For holidays in the sun and far from the classic tourist circuit, Filicudi is an ideal base. To the east of the Aeolian archipelago , this volcanic island has all the assets for a successful stay.
Mountainous landscapes rising above the sea, beaches bordered by crystal clear waters, hiking and nautical activities are the assurance of a well-filled trip.
To help you prepare for your trip, we have selected for you the best things to do in Filicudi!
- 1. Go around the villages
- 2. The churches of Filicudi
- – 1. Church of Santo Stefano in Val di Chiesa
- – 2. Church of San Giuseppe in Pecorini
- 3. Grotta del Bue Marino and rocky arch of Perciato
- 4. Montenassari and La Canna Islet
- 5. Giafante Rock
- 6. Zucco Grande Abandoned Village
- 7. Climb Fossa Felci
- 8. Belvédère Stimpagnato
- 9. Neolithic village of Capo Graziano
- 10. Aeolian Archaeological Museum
- 11. Take a boat trip
- 12. Try scuba diving
- 13. Taste local specialties
1. Go around the villages
Filicudi has only 300 year-round residents, spread over the villages of Val di Chiesa, Filicudi Porto and Pecorini a Mare. These three localities are concentrated in the southeastern part of the island. You can connect them thanks to the only paved road of Filicudi.
You will evolve in a typical Mediterranean landscape, with houses in pastel colors located near the sea or on the volcanic slopes. Small churches, charming restaurants and viewpoints over the sea await you during this first discovery of Filicudi by car or scooter.
You will become familiar with the vegetation and will be able to notice the plots of land laid out in terraces. They were built over the centuries to cultivate basic necessities such as pulses, cereals, fruits, vines and olive trees.
2. The churches of Filicudi
1. Church of Santo Stefano in Val di Chiesa
On the heights of Val di Chiesa, the Church of Santo Stefano enjoys an unobstructed view of the sea. It is built in the greatest simplicity, with a facade comprising three doors and a beautiful bell tower on the right. Do not miss to take a walk in the small adjoining cemetery, well maintained and always flowery.
If you are lucky enough to visit Filicudi in the summer, a procession in honor of the Saint followed by a village festival takes place every year on August 3. The opportunity to feel the traditional Catholic fervor in Italy and to meet the locals over a meal and a drink!
2. Church of San Giuseppe in Pecorini
Overlooking the village of Pecorini, the parish church of San Giuseppe is worth a visit for the beauty of its interior. Behind the hotel, a statue of the Virgin is installed in a cavity dug into the rock. On each side of the nave, admire the chapels where magnificent paintings and relics are exhibited.
3. Grotta del Bue Marino and rocky arch of Perciato
During a boat trip, you will have the chance to discover these two geological curiosities on the east coast of the island. The Bue Marino cave is a must when visiting Filicudi.
The boats will take you as close as possible to the entrance to this gigantic cave dug into the cliff. Get in the water then swim to the inside of the cavity. The deeper you go, the more darkness increases, making you feel like you are in a mystical place.
At the bottom, a small pebble beach awaits you, but you will need a waterproof lamp to reach it. It is said that the place was used as a hiding place for pirates. As you leave, you will pass in front of the rocky arch of Perciato, a door carved into a rocky outcrop. Smaller boats can pass inside, guaranteeing you great photos to bring back in your luggage.
4. Montenassari and La Canna Islet
Less than a kilometer east of the island, La Canna rock and Montenassari islet are among the things to do in Filicudi. La Canna is a remnant of the region’s last volcanic eruptions 40,000 years ago. This impressive rock tower rises 71 meters above the sea, and you can only observe it from a boat. It is the lava cone of an ancient volcano whose slopes have collapsed due to erosion.
Not far away, the islet of Montenassari shelters a natural basin on one of its slopes. However, you will not be able to set foot on these two wonders, classified as a nature reserve to protect their fauna and flora. They host some of the last specimens of wind lizards, an endangered species present only in the archipelago.
5. Giafante Rock
Another stunning geological formation finds its way into our selection of things to do in Filicudi. To the northwest of the island, near the tip of La Zotta, a rock emerges from the water and evokes the head of an elephant. You will observe it from the coast or during a boat trip around the island.
6. Zucco Grande Abandoned Village
From Filicudi Porto, arrival point for boats from the mainland and the other Aeolian Islands, a path runs along the sea to Zucco Grande. This once densely populated and lush village is now abandoned, but you can imagine the life of the inhabitants back then.
Some buildings are being renovated, but work is progressing slowly. The path that leads to Zucco Grande rises above the Mediterranean and offers magnificent views of the surrounding islands. The ride at a leisurely pace will take you around 3.5 hours round trip and is easy to do with children.
7. Climb Fossa Felci
Of the same name as its neighbor on the island of Salina , the highest point of the Aeolian archipelago, Fossa Felci is the highest peak of Filicudi. Pointing at 774 meters, it offers a 360 degree view of the whole island.
Several trekking paths allow its ascent, departing from Pecorini or from the port. Starting from Filicudi Porto, you will first climb up to San Stefano Church. You then leave civilization and sink into nature and vegetation. Remember to turn around during the ascent to enjoy the views of Capo Graziano.
The last part of the path is more difficult but the arrival at the top will reward your efforts. You can admire the rock of La Canna with Alicudi in the background to the west, and Salina on the other side. To descend, head south towards Pecorini to complete a loop. The complete route will take you between 5 and 6 hours. Remember to bring plenty of water and sun protection!
8. Belvédère Stimpagnato
A path from Pecorini leads to the Stimpagnato viewpoint, one of the best places in Filicudi to watch the sunset. The trail is very well laid out, with a railing that protects from the void below.
It is accessible to families and does not involve any particular difficulty. You will quickly reach a platform from where you can admire the sun gently descending on the horizon and plunging into the sea behind the island of Alicudi. After he disappears, you’ll have time to return to your starting point before it gets completely dark.
9. Neolithic village of Capo Graziano
On the promontory of Capo Graziano in the southeast of the island, excavations have brought to light the ruins of a village dating from the Neolithic era. The tools, jewels and objects discovered testify to an important activity and a probable industry related to obsidian.
You can visit the site during a one-hour walk, following the marked route and the explanatory panels. Then you only have to go down to the sea to enjoy a swim in the clear waters of the Mediterranean.
10. Aeolian Archaeological Museum
The Aeolian Archaeological Museum is in Lipari , but an annex has been developed on the island of Filicudi. You will discover objects dating from the Neolithic era and testifying to the existence of a very ancient settlement in the Aeolian archipelago.
Remains from the excavations of the village of Capo Graziano are also presented there. An exhibition traces the history of the islands, one of the most culturally interesting things to do in Filicudi.
11. Take a boat trip
The boat is undoubtedly one of the essential things to do in Filicudi. If the visit of land has its share of surprises, it is from the sea that the island reveals its greatest beauties. During a day trip, you can get close to the main attractions listed here.
A guide will give you explanations about each spot, and you can even make stops for swimming or snorkeling. Depending on the formula chosen, some companies even offer a meal on board the boat or in the heart of a small preserved cove.
You can also choose to rent a boat yourself to explore the island from the waters and admire the wonderful landscapes that Filicudi has to offer!
12. Try scuba diving
Several quality centers offer diving trips around Filicudi. Varied, the dive sites will satisfy both beginners looking for a first experience and experienced divers. There are 14 diving spots around Filicudi, including the Giafante rocks, the Canna or the Montenassari islet.
On the dry land of Capo Graziano, an archaeological route has been laid out and you can admire certain remains from the sinking of two ships, such as magnificent amphorae. The fauna is varied and includes groupers, scorpion fish, moray eels, octopus and nudibranchs, to name but a few. Ideal for a first dive!
If you have time, you can even opt for a course and pass different levels.
13. Taste local specialties
As in all of Italy, the gastronomy of the Aeolian Islands is worth a detour. On Filicudi, in addition to the traditional pizzerias, you will find charming little restaurants offering local and seasonal cuisine. The products of the island are honoured, such as capers and olives which will enhance all the dishes with finesse.
Seafood, sea urchins, crustaceans and fish are an integral part of the daily menu of the inhabitants, who have learned how to prepare them in the best possible way. The menus are simple and the dishes change according to the catch of the day, a guarantee of quality in any establishment.
So take a seat on the terrace and let yourself be guided by the chef’s suggestions! To accompany your meal, why not try a glass of Malvasia? This soft and sweet wine is produced on the neighboring island of Salina.