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In delightful contrast to the exposed volcanic terrain of the other Aeolians, Salina − the archipelago's second largest island − boasts a lush, verdant landscape thanks to its natural freshwater springs. Woodlands, wildflowers, thick yellow gorse bushes and serried ranks of grape vines carpet its hillsides, while high coastal cliffs plunge into the breaking waters below.

Named for the saline (salt works) of Lingua at the island's southeastern edge, Salina is shaped by two extinct volcanoes, Monte dei Porri (860m) and Monte Fossa delle Felci (962m), two of the Aeolians' highest peaks. These form a natural barrier in the centre of the island, ensuring that the sleepy villages around the perimeter retain their own individual character. Tourism is most evident in the main port of Santa Marina Salina; elsewhere there's a distinct sense that the rest of the world is a long way away. If that sounds good, you'll love Salina.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Salina.