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Aeolian Archipelago

The Aeolian Archipelago: vegetation, weather and naturalistic information on the Aeolian Islands.

The Aeolian archipelago, with its 7 islands, is the emerging part of a huge submarine volcanic arc which extends for around 200 km.

The Aeolian Islands are the result of a submarine volcanic activity.
They emerged from the sea 2 million years ago. Geologists found some rocks dating back to 1 million 300 thousand years ago and lavas dating back to 500 thousand years ago.
cartina delle isole eolie

Panarea, Lipari, Filicudi and Alicudi are the most ancient volcanoes. In Panarea and Lipari there are still fumaroles and thermal springs, while in Alicudi, Filicudi and Salina the volcanic activity has completely disappeared. Vulcano and Stromboli are the only active volcanoes. For a long period of time there were no volcanic activities reported; starting from the year 1500 eruptions are described in texts dating back to those centuries, with an almost regular rhythm of one or two every century. Some of them even lasted for some years.
In 1786 there was a great eruption with fire, lapilli and ashes; another one occurred in 1890 with the eruption of big blocks falling on the island of Lipari. Since then, there has been only a fumarolic activity. Stromboli instead has had an uninterrupted eruptive activity for at least 2 thousand years.
The island was defined in ancient times as the “Lighthouse of the Tyrrhenian Sea”. Its glares flashing every 20 minutes can be seen even from a great distance.
The Mediterranean vegetation characterizes all islands: oleanders, myrtles, rockroses, heaths together with rosemary, thymes, heliotropes and mastic trees are the most common plants. 
Two woody plants can also be found in almost  all Aeolian islands: grape-vines and olive trees. The landscape is characterised by cultures of olive trees and grape-vines, bushes and pioneer vegetation.
The most important products that are exported from these islands are  capers and “malvasia”, a dessert wine produced mainly in the island of Salina using local grapes.
The rich and varied fauna includes vertebrate animals like birds and lizards and invertebrate species like coleopterans and gastropod seashells.
Migrating birds like pelicans, grey and red herons, cranes, wild gooses, anatidae, cormorants, flamingos and quails visit the islands during spring and autumn.
The most interesting non-migratory species are the shearwater (both the Procellaria diomedea and the Puffinus puffinus), also known as “araghiune” in the islands.
The sea is full of life: anchovies, sardines, mackerels, molluscs and crustaceans are the most common ones.
Even though they are being abandoned, tuna and swordfish fishing are traditional activities carried out at the end of spring in the islands of Lipari and Stromboli.
The weather in the Aeolian Archipelago is very arid, due to the scarce rain. The temperature is mild during winter and not too high during summer, thanks to the marine breeze.

The average temperatures are  13° C. during winter (January), 20° C.  during spring (May), 27° C. during summer (July) and 21° C. in autumn (October). The yearly average temperature fluctuates between 20° and 16° C. The predominant winds  are the Mistral (north-west wind) and the Sirocco (south-east wind).
info su alicudi info su filicudi info su salina info about  panarea info about stromboli info about lipari info su vulcano