Hotel Girasole | Panarea Island, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

Panarea Island, blue shutters, photo by Lisa van de Pol

Somewhere discrete, in a narrow street between Panarea port and the fine sandy beach, Cala Zimmari, you’ll find the small, colorful family hotel Girasole. The hotel, with whitewashed walls, blue shutters and blue stairs, is the perfect location if you want to stay near the beach, enjoy peaceful tranquility with views on the deep blue see but also want to enjoy the nightlife and ristoranti within walking distance.

Panarea Island, blue shutters, photo by Lisa van de Pol. Italian Summers
Panarea Island, view on Stromboli. Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, hotel Girasole. Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers

Panarea spoils you with gorgeous hotels

Although Panarea is a small Island, and the life mainly takes place in the harbor, the village and the beach, there is quite a choice of some heavenly hotels. Each one tastefully decorated and the one more beautiful than the other. If you like Mediterranean style then the choice could be a bit difficult for you, especially if you have a small budget to spend. Most of these hotels can be found near the sea and in the vicinity of the port.

Hotel Girasole is located between the litte village and the only sandy beach

Hotel Girasole had caught my attention, because it looked attractive, was typically Aeolian and had a reasonable price. Not cheap, because then you just do not go to Panarea. Besides, the walk from the center to the only sandy beach was too long from the village center. Therefore the choice fell on the hotel Girasole which had a more central location.

Panarea Island, pink, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italan Summers
Panarea island, blue lamp, photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers

Panarea Island, Bella di Notte, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, colored tile, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea island, little Panarea street, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, Hotel Girasole, photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers


Rita picked us up from the port, barefoot, in an electric golf cart

After two hours by boat from the Sicilian Coast, we arrived in the harbor from Panarea. As promised, Rita was waiting for us at the port in her small electric golf cart. She was barefoot, so relaxed and very island-like! No, there are no cars on Panarea, just this funny little cars that are super useful because there is no other way that will get  you through the narrow streets here.

White washed wals, blue doors and pink bougainvillea

Rita drove us with her golf cart through the cute little streets, past white washed walls, many, many blue doors and beautiful pink flowering bougainvillea to the hotel. Meanwhile, she chatted with everyone we encountered along the way, everyone knows each other here on this little Island,… Panarea populates only around 300 inhabitants the year-round except for summer!

The family run hotel is divided in two buildings

Hotel Girasole, which means sunflower, is run by Rita and her mother, so a true family hotel, even with the occasional family scenes, but that makes it only more fun! It’s all real life here! The hotel has been divided into two parts. One area, where breakfast is served, has rooms with direct sea view. The other part of the hotel is on the other side of the street (it’s a little lane!), where some rooms are on the ground floor and others on the first floor, all with a terrace.

Panarea Island, terrace Bella di Notte, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian SummersPanarea Island, to the beach, photo Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, colors Bella di Notte, Photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian SummersPanarea Island, bougainville, photo by Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers

All rooms have their own refined style

All rooms have typical majolica terraces facing the sea and decorated by flowers.  The rooms have a genuinely Eolian taste and all the comforts you need.

Bella di Notte

We had a room on the first floor, room Bella di Notte! I had specifically asked for this room. On the internet, it looked already lovely but it really was more beautiful than I could have imagined. The terrace is large and beautifully tiled with majolica tiles from Caltagirone. There are several chairs and you have a kind of outdoor kitchen.

Panarea Island, my room key, Photo Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, the blue stairs, photo Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers
Panarea Island, very Aeolian, Photo Lisa van de Pol, Italian Summers

Big tiled teracces with sea breezes

Room Bella di Notte is simple but spacious and tastefully decorated. The bathroom is colorful in blue and yellow, idea by Rita by the way. You may not have a direct sea view from the room in the building where I was but the views from the terrace are amazing and relaxing. Most of the time we just left the door open. There is a  lot of privacy on this side of the hotel. The rooms on the other side, so those with direct sea view have less privacy. The rooms on that side share all one big terrace.

Panarea Island life is quite contagious

The breakfast is simple but if you like something extra you just ask and the mother of Rita is immediately ready for you. At Panarea and Hotel Girasole, you can take it slow and laid-back. The Island life is quite contagious.

 More Italy, Italia and La Dolce Vita