This 7 night walking holiday leads you on a self-guided adventure along Sicily's stunning eastern coast, taking in some of the island's most precious jewels, from the spectacular Greek theatre of Taormina to the immense Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. You'll also spend four days island hopping between the astonishingly beautiful Aeolian Islands, a string of seven volcanic islets that glimmer like black pearls off Sicily's Mediterranean shoreline. You'll stay two nights on the island of Stromboli, known also as the 'Lighthouse of the Mediterranean' for its constant volcanic eruptions and two nights on Lipari, the largest island of the Aeolian Archipelago.
The walks themselves are as varied as the places you'll visit. Highlights include climbing Vulcano's Gran Cratere della Fossa crater to see the fumaroles - vents from which a steady stream of gases and vapours eerily seep out of the ground - and ascending to a wonderful vantage point to witness the intermittent explosions on Stromboli. A day is spent on Mount Etna itself, where you are guided through an impressive volcanic landscape with infinite views over the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
Your hotels vary from an elegant, family run hotel just yards from the Greek theatre in Taormina to a sea front hotel overlooking one of Stromboli's black sand beaches.
This holiday follows mule tracks, stony coastal roads and footpaths through a volcanic landscape of dried lava rock and sand, with frequent, often stony, ascents/descents. Walking boots are essential, and poles strongly recommended.
Arrive and settle in at your comfortable city centre hotel.
After your briefing, we take you to Milazzo (90 mins), the gateway to the Aeolian Islands. There's time for lunch before taking the hydrofoil (130 mins) to the dramatic volcanic island of Stromboli. Relax on the island's black beaches and explore the lovely village of San Vincenzo, with its pretty whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant bougainvillea, before dinner.
Set off this morning for the Sciara del Fuoco, a steep lava scar gorged deep into the volcano's flank; reaching a height of 250m, it's the perfect vantage point to marvel at the volcano's intermittent fiery explosions. In the afternoon, there's the option to take a boat to the scenic village of Ginostra on Stromboli's south western shores or take a evening group guided walk up to the observation point (400m; book locally) to enjoy the sound and light show by night!
Take the morning hydrofoil to Lipari (110 min), then set out through the winding cobbled alleyways of Lipari's charming Old Town to Marina Corta, the island's tiny old fishing harbour. Continue to the panoramic Punta della Crapazza for sweeping views over to the faraglioni and Vulcano.
A 10-minute hydrofoil takes you to the island of Vulcano, famous for its black beaches, hot springs and volcanic mud baths. Walk up to the Gran Cratere della Fossa crater for beautiful views over the other islands before descending back down to the beach in time for an optional mud bath.
Return to mainland Sicily this morning (70 mins) and transfer (75 mins) to Taormina, the jewel in Sicily's crown. Your afternoon is free to visit the town's historic Greek theatre, bathe in the azure waters of the Isola Bella Nature Reserve or admire the amazing view of mighty Mount Etna. Alternatively, climb the Sentiero del Saraceno up to medieval Castelmola, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and enjoy superb vistas over Taormina and beyond.
We take you (1 hr) up onto Mount Etna's northern flank to join a group walk with a guide, following a scenic path beside a deep volcanic fracture, carved out of the ground during Etna's last major explosion in 2002. Cross the lava strewn landscape, with sweeping views along the entire Ionian coastline, to the edge of the 2002 crater. Alternatively, ascend by cable car and jeep to 2900m and join a volcanologist guide to ascend to Etna's summit (3350m; book and pay locally).
Please note that today's walk is subject to change depending on weather and volcanic conditions.
Given the island hopping nature of this trip, you are responsible for your luggage when using the hydrofoil services. Transportation of luggage to and from the hotels and the ports of Stromboli and Lipari is provided.
The Katane Palace Hotel is in the heart of Catania's city centre, just a short walk to a choice of restaurants, cafes and shops. Bedrooms are simple but spacious and comfortable, whilst the public rooms are grand and classically decorated. There's a restaurant as well as a charming terrace within a courtyard where breakfast can be taken.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
The Hotel Villaggio Stromboli is 900m from the port and 400m from the village centre, and sits overlooking the island's black sand beach and Strombolicchio. The hotel dates back to 1949, shortly after the film 'Stromboli' was made; the hotel has many photographs of the film in production and of its famous main actress and director, Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. The spacious rooms at the Villaggio Stromboli are simple but come with ceiling fan, air conditioning and patio. There's also a bar and restaurant at the hotel.
The Hotel Gattopardo is a short walk from Lipari's pretty marina. The hotel consists of a series of typical Aeolian style whitewashed buildings surrounding an 19th century villa, with gardens dotted around the complex. Rooms here are traditional but comfortable and ensuite, with most rooms having an outdoor patio area. The hotel has a lovely swimming pool as well as a bar, reading room and restaurant.
The Hotel Borgo Eolie is on the edge of Lipari town and 150m from the beach. Gardens of vibrant flowers provide a pretty contrast to the hotel's whitewashed buildings; there's also a sparkling outdoor swimming pool to take advantage of. Rooms here are prettily furnished and come with terrace or balcony.
Just 350 yards from the famous Greek theatre, the charming, familly run Hotel Victoria boasts an excellent location in central Taormina, on the pedestrianised Corso Umberto - perfect for the town's shops, bars and restaurants. The bright and cosy bedrooms come with prettily painted wooden furniture and wrought iron bedsteads, whilst breakfast is taken in the Baroque style breakfast room.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. However, as this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
All continental breakfasts
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
GPS route directions and maps
Headwater navigation app
Luggage transfers between hotels
All walk transfers
Guided walk on Mount Etna
How to book:
|4th Jun 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|11th Jun 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|18th Jun 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|3rd Sep 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|10th Sep 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|17th Sep 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|24th Sep 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|1st Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|8th Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|15th Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Selected Saturdays from 4th Jun 2022 to 15th Oct 2022, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All continental breakfasts
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.