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The Aeolian Islands & Sicily volcano trek

€665 per person

Italy is a land rich in diversity of landscapes, cozy narrow streets, big open squares, tasty dishes, exquisite wines and charming seaside villages. Definitely the pearl of Italy is the island of Sicily – a vivid colorful land full of contrasts! Take a self-guided tour to one of the most idiosyncratic places in Italy. Sicily and the nearby archipelago of Aeolian Islands are surrounded by the cobalt-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and will amaze you with their unique outlook. Numerous active volcanoes have covered the land with their black lava. Among them, proudly erected is the solid figure of Mount Etna (3323m) and it gives the sense that a great adventure is awaiting you. Various views with different memorable parts will leave you speechless throughout this independent hiking trip – the white color of the houses in the fishing villages, the sparkling waters of the sea, the ancient remains of the Greco-Roman civilization and for the food-lovers – delicious local meals even for the delicate taste buds. With this self-guided walking tour in just a week, you will discover more than you have ever dreamt about!

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 2/3 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 Nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismo with en-suite facilities incl. breakfast; Detailed roadbook and map in English; People & luggage transfer Stromboli harbor - Hotel (Day 5) and Hotel - Stromboli harbour (Day 6); Full day guided tour Etna, Wine & Alcantara (pick up and drop off in Taormina on Day 7); Emergency hotline
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals; Use of public transportation; Possible CITY TAX to be paid in cash on the spot (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category); Guided tour f Stromboli; Travel insurance;
  • Best period
    April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1. Arrivаl at Lipari Island
Arrival at Catania Airport. Take a bus or train to Milazzo or Messina from there and board the boat to Lipari where your first four overnights will be. You can also book a private transfer from Catania to Milazzo/Messina in advance if this is the more convenient option for you (check details with us). Lipari is also known as the “queen of the white bays” because of the unique white sand on its six bays and it is the main isle of the Aeolian archipelago. Lipari is also very rich in historical remains as being ruled by many Mediterranean powers such as The Greeks, the Romans, The Arabs, The Carthagens and many others who left traces of their remarkable presence in the modern outlook of the island. For sure it is a great base to stay and explore little by little this magnificent heritage embraced from wonderful nature. From the arrival at the port of Lipari, your attention will be caught by the perched on the cliffs old fortress that once upon a time was used to protect these lands. The town is a great place to just wander around and to stop by the buzzing cafes and restaurants.
2
Days 2-4. Selection of walks of Lipari, Vulcano and Salina islands (5-11km, 2-4,30hrs, +330m to +380m/ -300m to -700m)
For the next 3 days, you will be given several options for a variety of hikes to choose from in terms of different lengths, difficulty grades, and locations.
OPTION A (11km, 4,30hrs, +350m/-350m): This option will take you to the southern part of the island and Mt. Guardia. The hiking trek is circular and starts and ends from the Port. It will take you to the Lipari observatory from where a stunning view to the Island of Vulcano will show up. Prepare your camera to capture the typical rocks for Italy seaside called ‘faraglioni’. These are sea stacks formed by wave erosion. The trails descend back in the old town of Lipari.
OPTION B (5km, 2hrs, +350m/-350m): A leisure trek from Acqualcalda to Canneto. After a short walking, accompanied by amazing views, you will be awarded the wondrous opportunity to swim in the green shining waters of the Mediterranean sea. So do not forget to bring your swimsuits! To reach the starting point - the village of Acqualcalda, you must take the public bus. From there you follow a nice path that passes through interesting pumice caves. This short hike ends at Canneto - the most famous beach of Lipari Island. Spend the day laying on the beach, kissed by the sun and touched by the warm salty waters of the sea. One has to reward himself with a little “me time” so here you have the chance to literally dive into the serenity!
OPTION C (14km, 4,30hrs, +330m/-700m): The starting point of today's walk is from Quattropani. After breakfast, take the public bus to this marvelous village and get ready for the wildest adventure that the island could offer. You will see the barely untouched western part of the island! From the Old Church of Quattropani, you will have a fantastic panorama over the islands of the archipelago (except Vulcano Island which lies at the opposite side of Lipari). After some time spent in the wilderness, you will reach the oldest SPA center in Italy - the Thermal baths of San Calogero. It is dated back to Mycenaean times. The healing source draws its waters from the shallow areas of rainwater and geothermal and volcanic vapors and this mixture boils at a temperature of about 50 °C. Continue your walk back to Lipari, passing by many fumaroles along your way.
OPTION D (8km, 3hrs, +390m/-620m): A great chance to visit one of the other islands of the archipelago - Vulcano. Take a boat to the island and let the fun start! Today's walk will take you to the extraordinary moon-like terrain of Gran Cratere. It was the most recently active center here with nine major eruptions in the past 6000 years. From the top of the hike, you would enjoy another great panoramic view of the volcanic islands. Through the whole walking, there would be an impressive contrast between the black rocky terrain and the green slopes in the distance! In the afternoon, get back to Lipari with a boat.
OPTION E (8km, 3hrs, +390m/-620m): The struggle to choose from the variety of hiking options will be hard, so to make it harder, we will add more curiosity - this option will be a self-guided walking trek in another of the islands - Salina. It is the second largest of the group of islands and it's a green welcoming place for visitors! Take the hydrofoil boat from Lipari, then the bus to Semaforo of Pollara to reach the starting point for this hike. This trek is particularly dynamic and the terrain changes every now and then with steep ups and downs. The challenge is worth taking as the trail has stunning views of the Filicudi and Alicudi islands. The hiking trail ends in Rinella from where you can take a bus to the part and get back to Lipari.
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Day 5. Stromboli Island and its active volcano (8 or 14km, 2,30hrs or 6 hrs, +325m/-325m or +1000m/-1000m)
It’s time to say goodbye to Lipari as your independent walking trek moves to another Island - Stromboli. After you arrive at the port, a representative will be waiting for you to transfer your luggage to the hotel. You can stroll around the cozy town center. Walking is the only way of moving on the island due to the lack of streets (so no taxis or buses around). You can choose today from two options to explore the volcanic island - short and easy and a challenging one. No matter which one you choose, this will be an impressive hike as the volcano is still active and has been erupting almost constantly for 2000 years now!
OPTION A: A circular trek that ascends to 272 m above sea level. From the top, you will have another wonderful panorama across the calm sea and the nearby lands. Also, you can observe the lava flow field called the “Sciara di Fuoco”. The option is suitable for everyone and usually is always accessible.
OPTION B: For the adventure seekers - this is definitely your must-do hike! It is mandatory to join a guided group tour on spot to reach the top of the volcano. It is led by a volcanologist/mountain guide. The walk starts in the late afternoon and finishes in the dark, so you must have a flashlight with you! You will climb the top of the volcano by sunset and observe the continuous eruptions up close. An experience once in a life-time that leaves you speechless, standing so close to the power of nature! Prepare yourself with comfortable walking shoes as the terrain is covered with volcanic ash.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can only climb to the top of the volcano only if accompanied by a volcanologist/mountain guide. The groups are limited to 80 people. The tour can be restricted or canceled at short notice due to volcanic activity or bad weather conditions. The guided tour to the top of Mt. Stromboli is booked in advance (via Magma Trek) but paid on spot (it is not included in the tour price). The tour usually starts around 3-3,30hrs before sunset (that is around 17:30-18:00 in summer, and around 15:30 in October). Trekking shoes and flashlights are mandatory! Mind that due to the explosion of Stromboli Volcano in 2019 the guided tour in Stromboli (that has to be paid on the spot anyway) may not be available (in this case we will provide a walking option that clients can do by themselves).
4
Day 6. Taormina
One day dedicated mostly to the historical and cultural heritage of the region rather than hiking in nature! You leave Stromboli via hydrofoil boat to Milazzo (Sicily) and then continue towards Taormina by bus or train. Taormina is really born to be a tourist resort and there are many reasons why! Wonderful landmarks remind of the Golden times of this patch of Paradise - the splendid Greek Theatre, the Roman “Naumachiae”, the 13th-century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of Saint Stefano, the public gardens and many others. This place was often visited by famous persons such as Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, who knows, maybe this city has inspired them to create masterpieces. And last but not least - try some of the local tasty dishes and refreshing beverages.
5
Day 7. Guided hiking group tour on Mount Etna (10km, 4,30-5hrs, +450m/-450m)
The last day of the program will be again a guided tour to the famous Mt. Etna. A morning transfer will take you to Piano Provenzano where is the starting point of the hike. The trail passes old and new lava flows, active fumaroles and lunar landscapes which reveals the diversity of this rare natural oasis. It also includes a stop for lunch in a local winery and an afternoon visit to Alcantara Gorge with its extraordinary rock formations caused by the interaction with the hot lava and the cold water in the river. You will be back at Taormina around 6:30 PM so you can enjoy your last evening in this charming town with the company of fragrant wine!
6
Day 8. Departure day
Your tour ends after breakfast.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
665 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (01/4-28/5 and 01/10-31/10)
695 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (29/5-27/6 and 16/9-30/9)
775 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (28/6-27/7 and 25/8-15/9) 765 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (July, September till 15/9)
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 260 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: 495 Euro (incl. sgl room supplement)
Tips
Daily departures between April and the end of October (except most of August and the very end of July, when it is too hot). The walks are along well trodden, uneven trails, footpaths, mule tracks and some asphalt roads. Private transfers (optional): Catania airport-Milazzo harbour (140 Euros per car with up to 3 pax); Milazzo harbour-Taormina (125 Euros per car with up to 3 pax). The best airport to flight into is Catania Airport “Fontanarossa”. Your flight must reach Catania by 4.15pm. From here you can take a bus to go directly to Milazzo or take a local bus to reach the railway station to go to Milazzo or Messina. Then you take the hydrofoil/boat from Milazzo or Messina to Lipari.
Luggage transfer is only provided on Stromboli Island between the port and the hotel. On arrival and departure, when you travel with public transport, you always take your luggage with you.
Accommodation
In Lipari and Stromboli you stay in a cozy centrally located and family run 3* hotel. In Taormina you stay in a modern centrally located 3* hotel. All rooms have private en-suite bathroom and a buffet breakfast will be served every day. Possible CITY TAX to be paid in cash on the spot (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category).

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