Monte Fossa delle Felci
The visit to Monte Fossa delle Felci, which with its 962 m above sea level is the highest peak of the Aeolian Islands, a must for the discovery of the natural heritage of these islands. The excursion starts from the saddle of Valdichiesa, taking behind the sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito the path n. 12 that cuts the reforestation to eucalytti, acacie, Neapolitan alders and maritime pines, up to cross the thick scrub with heather and strawberry tree, certainly more original aspect of the vegetation of Salina. Majestic chestnut trees and a dense undergrowth of aquiline ferns offer one of the most unexpected and surprising views of the archipelago and give shelter to numerous species of nesting birds, including the magnanina (Sylvia undata); in spring you can admire some botanical rarities, such as the Asteracea Doronicum orientale and the Labiata Ajuga orientalis, typical of mediterranean mountain environments; in autumn, the blooms of the Neapolitan cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) and sparrowhawks (Hieracium crinitum), while the same path is a destination for chestnut and mushroom pickers (boleti and suilli).
The ancient crater is occupied by a thick chestnut grove, whose plant probably dates back to Roman times, where a population of dormouse (Glis glis) lives. The descent from Fossa delle Felci can be made in the direction of Malfa (path n. 7), Santa Marina (path n. 4) or Lingua (path n. 2), or returning to Valdichiesa along the route already done with some variations.
Duration: 5-6 h
Difficulty: medium (trails 2, 7, 12) or medium-high (trail 4)
From Pollara to Leni
The path starts from the Semaforo (280 m above sea level) and dominates the crater amphitheater of Pollara, where the last phase of volcanic activity of the island ended 13,000 years ago with a catastrophic explosion, crossing a thick patch with cysts, heathers and strawberry trees. After passing the Pizzo del Corvo (ca. 450 m a.s.l.) you overlook the cliffs of Praiola and Filo di Branda, where between July and October nests a small colony of queen’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), to continue through the abandoned crops and olive groves of Valle Spina and Piano del Vescovo (S side of Monte dei Porri) and rejoin the rolling stock in Leni. One of the most interesting excursions for birdwatchers and nature photography enthusiasts.
Duration: 3-4 h