilometres away, you can find the entrance to the underground passage to Stromboli… 😉

Stromboli hiking map

This handy interactive map shows the walking route from the edge of town to the north side of Stromboli. You can also zoom in for more details of the track, and click on the icons for pictures of stunning views along the way.

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(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High

Remote Islands – Stromboli, Italy

This post was originally published as NaturePic Challenge: a series of pictures of epic nature and places that will induce a natural high 😉

Moon over Stromboli, its craters happily steaming away in a cloudless sky.

Moon over Stromboli volcano, Italy
Beautiful! But frustrating…!

Covid travel restrictions Italy

In these uncertain times, things can change quickly. Procedures are constantly evaluated and updated. For the current situation regarding Covid-19 related travel advice and restrictions in Italy, see the official government information (in English).

© All photo’s on this blog are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you would like to use a particular picture you’ve seen in one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and pictures on social media.

More to explore & discover

Island hopping on the Aeolian Islands – A volcanic archipelago

The walking track to Klif – The beacon rock

Ode to the mountains – The magic of Mount Taranaki

Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters

Fimmvörðuháls – The fiery pass across Eyjafjallajökull

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