Sicily and the Aeolian Islands Volcanoes Tour
Cost £1455 - May 2nd to 9th 2024
Details and Itinerary

This tour will give those taking part the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular sights nature has to offer, visiting three active volcanoes, one of which is in a state of constant activity. All excursions will be escorted, making use of local guides where necessary. We shall follow well-used footpaths and all viewing will be undertaken from a safe distance. The party will be led by Alan Clewlow, an experienced geologist who will be on hand to offer advice and some explanation of the features seen and guidance around the area. It will also offer a superb opportunity for photography.
This new one week itinerary includes more time on the Aeolian Islands with extra time there on Lipari giving the chance to visit other places not included on the group excursions.

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Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
The steaming SE crater near the summit of Etna
A coastal stack and cliffs in volcanic rocks on the south-western tip of Lipari island
Steaming fumaroles at the rim of the Fossa Cone
Snowy path to the summit of Mount Etna
The Stromboli volcano
Steaming fumaroles
The main and SE craters of Mount Etna
Coastal arch in volcanic rocks on the island of Salina
Dusk on the island of Stromboli
Lipari island, with the caldera of Volcano in the distance

Planned itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday 2nd May
Leave London (Gatwick) on direct morning British Airways flight to Catania. Coach transfer to Hotel Sporting Baia at Giardini Naxos for a one-night stay there. Free time in the afternoon, with the opportunity to visit close by the delightful town of Taormina, with its Greek amphitheatre and extensive Roman remains. Meeting before dinner at the hotel to discuss the week’s activities.

Day 2
Check out of hotel after breakfast. Then coach excursion to the Rifugio Sapienza , on the southern side of Etna. From that point, there are a number of optional excursions available. For example, people may choose to take the cable-car and 4WD bus to the highest public access point, near the SE crater, where a guide will then lead the group on a walk with the chance to view various lava-flows, steam-vents and numerous subsidiary craters at lower levels. Afternoon coach to Milazzo for ferry (hydrofoil) transfer to Lipari. Check into the high-quality ‘La Giara’ apartments in Lipari town for 4 night stay there. It is anticipated that many in the group will choose to eat dinner together at any one of a number of restaurants in the town. Breakfasts are provided on the terrace at La Giara.

Day 3
Chartered boat to the island of Vulcano, after which all volcanoes have been named. Climb to view the spectacular main crater and see fumaroles (steam vents) passing lava flows of recent eruptions. From the rim of the crater can be seen much of the island, including the mini-crater of Vulcanello beyond the small harbour at Porto de Levante. Then descend to examine and bathe if desired in the "fanghi" (mud-pools) and bubbling hot springs, or spend time on one of the local beaches.

Day 4
Free morning in Lipari Town. The opportunity to visit the Old Town and Castle, in which the local museum is based which has displays of colonisation of the islands dating back to Neolithic times around 4000BC.

Leave around mid-day on a boat for Stromboli, with time for a stop at Panarea to take a picnic-lunch, eventually arriving on Stromboli late-afternoon. Our intention is to follow a lower level path to the Observatory ~ now a pizzeria with a terrace giving excellent views of the eruptions, staying there until nightfall to see the eruptions at their most spectacular.

Day 5
Chartered boat excursion to the island of Salina, which includes a circuit of both Lipari and Salina islands, viewing numerous coastal features from close-range. Time spent on the island for a walk to take in its magnificent local scenery, which includes views of its famous twin-peaks.

Day 6
Local bus to the north of Lipari Island to see obsidian flow and pumice deposits from Monte Pilato. Short walk to the village of Aquacalda, returning to Lipari town in time for lunch. Local bus in the afternoon to western part of Lipari island, for a stunning view of the coastal scenery from Quattrocchi. Descend via coastal path to beach, passing layered ash and lava deposits. Return to Lipari town on foot, by local path.

Day 7
Free time in the morning after breakfast. The chance to further explore the island, spend time in Lipari Town, or just relax by the pool at La Giara. After lunch we take the hydrofoil back to Milazzo, where we pick up a coach for the transfer back to the Hotel Sporting Baia again for the final evening of the tour and a one-night stay there.

Day 8 - Thursday 9th May
Leave hotel after breakfast on coach to Catania airport for direct flight to London (Gatwick), arriving in UK mid- afternoon.

The cost of the one-week visit is £1455. The price includes return flights between London Gatwick and Catania, coach transfers, excursions and local ferries on the itinerary listed above. Included in the cost is bed & breakfast accommodation in the high quality “La Giara” apartments in Lipari Town. In Sicily, there will be two nights half-board accommodation, with dinner provided, at the 4-star Hotel Sporting Baia at Giardini Naxos. Single accommodation is available on request, subject to availability, but this will involve a supplement. All those taking part in the tour are expected to arrange their own holiday insurance, which can be obtained from any travel agent or insurance broker.

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