Sciara del Fuoco Viewpoint

Top choice in Stromboli

An alternative to scaling Stromboli's summit is the hour-long climb to this viewpoint (400m, no guide required), which directly overlooks the Sciara del Fuoco (the blackened laval scar running down Stromboli's northern flank) and offers fabulous if more distant views of the crater's explosions. Bring plenty of water, and a torch (flashlight) if walking at night. The trail (initially a switchbacking road) starts in Piscità, 2km west of Stromboli's port; halfway up, you can stop for pizza at L'Osservatorio.

During active periods, explosions occur every 20 minutes or so and are preceded by a loud belly-roar as gases force hot magma into the air. After particularly strong eruptions, you can watch as red-hot rocks tumble down the seemingly endless slope, creating visible splashes as they plop into the sea. For best viewing, come on a still night, when the livid red Sciara and exploding cone are dramatically visible.

Arriving here around sunset will allow you to hike one direction in daylight, then stop for dinner and more volcano-gawking at L'Osservatorio on the way back down. Making the trek just before dawn is also a memorable experience, as you'll likely have the whole mountain to yourself. From Piscità it takes about 30 minutes to get to L'Osservatorio, and another half-hour to reach the viewpoint. Be prepared – the trail narrows and gets steeper as you climb; the end is marked by a multilingual sign reading 'Beware! Do not trespass this limit'.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Stromboli attractions

1. Stromboli Crater

0.31 MILES

For nature lovers, climbing Stromboli is one of Sicily's not-to-be-missed experiences. Since 2005 access has been strictly regulated: you can walk freely…

2. Spiaggia di Piscità

0.97 MILES

Backed by rugged bluffs, this moderate-sized stretch of black-sand beach lies 2km west of Stromboli's port, at the edge of the small whitewashed…

3. Red House

1.25 MILES

Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini lived together in this rusty-red house while filming Stromboli, Terra di Dio in 1949. Their liaison provoked a…

4. Chiesa di San Vincenzo


A major Stromboli landmark, San Vincenzo is the island's main church. In mid- to late afternoon, the square out front becomes a gathering point for…

5. Forgia Vecchia

1.31 MILES

About 300m south of the port, Forgia Vecchia is a long stretch of black pebbles curving around a tranquil bay and backed by the volcano's green slopes.

6. Spiaggia di Ficogrande

1.32 MILES

Stromboli's black sandy beaches are the best in the Aeolian archipelago. The most accessible and popular swimming and sunbathing is at Ficogrande, a strip…

7. Basiluzzo


The largest of the five islets off Panarea's east coast, Basiluzzo is given over to the cultivation of capers and can only be visited by private boat.

8. Lisca Bianca

12.42 MILES

Only accessible by private boat, this islet off Panarea's east coast offers good swimming on a small white beach.