I was in doubt if I should make this newsletter or keep it to myself. Because I love the fact that Panarea is so unspoiled and I have had it to myself for so long,... but here I go. Panarea is for me the absolute best place in Europe to stay for the summer. It´s one of 8 tiny islands called ´Isole Eolie´, on the north side of Sicily and we have been coming here for the past 9 years. Here you find the clearest waters and will go by boat all day long to visit other islands (preferably with the cutest captain you can find ), best restaurants, great nature, volcanoes, kind and beautiful people, super hotels and great bars. A mix of Ibiza, Portofino, Capri and St.tropez, but much more low key. No gold and diamonds. Everything here is magical. And you will be hooked for life.
Lisca Bianca is a beautiful little hotel down at the port, owned by one of the 3 sisters who basically own the whole island. The hotel is with sweet small rooms and amazing interior. A great bar for Aperitivo and lounge music and even DJ and dancing during week-ends. Everything is kept in blue, turquoise and white which makes it a joy for the eye.
Right across from Lisca Bianca you find The Bridge, a super nice and trendy sushi place which have been lucky to attract one of the best original sushi chefs to the island. Everybody meet up here after a long day on the boats and get a few aperitivi before going home to change into something more sexy for the evening. Great music and great atmosphere in relaxed surroundings where you can keep an eye on whats going on on the pier from the balcony, at the same time.
If you are interested in Michelin restaurants in a truly beautiful, balanced and harmonic setting with a hostess who are so delicious and "in gamba" that you can't take you eyes off of her, then you must try Hycesia. In this place you eat the most amazing and delicate plates and have a wine list bigger than The Bible. The owner also has a cute little hotel next to the restaurant which is lovely and simple.
The Crown Jewel of the island is Raya. Raya is situated at the highest point of the island and seems the have the power on Panarea. It´s an ecological hotel, with an enormous pure saltwater pool. The rooms are decorated with delicacy and the whole hotel througout is made in a style of a mix of Bali, Italy and luxury hippy. Down at the port Raya has one of my favourite shops with clothes made by hand in the most delicious materials, pattens and colours. Beach/sailing/party wear in a very luxury hippy way. At Raya you usually arrive barefood. To top it all off, Raya has the best Aperitivo place on top of the roof of their restaurant in the port. From here you see the sun going down on LiscaBianca, the magic cliff in the water just infront of Panarea. After your aperitivo, you go to the restaurant downstairs where later there will be music and dancing till the early morning.
Hotel and restaurant Sirena is actually situated on Filicudi, the island on the right of Panarea. This great little colourful place is yet another must see in the seas of The Eolie. Great food in another lovely island with black amazing volcanic beaches.
Quartara is another small lux hotel on the Panarea, definitely a place for couples. High in the mountain and romantic, with a great restaurant. From up here you have a very nice view of the island and the ocean and are able to stay a little apart from the rest of the crowd.
You want authentic Sicilian, you have to visit Da Pina where you will dine on original Sicilian ceramic and eat original Sicilian food. Some heavy.... some light. But lots of fresh fish, wine and melanzane will be on the menu.
If you are at Banacal Sushi you will dine right under the stars. You are basically on top of the roof of Lisca Bianca and across from Bridge and seldom have I seen something so amazing. You eat the best sushi which is served in a lovely way and enjoy the atmosphere from all sides. It´s just great to sit with great food, great wine and great family and live life to the fullest in these surroundings.
I must go back as soon as possible, Christina