25 June 2021 | Caletta dei Zimmari, Panerea - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 37.600'N 15 03.993'E)
Caletta dei Zimmari anchorage with the hamlet of San Pietro in the background
Panarea is the smallest of the Aeolians, barely 3km by 1.5km and reported to be the loveliest with only a few hundred inhabitants residing in three hamlets on the eastern side of the island - Iditella, San Pietro and Drauto. It's also reported to be ridiculously expensive and painfully stylish - the place where models, designers, pop stars, royalty and actors come to chillax. Cars are banned, the only transport apart from walking is by Vespa or electric car.
The island of Panerea is only 8 miles away from Lipari and with the continuous haze we've still to see any of the other islands. The best visibility has been around dusk when the haze lifts just enough to for us to be able to get our bearings.
There are are couple of anchorages in Panarea offering good shelter depending on wind direction. We chose Caletta dei Zimmari, a protective cove on the south part of the island around the Punta Milazzese headland which would enable us to dinghy ashore and explore. The light wind taking us there was fickle and changed direction more than we'd care to mention especially in between the islands of Lipari and Salina but we persevered with the Genoa managing an hours sail which was better than nothing.
At anchor, we could hear the mountainsides alive with the sounds of cicadas all rattling the same tune, the tone only changed when they were either disturbed by tourists walking along the coastal path or late at night when it cooled.
Steps at the far end of the beach climbed up to the headland of Punta Milazzese, a craggy headland overlooking two rocky inlets with superb views and at the top a prehistoric site, a Bronze Age village comprising of several oval foundation walls and still visible through the weeds. Discovered in 1948 the site is thought to have been inhabited since the 14th Century BC, with artefacts linking the Aeolians to Crete.
Punta Milazzese headland
oval walls of a Bronze Age village
Unfortunately only one of us got to step ashore as the anchorage became pretty busy during the day which made us feel that one of us needed to stay aboard Flirtie and look after her should the wind shift. It happens sometimes which is a frustrating part of this cruising life but necessary given that Flirtie is our home. We will try again another day.
Total distance from Lipari to Panarea: 8.44 nautical miles
Total distance this season: 207.61 nautical miles