Sicilian Volcanoes

8 days
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4.5 / 5 from 27 reviews >
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Guided Group
Walking & Trekking Holidays
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Walk on Mt Etna, see the continuous volcanic activity on Stromboli and discover villages on the Aeolian Islands

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. This trip to Sicily offers a great mix of interesting walks, town visits and excellent local cuisine.


  • Walk on Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano
  • See the continuous volcanic activity of Stromboli
  • Discover the picturesque villages of the Aeolian Islands
  • Walk around Vulcano's spectacular crater rim

Key information

  • 6 nights 3-star hotels/apartments and 1 night comfortable mountain lodge
  • 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
  • Altitude maximum 3350m (on optional Etna summit trek), average 800m
  • Travel by minibus, local buses, public and private boats/hydrofoils
  • Not suitable for severe asthma sufferers
  • Trip can be combined with ADZ: Treasures of Sicily

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners 
  • All accommodation
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Transfers for group flights
  • Stromboli summit trek led by volcanologist

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes
  • Optional Etna summit trek (volcanic conditions dependent)



Moderate: 5-6km/3-4miles an hour


Low altitude on most of the walks; good paths with some steep ascents. Optional climb on Etna: maximum altitude 3350m.

Day by day breakdown
Day 28.0km/4.0miles
Day 312.0km/7.0miles
Day 49.0km/5.0miles
Day 512.0km/7.0miles
Day 79.0km/5.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Fly to Catania and transfer to Milazzo.

    Fly to Catania and transfer to Milazzo (1.5 hrs), the gateway to the Aeolian Islands located in the northern tip of Sicily's mainland. We strogly recommend to join the group transfer at Catania airport and travel to the start point with the group, as public transport connections from Catania to Milazzo are limited.

  • Day 2

    Boat to Vulcano and trek to the crater to see the famous fumaroles; free afternoon for bathing in Vulcano's hot springs and mud baths.

    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 (3 hours walking, ascent 390m descent 390m, 8km).

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Walk along Lipari's unspoilt western coast; free time to explore Lipari historic town and the archaeological museum; wine and produce tasting.

    This morning we travel by public bus to the village of Quattropani, the start point of today's walk which follows a panoramic trail along Lipari's western and wildest coast. We continue to Lipari town past pretty villages and steaming volcanic fumaroles. In the afternoon there is some free time to discover the historic part of Lipari town, including the castle and the archaeological museum. We conclude the day with a well deserved Sicilian wine and produce tasting (4,5 hours walking, ascent 360m descent 500m, 12 km).

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Boat to Stomboli; free time to explore the island before a sunset hike to the 'Sciara del Fuoco' (Stream of fire), to witness the volcanic activity.

    Our day begins with a two hours' 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).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Free half day in Stromboli to visit the town or relax on the island's black beaches; sunset trek to the summit of Stromboli.

    The morning is free to take a walk in 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).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Travel to the town of Taormina for a short optional walk and sightseeing; continue to the comfortable mountain lodge on Etna’s southern slope.

    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 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk the southern area of the Mount Etna or take an optional trek to the summit crater (3350m); transfer and overnight in Catania.

    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 lenght, duration and altitude of this walk might vary). In the afternoon we will be transferred to Catania by a private minibus; overnight in Catania.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Fly to London.

    The trip ends in the morning of day 8 in Catania.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Combine this trip with

Treasures of Sicily

Discover Baroque towns, ancient Greek ruins and enjoy stunning scenery in Sicily

Guided Group

Discovery & Wildlife
9 days inc. flights
From £1,279
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate
4.4 / 5
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Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.



There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners are included.

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day. Please note that the diet in this part of Sicily is heavily dependent on fish and meat. However, vegetarian options are widely available. Breakfast: usually a continental style buffet. Lunch: normally a picnic or taken in local cafes. Evening meal: dominated by Mediterranean flavours like pasta with rich tomato sauces, olive oil, cheese, salami and pizza. They combine an excellent variety of seafood and meat for the perfect taste of Southern Italy.


Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach the low to mid 30ºC. The earlier and later departures are likely to be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived. If you are taking the optional treks to the summits of Etna and Stromboli, please note that temperatures at the top can be somewhat lower than they are at sea level. It is not uncommon for there to be a strong wind blowing at the summit of Etna. With wind chill, it can feel chilly or even cold at the top.

Is this trip for you?

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.All timings of activities might be subject to change as they are dependent on ferry schedules. 


You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:


3 and 4-star hotels

We spend one night in 4-star hotel in Milazzo, two nights in 3 or 4-star hotel or apartments in Lipari, two nights in a basic guesthouse in Stromboli, one night in a comfortable mountain lodge on Etna and one night in a 3-star hotel in central Catania. All rooms at the hotels are en suite, and most of them have free Wi-Fi. The hotels have been chosen for their warm hospitality and their typical Sicilian character.

List of hotels normally used:

Hotel Milazzo in Milazzo

Hotel Rocce Azzurre, Hotel Residence Oltremare or Hotel Zagara in Lipari

Villa Petrusa or Hotel Ossidiana in Stromboli

Rifugio la Sapenza on Mount Etna or Hotel Pendici in Nicolosi

Hotel Gresi, Gattopardo or Valentino in Catania

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed August 2017
    Moira Kent

    Sicilian volcanoes

    An enjoyable way to see Sicily. The walks on Stromboli and to the top of Etna were the highlights. Other walks were quite easy. A fair amount of free time which could be difficult to fill in small villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Mount Etna. The views were spectacular. Being on an active volcano is something that I have always wanted to experience and it was thoroughly worth all of the volcanic ash!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genny was organised and efficient. She tried hard to speak to all of us and to cater for our different needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Despite the weather conditions, do take a fleece or a wind-proof jacket on the Stromboli walk: it gets cold at the top. Walking boots and poles are essential for the Mount Etna climb. Food is quite expensive and you have to buy bottled water on the islands. It was quite an expensive holiday. The Mount Etna trip was 90 euros.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation varied from a suite on the island of Lipari to very small rooms on Stromboli and in Catania. I had a later flight so had seven hours to spend in Catania. There really is very little to do once the historical things have been done (half a day at the most).
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Tim Douglas

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    A great week touring and trekking the main volcanoes on Vulcano,Stromboli and Etna.The week was really well organised from start to finish and all our family including our daughters of 18 and 21 enjoyed it tremendously. Our group of fellow travellers were diverse and great fun and this made the trip even better. We packed so much in to the week we did not have time to worry about tired legs. Exodus have put together a great trip here.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Stromboli volcano erupt and glow against the beautiful evening sky then trek back to a restaurant and carry on watching it was amazing. Also seeing the crater of Vulcano and to the top of Etna was brilliant too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader and guide Nicoletta made sure our week was perfect.She attended to all the groups needs and there was nothing that was too much for her.She organised us so well and made all our travelling,transfers straight forward.She was clearly very knowledgable about the volcanoes and area and communicated this effectively to us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip.I would really encourage anyone thinking of doing it to do it and get it booked.You will not regret it.The temperatures were high when we went in mid July but that is to be expected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A real thanks to our group of travellers (non of whom knew each other before hand) as we have made some great friends on it.Also thanks to Nicolleta our great guide.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Evans

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    The tour guide Nicoletta was superb. Worked hard to ensure the rooms were allocated at the end of each day. Well organised meals out and extra excursions available for those who wanted to do something else. The tickets were organised for the bus and hydrofoil so transport was seamless. The only hitch was with the occasional member of the group not being available for boarding when required. Hotel rooms were great along with the breakfast. The only breakfast that was limited was the hotel on Stromboli. Rooms should have had air conditioning as I found it very hot and hard to sleep after coming from the cooler English temperatures. There was a prominence of preserved meat and bread where I was looking forward to fish and vegetables which I was surprised to find were hard to acquire in the islands. The food was over all very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip up Stromboli was the most inspiring part of the trip and worth the effort.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour guide Nicoletta was superb. 10 out of 10. She got on with all the group accommodating dietary and health requirements for one person. Worked hard to ensure the rooms were allocated at the end of each day. Well organised meals out, packed lunches, snacks and extra excursions available for those who wanted to do something else. All flowed smoothly indicating the considerable effort made on the trip. The tickets were well organised for the bus and hydrofoil so transport was seamless. Well done Nicoletta.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The variety of walks and location was very good as well as being able to see more than one island and many local towns. Walking each day was great and the weather brilliant but after working hard just before the trip I would have liked one rest day.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Sarra Adams

    Sicilian Volcanos

    Great trips, nice pace, well organised and the volcanos were amazing!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Stromboli and sitting and watching it erupt

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good, very organised and set a good pace in the walking

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No the trip notes are pretty accurate - definitely take the head torch and gaiters!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Martin Weatherhead

    Scicilian Volcanoes

    Most memorable but strenuous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many memorable moments but finally reaching the summit of Stromboli as the sun was setting and we were stood on a high rim looking down on fiery eruptions from four craters was the most rewarding experience. The descent in total darkness meant we all had to wear head torches and the long lines of lights snaking down the volcano is another moment fixed in the memory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alessio was helpful and cheery and we learnt much about Sicilian ways. By the end we were all joining in with "amuninni" - lets go! In his own time he took us on a personal guided tour of his home town Catania and also escorted us to the airport. We would also like to give special mention to Alberto our specialist mountain guide for the Stromboli ascent. He took exceptional care of ALL members of the group making sure that EVERYONE reached the summit and descended safely!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is rated a "moderate 3". We found the climbs strenuous/challenging and would suggest a level 4 rating. Head torches rather than hand held torches are essential for Stromboli, also walking poles are highly recommended on all the walks/climbs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food provided and the accommodation varied considerably. The first hotel and breakfast in Milazzo was outstanding, Lipari was lovely, Stromboli was fine but the food provided in Catania was disappointing.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Courtney Roper

    Amazing experience

    A well-organised and fun tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the eruptions from the top of Stromboli and running down Mount Etna through the knee-deep ash.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frederica was well-organised, flexible, fun, patient and caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please consider your fitness level before undertaking. You don't need to be super fit, but everyone will enjoy it more if you're able to walk up hills at a reasonable pace.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Sian Flynn

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    Really enjoyed this holiday. Very varied, with excellent walking experiences, combined with plenty of downtime, and the chance to sample the local cuisine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting up Stromboli, watching fireworks from the volcano on two successive days, one up close and personal and then yomping down 500m in the dark. Spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be dusty!
  • Reviewed May 2017

    A Sicilian eruption.

    A trip worth considering because of the landscape and the food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our tour leader- Genny- made sure everyone in the group gelled as a unit. She had a genial, happy, enthusiastic nature which rubbed off/transmitted to everyone else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. Very considerate, caring and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always make sure you mingle with everyone else.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I took 500 pictures, great scenery.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Rebecca Ferguson

    Fabulous opportunity to visit a string of volcanoes

    This trip takes you island hopping to experience the best of the volcanic activity in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. There are opportunities to walk round craters, bathe in warm mud, dig your hands through warm sand and, most spectacularly, to watch the firework display that Stromboli puts on after sunset every evening. The hotels are comfortable and welcoming, and the sea view from our bedroom balcony in Lipari was fabulous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Together with other groups we formed a line across the top of Stromboli as the sun set. In the daylight, the volcano had made us aware it was active - growling and rumbling and spitting stones now and again. Once we had watched the sun go down, we could see that those showers of stones were red hot, and we viewed a series of spectacular fountains of fire from our vantage point.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In April, the temperature in Sicily is variable and not always as hot as you would expect. We walked through snow on Etna, and the wind on the top of Stromboli cuts like a knife. We had several beautiful warm sunny days, but don't forget to pack for the cold as well if you are on a trip early in the year.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    David Mitchell

    Mixed quality but excellent service

    We had an excellent guide in Antonino who took us on some excellent routes and had extensive knowledge of the area, fauna and history of the volcanoes and the evolution of the landscape The hotels and included meals were disappointing and should have been of a higher quality

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Up Mount Etna seeing the lave flow

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good as detailed above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Personal choice on hotels for us too basic

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel experience would stop me going again, Exodus we're paying eneough for a higher grade accommodation

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank David for his review, although we are very sorry that he was disappointed with the quality of the hotels and some of the included meals. Hotel choices in Sicily are limited as there is a lack of well located, good mid-range properties and high quality accommodation costs a premium. Whilst the hotels used by our groups have been specifically selected for their good standard of accommodation and service, we would like to apologise that his experience was not so positive. The feedback we receive from clients who have visited these properties during high season have indicated that, in general, they are good. We will continue to closely monitor the feedback we receive about the quality of the properties and restaurants in the low season and if they are found to not be reaching the standard we expect, we will consider reducing the overall cost of the trip or removing our low season departure dates. We realise this cannot alter David’s experience, but I hope it shows we have taken his feedback seriously. Marta Marinelli - Product Manager

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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