There’s plenty of fun to be had in Aeolian waters. At Panarea you can snorkel over the submerged foundations of a Roman port, and columns of pulsing bubbles around the majestically sculpted islets, or take an easy dive (12–20m) to see what appears to be a submarine snow-storm – the water is full of blobs of a weird white bacteria that grows on sulphur and has the consistency of eggwhite. Also off Panarea are the remains of a British cargo ship deliberately sunk during the Depression as an insurance scam – for the past fifteen years it has been inhabited by a giant fish (about 80kg).
Alternatively, head to the Salinan village of Pollara, where a giant offshore crater offers easy diving with lots to see, or explore the wreck of a Roman ship off Filicudi; a rope guides you down to the archeological area – a true underwater museum. It is also a beautiful dive, with lots of fish and fascinating rock formations.
The islands’ most professional diving outfit is Amphibia, with bases at the ports of Panarea and Salina (w amphibia.it).