Catania and Etna holiday, Sicily

“Trek around Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna, and explore the sights, flavours and aromas of the ancient port city of Catania, at its base.”


Catania | Acitrezza | Islands of the Cyclops | Rodolico’s boatyard | Berillo quarter | Mount Etna | Guided hiking and cultural excursions |

Description of Catania and Etna holiday, Sicily

Catania, the trendy port city formed around a UNESCO-protected historic centre, is your base for this cultural and active tour of Sicily's must-see destination: Mount Etna. One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Etna is surrounded by a stunning national park where you’ll trek through caves, craters and lava tubes, accompanied by a professional guide in a 4x4 all terrain vehicle.

Before the volcano however, you’ll have plenty of time to really get a feel for what makes Catania such a special place. Accompanied by a friendly local guide, you’ll see the city’s majestic piazzas; the Berillo quarter - once a red light district and now the cultural heart of Catania - and the bustling fish market where the stalls are seriously tempting - you have been warned.

You’ll make an excursion out to a picturesque old fishing village, learn the legends behind the Islands of the Cyclops, and also pay a visit to Rodolico’s boatyard, the workshop of a master craftsman, one of the few left that still makes every boat by hand. And of course, there will be no end of opportunities to sample the seafood for which this region is renowned.

Your accommodation on this tour will be four nights at a homely B&B in central Catania, followed by three nights at a gorgeous country house close to Mt. Etna, also on a B&B basis. The price includes all breakfasts, six lunches or dinners at a nearby restaurant, and one street food lunch. It also includes airport transfers, local guides throughout your stay, three excursions and travel insurance.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

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.

Our aim is to make our Travel Experiences sustainable for the long term: we know that tourism can have both an exceptionally positive and potentially negative impact on local communities. For this reason, we promote responsible travel that means: to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment.

We start from the beginning, helping our travellers to choose their customized daily experiences based on these sustainable categories:
- Green
- Hand-made
- Eat local
- Live local
- Sport
- Adrenaline

For this trip we minimised carbon emissions making the following considerations:

- LOCAL SERVICES - We choose local suppliers which had adopted sustainable practices. The historical shipyard of Acitrezza, for instance, beside trying to preserve old tradition, is aimed to save the marine ecosystem which surround the villages. In fact, due to the pollution and the overfishing of the past, the sea is poorer of marine species. For this reason, we chose only local suppliers which could offer eco-tours with traditional boats or electric ones

- WATER CONSERVATION -We support initiatives that encourage conservative use of water (like refilling water bottles or turning off water when brushing teeth). For this purpose, we kindly ask to our travellers to read the Responsible Travel Conduct what we will send before departing for Sicily, which is a region that has suffered in the past of drought

- LOCAL FOOD AND GOODS - We include and strongly inspire our travellers to eat locally produced food and goods (like organic food, natural local products which come straight from the garden to the kitchen)

- WATER BOTTLES - We encourage our travellers to refill a water bottle from water 'bubblers' where available to avoid unnecessary purchasing of bottled water and the subsequent waste disposal issues

- RECYCLING – Our Local guides also provide travellers with awareness on how they can reduce and recycle in Sicily

- PUBLIC AND ECOLOGICAL TRANSPORT – Since we have a high range of biking tours in our offered experiences, we strongly encourage our travellers to choose ecological transportation like bicycle during their free time

- NATURAL RESERVE – We include in our travel experience natural reserve as well, like Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe and UNESCO site. In two days we offer the possibility to explore it as much as possible, without rush

The Impacts of this Trip

This Travel Experience is planned to ensure that we support local communities by:

- SMALLER-SCALE LOCALLY-OWNED ACCOMMODATION – Choosing local B&B, like the one of this trip in Catania. Located in a sunlit and sumptuous palace of 1800 in the city center, in the neighbourhood of the famous fish market “La Pescheria” and next to the magnificent Castle Ursino, it offers rooms with vaulted ceilings (typical of the nineteenth century buildings), all bright and with large windows on flowered balconies. Thus, the B&B provides sustainable practices like recycling or changing towels on request

- LOCAL GUIDES - Hiring local guides for how they tell their territory. In this way we could learn about the culture and way of life directly from those who live it and put money into local hands and economies

- FARE WORKING CONDITIONS - Defining a tariff policy that calls for a clear decision-making freedom of the price by its suppliers, stakeholders, partners and local guides

- TAILOR MADE EXPERIENCES - Organizing tailor made experiences for the limit size of 8-10 people because we believe that larger group could not join the real experience and could otherwise impact on the local communities

- CROSS-CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING - Offering real life experiences which promote cross-cultural understanding like in the San Berillo "Borgo delle Belle" Quarter, one of the most fascinating and mysterious area of Catania. Famous to be formerly the redlight district of the city, forgotten and neglected, we want to promote it instead as a social project and the centre of art and new-born social creativity

- LOCAL SUPPLIERS - Recommending local eateries and stores to our travellers to engage locally-owned and operated services to support local people (like artisans, wine producers, organic farmers and so more). We chose them one by one, shaking their hands, learning their stories and feeling the passion they put in their own activities. During the wandering in Catania it could be possible, for example, to taste fried fish in the fish market directly from the fishermen: our local guide will advise travellers where buying from who has sustainable fishing practices.
Or encouraging our travellers to discover during their free time the paper-mache creations, artefact made by a group of young artisans that chose to not flee abroad but to rediscover this old Sicilian tradition

- RESIZING SEASONALITY – This Travel Experience emphasize the interesting aspects (events, traditions and natural views) of Sicily in low season as well. This region has a temperate climate all year long; for this reason we suggest our travellers to visit it when is less crowded (from November to February as well)

- ARTISAN AND IMMATERIAL HERITAGE – Helping to keep alive traditions and supporting ancient knowledge, like the historical shipyard of Acitrezza, where there is one of the last axe masters and craftsmen of Catania area. Thank to him and the other people who work inside the boatyard, the ancient art of crafting traditional Sicilian boats is not (yet) forgotten. In fact, we strongly believed that it is necessary to preserve Acitrezza from all the projects which want to transform this village in another touristic harbour

- SLOW TOURISM - Promoting slow tourism as an alternative to everything-at-once, which allow traveller the “luxury” of look, taste and feel its final destination

- UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL DAILY EXPERIENCES - Promoting less famous Sicilian destinations by proposing unique and original daily experiences, like in the Acitrezza Village (near Catania), an authentic fishing village, where is possible to visit an old shipyard, in which four generations have built wooden boats entirely by hand, and learn all the stories behind the fishermen

- RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL CODE OF CONDUCT – Each traveller will receive our Responsible Travel Code of Conduct before arriving in Sicily. In addition, our local guide will explain during each daily experience the right travel code and will answer to whichever question concerning it


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