Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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The pretty town of Santa Maria di Salina
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Highlights

  • Walk on the volcanic Aeolian Islands of Sicily, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Taormina and its ancient Greek theatre, an archaeological wonder
  • Watch the volcanic firework display as the Stromboli crater erupts at dusk
  • Island-hop between these picturesque Mediterranean islands
  • Dine “al fresco” enjoying fresh pasta and a crisp Sicilian white wine

Walk on the Aeolian Islands of Sicily; Stromboli, Salina and Vulcano. Explore Taormina, the “Pearl of the Mediterranean”, with it’s world-famous ancient Greek Theatre.

This island-hopping itinerary in Italy takes you to 3 islands, each different in their own right. Stromboli, with its exploding volcanic crater, lush and green Salina, where filming for the movie “Il Postino” took place, and, last but not least Vulcano, where you can bathe in the thermal mud-baths.

Explore the Stromboli crater at dusk with a local volcanologist guide to see its fiery explosions. Walk to Castelmola with striking views over Taormina and the coastline. Relish the local cuisine of fresh seafood and delicious pastas which have Arab, Spanish, French and Greek influences.

Day 1: Arrive in Catania. Transfer to Milazzo and overnight

An included transfer from Catania Airport (2H30), which is accessible by air from the UK and airports all over Europe, brings you to Milazzo, gateway to the Aeolian Islands. In 260 BC it was the site of a famous Roman naval victory against the Carthaginians and has a rich history. Explore the pretty old town and the isthmus, an area of great natural beauty.


Overnight: Milazzo.


Day 2: Hydrofoil to Stromboli. Sciara del Fuoco Walk

This morning board a hydrofoil to the island of Stromboli (2H30) which has Europe’s most active volcano. This island was formed from an active volcano and has a conical shape rising up dramatically from the Mediterranean. Check into your 3* hotel and relax today perhaps trying out the black sand beach which is only 10m away.  


Begin your walk in the late afternoon, which is the ideal time to go, as the best colours of the crater's explosions are seen after sunset. Hike up to the Sciara del Fuoco (desert of fire), a big horseshoe-shaped depression that runs from the summit down to the sea. It has been generated in the last 13,000 years by several collapses of the north western side of the cone, where you can see lava flowing down to the sea


Walk: 10.5km (+473m/-479m)


Overnight: Stromboli


Day 3: Free time in Stromboli. Afternoon walk to Stromboli Crater with volcanologist guide

This morning why not potter around the  village of San Vincenzo with its little piazza and visit the Volcanological Centre which is close to the marina. Another option is to take a boat ride around the island to see it from a different perspective.


In the late afternoon a guided excursion to the top of Mount Stromboli with a certified volcanologist is included. Please note that it is a group excursion. Get a close up view of the spectacular explosions. Although this walk is the most challenging of the week, it is definitely worth the effort.


Walk: 8km (+924/-924m)


Overnight: Stromboli


Day 4: Hydrofoil to Salina. Walk to Pizzo Corvo

Take the hydrofoil to Salina (1H15), where parts of the 1995 film “Il Postino” was filmed. Salina, second largest of the Aeolian Islands, is also the most fertile and the greenest. Upon arrival drop your luggage at the hotel and then embark on your walk to Pizzo Corvo on the eastern side of the island. Board a local bus to Leni (1H) where you begin your walk. Check out the amazing views of the off-shore islands of Alicudi and Filicudi and finish in the quaint village of Pollara. Take a local bus back to your accommodation in Santa Maria di Salina.


This evening why not try the local cuisine. Salina is best known gastronomically for its fish, capers and a sweet dessert wine called Malvasia delle Lipari. Find a local restaurant and enjoy dining “al fresco”.


Walk: 7.5km (+450m/-690m)


Overnight: Salina


Day 5: Fossa delle Felci Walk

This morning, after a fortifying breakfast, take a local bus ride (1H) to Val di Chiesa where you embark on your walk up to Monte Fosse delle Felci, one of 2 inactive volcanoes on the island.


Follow a signposted track up through pine and chestnut woodlands and fields of ferns. See plenty of colourful flora, including wild violets and asparagus. Once you've reached the summit take in the splendid views looking west towards Filicudi and Alicudi and towards the southeast, where you can see the Lingua salt lagoon and over to Lipari and Vulcano.


Walk: 11km (+646m/-962m)


Overnight: Salina


Day 6: Hydrofoil to Vulcano. Walk up to the crater. Hydrofoil to Milazzo

Today is a busy one but well-worth it as you will get to experience another Aeolian Island, Vulcano, which according to Greek mythology was the location of the blacksmiths of Hephaestus, the god of fire, metal work and the fine arts. Upon arrival leave your luggage (in a safe place that we have organised) and walk up to the crater.  You may be able to observe more unusual volcanic phenomenons here, such as smoke clouds, vapour spouts and sulphuric mud holes, known for their therapeutic properties. In fact do not miss the opportunity to bathe in Vulcano’s mud baths, just around the corner from the port.


Later board another hydrofoil to Milazzo and from here a private transfer brings you to the incredible town of Taormina, “the Pearl of the Mediterranean” and your ultimate destination.


Walk: 7km (+390m/-390m)


Overnight: Taormina


Day 7: Castemola Village Walk. Free time in Taormina.

This morning, enjoy a walk up to the Medieval village of Castemola. Its name derives not only from the remains of its magnificent castle but also from the shape of the village, which is similar to a wheel or a millstone. It floats 529 m above the sea level and from Sant'Antonino Square take in the panoramic views over Taormina and the coastline.


This afternoon is free to enjoy Taormina, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Its Greek Theatre situated in a fantastic position with views reaching to the Calabria coastline, the town of Siracusa and Etna's peak. Not only should you visit the theatre but meander through it's pretty streets, strewn with restaurants, bars, shops and beautifully restored Medieval buildings.


This evening celebrate your final night by sampling some of the local specialities with ingredients such as sardines, sword fish, aubergine, ricotta and olives.


Walk: 4km (+100/-577m)


Overnight: Taormina


Day 8: Onward journey

A private transfer is included to Catania Airport. From here you can take your onward journeys.


Accommodation

7 Nights in good quality B&B’s, and 3* hotels. The accommodation normally used is detailed below. However we may use alternatives of a similar standard should the dates you request not be available.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs (such as transfers) are not shared. Single rooms are available on request and a supplement is payable.



 

 

 



	Hotel Medici - Milazzo



Hotel Medici - Milazzo

Hotel Medici is set in a 19th-century building in Milazzo's historic centre. Rooms offer air conditioning and hydro-massage showers. Admire the original frescoes and wood-beamed ceilings.


 

 

 


 

 

 



	Hotel Ossidiana - Stromboli



Hotel Ossidiana - Stromboli

The Ossidiana Hotel has 25 rooms and is located very close to the port and facing the sea. Behind the hotel is the volcanic crater. There are restaurants and shops close by and the rooms are well-equipped serving your every need.


 

 


 

 

 



	Note di Salina B&B - Salina



Note di Salina B&B - Salina

Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, Note di Salina is located in the village of Santa Marina Salina and features a lovely garden and air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms.


 

 

 


 

 

 



	Hotel del Corso - Taormina



Hotel del Corso - Taormina

Perfectly located in the heart of the city’s Medieval centre, the Hotel del Corso has a wonderful position. It also boasts a lovely panoramic terrace and rooms with views.


 

 

 

Time of Year

As with much of Italy, Spring is a lovely time of year for walking due to the wild flowers popping up everywhere. Also the Autumn is great and you can walk when any crowds have left. The height of summer can be hot to walk so you will need to start out early and take plenty of sun protection and water.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs (such as transfers) are not shared. Single rooms are available on request and a supplement is payable.


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded moderate overall. However, even though the distances are fairly short, there is quite a lot of elevation gains and losses, so you will need to have a very good level of fitness. It is advisable that you will have had previous walking experience. You will be walking 3 to 6 hours daily on hilly to steep terrain. The walk on Stromboli with the volcanologist guide (a group tour) is the most demanding (+900m). It must also be noted that people with respiratory problems may have discomfort in sulphurous areas when it is unavoidable that you may breathe in some fumes.


Volcano Walking

Since a volcano’s activity is not predictable, the volcano guides reserve the right not to climb the volcano according to the safety measures that are constantly being monitored, plus the weather and also a walkers physical condition. You can find more information about volcano walking in your information pack and route notes.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is at times waymarked but outside of this there will be little way-marking. Detailed routes notes and maps will be provided for you.


Baggage Transfers

Since you will be taking hydrofoils between the islands you will carry your own luggage from place to place with you, even when private transfers are included. Therefore we highly recommend that you definitely pack light!


Meals

A breakfast will be provided by your accommodation every morning. Usually they are buffet-style or continental breakfasts. Dinners are not included, however there are options to dine out either at your accommodation (if they have a restaurant) and in the village and towns in which your accommodation is situated. Lunch is  also not included, but you can find small stores in which to purchase items for a picnic lunch. In your route notes we give advice on where you can eat/pick up lunch.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

Getting to and from Catania

By Air: You can fly into Catania Airport.


There are flights to Catania from the UK. At the time of writing Easyjet have flights from London to Catania. There are also plenty of airlines that provide flights from all over Europe into Catania. It is also possible to fly into Palermo Airport. From here you can take a bus into Palermo and then a direct train to Catania, which takes about 1H50.


On your arrival and departure days a private transfer is included from Catania Airport to Milazzo and from Taormina to Catania Airport. Please let us know what time your flight arrives so that we can set up the transfer for you.


We can also arrange a private taxi transfer from Palermo Airport to the start and finish points. Please ask your Destination and Adventure Specialist for details.


Included

  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels & B&B's
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Private transfers on Days 1, 6 & 8
  • Route notes, maps and detailed information pack
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Catania Airport
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Hydrofoils, public buses or entrances
  • Tourist taxes (usually €1.50 per day)
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Extra full day in Taormina with Mt Etna guided excursion
  • Solo Traveller Supplement
  • Single Room Supplement
  • Extra nights before, during or after your walk

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice from our clients and team.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate overall. However, even though the distances are fairly short, there is quite a lot of elevation gains and losses, so you will need to have a very good level of fitness. It is advisable that you will have had previous walking experience. You will be walking 3 to 6 hours daily on hilly to steep terrain. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised. Sicily is very popular especially during July/August. We will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.

What personal equipment do I need?

After booking you'll receive our pre-departure information pack which has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop - check with your accommodation provider as they usually have the best knowledge of local public transport. You may also be able to ride with the luggage but this is not always the case due to insurance restrictions in some vehicles.

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