Flights to the Aeolian Islands: How to Reach These Idyllic Destinations

When it comes to planning a trip to the Aeolian Islands, one common misconception is that there are direct flights to the Aeolian Islands themselves. In reality, the islands, including Salina, Lipari, Stromboli, and Vulcano, do not have their own airports. In this post, I’ll guide you on the best ways to reach these picturesque islands by air, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

Reaching the Aeolian Islands by Air:

How can I reach the Aeolian Islands by airplane?

Unlike many popular tourist destinations, the Aeolian Islands require a combination of air travel and a sea passage. Direct flights to the islands are not possible. Instead, you can fly to airports such as Naples, Catania, Palermo, Reggio Calabria (REG), or Lamezia-Terme. My recommendation is to choose is Catania, as it offers the most convenient transfer options but also Palermo is a good alternative in the summer, as there is a direct ferry connection.

Which airlines fly to Sicily or Campania?

Depending on the season and day, various airlines operate flights to these destinations. In recent years a lot of direct flights have been canceled and only a lot of budget airlines are left. For precise prices and flight schedules I would recommend skyscanner, which is a very reliable flight comparison site. Direct flights are available from cities such as Berlin, London, Rome, Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt, Paris, Cologne, Stuttgart, as well as Zurich, Geneva, Bratislava, Amsterdam, Prague and many more.

Airlines currently offering direct flights to sicily or campania

  • Lufthansa
  • Wizz Air Malta
  • Alitalia
  • Easyjet
  • Transavia
  • Ryanair
  • Eurowings
  • Lufthansa

How can I fly to the Aeolian islands?

As there is no airport on the aoelian islands, the only option if you really only want to fly is by helicopter. Currently AirPanarea offers direct flights from Catania, Palermo Naples to the aeolian islands like Salina, Lipari or Stromboli

Choosing the Right Airport:

What are the criteria for selecting an airport to fly to the aeolian islands?

Let’s consider the airports individually to help you make an informed choice.

  1. Naples Airport: If you choose Naples as your arrival airport, keep in mind that you will need to transfer from the airport to the port via bus or taxi. From there, you’ll have a longer and more expensive ferry crossing to the Aeolian Islands. Please note that the ferry with car transport operates only once a week outside of the season but daily in season. It is the only airport with a direct flight from New York, and Helsinki to the aeolian islands.
  2. Palermo Airport: During the summer months, you have the option of taking fast boats from the port of Palermo directly to the Aeolian Islands, requiring only a transfer from the airport to the port. Outside the summer season, you’ll need to take a bus or train to Milazzo/Messina and then board a hydrofoil or ferry to the islands.
  3. Reggio Calabria Airport (REG) or Lamezia-Terme: These airports require a transfer from the airport to the port, followed by a fast boat to the islands. The challenge lies in the limited flight options that only cover italy and the potential for suboptimal transfers to the port.
  4. Catania Airport: My top recommendation for both flights and transfers to the islands is Catania Airport. Here, you’ll find buses, shuttle transfers (including outside the summer months), and helicopter transfers to the islands. From the port of Milazzo, ferries operated by Siremar and Liberty Lines depart almost every hour (depending on the season) to the Aeolian Islands including Salina, Lipari or stromboli. Catania is also the only airport offering direct flights from Dubai, Casablanca and Riga to Sicily.

If you are flying internationally I would recommend to fly to Naples, Palermo and Catania which have direct flights to and from Amsterdam, which pretty much covers a lot of iternational flights besides Zurich.

After you have arrived at one of the mentioned airports, you need to finally get to the island. Check out my overview + recommendation on how to get to the aeolian islands.

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