Sicily walking holiday, Sicilian Volcanoes

“Our only Sicilian guided walking holiday where you stay overnight in the foothills of volcanoes, island hopping to take on five days of trekking lava fields, slopes and craters.”

Highlights

Mount Etna | Vulcano | Lipari | Stromboli | Night time hike

Description of Sicily walking holiday, Sicilian Volcanoes

This eight day Sicily walking holiday is not only an amazing way to see this volcanic island but also takes in three other islands in the Aeolian archipelago just north of Sicily, also volcanic and also boasting great natural beauty. Because although Mount Etna is the most famous, the volcanoes in Sicily spread far afield.

Starting in Catania on Sicily, we head straight away by ferry over to Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian islands and have time to settle in after the journey, staying in a locally owned 3 star hotel. Our treks begin properly on day two when we hop over to the island of Vulcano where we take a three hour guided trek to see the island’s steaming fumaroles, and also make the most of the volcanic thermal springs. The perfect remedy after a hot hike.

Because we go back to Lipari that night, this gives us a whole day of walking here the next day, with a morning hike up to the north coast to gain great views over the crater of Monte Pilatus which erupted in 729 AD. Then another trek to the south of the island in the afternoon gives views back over to Vulcano crater, and great perspective over the geological formations created during ancient times.

Lipari is followed by two days on the island of Stromboli, a perfectly formed volcanic beauty, still fully active and just 12km2 in size with a 900m summit which we will climb during our stay. Although the summit is closed in the event of volcanic activity, not surprisingly, but the last time that happened was 2007. There is also plenty of time to enjoy the island’s wonderful black beaches and, at dusk, hike to the west side of the island to witness the “Sciara del Fuoco”, a river of lava that washes straight out to sea. For many, this is one of the most memorable sights of the trip.

And finally, back to Sicily to spend two days not only climbing Mount Etna, where we spend one night in a mountain lodge, but also taking in some of the other cultural attractions. Such as the medieval hilltop town of Taormina, famous for its ancient Greek theatre which is still used for a prolific summer festival. But it is Etna that takes centre stage on this island, which we climb with expert guides to a point where we can see the four craters at the summit, as well as superb views across the contrasting cobalt blue sea.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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26 Mar 2017
£ 1199
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16 Apr 2017
£ 1149
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23 Apr 2017
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30 Apr 2017
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07 May 2017
£ 1229
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14 May 2017
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21 May 2017
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28 May 2017
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04 Jun 2017
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18 Jun 2017
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09 Jul 2017
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23 Jul 2017
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27 Aug 2017
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10 Sep 2017
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17 Sep 2017
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24 Sep 2017
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08 Oct 2017
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15 Oct 2017
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22 Oct 2017
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05 Nov 2017
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01 Apr 2018
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08 Apr 2018
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22 Apr 2018
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29 Apr 2018
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13 May 2018
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20 May 2018
£ 1269
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27 May 2018
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10 Jun 2018
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17 Jun 2018
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08 Jul 2018
£ 1429
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15 Jul 2018
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26 Aug 2018
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09 Sep 2018
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16 Sep 2018
£ 1269
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23 Sep 2018
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30 Sep 2018
£ 1239
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07 Oct 2018
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14 Oct 2018
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21 Oct 2018
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04 Nov 2018
£ 1229
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Our top tip:
Walking poles are essential on this on hilly lava, rocky ash and sandy terrain. As are gaiters, to stop ash getting in your boots.
Trip type:
Small group holiday. Max. 16 people. Min. age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate to challenging, 3-5 hr/day on hilly or steep terrain.
Accomm:
4 nights apartment, 1 night mountain lodge, 2 nights 2* hotel, all traditional Sicilian style.
Included:
Flights from London, accommodation, all breakfasts, 4 dinners, transport, tour leader.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sicily walking holiday, Sicilian Volcanoes

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, and use shops to purchase traditional gifts and crafts.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 4 nights in family run apartments in the small village of Canneto, 2 nights in hotels and 1 night in a comfortable mountain lodge. All of the accommodation we have selected is run by local people, which is good for the community. Tourism is particularly important for businesses on the very small islands and remote mountain ranges we visit. Where meals are provided, local and organic ingredients are used wherever possible. There will be a range of Mediterranean food on offer- pizza and pasta with rich tomato sauce, arancini, olives, fresh seafood, gelato and granita. Your local guide can suggest restaurants to suit your needs where meals are not supplied.

Local Craft and Culture:
A large amount of this tour is focused on nature and climbing volcanoes, however we encourage clients to engage with locals wherever possible. By using local services like hydrofoil transfers and authentic restaurants we encounter real people and can forge connections between clients and locals. One evening in Lipari we organise a wine tasting in a wine shop. Here we can try regional wine, cheeses and other bites in an authentic environment. There are other local crafts for sale throughout the tour and buying these generally has a positive effect on small businesses. However, we ask that clients do not buy obsidian stones as we don’t like to encourage damaging larger rocks.

Charity:
If clients are interested, we can organise a meeting with a local N.G.O. called G.A.P.A. which we have supported in the past. This group actively helps children in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Catania by organising summer camps, school support, sports activities and neighbourhood improvement meetings. They are self-funded and usually make money by hosting dinners, concerts, shows and exhibitions so by visiting something like this we can make a large contribution to this worthy cause.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Sicily walking holiday, Sicilian Volcanoes

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 20 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hikes to Vulcano, Stromboli and Etna

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Money to the local economy

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This holiday included four days on Lipari in a town called Canetto. Unfortunately, In April Canetto had not yet opened for the summer; my room was so cold I slept in my long underwear; and there is not much hiking on Lipari. The rest of the holiday was great

Reviewed on 28 May 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The optional trip on Etna was very interesting, even though we couldn't get to the top - trip notes need to be updated.
Stromboli would have been great if it hadn't been cloudy!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a lot of boat travel around the islands.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Local people benefitted - restaurants & tour companies.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Good!

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