Exclusive and expensive, Panarea is the smallest and most fashionable of the Aeolians, attracting international jet-setters and Milanese fashionistas for a taste of dolce far niente (sweet nothing). In summer, luxury yachts fill the tiny harbour and flocks of day-trippers traipse around the car-free whitewashed streets of San Pietro, the port and principal settlement. Panarea is a strictly summer-only destination.
Panarea is the smallest and lowest of the Aeolians (421 m/1,381 ft at its highest, at Timpone del Corvo), but it is also the oldest and attracts boatloads of tourists for its clean water, underwater volcanic vents and its nightlife.
Together with the tiny islands of Basiluzzo, Spinazzola, Lisca Bianca, Dattilo, Bottaro, Lisca Nera (of which little still remains) and the boulders of Panarelli and Formiche, Panarea forms its own minuscule archipelago with characteristic homes, bottegas and shops.