Sailing the Aeolian Islands & the Amalfi Coast in Italy
We spent five idyllic days aboard a catamaran, following the Aeolian winds wherever they decided to take us - from dramatic, still active volcano island of Stromboli to the black sand bay of Vulcano. Life aboard a boat is a simple one - where your toughest decision is whether to swim or stand up paddle to the nearest stretch of beach.
At times the waters are so calm that the surface of the sea resembles glass - only broken by the dramatic, craggy dolomites rising from the inky blue water.
In the evenings we would dock and explore the towns. Salina was charming and quaint, with its small streets and friendly locals, while Panarea's chic whitewashed rooftops were a perfect stop for an upscale aperitivo.
A short flight back to Naples and a winding road filled with switchbacks and sharp curves led us to the Amalfi Coast, where we spent our last few days in Italy sipping Campari and lazing around the Hotel Luna Convento - a 13th century monastery whose pool is built directly into the cliff above the sea.
The best thing to do around Amalfi town is to wander and get lost in the residential alleys carved high into the side of the cliffs, flanked by terraces of lemon trees. Incredible views and real glimpses of local life.