Walk on some of the world’s most famous active volcanoes
Island-hopping among the beautiful Aeolian islands
Witness the volcanic firework display as the Stromboli crater erupts at dusk
Wonderful beaches, panoramic vistas and traditional picturesque Mediterranean fishing villages
Chic Taormina and its world-famous classical Greek Theatre
On this self-guided trip, you will walk along gorgeous and dramatic trails among some of the most dramatic coastal landscapes on earth. You will be island-hopping between the stunning Aeolian islands of Lipari, Stromboli, Vulcano and Salina, climbing smouldering volcanoes and enjoying the local cuisine of fresh seafood and delicious pastas, washed down with sweet Malvasia wine.
The Aeolians are arguably the most pristine archipelago in the entire Mediterranean, and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have the opportunity to witness the spectacular fiery eruptions of Mount Stromboli at dusk, as well as enjoying panoramic vistas from the slopes of the awesome Mount Etna.
Of course, no trip to Sicily would be complete without exploring Taormina, the “Pearl of the Mediterranean”, with its world-famous ancient Greek Theatre.
|8 DAY TOUR||From €635 per person sharing*
*A high season supplement will apply during the busy summer season.
|ACCOMMODATION||In very comfortable hotels on a bed & breakfast basis. All hotels are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October|
This trip is graded easy to moderate overall. Generally, the walking distances are short, although there are some significant elevation gains and losses, so you will need to have a good level of fitness. The guided group walk on Stromboli is the most demanding (+900m). It must also be noted that people with respiratory problems may experience discomfort in sulphurous areas, as it is unavoidable that you may breathe in some fumes.
The walking routes on the Aeolian Islands are often not very well signposted, but we will send you detailed route notes and maps, as well as GPS tracks, so you will have all the information you need to find your way.
Day 1: Arrive in Lipari
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian islands and is reached by hydrophoil from Milazzo, connected to the Catania airport through train or bus. The ancient fortified walls of Lipari Town rise majestically among the green hills, high above the crystal blue Mediterranean waters. Within the town walls you will find the San Bartolomeo Cathedral and a world class archaeological museum, whose rooms contain a vast array of artefacts documenting the island’s long, dramatic and varied history. By night you can enjoy the lively nightlife of the island with a walk to Marina Corta, and taste some great fish accompanied by the tasty local capers.
Day 2-4: A choice of walks on the Aeolian Islands
You will stay in Lipari for four days: you can freely choose among the itineraries listed below. You can easily travel between the islands by hydrofoil.
The island of Lipari – the southern tip and Monte Guardia
Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 350 m | Descent: 350 m | Time: 4½ hrs approx.
This itinerary leads to the southern tip of Lipari: you will climb the Monte Guardia to enjoy a beautiful view of Vulcano – the tiny island that gave us the word ‘volcano’. It was given its name by the Ancient Greeks, who used to believe that the Island housed the God Vulcano’s forges.
The Island of Lipari – from Acquacalda to Canneto
Distance: 5.5 km | Ascent: 350 m | Descent: 350 m | Time: 2 hrs approx.
Begin with a short bus ride to Acquacalda beach, on the northern shore of the island. You will walk from one beach to another, through the evergreen vegetation of the Mediterranean scrub. The path winds along the side of a large cave before reaching a panoramic point at 346 m. Take in the wonderful views of the archipelago before descending to Canneto, where you can take a refreshing dip before catching the local bus back to Lipari.
The Island of Lipari – from Quattropani along the west coast
Distance: 13.5 km | Ascent: 330 m | Descent: 700 m | Time: 4½ hrs approx.
From Lipari you can reach Quattropani with a short bus ride: after a visit to the church, which offers one of the best views on the island, you will start a varied walk along the west coast through quiet old villages and among steaming volcanic fumaroles, with beautiful views of the nearby islands of Salina and Filicudi. The walk ends at Terme di San Calogero, one of the oldest springs in the entire Mediterranean region.
Walk on Vulcano Island
Distance: 6 km | Ascent: 290 m | Descent: 290 m | Time: 2½ hrs approx.
A walk on the tiny island of Vulcano, where you will be able to walk to the “Great Crater”, through an almost lunar landscape. Notice the yellowish colour, caused by the sulfurous smoke emitting from the crater, and enjoy a wonderful 360-degree view of the whole archipelago. After the walk, spoil yourself with a sulphurous thermal mud bath!
Walk on Salina Island, 7,6 km
Distance: 8 km | Ascent: 383 m | Descent: 617 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
The greenest and perhaps the prettiest of the Aeolian islands, with a magical and timeless atmosphere. In this trip you will visit the charming village of Pollara, famous as the village where the film “Il Postino” was shot. The island is dotted with vineyards producing Malvasia, a sweet, fragrant white wine.
You can enjoy a short but challenging walk from the “semaforo” in the village of Porto Rinella, rewarding yourself with amazing panoramic views of the off-shore islands of Filicudi and Alicudi.
Day 5: Mount Stromboli summit walk
Option A: Stromboli to summit guided group tour
Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 900 m | Descent: 900 m | Time: 6 hrs approx.
Option B: Stromboli to Sciara del fuoco walk
Distance: 8 km | Ascent: 325 m | Descent: 325 m | Time: 2½ hrs approx.
Today you transfer to the tiny volcanic island of Stromboli. Upon arrival at the port, your luggage will be taken to the hotel while you stroll the narrow, whitewashed streets of Stromboli town.
The ancient Romans called Sromboli the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean” because every night lava erupts from the picture-perfect volcano cone and streams down into the sea. On today’s walk you will have the opportunity to witness this truly mesmerising sight.
If you wish to get a close-up view of the eruptions, you have the option to join a group excursion, where a volcanologist guide will escort you to the top of the mountain, 900 meters above sea level. The tour begins around 3 hours before sunset and return journey is done in darkness, to maximise the effect of the fiery displays and glowing incandescent stones. This challenging six-hour walk is limited to 80 people at a time and can be cancelled or limited at short notice due to volcanic activity and/or weather. Please note also that trekking shoes and flashlights are mandatory for this guided trip.
An alternative to the guided tour is a circular walk to 272m above sea level, from where you will have a view of the lava flow, called the “Sciara di Fuoco”. This option is open to everyone and is almost always accessible.
Day 6: Taormina
Today you will reach Milazzo by hydrofoil, from Stromboli. From there, you will take a train or bus to Taormina, a chic and spectacularly located town that you will be able to enjoy for the whole day.
A day spent in Taormina is a delight, with the undoubted highlight being the outstanding remains of its classical Greek Theatre, which is truly an archaeological wonder. The delightful gardens of the Villa Comunale are also well worth a visit. Even strolling through the narrow streets of the centre will reveal many surprises, many of which will delight your palate: the local cuisine is a perfect mix of Arab, French and Spanish culinary traditions.
Day 7: Guided Mount Etna walk
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 450 m | Descent: 450 m | Time: 4½ – 5 hrs approx.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Piano Provenzano. Your walk from there is a mildly challenging itinerary that will take you to the gigantic, majestic Mount Etna. Your route, along the volcanic slopes, will at first take you through lush vegetation, then through ancient and new lava flows, before encountering a lava flow cave which is carved into the mountain. Included in today’s trip is lunch in a local winery serving locally sourced produce.
In the afternoon, you will visit the unique Alcantara Gorge, with its bizarre rock formations that are created when the hot lava meets the ice-cold waters of the stream that flows within the gorge. You will get back to Taormina around half past six in the afternoon, in time to enjoy your last evening in town.
Day 8: Arrivederci Taormina!
The trip ends after breakfast unless you have booked other services. A taxi will take you to Giarre train station where you can take the train to Catania or bus to Catania airport for your flight home.
Getting to Lipari
Departure from Taormina
|/||You can take a train from Taormina to Catania station and then take the AMT Alibus to the airport (runs every 20 minutes, from 5:00 to 24:00).|