Published on July 22nd 2013
Aeolian Islands-Vulcano and Lipari Tour (Vulcano Mud Bath)
Vulcano Island is a..well..volcanic island. The volcanic activity isn’t (too) harmful but instead has created one of the coolest spots for tourists interested natural wonders to visit- a mud bath.
Supposedly, the bath could make your skin look 5 years younger. Being an aging 25 year old, I was like “PERFECT!
Just what I need!” I’ve heard that Asians age really well, maybe this is why! They travel the world with their umbrellas, bum bags and fancy-pants digital cameras and bathe in sulphuric mud frequently.
As the boat approached Vulcano, I starting noticing a weird ‘pooey’ smell. I thought that I was maybe standing next to a big blue waste disposal bin or something.
But as the boat docked and I stepped onto the island oh my god, the nasty smell got stronger! I then clocked that it was the island that smelt like ‘arse’, literally.
You get used to it and the searing heat is also a distraction. You have to walk up this little road past some little stalls. The spring is on the other side of these rock walls, I was was excruciatingly excited as you can hear all the tourists on the other side of the walls:
Follow the fencing round and then you finally get to a little hut. Here’s a map:
Entry is 2 Euros per person and you get a plastic token to activate the showers (more on that later).
I couldn’t wait to get in but my god did it smell. Rotten eggs isn’t exactly appealing when you’re looking for a relaxing soak amongst the volcanic rock formations but I still took the time to nab some photos:
So much heat
Oh just to give you an idea of how hot it was on the day:
The ground was super hot from both the sun and the hot springs underneath the rocks. I made the mistake of taking my flip flops off to walk into the pool but didn’t make it and had to return and get the flip flops.. Here’s a pic of some decking they put over the particularly hot areas to stop tourists from hurting themselves:
What you end up doing in the mud spring
There are so many tourists in the spring at one time you end up (subtly) fighting for the best spots of the spring that yields the soft clay. The squidgy clay was much nicer to spread on yourself than the gravelly stuff where the clay’s been mined out:
Once thoroughly covered in your clay, lots of people choose to stand about in the sun:
And then I decided to have a soak/skulk in the water:
And to finish off, a lava sand beach was about 10 seconds walk away from the spring. The sand is a lovely grey speckle colour and again the springs underneath make certain spots of the beach hot.
The water was a lovely (I’m a wimp when it comes to swimming in cool water) but the geothermal springs run under the sea and make it a comfortable bathing temperature. There were some boulders in the water that were slightly warm and nice to sit on.
There are some hot spots in the sea that make individual rocks super hot to step on (which my mum discovered) so watch out for the bubbles:
I was so gutted when it was time to shower and leave.
Back on the boat, we sat and nommed on some crisps while we waited for it’s departure. All the passengers seemed very chilled after their soaks and looks of zen were abundant as the boat pulled away from the dock. AND THEN WE HEAR A WOMAN WAIL.
Screams and shouts and lots of banging followed. She had realised her husband was still on the island! Pleads for the captain to turn around were to no avail.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who wanted to stay on the island…