Sicily and the Aeolian Islands for Hike or Bike
The seven small islands sprinkling the waters just north of Sicily contain some of the most picturesque living you can imagine. The smallest and western most of the islands, Alicudi, is covered by pink heather in the spring, and is mostly overlooked by tourists. The western half of the island is completely uninhabited, and the steep cliffs drop straight into the blue waters beneath, while the eastern half is covered by steppes on which the village sprawls.While Alicudi is covered in pink heather, the next island, Filicudi, is covered in green ferns. This rugged island has two small villages on a peninsula, and hardly any noise the only usable road here is a path for mules. The largest island, Lipari, is an island of beautiful contrasts. White pumice stones and pitch black obsidian cover the coasts. Volcanic peaks rise above long white beaches. And though there are 600 thermal springs, it only has four towns.Four more islands, each a magnificent gem in the crown of the Mediterranean, covered in olive groves, fields of golden corn, and strawberry tree woods. The seven volcanic islands contain a spectrum of diverse landscapes from fields to beaches to mountains. And all of it free of smog, bright lights, and city noise.