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If you land in Catania, you can choose among various shuttle services which provide connections to and from the Aeolian Islands. You have to get a bus/shuttle/taxi to the port of Milazzo, which takes approx. one hour and half. Between the busses and shuttles you can opt for: Alibrando (shared shuttle service, € 25 per person, if the plane is late they automatically put you on the next shuttle departing); Giuntabus (€ 30 a/r public bus service); Eolian Shuttle (shared shuttle with ferry ticket combined). The boat companies to reach the islands are: Liberty Lines; Siremar; NGI.
During Summer (mid June – mid September) there is a ferry leaving from the port of Palermo. Liberty Lines departs at 14.00 from Palermo and at 7.45 from Lipari and it takes 4 hours.
During Winter you must move with the train station of Palermo to Milazzo train station, then get a taxi/bus to the port and then the ferry to Lipari.
Landing in Reggio Calabria is pretty straightforward: you take a taxi to the port (the ride is about 10 minutes) and there are a couple of ferries departing for Lipari. The boat ride takes 2 hours.
From Naples there is a daily connection during Summer months (mid June to mid September) with the ferry Snav / Alilauro. It leaves Naples at 14.30 and arrives in Lipari around 21.00 with a 6 hour journey. On Saturdays there is also another connection leaving Naples around 9.30 in the morning and reaching Lipari at 15.30. Alternatively, you can opt for the overnight ride with Siremar which leaves Naples on Tuesday and Friday at 20.00 and arrives in Lipari the next morning at either 9.40 or 11.00 depending on the route of the day. The ship has sleeping cabins and it is definitely a nice option if you have time to enjoy the journey through all of the islands.
From Milazzo there are many ferries and ships connecting Lipari to the mainland. The ride with quick ferry takes around 60 minutes and 2 hours with the car ship. The ferry companies are either Liberty Lines or Tarnav, whilst the ship is either Siremar or NGI. The last ship departing from Lipari is at 21.00 and arrives around midnight.
From Messina there are several Liberty Lines ferries for the Aeolian islands and the ride takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The timetables vary from Summer to Winter so please check for the exact schedules.
During Summer there is a daily Liberty Lines ferry leaving Palermo port at 14.00 and arriving in Lipari at 18.00
If you get to the train station in Naples, you can get a taxi and in 10 minutes you will be at the port of Mergellina, from which you find ferries and ships to the Aeolian Islands.
There are a couple of trains arriving in Milazzo. You can also opt for the overnight train, connecting Rome and Naples to Milazzo which arrives at 7.00 in the morning in Milazzo. Check Trenitalia for the timetables.
Now that you’ve enjoyed a glimpse of our world, isn’t time to plan a holiday in Lipari? You won’t regret it