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Hike Sicilian Volcanoes and discover Aeolian islands

Land of fire, wind and sea

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For adrenaline and pure nature lovers! This is a trip that mixes the thrill of hiking on 3 of the most active volcanoes of the world (Vulcano, Stromboli and Etna) and the relax to go swimming along some wonderful beaches. The Aeolian Islands are 7 fascinating sisters, rich of history and legends and listed UNESCO heritage since 2007. Every island is different and each one has his own peculiarity. You’ll be amazed by the strong power of these lands plenty of contrast and by their vivid colours: the black sand beaches and the all-white pumice quarries, the powerful volcanic eruptions with their lava flows, and the gentle rocking of the sea. Starting from the breath-taking beauty of Palermo, capital of Sicily, we will gloriously end our journey summiting Mt. Etna, listed in UNESCO world heritage too and highest active volcano of Europe.


Highlights:

- Hike all active volcanoes of Sicily: Stromboli, Vulcano and Mt Etna

- Cefalù and its iconic rock and Palermo, capital of Sicily

- Taormina, Greek and medieval gem on a rocky spur overlooking the Mediterranean sea

Day 1 : Meet in Palermo and savour a first taste of Southern Italian cuisine

Individual arrival in Palermo. Chaotic and full of history, Palermo invites travellers to discover its vast assortment of world-class museums, charming neighbourhoods and fabulous restaurants. Meeting with your guide and fellow travellers then orientation tour of the city. Overnight stay in Palermo. (Meals -/-/D)

 

Day 2 : Cefalù and Vulcano (2 hours hiking, +260 mt -260 mt, 4 km)

After breakfast transfer to the tiny medieval Sicilian hamlet of Cefalù. Located on a rocky headland and beneath a massive crag called La Rocca, Cefalù is a picturesque historic town. Easy and panoramic walk to the imposing rock overhanging the town, then visit of the two-tower Norman cathedral dating back to 1131 AD, then lunch.

In the afternoon transfer to the port of Milazzo and hydrofoil to Lipari, the biggest and our first island in the Aeolian archipelago. Delicious wine and local product tasting in a local winery, dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Lipari. (Meals B/L/D)

Day 3  :  Hike on the volcanic island of Vulcano; soak in thermal baths (3.30 hours hiking, +390 mt -390 mt, 8 km)

Today we take a boat to Vulcano island. We'll hike La Fossa, the island's volcanic center, for a close-up view of the steaming fumaroles  of Gran Cratere. La Fossa cone began to form about 11,000 years ago, and last erupted from 1888 to 1890. In the afternoon free time to enjoy the black beach of the island or enjoy its hot springs. In the late afternoon boat back to Lipari. (Meals B/L/D)

 

Day 4 : First taste of Stromboli (3.30 hours hiking, +350 mt -350 mt, 9 km)

In the morning hydrofoil to Stromboli island. The cone-shaped island of Stromboli is comprised of a single active volcano known for its constant mild eruptions and fiery night-time lava displays. We spend the first part of the day exploring the island's coastline and and free time to visit the delightful village of Stromboli. At sunset we make some easy walking on the western side of the island to discover the “Sciara del Fuoco” and to approach the famous Stromboli eruptions. Dinner during the excursion and overnight stay in Stromboli. Breakfast and dinner included. (Meals B/L/D)

Day 5: Stromboli for a summit sunset and watch for fiery lava displays! (5 hours hiking, +920 mt -920 mt, 11.5 km)

Free morning to visit the lovely village of San Vincenzo, organising a boat tour of the island or relax on one of the  Stromboli black beaches. In the afternoon hike with a certified volcano guide to the summit area of Stromboli Here we can witness the pyrotechnical activity of the volcano, with nightfall emphasising the dramatic lava fountains and red-hot spurts of molten rock. Packed dinner on top area and night at Stromboli In the late afternoon, we'll set out on a hiking excursion up the flanks of the volcano, accompanied by certified volcanologist guides who assist us in choosing our route and enlighten us on the forces that have shaped this unique island chain. With luck, we'll have an opportunity to see the famous lava displays at twilight. A packed dinner is eaten on the mountain before descending by headlamp and returning to our hotel around 11:00 p.m. Overnight on Stromboli. (Meals B/L/D)

Note: Individuals with asthma or cardiovascular conditions are not permitted to hike on Stromboli. Trip members not hiking on Stromboli have the option to get a night cruise to the shore of “Sciara de fuoco” to enjoy the volcanic explosions right from the seaside

 

Day 6 : Taormina and its wild neighbourhood (2.30 hours hiking, +300 mt -600 mt, 6 km)

In the morning we have some relax strolling around Stromboli. A ferry brings us back to Sicily. We will stop at the near the small village of Gallodoro, on Peloritani mountains, where we take a short but breath-taking path to the medieval town of Castelmola and then to  the renown Taormina, located along the shores of the Ionian Sea. There is 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. Dinner and overnight stay in Taormina. (Meals B/L/D)

 

Day 7 : Summit Europe's highest active volcano, Mt. Etna! (5 hours hiking, +920 mt -920 mt, 11.5 km)

Morning transfer to mt Etna. Along with our mountain guides, we'll spend an amazing day exploring the largest and highest active volcano in Europe (3300 mt!). !) is the most active volcano in Europe, constantly smoking and frequently erupting for thousands of years. A combination of cable car and 4 x 4 vehicles transport us to 9,100' where we'll begin our hike to Etna's four summit craters (access dependent on weather and other conditions). Walking among the giant lava dunes, we'll appreciate the fantastic views of the Ionian Coast stretching out below our feet before descending the mountain. We'll transfer back to Taormina. We enjoy a celebratory dinner tonight. (Meals B/L/D)

Note: Individuals with asthma or cardiovascular conditions are not permitted to hike on Mt. Etna, a lower alternative will be provided.

 

Day 8 : Departure

Our adventure concludes following breakfast. Transfer on your own to the Catania airport for onwards travels.

Grade: This trip is rated Moderate [3]. We hike  3.30–6 hours most days, on established dirt tracks and on tiny rocky paths. No technical difficulties, but a prior hiking experience is recommended. People with respiratory problems may have discomfort in sulphurous areas with fumes. Walking sticks advised. A prior hiking experience is recommended.

Accommodation:

1 nights in hotel *** in Palermo

2 nights in hotel**** in Lipari

2 night in hotel*** in Stromboli

2 night in hotel*** in Taormina

Equipment: hiking shoes, wind and water proof jacket, hat and gloves, flashlight with batteries, sun glasses and sun cream, walking poles, swimming suit


Included:             

- 7 nights in hotel with breakfast included

- All private transportation, boats and hydrofoils from day 2 to day 7 as detailed in the program

- All meals from dinner day 1 (exc dinner day 3 and lunch day 4)

- Wine tasting day 2

- Local English speaking leader throughout
- Certified Volcano Guide on Stromboli and on Mt Etna

Not included:

- Dinner day 3 and lunch day 4

- Optional entrance to Taormina Greek Theatre        

- Transfer by taxi airport/hotel on day 1 and day 8

- Any other services not mentioned in the itinerary

Trips Note


Destination: 
Sicily
Travel Style: 
Guided walking holiday
Interest:
photography, volcanoes
Duration:
8 days / 7 nights
Departures:
 Mar Apr May Jun Jul Sep Oct 
Group size:
from 4 to 15 people
Airport:
Catania
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