Image by Albrecht Weißer Getty Images

Lapped by clean waters and surrounded by sheer cliffs, this dark, pebbly beach on Lipari's southwestern shore is a dramatically beautiful swimming and sunbathing spot. From the signposted turn-off, 3km west of Lipari town toward Pianoconte, it's a steep 25-minute downhill walk; come prepared with water and sunscreen. In good weather, Lipari resident Barni sells refreshments from his rustic cave-like beach bar, and provides memorably scenic boat transfers to and from Lipari's Marina Corta (€5/10 one-way/return).

The turn-off is easily reached by car, scooter or local bus from Lipari town. The path down to the beach starts as a paved road, but eventually narrows to a dirt trail, passing through a rugged landscape of long grass, flowers and cacti. Slogging back up the hill is a real workout, so it's preferable to arrange return boat transit with Barni beforehand. Navigating through the faraglione (rock towers) of Lipari's western shore at sunset, with Vulcano's crater smoking on the horizon, is an unforgettable experience, and the perfect way to return home after a long day on the beach.