Volcanoes of Sicily: Exploring Mt Etna and the Aeolian Islands - 9-Day Itinerary

Dominated by volcanic peaks, some of them still active, Sicily and the Aeolian islands offer dramatic, rumbling cones, stunning coasts, and fertile interiors. Explore the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago, made up of 7 diverse islands including Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli, whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. The literal highlight of this trip is the climb to the top of Mt Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, with its combination of nature and the uncontrollable essence of fire. During your trip you will enjoy panoramic walks, wonderful beaches and excellent Sicilian food and wine.
Map of Volcanos of Italy - 9 day itinerary
Map of Volcanos of Sicily - 9 day itinerary

Highlights

  • Climbt to the top of Mt Etna: Europe’s highest active volcano
  • Experience the breathtaking coastal scenery of the Aeolian Islands and the continuous activity of Stromboli
  • Enjoy delicious culinary specialties of the region

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Catania 

Arrival in Catania. Catania has many baroque churches and interesting buildings situated in the very heart of the city centre. Meeting with your guide for a short briefing about your week before enjoying the city nightlife with a choice of pubs, restaurants, pizzerias and “trattoria” to choose from for dinner. Overnight stay in Catania.

Day 2: Vulcano (3 hours hiking, +390 – 390 mt.)

Volcanic activity on the island of Vulcano
Volcanic activity on the island of Vulcano
After breakfast, transfer to Milazzo harbour and hydrofoil to Vulcano (1hr). Vulcano is famous for its black beaches and Thermal Springs. Enjoy your first hike up to the to the crater enjoying an incredible view of the island chain beginning with Lipari. Boat to to the island of Lipari for overnight.

Day 3: Lipari  (3 hours hiking, +250 - 250 m)

View from Lipari towards Vulcano
View from Lipari towards Vulcano
In the morning we make a easy walking to the southern side of the island. Afternoon free for visiting the centre of Lipari and its interesting Archaeological Museum. If you want to have a lovely swim , choose from the plenty beaches around the island! Overnight stay in Lipari. 

Day 4: Salina Island

A day to explorer the greener of the Aeolian island. With an hydrofoil we will reach Salina and We will visit a capers production located in the stunning promontory of Pollara. We will proceed and stop in a famous local winery well known for the “ Malvasia” wine.  The owner will show the cellars and vineyards and the tour will finish with a delicious wine tasting and light lunch. Back to Lipari and overnight stay.

Day 5: Stromboli   (4 hours hiking, +400 - 400 mt.)

The port of Stromboli
The port of Stromboli
After breakfast, hydrofoil to Stromboli. 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” where you first experience the incredible activity of Stromboli and take in the wonderful panoramic view of the craters and the immense path created by rock fall. Overnight stay in hotel with dinner at a local pizzeria.  

Day 6: Stromboli

The erupting Stromboli volcano
The erupting Stromboli volcano
A free day to explore and enjoy this amazing and energetic island! Visit lovely village of “San Vincenzo” and also the interesting volcanological centre of the island. Take a private boat for a tour around the island and visit the enchanting small village of “Ginostra. For who want, there is the great chance to climb the volcano with certified volcano guides. You arrive after sunset to see the full impact of the short eruptions that occur regularly. This is an unforgettable experience. Return to the hotel afterwards for overnight accommodation. 
 
The volcano is 924 mt high and group sizes for the climb are a maximum of 20 people, escorted by a certified volcanic guide, in accordance with Italian law. You will walk with a group of 20 (max) and the guides speak English together with German, French and Italian. The volcano guides reserve the right to not climb the volcano according to safety measures that are constantly being monitored, the weather and also the physical condition of the walkers. If you are considered not fit enough to ascend you will be asked to descend. (6 hours hiking, + 924 – 924 mt.)

Day 7: Etna South (2 hours hiking, + 150 mt – 150 mt)

Mt Etna
Mt Etna
In late morning we take a hydrofoil from Stromboli to Milazzo (2h), then a private transfer from Milazzo harbour to the southern side of Mt Etna (2h). On Etna, before dinner we make a short walk over the edge of the “Sivestri Craters”. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel on Etna south at 1900 mt of altitude.

Day 8: Etna – Catania (4 hours hiking, + 200 – 200 mt.)

Excursion till 2000 meters on the southern side of Etna. We’ll discover the edge of the “Bove Valley” en huge “caldera” formed from a collapse of an old volcano. Amazing view on the Ionian coast of Sicily.  Return back to our hotel. Private transfer from Mt. Etna to the hotel in Catania. Overnight stay with breakfast included. 
 
*Option: according to the weather condition and volcano activity it’s possible to climb till the summit at the central craters (3350 mt.), guided by a mountain escort with cable way and 4WD vehicle till 2900 mt. then trek to the top. From there we walk back on foot or by cableway to our hotel 

Day 9: Catania 

After breakfast end of our services. You can easily reach the airport by bus or taxi. 
 

Recent Trip Reviews

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Volcanoes of sicily - exploring mt etna and the aeolian islands - 9 day itinerary, Italy - Jun 5 - Jun 18, 2017

Traveler: Lisa F. - Local specialist: Antonella Ravidà

Could have had better maps for the trail in Lipari and more options with boats from Lipari to other islands.

Antonella was above the call of duty. Answering so many questions, putting up with my friends (who then later didn't join the trip!), making changes at the last minute for me. She really knows her stuff.

Sicily - culture, walking, active, local food, Italy - Apr 10 - Apr 24, 2017

Traveler: maggie c. - Local specialist: Giorgia Carraffa

Great experience with the website and working with Georgia. She was great. The package of materials was excellent. I loved all the maps and they saved us a few times - I couldn't have gotten the Sicily road map on my own but not all the local maps she sent us. Also loved the driving directions and suggestions with details for optional tours. She worked with us to create our itinerary and her knowledge was so good. We never would have done what we do without her help. I loved all her... read more

Great experience with the website and working with Georgia. She was great. The package of materials was excellent. I loved all the maps and they saved us a few times - I couldn't have gotten the Sicily road map on my own but not all the local maps she sent us. Also loved the driving directions and suggestions with details for optional tours. She worked with us to create our itinerary and her knowledge was so good. We never would have done what we do without her help. I loved all her suggestions for options on our transition days. Lodging was great as well. I really liked having the resources of her office - she sent us stuff that was important during the trip as well - for example, revised driving directions to a hotel because of road construction. The team she works with backed her up and someone always answered the phone and responded to our messages. Joost was great to work with as well.