Sicilian Volcanoes Family Holiday
Discover Mt Etna and the beautiful volcanic landscape of Sicily
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Lying off the coast of North-east Sicily, the volcanic Aeolian Islands are fringed with black sand beaches and dotted by picturesque fishing villages. We start the trip by walking to the crater rim in Vulcano, taking a dip in the thermal springs and kayaking around the island’s black beaches. Next, we head towards fiery Stromboli to observe unique volcanic explosions which will provide an unforgettable highlight of the trip. Returning to mainland Sicily, we explore the most recent lava flows and extinct craters on the very active Mt Etna. With fun-packed educational activities, and some free time to enjoy the beach, this holiday won’t fail to entertain and interest kids and adults alike.
* All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
* All accommodation (inquire for child rates)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Hike on three active volcanoes
- Kayak and swim in the cobalt Tyrrhenian Sea
- Learn about the Aeolian Islands’ geology
- Enjoy boat trips and time at the beach
- 7 nights comfortable 3-star hotels, all rooms en suite
- 6 days, kayaking, boat trips, trekking and sightseeing
- Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 8 yrs.
- Travel by private minibus, boat and on foot
Start in Catania, a UNESCO-listed historic city located at the foot of Mt Etna. After a short briefing with the tour leader, and depending on the arrival time of the group, we will have an orientation walk in the historic centre and admire the Baroque architecture and piazzas.**
Wander around Catania's famous food market before transferring to Vulcano; afternoon walk to the crater rim.
This morning we visit the renowned Catania food market, where we shop around for the best local produce for lunch, which will include fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes. We then take a private transfer to Milazzo (2 hours), the closest port to reach the Aeolian Islands. From here, we catch the hydrofoil boat and sail across to Vulcano (1 hour), famous for its black sand beaches and bubbling thermal springs. We settle in at our hotel, located on one of the many black sand beaches. In the afternoon, we ascend 400m to the crater rim in Vulcano, to see the steaming ’Fumaroles’ (vents of volcanic gas). Approx. walking time 3 hours. This evening kids will take part in a fun and entertaining pizza making demonstration!**
Discover hidden caves and secret beaches while kayaking around Vulcano's coastline; afternoon visit to thermal springs and wine tasting for adults.
Today we discover the hidden caves and quiet black beaches of Vulcano, whilst kayaking on the island’s coastline. After lunch, there is time to go to the famous black beach and take a dip in the bubbling thermal springs. In the evening adults can enjoy a wine tasting session.**
Free day. Relax in one of the island's black beaches or take a day trip to the picturesque island of Lipari.
Today is a free day, with the opportunity to either relax on the island’s black sand beaches or visit a sulphur mud bath. You can also take a day trip to the picturesque island of Lipari, the biggest of the Aeolian islands. A gelato tasting session can be arranged, or you could perhaps visit the archaeological museum or take a stroll on the south side of Lipari for stunning views of Vulcano’s main crater.**
Boat trip to Stromboli; easy walk to “Sciara del Fuoco” viewpoint to observe the incandescent volcanic explosions; return to Vulcano.
We take a private boat to the island of Stromboli, one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean with black sand beaches and contrasting white houses. The island is famed for being home to one of only four active volcanoes in Italy and an interesting place to explore for geologists and tourists alike. Although Mother Nature doesn’t work with an exact schedule, today we should have the opportunity to witness the fiery nature of the volcano of Stromboli, which has been erupting for at least 2000 years at intervals of approximately 15 minutes. On our way to Stromboli, we have time to stop off at hidden beaches for a refreshing dip in the sea. Upon arrival, we have an easy walk to ”Sciara del Fuoco” (”Stream of Fire”); a fiery channel where the lava outflows can sometimes plunge directly into the sea. Returning from the walk, we take the boat back to Vulcano. Approx. walking time 3 hours.**
Hydrofoil to Milazzo and transfer to Mt Etna. Stop en route in a typical Sicilian bakery to try delicious local sweets.
Leaving Vulcano behind, we take a boat ride to Milazzo and then a private transfer to Mt Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. En route we will stop at a typical Sicilian bakery (”pasticceria”) to sample some delicious local sweets. We drive to our hotel located at the foothills of Mt Etna , in the village of Nicolosi, where we have some free time for relaxation. Time permitting, we also recommend a visit to the interesting Etna Museum, one of the most visited scientific and educational centres in Sicily. The museum offers a modern and interactive explanation of volcanology and it is equipped with screening rooms, a new 3D cinema and a playroom.**
Walk on the slopes of Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano.
After a short transfer (30mins) we reach Rifugio Sapienza (1900m), the start point of our walk on the slopes of Europe highest active volcano. Cinder cones and extinct craters are a feature of the desolate landscape of this upper part of Etna. From high on the mountain, there is a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily. Depending on the weather and volcanic conditions, there is an optional climb where we can take 4×4 jeeps to 2900m and then further on foot to 3350m, escorted by a volcano or alpine guide. Price: €80 per person, payable locally in cash (price subject to change). In the afternoon we transfer back to out hotel in Nicolosi, where where we stay for our last night.**
Transfer to Catania and end in Catania.
The trip comes to an end after breakfast and a single group transfer to Catania.
We spend the first night in a 3-star central hotel in Catania, 4 nights in a beach hotel in Vulcano and 2 nights in a family-friendly hotel in the village of Nicolosi, on the foothills of Mt. Etna. The hotels have been chosen for their warm hospitality and their typically Sicilian character. On the October departure we won’t be staying in Vulcano but in Lipari, the biggest of the Aeolian islands which offers more facilities and services during the autumn season.
List of hotels normally used:
Gattpardo House or Hotel Valentino in Catania
Hotel Conti in Vulcano or Hotel Rocce Azzurre in Lipari (October 2018 departure only)
Hotel alle Pendici in Nicolosi
All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners are included.
Please note that the diet in this part of Sicily is heavily dependent on fish and meat. However, vegetarian options are widely available. Breakfast is usually a continental style buffet, whilst lunch is normally a picnic or taken in local cafes. For the evening meal, you can expect it to be dominated by Mediterranean flavours like pasta with rich tomato sauces, olive oil, cheese, salami and pizza. They combine an excellent variety of seafood and meat for the perfect taste of Southern Italy.
The Activity Level for this trip is 3 (moderate). During the week’s holiday we will make day excursions from our base In Vulcano. There are 3 days of walks which will be around 3 – 4 hours. All the walks are at a moderate grade and conducted at a leisurely pace suitable for children. We’ll also take a kayaking trip around Vulcano. No previous experience is necessary but participants must be able to swim. During the week we will travel by hydrofoil and boat to Stromboli and Lipari. There is plenty of time during the holiday to enjoy the beach, the sea and also a free day for families to make their own explorations or excursions. Please be aware that Sicily can be very warm, possibly reaching 30-35 degrees in the summer. Please note that the optional summit trek to Etna and the witnessing of the eruptions on Stromboli are weather and volcanic activity dependent. The local authorities may decide (without previous notice) to close the summits and suspend all excursions. In the unfortunate event this occurs, the leader will suggest some alternative optional activities.