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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 2 - 3 star hotels or B&Bs
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1460USD

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Overview

Trip Code: VOS

Trip highlights


  • Experience the breathtaking coastal scenery of the Aeolian Islands and the continuous activity of Stromboli
  • Visit Mt Etna – Europe’s highest volcano
  • Discover history, culture, volcanoes and the Italian dolce vita – all in one week
  • Enjoy delicious culinary specialties of the region
  • Afternoon visit to beautiful seaside Taormina

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 fiery lava eruptions occur a few times each hour, one of the sensational natural sights to see in Europe. 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.

Trip Grading

introductory

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival in Catania you will be transferred by private vehicle to Milazzo harbour, a drive of around 2 hours along the north eastern coastline of Sicily. The Milazzo harbour area is alive with small restaurants, hotels and views of the Aeolian Sea. Stroll along the waterfront to see interesting historic sites or relax in a café. Overnight stay at hotel in Milazzo.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast you walk a short distance to the harbour and purchase your ticket for the hydrofoil to Lipari (1hr). Check-in at the charming hotel near the small harbour of “Marina Corta”. In the late morning you commence the active component of the trip by hiking to the southernmost tip of the island to Punta Caprazza, with wonderful views over the island of Vulcano. Overnight stay at hotel in Lipari. Elevation +-200m/650ft,

Meals:  B

In the morning, take the hydrofoil to Vulcano (10min), one of the seven Aeolian Islands, famous for its black beaches and thermal springs. The hike to the crater takes around 1.5 hours from the port and on the crater's rim you will witness the fumaroles (sulphur fume vents) and enjoy an incredible view of the island chain beginning with Lipari. After descending there is time for a mud bath at the thermal springs and a dip in the sea before returning to Lipari for overnight. Ascent +390m/1280ft, descent -390m/1280ft

Meals:  B

In the morning there is free time to discover the old city centre of Lipari. The Archaeological Museum is well worth visiting. Transfer by hydrofoil from Lipari to Stromboli (1hr). Check in at the hotel and relax on one of Stromboli’s unique black beaches. In the late afternoon there is a great walk to the “Sciara del Fuoco” (around 400m) where you first experience the incredible activity of Stromboli, usually occurring every 15 minutes, and take in the wonderful panoramic view of the craters and the immense path created by rock fall. Overnight stay at hotel in Stromboli. Ascent +400m/1312ft, descent -400m/1312ft

Meals:  B

In the morning there is free time to visit the lovely village of San Vincenzo and also the interesting volcanological centre of the island. You may also like to take a boat tour of the island to visit the enchanting small village of Ginostra, which is on the opposite side of the island and can only be reached by boat. In the afternoon, join a boat trip at sunset to see the full impact of the short eruptions that regularly occur. Afterwards, return to the hotel in Stromboli for overnight accommodation. Note: since 2019, it has not been permitted to ascend the volcano. If this changes, you can instead choose to ascend the volcano. This is a steep 900m ascent, with the descent after dark. The rewards are plenty but you must be physically very fit to participate.

Meals:  B

In the late morning you will take another hydrofoil from Stromboli to Milazzo (2hrs). On arrival at the mainland, there will be a private transfer from Milazzo harbour to Taormina for a short city visit, and then another private transfer will bring you to Mt Etna. After settling into your hotel, take a walk to the Silvestri Craters, with good views of the surrounding landscapes. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Etna. Ascent +100m/328ft, descent -100m/328ft

Meals:  B,D

It is possible to ascend Mt Etna to 2900m without a guide. A series of trails takes you high on the mountain with superb distant views to the coast and water together with the past craters dotting the valley. In particular you can see the line of big craters that opened during the 2002/03 eruption. Return to your hotel along the edge of the “Bove Valley” a huge “caldera” formed from a collapse of an old volcano. Ascent from the hotel +1000m/3280ft, descent -1000m/3280ft *Option: dependent on weather conditions and volcano activity, it is possible to climb to the summit at the central craters (3350m) guided by a mountain escort, with a combination of cable car and 4WD vehicle up to 2900m then trek to the top. From there you walk back to your hotel (price EUR85 per person, subject to change). Ascent total +1450m/4757ft, descent -1450m/4757ft In the late afternoon there will be a private transfer from Mt Etna to the hotel in Catania. Catania has many baroque churches and interesting buildings situated in the very heart of the city centre. There is also a huge variety of pubs, restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias to choose from for dinner and nightlife and we also make suggestions in our information pack. Overnight stay at hotel in Catania.

Meals:  B

After breakfast the trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation in family run 2-3 star hotels and B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes may apply - payable locally)
  • Sunset boat trip Stromboli
  • Mobile App with GPX tracks for navigating
  • Information pack including maps and road book - one per room booked
  • Transfers from Catania to Milazzo hotel, Milazzo harbour to Taormina and on to Mt Etna, and Mt Etna to hotel in Catania
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Catania
  • All meals except breakfast and 1 dinner
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees for sites
  • Hydrofoils and taxes to enter islands - allow €80 in low season and €90 in high season (Jun-Sep)
  • Option for Mt Etna summit craters - €85 per person (subject to change)
  • Transfer on day 8 from Catania hotel to airport - allow €4 with bus and €25 with taxi
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel taxes - allow €10
  • Luggage transfers (you take your luggage with you when transferring between the islands)

Grading

introductory  

INTRODUCTORY – GRADE 1 The walking is graded moderate with 3 to 4 hours* walking each day over hilly to steep terrain. Suitable for active children from 5 years. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure. *If you choose to ascend to the summit of Etna, this involves a more challenging hike of around 6 hours and at altitude and would change the grading to moderate (3). If the guided climb on Stromboli is resumed and this is offered instead of the boat trip at sunset, the grading also changes to moderate (3) as it involves a steep and sustained 900m ascent followed by a descent after dark. Since 2019, the climb has not been permitted.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 20 Oct (except Aug)

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
Hydrofoils and taxes to enter islands are extra - allow approx. EUR90
DN2
High season is from 25 Jun to 31 Jul - supplement applies. Departures in August available on request only - supplement applies.
DN3
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.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1460USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Triple room discount ppUSD$-74
  • Single SupplementUSD$230
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$780
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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