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, Salina, 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 fiery lava explodes regularly from its active crater. 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 famous volcano, Mt Etna, where the 2002/03 eruption opened a line of gaping craters. From our hotel at the base of Mt Etna, the walks include an ascent to 2900m where it is possible to observe the craters and appreciate panoramic views all the way to the Ionian coast.
DAY 1 Arrive Catania DAY 2 Transfer to the island of Vulcano by road and hydrofoil, walk to crater summit and continue to Lipari Island (3hrs) DAY 3 Walk on the southern side of the island with afternoon free to explore the lively town (3hrs) DAY 4 Explore old centre of Lipari then transfer to Stromboli Island. Afternoon trek to the 'Sciara del Fuoco' with panoramic views to the craters (4hrs) DAY 5 Free time to relax or explore village of San Vincenzo, before afternoon climb of Stromboli with a certified volcano guide* (6hrs) DAY 6 Hydrofoil to mainland Sicily then transfer to Etna South, afternoon walk over 2002 lava flow (2hrs) DAY 7 Guided walk to discover the craters and viewpoints on Mt Etna (3350m) (6hrs), transfer to Catania DAY 8 Trip concludes
*The activity level of the volcano, the weather and your physical condition are considered before the climb can proceed. High season supplement applies for 29 Jun departure.
*7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners *7 nights in 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities *English speaking guide throughout *group volcano excursion at Stromboli *internal transfers by private vehicle and hydrofoil