Striking active volcanoes, black beaches, thermal springs and a stunning cobalt sea make the Aeolians Islands a unique must-see destination. Exploring the varied landscape by boat and on foot is without doubt the best way to take in the natural beauty and contrasts of this part of Sicily. During the week we trek on the archipelago’s best islands: Lipari, with its archaeological ruins and lively harbour, Vulcano, with its craters and famous fumaroles and fiery Stromboli, which will hopefully greet us with spectacular shows of its explosive activity. On the mainland, we explore Taormina and trek on the famous Mount Etna (3350m), the highest and most active volcano in Europe.
Overall Activity Level: 3 (Moderate). Most walks are classified as Level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) or 3 (Moderate). Stromboli and Etna summit walks are level 4 (Moderate/Challenging).
Although during the week the walking is fairly easy and there is plenty of free time to relax, we do recommend that you have some previous hiking experience. Daywalks will take between 3 to 5 hours on hilly-to-steep terrain of dried lava, rocky ash and sand. The excursion offered on Stromboli and the optional summit trek on Etna are more demanding and you will need to be confident of your fitness if you decide to join these.
Please note that the summit treks to Stromboli and Etna are weather and volcanic activity dependent. The local authorities may decide (without previous notice) to close the summits and suspend all excursions. In the unfortunate event this occurs on your departure, the leader will suggest some alternative optional activities. These walks are led by local volcanologist guides who will assess clients suitabilty to participate locally. Please note that people with pre-exhisting medical conditions such as heart conditions, serious asthma and severe vertigo may not be able to participate.
All timings of activities might be subject to change as they are dependent on ferry schedules.
We start in the harbour town of Milazzo, the gateway to the Aeolian Islands located in the northern tip of Sicily's mainland. We strongly recommend joining the group transfer at Catania airport and travelling to the start point with the group, as public transport connections from Catania to Milazzo are limited.
Today we travel by boat across the cobalt waters to Vulcano (1hr), one of the seven Aeolian Islands, famous for its long stretches of black beaches and bubbling thermal springs. Our first walk takes us to Vulcano's crater rim to see the steaming 'Fumaroles' (vents of volcanic gas). In the afternoon there will be some free time for bathing in Vulcano's hot springs and mud baths. Hydrofoil back to Lipari and overnight in Lipari.
This morning we will walk along the rugged southern coast of Lipari. Our 4-hours hike take us down to the southernmost point of the island, where we can enjoy a wonderful view of the crater of Vulcano. In the afternoon there is some free time to discover the historic part of the town, including the castle and the archaeological museum. We conclude the day with a well deserved Sicilian wine and produce tasting.
Our day begins with a two hour boat journey to Stromboli, a unique island famed for being home to one of only four active volcanoes in Italy and an interesting place to explore for geologists and tourists alike. Once there, we have free time to relax on the island's black sandy beaches. For sunset, we walk to the western side of Stromboli to reach the spectacular 'Sciara del Fuoco', a fiery channel where the lava outflows can sometimes plunge directly into the sea (4 hours walking, ascent 400m descent 400m, 9km).
The morning is free to take a wander through Stromboli town, relax on one of the island's beaches (seasonal) or enjoy a boat trip around the island. In the afternoon we take a guided excursion to the summit area of Stromboli at 942m accompanied by a certified volcano guide. Although Mother Nature doesn't work with an exact schedule, here we can usually witness the pyrotechnical activity of the volcano with nightfall emphasising the dramatic red-hot spurts of molten rock. Please note: the excursion is weather and volcanic conditions dependent; the descent is very dusty so it may not be suitable for asthma sufferers. You will need a head-torch as you descend after nightfall (5 hours walking, ascent 924m descent 924m, 12km).
Leaving Stromboli we take a boat ride to Milazzo (approx 3hrs journey) and transfer to the elegant town of Taormina by private minibus (approx. 1hr). There may free time to visit the town's Greek Theatre – originally built during the 3rd century BC and still used for performances during Taormina's annual summer arts festival – or take advantage of the town's great shopping opportunities and perhaps sample some refreshing mulberry gelato. Time permitting, it may be possible to take an optional short walk which starts from the pretty mediaeval town of Castelmola (45 minutes walking, descent 320m, 3 km). We usually spend the night in a mountain lodge at 1900m above sea level, from where we can enjoy great views over the sea and the east coast of Sicily. The lodge is located very close to the most recent lava flow. When the lodge is not available (see accommodation section for more info) we will spend the night at hotel Le Pendici *** in Nicolosi town.
Today, you can decide between two walks: a hike in the southern area of the Mount Etna volcano (scheduled in the programme and accompanied by your tour leader) or an optional summit trek accompanied by a volcanologist to the top craters of Mt Etna (payable locally and volcanic conditions dependent). If you choose the first walk you will hike up past several lava flows to be rewarded with a dramatic panoramic view of the four craters that make up the top of this famous volcano, plus extensive views of the entire coast of Sicily (4 hours walking, ascent 400m descent 400m, 9km). Alternatively, if you opt for the summit trek, you will start with a ride by cable car and sometimes 4x4 jeeps up until 2900m and then further on foot to 3350m to walk along the rim of the Bove valley, an extensive depression that opened up thousands of years ago as a result of a massive landslide (6 hours walking, + 450 – 450 mt, 9km; depending on recent volcanic activity, the length, duration and altitude of this walk might vary). In the afternoon we will be transferred to Catania by a private minibus; overnight in Catania.
The trip ends in the morning of day 8 in Catania.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
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. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
Excellent guide and great sites, especially Stromboli. Watching volcanic activity after dark along with a fabulous sunset.
Will be an unforgettable trip for me..watching. the live volcanoes was out of this world...while I knew it was a volcanoes trip rightly or wrongly I didn't expect that we'd see live volcanoes (thought it would be a big bonus if we did)..and of course the Gods had it all planned for us as Etna erupted too while we were there!.
A wonderful journey through north east Sicily and four Aeolian islands, mired only by some poor weather conditions at key stages of the trip. Our group of 15 got on well throughout and were unfazed by the challenges set by the weather.
A great trip with some interesting hikes and lots of volcano information topped by the fantastic hike to Stromboli summit. After the quite tough trek we were rewarded with an amazing display from the old crater looking down onto the current active craters. Unfortunately we could not go to the summit of Etna due to bad weather and the lower level trek seemed a disappointment after Stromboli. Quite a lot of time to rest and sample local life between walks. Hotels were good apart from Catania which was poor and would have been better to be based in Lipari town as nothing was open on a Monday night in May in Cantena.
Unreal trip. First ever trekking holiday I have been on and it was perfect. Literally can’t say a bad word about this trip. From the amazing scenery, challenging walks, watching active volcanos do its thing to the culture and history of Sicily itself, couldn’t have asked for a better trip. The group were inspirational, Benoit our guide, knowledgeable and passionate about showing us all the highlights possible and making sure we were having a great time. Perfect intro into trekking and hiking.
Great trip, good variety while sticking to the Volcano theme, great food. As a new walker I had some concerns about the walking but the pace was well measured and the support and preparation guide excellent.
Greatly structured trip, with a lot of varied trips and sights. Genny, our guide, was amazing - superb customer service!
Excellent brake saw lots great experiance
If you are not already in awe of the power of nature this trip will remind you who is in charge. Getting close to these amazing natural features, feeling the heat and smelling the sulphur is an experience well worth the effort.
Beautiful with stunning scenery, history and geology - and that was just the group!.
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.
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This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:
All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Transfers for group flights
Stromboli summit trek led by volcanologist
How to book:
|20th Oct||US$1799||Check availability|
|5th Apr||US$1849||Check availability|
|12th Apr||US$1849||Check availability|
|19th Apr||US$1849||Check availability|
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This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights in hotels, apartments and guesthouses, all rooms en suite
8 days land only / flight inclusive
5 days guided walking; moderate/challenging treks on Etna and Stromboli
Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Maximum altitude 3350m (on optional Etna summit trek), average 800m
Travel by minibus, local buses, public and private boats/hydrofoils
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Sicilian Volcanoes. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.