Image by Slow Images Getty Images

Vulcano's star attraction is the straightforward trek up its 391m volcano (no guide required). Start early if possible and bring a hat, sunscreen and water. Follow the signs south along Strada Provinciale, then turn left onto the zigzag gravel track that leads to the summit. It's a 30- to 60-minute climb to the lowest point of the volcano's rim (290m), where you'll be rewarded with fine views of the steaming crater encrusted with red and yellow crystals.

It's well worth lingering up top and climbing another 15 minutes around to the southern rim for stunning views of the other Aeolian islands lined up on the northern horizon, with the gaping crater in the foreground. The truly ambitious can descend steeply to the crater floor (but beware of hot steam vents and the accompanying toxic fumes).