Family activity holiday to Sicily, Etna to Isola Bella

“An 8 day, family adventure holiday, travelling in a small group and based in one coastal hotel throughout. If cycling, snorkelling, Etna trekking and sea kayaking appeal, this will be one bella familia time. ”

Highlights

Cape Schisò | Cycling in rural Sicily | Mount Etna hike | Arathena Rocks | Giardini Naxos town | Alcantara River trekking | Alcantara Gorge body rafting | Snorkelling in Isola Bella Marine Park

Description of Family activity holiday to Sicily, Etna to Isola Bella

This family activity holiday in Sicily covers a wide gamut of adventures, your base being at a locally owned coastal hotel at Cape Schisò. This is a fully guided, small group holiday where you will be enjoying the sparkling waters of the Ionian Sea one day, snorkelling or sea kayaking, and exploring the likes of Alcantara River and Gorge the next, trekking or body rafting.

We have a choice of hotels for this trip, depending on group numbers and availability, but they are all family-friendly, traditional in style and in and around Naxos Bay, the nearest town being Giardini Naxos. You are never far from the sea on this holiday, however, and one of our most memorable days is taking a boat trip and snorkelling in the exquisite Isola Bella Marine Park. In contrast, we also take a day to trek up the slopes of Mount Etna, not all the way to the top but as far as Sartorius Mounts, which are craters that were formed by a lava flow of 1865.

The price of this holiday will depend on the number of activities selected. Included in the price are cycling, snorkelling, Etna trekking, Alcantara Valley visit, river trekking and sea kayaking. If your family would prefer to do fewer activities, the price can be adjusted accordingly. We also include seven breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners, as well as airport transfers.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Largest of the Mediterranean islands, Sicily exhibits a compelling range of natural environments. Touristic practices which allow clients to responsibly experience each are of the utmost importance, and are continually showcased on this trip.

The Adventure Park visited on Day 2 has been carefully designed with its forest location in mind. Holidaymakers receive full instructions and equipment, ensuring that they are well-equipped to enjoy themselves safely, avoiding damage to the surrounding trees.

When participating in the Isola Bella snorkelling trip, clients are taken around by local guides who are familiar with the waters in these parts. They are also taught how to snorkel sensibly – observing wild species without interfering with them. The case is similar when kayaking in the sea: families paddle in a set area near the hotel and are fully instructed on how to use the equipment provided.

The trekking activities on this holiday follow special routes which wind through the Etna and Taormina hill environments – in both cases, guides are on hand to lead families around and prevent trespassing of any kind.

Body-rafting takes place in the Alcantara Gorge, which is part of the Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park. Transporting clients to such locations instils them with a wider awareness of ecological issues through direct experience.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

More and more, tourism is being regarded as the ‘industry of the future’ for Sicily. The island stands as a unique alternative to destinations in mainland Italy, distinguishing itself with a multinational heritage that combines influences from Greek, Arab, and Italian culture.

We seek to promote and promulgate that heritage throughout this holiday. Even something as simple as the welcome and farewell dinners play a part in this process. The memory of taste is a powerful intercultural force that holidaymakers carry with them for the rest of their lives.

In terms of the activities, guides are locally sourced, ensuring that the Sicilian tourism industry experiences direct financial benefit. Furthermore, guides are able to share their passion for the world which they know, and to do so with locally-acquired expertise – whether trekking up Mount Etna, or taking clients around Isola Bella Marine Park. This results in a genuinely native experience for families.

Cultural Trekking is a notable for its benefit on Sicilian communities, as it takes groups of holidaymakers into the more rural areas of the country rather than popular tourist zones. Families are made aware of the island’s history and way of life from a completely new perspective. Not that everything is unfamiliar, of course. Places like Savoca, for example, which served as a filming location for The Godfather, allow clients to make connections with popular culture from back home. As a result, they build a more personalized appreciation of Sicilian culture.

On the subject of personalized experiences, we ensure that group sizes are small, allowing for closer interaction between family groups, local guides, and regional communities.

Climate

4 Reviews of Family activity holiday to Sicily, Etna to Isola Bella

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Aug 2019 by

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


Everything was great about the holiday. We were very well looked after by our amazing guides Ivano and Vera. Ivano is so knowledgeable on the geology and the flora and fauna of Sciliy and was attentive to all guests. He is pasionate about his country and his enthusasim and care made the holiday a real treat. Of the activities the body rafting got all us adults out of our comfort zone. The kids found it exhilarating and after the descent wanted to go up the gorge again. I personaly found I was trying things I thought I would never be able to do and Ivano and his team were amazing in enabling us to find our inner
strength and have a go. If you felt you couldn't do something, then it was absolutely fine and you could meet the group later. The cycling was amazing with fabulous views and sea kayaking was a great way to start the adventure holiday. We met wonderful people on the holiday and all the children from all the families got on and helped us to have some wonderful
memories.

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


Bring your own snorkelling equipment as the snorkelling by the hotel is excellent and you can get some practice in before the snorkelling trip. It may be worth doing a bit of swimming before you go to bbuild your confidence too.

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


Some things did as Ivano took us to some remote restaurants where all the produce was produced by the restauranteurs. Ivano
is a qualified guide for Mount Etna and could show the effects of climate change on Mount Etna. Local operators were used for
all the trips and Ivano and Vera are Scilian and from that area.

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


Excellent ! A holiday where we have wonderful memories and stories and made new friends.

Reviewed on 21 Aug 2019 by

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


Body rafting


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


Book it, you won't regret it!

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


Yes

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


Probably a 9/10!

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019 by

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


For the children - body rafting and walking on Etna. For the adults - visiting villages that we would never have found without the excellent leaders’ local knowledge.

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


The walk up Etna is not cold to the point that trousers and fleeces are needed.

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


Tap water in Sicily is not drinkable and so we got through a lot of plastic bottles during the week. The group was transported in three 4x4s, which didn’t feel very environmentally friendly either. However, as we visited several places during the week, our holiday definitely benefited local people.

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


We had a wonderful time - thank you!

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2019 by

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


The activities.....body water rafting.

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


Keep away from arathena Rocks and Taormina Park Hotels and don't book accommodation in Naxios, much better to stay in Taormina. Give the snorkeling activity a miss, the 2 people manning the boat could have been better.
I would highly recommend booking the Ivano and Vera.

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


No. The hotels did nothing to reduce environmental impact or support conservation. However, I guess our holiday did benefit the locals as all of the support staff on the ground, led by Ivano and Vera our local representatives used local staff and facilities for the sport activities and meals they arranged. The accommodation lack of environmental issues were out of Ivano's & Vera's control.

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


If one excludes the accommodation, 9/10, but taking accommodation into account 4/10. It is a minor point, but I would the lunch, when included in the holiday package to be better, rather than just fruit and sandwichs on 2 of the 3 occasions lunch was included. But, Ivano and Vera made the best of it.
I wouLd give Ivano & vera 5 stars for their help, support and all the arrangements, the activities. But with the accommodation included the overall holiday I would give 3 stars (not Ivano & vera fault).

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