volcanoes sicily aeolian islands italy hiking tour

Great hikes, beautiful coastlines, and ancient cultures combine in southern Italy

Our volcano-climbing journey includes hikes on Stromboli—literally a volcano emerging out of the sea—beautiful Panarea, rugged Vulcano, and magnificent Mt. Etna.

Photo by Brian McGilloway

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Volcanoes of Southern Italy

Hiking Mt. Etna and the Aeolian Islands
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Volcanoes of Southern Italy route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Naples, Italy
Depart: Catania, italy
Lodging: 9 nights small inns and hotels, 1 night aboard ferry
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: 8 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 3-8 hours a day on hiking days, altitudes up to 10,000 feet, van support


  • Hike to the summit of Mt. Etna, highest volcano in Europe
  • Summit hikes on the dramatic volcanoes of Stromboli and Vulcano
  • Stunning Aeolian Islands, surrounded by azure seas
  • Taormina, an enchanting hilltown with a preserved Greek theater

Please keep this destination! It's a truly amazing experience. Having three guides aqllowed for each of us to have a unique experience.Pam M.—Lake Forest, IL

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

Our adventure in Italy’s south—the mezzogiorno—is framed by a sublime setting: the dramatic volcano-isles of Stromboli, Vulcano, Lipari, and tiny Panarea, as well as magnificent Mt. Etna. After a hike on the crater rim of Mt. Vesuvius and a visit to ancient Pompeii, we ferry to the Aeolian Islands, believed by the ancient Greeks to be the home of Aeolus, the king of the winds. Our hikes bring us to the summits of Stromboli and Vulcano, while coastal walks on Panarea and Lipari reward us with Roman ruins and views of the blue Mediterranean. The surreal moonscapes of Mt. Etna (10,500'), dominating the Sicilian skyline, are the memorable backdrop for our final hikes. We end our journey in lovely Taormina, with its breathtaking panoramas of sea and sky.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Naples / Pompeii / Overnight Ferry

After gathering in Naples, we head to the archaeological site of Cumae, famed for its evocative Cave of the Cumean Sybil, a mysterious place of long, trapezoidal galleries cut out of solid rock. The next day we hike around the far rim of Mt. Vesuvius, with a look into the abyss of its volcanic caldera, then head to the fascinating remains of legendary Pompeii, engulfed—and preserved—by Vesuvius’ ash. We enjoy a delicious pizza dinner in the city in which it was born, then board the overnight ferry bound for Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands.

Days 3-4
Stromboli Island / Panarea Island / Lipari Island

Our ferry arrives at dramatic Stromboli, a volcano-island that achieved its modern fame when Italian director Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman filmed Stromboli here in 1949. We take a sunset hike to the summit of its perfect cone—the ideal time to observe fiery displays against the night sky. Taking the hydrofoil to Panarea, we hike along the island’s rugged cliffs, then boat to the sublime island of Lipari.

Days 5-6
Lipari / Vulcano

On Lipari we hike a spectacular coastal path to the old Roman thermal baths at San Calogero, with glorious views of Vulcano Island and other rock formations rising straight out of the blue Aeolian Sea. The next day we ferry to Vulcano, from which all volcanoes get their name, and hike to the top of the volcano itself.

Days 7-8
Sicily / Mt. Etna Hike

Ferrying to the Sicilian mainland, we hike on the north face of Mt. Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. We view craters of the Monte Pizzillo area, which date from Etna’s 19th century explosion, then end our hike at the “Bocche del 2002,” the mouth of the huge lava flow of 2002. The following day we take a 4WD vehicle up to 9,000 feet, then hike to the summit at 10,500 feet. The views are incredible!

Days 9-11
Alcantara Gorge / Taormina

At the base of Etna, we hike above the spectacular Alcantara Gorge, a 100-foot-deep lava flow that has been water-carved into fantastic formations to create an amazing natural wonder. Our relaxing grand finale finds us in enchanting Taormina. From the town’s spectacular Greek theater, Mt. Etna dominates a view little altered since the theater was built in the 3rd century BC. We depart via Catania on Day 11.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 4, moderate to strenuous, according to our trip grading system. Our hikes range from three to eight hours in length. Our daily mileage is not long, but some of our ascents and descents are steep, and some of our hiking is on volcanic terrain, so it may be a bit rougher than you expect for such moderate altitudes. The ridges and pockets of lava flows and the soft volcanic ash can make footing tricky at times. This hiking trip is designed for hikers who have at least some experience of mountain hiking and who enjoy hiking over uneven terrain. Sturdy, well-fitted hiking boots are essential on this trip! For your own enjoyment, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Chiaja Hotel de Charme

Chiaja Hotel de Charme

Day 1 (1 night), Naples, Italy

Once the home of the Marchese Lecaldano (and now run by his descendants), this small hotel is located in the center of Naples on a cobblestone ...
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Overnight Public Ferry

Overnight Public Ferry

Day 2 (1 night), Naples-Stromboli, Italy

To get to Stromboli from Naples, we take an overnight public transportation ferry. We reserve the best-available staterooms with private baths; they ...
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La Sirenetta Park Hotel

La Sirenetta Park Hotel

Day 3 (1 night), Stromboli, Italy

This family-run hotel is in an idyllic location, at the edge of the village and right across the street from a black sand beach. Guest rooms are ...
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Grand Hotel Arciduca

Grand Hotel Arciduca

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Lipari, Italy

We stay three nights in Lipari, a relatively large town that can get quite lively. Our hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood away from the noise ...
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Shalai Resort

Shalai Resort

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Linguaglossa, Italy

This small elegant hotel (just 13 rooms) lies in Linguaglossa, an off the beaten track Sicilian town on the slopes of Mt. Etna. A renovated 19th ...
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Hotel Villa Belvedere

Hotel Villa Belvedere

Days 9 to 10 (2 nights), Taormina, Italy

The Belvedere is an absolutely charming place to stay. It offers the atmosphere of an elegant private villa along with stunning sea views, ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Client Comments

Please keep this destination! It's a truly amazing experience. Having three guides aqllowed for each of us to have a unique experience. Pam M., Lake Forest, IL We loved this trip and seeing the different types of volcanoes and experiencing the variety of southern Italy, especially through its cuisine. The hike up Stromboli was a special highlight. We fell in love with southern Italy, especially the Aeolian Islands. Carol and Jim B., Kensington, MD
This is a great trip. One high point was watching lava explosions at night on Stromboli. Stunning! Another was walking through Pompeii with our guide bringing it to life in our imaginations. Jamey H., Newton, MA