Panarea – walks

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Above the port is the hamlet of San Pietro, a myriad of white houses, in a semi-circle, in a multi-coloured natural setting. Climbing up on the left southwards, a track leads to the prehistoric village of Cala Junco in 30 minutes. The track winds up among the houses, passing the new church of San Pietro with its lovely mosaic and terrace with a good view. Below the parvis of the church you will find a small branch of the Eolian Archaeological Museum, exhibiting valuable prehistoric artefacts and others recovered from shipwrecks of the classical age. You turn left and, after a flat stretch, pass the houses of Drautto, along the bay. In this stretch you notice the so-called ‘spine’, large rock formations, the remains of a lava flow which reached Capo Milazzese. You cross the beautiful beach of Cala degli Zimmari, which we recommend for swimming, since it can be reached without a boat. From here a path with steps takes you to the promontory of Capo Milazzese. On the right is Cala Junco, maybe the most beautiful cove of the whole archipelago. A natural pool of crystal clear water with changing colours: green, blue and turquoise. You can take a dive into the blue surrounded by high basalt cliff walls, lava prisms which look like sculptures, a pebble beach and the Scoglio Bastimento and other rocks, which only just show above the surface (be careful in boats). You must also stop to visit the prehistoric village. 23 oval stone huts from the Bronze Age (1400 BC) have been found. One of these, in a square shape, was perhaps the place of meeting and worship for the community. Archaeologists have found pottery, mortars, grindstones, pans and crockery, as if the people had been attacked suddenly and everything left as it was. In any case, the place they chose was perfect: a strong natural fortress. A long rock sticking out into the sea, with sheer sides, with a view which cannot be equalled anywhere. An alternative walk, of about an hour, takes you from the port, climbing up, to the right towards Iditella and Calcara as far as Punta del Corvo at a height of 421 metres. At first the track winds among white houses, shops, bars (we recommend the granitas at the bar Naïf), and little restaurants, then it climbs sharply near the old church of Assunta ad Iditella. Further on, on the right, it is worth asking to go into one of the houses and admire the view of the port and islets from a terrace set between two rocks. You continue down and, going to the right, you see the Scoglio Sinazzola and the island of Basiluzzo. You pass Felice’s house which has excellent malmsey and a small patio on which to sit and taste it. On the left, after the trattoria Paolino, the houses are further apart and the path follows a white wall, as far as the junction where, to the right, you can reach Calcara, a pebble beach with small fumaroles. The plateau, covered with small pebbles, was probably a place of worship until the Bronze Age. Climbing back up the road, to the right, you reach Piana Palisi and then the area used as a rubbish tip. From the path, at a height of 380m, you have a good view of Punta Scritta and the Scoglio Pietro La Nave.  Finally you reach the highest peak, Punta del Corvo, from which you can observe the splendid views of the two sides of the island.