Difference between revisions of "Stromboli"
Revision as of 13:41, 3 May 2007
The island of Stromboli is little more than just the 900 m high volcano itself and thus has a very small size of only 12.6 square kilometres. Two kilometres northeast of Stromboli one can find its extremely small sister island Strombolicchio. Nobody lives there.
There are two villages on the island, the larger Stromboli and the much smaller Ginostra, which is a fishing village and rarely visited by tourists. It is not possible to walk between the villages, and the only way to travel between them is by boat. Together, both villages only have about 350 inhabitants.
As already mentioned, Stromboli is a fully active volcano, which continuously erupts in a usually non-dangerous manner, but is a possibly dangerous place in case of a larger eruption. Those happened at last in December 2002 (followed by a tsunami destroying parts of Stromboli) and April 2003 (causing damage in Ginostra).
Though the "normal" small eruptions of lava are not dangerous, you should be aware of the possible danger. The local authorities are very aware of Stromboli's state, you should listen to them. If paths to the craters are closed, don't go there. Never climb up the volcano without a local guide. Don't leave paths.
Tours up the Stromboli aren't easy walks. You should be well-equipped, healthy and in a good condition when going there.
As Stromboli is small and its environment is sensitive, you should treat it carefully.
Bring a torchlight along with you, as the streets are not illuminated.
Due to the size of the island and lacking streets, neither cars nor busses or trains exist. The only available means of transport are "ape-cars", small motorbikes and boats. The only other way to move on the island is by walking.
The villages, which are almost unchanged by tourism, are worth a closer look, especially the rather hidden Ginostra with the smallest european port (one boat only!) at all is nice to see.
There is a nice beach with fine black lava sand in Stromboli, where one can relax and swim in the sea.
The only real attraction of Stromboli is the volcano itself, which is one of four active volcanos in Italy and the only one which is never asleep. Since the large eruption in April 2003 you have to stay a long way below the craters (guided tours only).
It is again possible (as of April 2006) to get guided tours to the top of the volcano. Make sure you book your tour in advance! The number of persons they are allowed to take up there is limited by law. For late comers it helps, if you are a doctor or have a first aid certificate. I've seen two agencies, near the church of Stromboli and I was told there was another one near the beach. The one I took was Magmatrek. Get a tour which takes you there at sunset (they leave at around 16h30 in April). The eruptions are still impressive in the day light, but nothing to compare to the view at night. Local law permits to remain on the top only for one hour. Be sure to have very warm clothes with you and charge the batteries of your camera! The trip down is through a field of loose volcanic ash, which is irritating if inhaled, so take something to protect your mouth and nose.
Another spectacular attraction is the "Sciara del Fuoco", a slope where the lava slowly floats down from the crater to the sea. The glowing lava's emitted light can be seen from the sea, so by night you can enter boats which bring you there. From what I was told, there are either lava flows, or eruptions. Lava flows occur every three to five years and last for two to eight months.
Furthermore there is some nature to wander around and great diving around Strombolicchio. A boat tour around the island is definitely worth it, even though it was very expensive (20 Euros). You should get better prices if there are more people on the boat.
I was told there are two spots accessible without a guide towards the "Sciara del Fuoco" from both the village of Stromboli and the village of Ginostra, from where the eruptions can be seen as well. On the Stromboli side, there is supposed to be a restaurant there. But, again, do not attempt to climb the vulcano on your own. Not only it is dangerous, it could also cost you a fine doubling your travel expenses.
Various hotels exist and additionally many inhabitants of the villages rent rooms.
Camping is not permitted on the island.