To the north of the island of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea is the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago, made up of 7 diverse islands including Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli, whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. Dramatic cliffs and winding coastline, black beaches and thermal hot springs, a deep blue sea and charming port towns are all characteristic of this enchanting group of islands. Four days have been set aside to explore these islands on foot including a guided ascent of Stromboli (subject to conditions), where a fiery lava trail streams down one side of its cone. The daily walks are interspersed with opportunities to relax on the beach, snorkel, explore the ports and villages or bathe in therapeutic hot mud. Back on the mainland of Sicily the focus shifts to the delightful seaside town of Taormina and the famous volcano, Mt Etna, where the 2002/03 eruption opened a line of gaping craters, before returning to Catania.
DAY 1 Arrive Catania, transfer to Milazzo DAY 2 Transfer to the island of Lipari, walk to San Calogero (4hrs) DAY 3 To Vulcano Island by hydrofoil, visit crater (3hrs) DAY 4 Explore Lipari then transfer to Stromboli Island, trek to the 'Sciara del Fuoco' (4hrs) DAY 5 Visit San Vincenzo, afternoon climb Stromboli with a certified volcano guide* (6hrs) DAY 6 Transfer to Taormina and continue to Mt Etna, afternoon walk to 'crateri Silvestri' (1.5hrs) DAY 7 Discover the craters and viewpoints on Mt Etna (6hrs), transfer to Taormina to visit the main sites before continuing to Catania DAY 8 Trip concludes
Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct (except Aug)
Hydrofoils, public bus to airport from Taormina and taxes to enter islands are extra - allow approx. EUR 85-95. High season is from 27 Jun to 27 Jul and a supplement applies. On day 7 it is possible to climb to the summit of Etna, with a guide. This is dependant on the weather conditions and volcano activity. Allow EUR85 for this optional activity.
*7 breakfasts, 1 dinner *7 nights in 2-3 star hotels and B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10-15) *group volcano excursion at Stromboli *transfers as per the itinerary *emergency hotline *information pack including route notes and maps per room booked