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3
moderate
Activities
  • 9 day guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotels, 1 night ferry
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days£2380GBP

Overview

Trip Code: VOG

Trip highlights


  • Experience breathtaking coastal scenery and the stunning volcanic mountains of the Aeolian Islands
  • Visit Mt Etna – Europe’s highest volcano, Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii
  • Discover history, culture, volcanoes and the Italian dolce vita
  • Enjoy delicious culinary specialties of the region
  • Experience Capri and the home of Pizza, Naples

Discover the best of Southern Italy: from Naples to Sicily. Enjoy Italy's rich history as well as the four volcanoes in the Mediterranean: Vesuvius, Stromboli, Vulcano and Mt Etna, among the most studied volcanoes in the world. From the enchanting city of Naples, discover the island of Capri, the ruins of Pompeii and the majestic Mount Vesuvius before heading to the Aeolian islands. Located to the north of the island of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea is the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago, made up of 7 diverse islands including Lipari, Salina, Vulcano and Stromboli, whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. Dramatic cliffs and winding coastline, black beaches and thermal hot springs, a deep blue sea and charming port towns are all characteristic of this enchanting group of islands. Four days have been set aside to explore these islands on foot including a guided walk to see the active crater of Stromboli subject to conditions, where fiery lava explodes regularly. The daily walks are interspersed with opportunities to relax on the beach, snorkel, explore the ports and villages or bathe in therapeutic hot mud. Back on the mainland of Sicily the focus shifts to the famous volcano, Mt Etna, where the 2002/03 eruption opened a line of gaping craters. The ascent to the summit of Etna allows us to observe the craters and appreciate panoramic views all the way to the Ionian coast.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Naples

Finishing Point:

Catania


Naples can be reached via rail connections from Rome or by air. Vibrant, chaotic, classically Italian, historic Naples invites travellers to discover its vast assortment of world-class museums, atmospheric neighbourhoods and fabulous restaurants. Depending on your arrival time, you can opt to begin your exploration of this fascinating city independently or relax before our initial group rendezvous this evening. An orientation meeting at 4:00 p.m. will be followed by guided visit of Napoli Sotterranea (Underground Naples).

Meals:  D

A hydrofoil across the Gulf of Naples transports us to the rugged Isle of Capri where we begin our first day's hike. From Capri Town's central piazza, we'll walk past colorful villas with flower-filled gardens to the Grotta di Matromania, a series of hidden caves tucked into the island's limestone crags and the site of ancient pagan worship ceremonies. Continuing along the path, we'll step onto the Terrazza di Tragara, a spectacular stretch of trail offering picture-postcard views of Capri's iconic Faraglioni sea stacks and the summit of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. Returning to town, we'll have free time to stroll through the narrow alleyways or swim in the Mediterranean. We return to Naples. Free time for dinner and overnight stay in Naples. Terrain: Paved and dirt paths, some stairs; +-300m/1,000ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast, we have a private transfer to Mt Vesuvio, the first of three volcanoes along our route and the destination of this morning's hike. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and currently sits dormant allowing for closer exploration. We'll hike to the volcano's summit, the Bay of Naples serving as our backdrop, while our guide shares their knowledge of the mountain's geological and natural history. After the hike, short transfer to a winery located nearby for a wine and local produce tasting. We will end our day, with a visit of one of the world's premier archaeological sites: the ruins of Pompeii. The catastrophic eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius in the 1st century AD buried Pompeii in 60 feet of volcanic ash and hid its existence from the rest of the world for 1,700 years. Rediscovered in the mid-18th century, ongoing excavations have uncovered a city frozen in time, filled with well-preserved buildings, frescoes and thousands of personal artifacts. Return to Naples for dinner and overnight ferry to the Aeolian Islands in a double cabin with private facilities. Terrain: Dirt pathways, Ascent +350m/1155ft, descent -350m/1155ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Arrival in Sicily in the early morning. Breakfast then a private transfer brings us to the tiny Sicilian town of Cefalù. Located on a rocky headland and beneath a massive crag called the Rocca, Cefalù is a picturesque historic town. Sites we may see include an imposing two-tower Norman cathedral that dates to 1131 AD, the medieval ruins of the Osterio Magno 13th-century palace and the town’s charming port which is lined with fishing boats. Introductory walk through its walls then lunch. In the afternoon transfer to Milazzo, then we take a hydrofoil to Lipari, our first island in the Aeolian archipelago. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Lipari.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, we cross by hydrofoil to Vulcano famous for its black sand beaches and hot springs. From the port we will hike to La Fossa, the island's volcanic center, for a close-up view of the steaming fumaroles of Gran Cratere. La Fossa cone began to form about 11,000 years ago, and last erupted from 1888 to 1890. In the afternoon, hydrofoil back to Lipari. Enjoy a wine tasting. Dinner is at your leisure. Terrain: Dirt and rock paths; Ascent: +394m/1,300ft, descent: -394m/1,300ft

Meals:  B,L

Today we head to the stunning volcano in the sea, island of Stromboli*. Meeting with a volcanologist guide we will follow a nature trail through the Mediterranean vegetation and we will have lovely panoramic views, with the picturesque sea stack Strombolicchio always in the foreground. The path leads up to a viewpoint at around 400m on the slopes of lava and ash. From the viewpoint, we will have a good view of the "Sciara del Fuoco" and we should also be able to see Stromboli's eruptions lighting up the night sky and hear the rumbling from within the mountain. Tonight's dinner is picnic style, which we'll enjoy on the mountain before descending with our head torches. We board our boat and set of back to Lipari. Looking back at Stromboli from the sea we will be able to understand why it is known as 'the lighthouse of the Mediterranean'. We return to Lipari for one last night. *If the weather condition won’t be good, our guide will propose an alternative hiking itinerary in Lipari or on the Island of Salina. Terrain: Dirt and rock paths; Ascent: +394m/1,300ft, descent: -394m/1,300ft

Meals:  B,D

In the morning, hydrofoil back to Milazzo. On the way to Catania, we will stop at the medieval town of Taormina, located along the shores of the Ionian Sea. There is free time to visit the town's Greek Theatre – originally built during the 3rd century BC and still used for performances during Taormina's annual summer arts festival – or take advantage of the town's great shopping opportunities and perhaps sample some refreshing mulberry gelato. Arrival in Catania, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage City for its beautiful baroque architecture, and check into our hotel in the city's historic center. Free time for dinner and overnight stay.

Meals:  B

After breakfast, private transfer to Mt Etna. Along with our mountain guides, we'll spend an amazing day exploring the largest and highest active volcano in Europe (10,899'). A combination of cable car and 4 x 4 vehicles transport us to 9,100' where we'll begin our hike to Etna's four summit craters (access dependent on weather and other conditions). Walking among the giant lava dunes, we'll appreciate the fantastic views of the Ionian Coast stretching out below our feet before descending the mountain. Transfer back to Catania. We enjoy a celebratory dinner tonight. Terrain: Loose rocks, scree and possibly snow; Ascent: +440m/1,450ft, descent: -394m/1,300ft: 4,600'/1394m Note: Individuals with asthma or cardiovascular conditions are not permitted to hike on Mt. Etna.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the trip concludes. The airport can be reached easily by bus or taxi.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in small family run 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes may apply - payable locally), 1 night ferry in a double cabin with private facilities
  • English speaking guide throughout and Volcano Guide at Stromboli and on Mt Etna, Private guide at Pompei
  • All transfers by bus on the land sections and hydrofoils on the islands
  • Wine tasting at Vesuvius and in Lipari
  • Entrance fees to Pompei, Napoli Sotterranea and Vesuvio

  • Travel to Naples and from Catania
  • Meals not noted as included and all beverages
  • Transfers hotel-airport on days 1 & 9 - we can assist with a private transfer - please ask for a quote
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees for sites not listed as included
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel taxes - payable locally

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 The walking is graded moderate with 3 to 6 hours walking each day over hilly to steep terrain. Prior hiking experience is recommended. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
*The activity level of the volcano, the weather and your physical condition are considered before the climb can proceed.

Priceper person from

£2380GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementGBP£560
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.