The Balate and Pollara’s beach in Salina – Aeolian Islands Travel Guide

STORY BY TOMMASO RAGONESE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARCO CRUPI

Le Balate a Pollara

The Balate.

The Balate and Pollara’s beach are Salina’s go-to spot for a wonderful swim. Set on the north-eastern side of the island, they make up the remains of a volcanic crater which collapsed 100.000 years ago. At the centre of Pollara’s bay, a crag (Scoglio Faraglione or, simply, the Faraglione) emerges from the sea.

Lo Scoglio Faraglione a Pollara

The Faraglione (crag).

‘Balate’ is the name given to the ancient fishing boats’ shelters dug in the friable rock.

Pollara is also known as the place where Michael Radford’s movie “Il Postino”, with famed italian actor Massimo Troisi was set. Suffering from a serious heart condition, Troisi had to avail himself of a stand-in for the most strenuous scenes and passed away no longer than 24 hours after the filming was over.

HOW TO GET TO THE BALATE AND POLLARA’S BEACH

Pollara’s beach and the Balate are accessible either by boat or on foot down a staircase commencing at the end of Via Massimo Troisi: the last house on the right hand side is precisely the one where poet Pablo Neruda and local postman Mario Ruoppolo befriend each other in the movie.

Le Balate a Pollara

Once there, with the staircase behind you, you will find the Balate and, walking further, the natural arc at Punta Perciato on your right hand side. To your left, Pollara’s beach, only accessible by sea as a result of a landslide.

Balate e Arco in pietra di Punta Perciato

The natural arc at Punta Perciato and the Balate as seen from the sea.

Should you choose to visit Pollara’s beach, be mindful of the cliff and always keep at a safe distance as rocks may fall.

The Balate and Pollara’s beach are not ideal for those who love the comforts of spacious, sandy, easily accessible beaches. Space is limited, there is no sand and it can get crowded in high season. However, the natural beauty of the place, especially at sunset, will easily compensate for lack of comfort.

THE BALATE AND POLLARA’S BEACH – EXACT LOCATION