Start in Lipari, one of the biggest and most beautiful of the islands. Our comfortable family-run apartments are found nestled in the small village of Canneto close to what is known for being to be the nicest beach of the island. Here we enjoy the first of many delicious meals in Sicily.
Our morning begins with a hike to the north coast of the island. We climb up to Mt Pilatus, whose eruptions led to the creation of pumice deposits and obsidian flows. The effort is rewarded by wonderful views over the extensive pumice quarries. In the afternoon we visit the historical centre of Lipari and for dinner we taste some Sicilian wines and delicious local food specialities. 4 hours hiking, +300m -300m.
Today we catch the hydrofoil and sail across the sparkling waters to Vulcano, one of the seven Aeolian Islands, famous for its long stretches of black beaches and bubbling thermal springs. Excursion to Vulcano's crater to see the steaming 'Fumaroles' (vents of volcanic gas). In the afternoon free time for bathing in Vulcano's hot springs and mud baths. Hydrofoil back to Lipari. Dinner at pizzeria and overnight stay in Canneto. 4 hours hiking, +390m -390m
For those who would like to stretch their legs further, there are some breathtaking views to be enjoyed of the entire archipelago, while trekking along the western coast of the island. En route we pass the Roman bath of San Calogero. Alternatively, for those wishing to have a more relaxing day, options include a boat tour of the island itself, taking a hydrofoil to the twin-peaked island of Salina, touring the island on a scooter, or simply relaxing on the beach!
Our day begins with a one-and a half hour hydrofoil journey to the island of Stromboli. A unique island famed for being home to one of only three active volcanoes in Italy and a unique place to explore for geologists and tourists alike. Once there, we have free time to relax on the black sand beaches of the island. For those not wishing to take the optional trek to the summit, at sunset we will take an easy walk to an altitude of 400m to discover the spectacular 'Sciara del Fuoco', a fiery channel where the lava outflows plunge directly into the sea. We will also be able to view Stromboli's sporadic eruptions of molten rock above us. The sound and sight of the explosions are an amazing spectacle. Picnic dinner included during the excursion.
Alternatively, if the weather and conditions permit, those who wish can take an extra-guided excursion to the summit area of Stromboli at 942m. 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. A picnic dinner is included in the excursion price: EUR28 per person, payable locally in cash. 5 hours hiking, +924m -924m. Please note: the descent in particular is very dusty so it may not be suitable for asthma sufferers. You will need a torch (a head-torch is best) as you descend after nightfall. 5 hours hiking, +924m -924m
Leaving Stromboli we take a two-hour hydrofoil ride to Milazzo and we are transferred by a private minibus to the southern side of Etna. We spend the night in a mountain hut at 1900m above sea level, from where we can enjoy great views over the sea and the east coast of Sicily. The hotel is located very closed to the most recent lava flow.
Today starting from our hotel, we enjoy a spectacular walk on the southern area of the Mount Etna volcano. We will hike up past several old 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. 5 hours hiking, +500m -400m
Alternatively, according to the weather and volcanic conditions there is a chance to climb by cable car and 4x4 jeeps up until 2900m and then further on foot to 3350m. You will be escorted by a volcano or alpine guide (6 hours hiking, +450m -1550m). Price: EUR75 per person, payable locally in cash (price subject to change). You are strongly advised to take a waterproof/windproof jacket, a warm top and to wear long trousers and gaiters. Should summit craters be inaccessible due to persistent volcanic activity, there is usually the chance to climb by cable car and 4x4 jeeps up until 2900m and then further on foot to approx. 3000m, accompanied by a volcanologist. We then walk along the rim of the Bove valley, an extensive depression that opened up on the eastern side of the mountain thousands of years ago as a result of a massive landslide, before making our way down to 1900m.
End in Catania.