After reading all the negative reviews about pretty much every company that does tours to Stromboli I decided to go with the cheapest option, Tarnav. I set my expectations low and hoped for the best as I boarded the boat. There were two vessels leaving on the same tour, the bigger one was the Queen and that’s where we were. I noticed that this vessel was larger than the other boat and had a sun deck. I knew that’s where I will be watching Stromboli in the evening.
The first leg to Panarea I sat inside by the window and had a very relaxing journey 1.5 hours. I enjoyed Panarea very much. It reminds me of a small Greek island with the white houses and painted blue doors. Many houses are built right into the mountainside. It’s really beautiful to just walk around the narrow streets and get lost. It was a hot day so our walk was short and we decided to have lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants. Panarea is a beautiful island with crystal clear water. I imagine snorkeling would be great here. You get 2.5 hours here.
On to Stromboli. I suggest going to the sun deck since you will be passing by some impressive rock formations and the boat gets pretty close to them. It’s a short ride, under an hour, from Panarea to Stromboli. At the island of Stromboli you get 2.5 hours and should go straight to the black beach and swim in the super salty water, walk up and down the beach in the shallow water. In no time you will have to get back on the boat. Those who reserved dinner prior to leaving the boat for Stromboli are asked to come back at 19:30 and the rest at 19:50. Whether you reserved dinner or not, board the boat at 19;30 and go straight to the sun deck. This is definitely the place to see the volcano and sunset. No matter what side of the boat you’re on, your view will be great. Try to get a seat on the bench and if you’re too late for that, occupy a spot on the side of the boat and don’t move from there. We got incredibly lucky with a clear night and very cooperative Stromboli. It took a bit to get going but then it started erupting so many times that even though I had absolutely no intention of filming it, I took out my phone pressed start and it exploded on demand. Tarnav stayed for a good while longer than the other group boats who turned around after the first two small eruptions. Good way to know an eruption is coming is to look at the top of the crater and when you see cameras flashing at the top, start recording.
All in all it was a great day. Tarnav pleasantly surprised us. Would absolutely recommend this mini cruise to a friend.
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