Sicily - Volcanic Islands Family Explorer

Centre based family holiday on the Aeolian Islands and Sicily







From $1,350 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Endless swimming opportunities on this family holiday in Italy
  • Make a pizza making and enjoy some dough tossing!
  • Walk up Mount Etna for a live lesson in geology
  • Great ferry/hyrdrofoil rides across the blue Med to the islands

This family adventure holiday has a focus on enjoying easy walks with the family in the lovely Mediterranean climate whilst also benefitting from swimming in the warm seas of the Aeolian Islands and Sicily. The biggest island of Lipari is our base for this family holiday. We have a week of island hopping and fun, using hydrofoils and ferries to visit several of the neighbouring islands. We enjoy a couple of easy coastal walks on Lipari and make the hike up to the crater rim on Vulcano, an island famous throughout Sicily for its black sand beaches. Here, we can also visit the sea-level hot springs and mud pools and have plenty of time for a swim before returning to Lipari. We then take the hydrofoil to Stromboli, one of the most beautiful islands in the Med, with its white houses splashed with scarlet bougainvillea. On Stromboli, we take an easy walk to the 'stream of fire' to witness the smoke and lava flows of this ever-active volcano which has 'erupted' every 15 minutes since records began. Our volcanic explorer ends in mainland Sicily, with a stay at the foot of smouldering Mount Etna and as a fitting finale to our Sicilian family holiday, we climb to a magnificent viewpoint on the slopes of this active volcano for a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily. With lots to see and do and some free time for the kids to enjoy the beach this holiday is in a word...... fantastico!

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 8yrs old 

This is relaxing centre-based family adventure holiday, exploring the volcanoes and coastlines of the islands of Sicily. During the week's holiday we will make day excursions from our base on Lipari's Canneto beach. There are 4 days of walks which will be around of 3 - 4 hours hours. All the walks are at a moderate grade and conducted at a leisurely pace suitable for children. On 3 of these days the group will travel by hydrofoil to various islands including Stromboli. There is ample time during the holiday to enjoy the beach, the sea and also a free day for families to make their own explorations or excursions.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Arrive at Catania Airport.Transfer to Milazzo and take the hydrofoil across to Lipari.
  • Easy 3hr walk. Free afternoon. In the evening toss some pizzas!
  • Hyrdofoil to Vulcano Island. Walk to the crater (3hrs). Swim in the sea.
  • A free day on Lipari to relax on the beach or enjoy walks.
  • Hyrdofoil to Stomboli and walk to 'Sciara del Fuoco'.
  • Hydrofoil to Milazzo and transfer to Catania.
  • Walk on Mount Etna's slopes and return to Catania for a last evening dinner.
  • Transfer to Catania Airport.
Sun 25 Oct - Sun 01 Nov Code FSV /05/15/ Adult$1,350 Child$1,350 Status Available Book now
Sun 29 May - Sun 05 Jun Code FSV /01/16/ Adult$1,300 Child$1,215 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 10 Jul - Sun 17 Jul Code FSV /02/16/ Adult$1,350 Child$1,265 Status Available Book now
Sun 31 Jul - Sun 07 Aug Code FSV /03/16/ Adult$1,350 Child$1,265 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 21 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code FSV /04/16/ Adult$1,350 Child$1,265 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 23 Oct - Sun 30 Oct Code FSV /05/16/ Adult$1,300 Child$1,215 Status Available Book now
Sun 28 May - Sun 04 Jun Code FSV /01/17/ Adult$1,300 Child$1,215 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis joining in Catania. Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Catania. These include Thomson Airways who have flights from London and Manchester & Easyjet from London, Manchester & Bristol. Other airports and airlines may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Arrive at Catania Airport.Transfer to Milazzo and take the hydrofoil across to Lipari.

    The group will rendezvous at the airport in Catania. KE Land Only package services begin with a single, timed group transfer from Catania Airport to Milazzo on Sicily’s northern coast. This transfer is will take approximately 2 hours and we then board a hydrofoil for a further hour’s cruise to the island of Lipari. Arriving on the island the final part of the transfer is a scenic 2-mile journey along the coast to the village of Canneto. Here we check into our apartments and there will be time to enjoy the nearby beach before coming to dinner. Swimming: In the sea

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Meals d

  • Easy 3hr walk. Free afternoon. In the evening toss some pizzas!

    Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian chain of volcanic islands. This morning we have an easy 3 hour walk on the northern side of the island to the pumic quarries. Since ancient times the island has been known for its rich deposits (largest in the world!) of pumic and obsidian. Obsidian was a highly valued raw material used to manufacture tools such as knives and arrowheads in the Stone and Bronze Ages. After lunch we have some free time to explore Lipari town or for swimming and relaxing at Canneto beach. Later on we visit a local restaurant where the chef will show us the art of pizza making and tossing the dough great fun for children and adults alike! Swimming: In the sea

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours walking

  • Hyrdofoil to Vulcano Island. Walk to the crater (3hrs). Swim in the sea.

    After breakfast we take the hydrofoil (10 minutes) to the island of Vulcano, famous for its black beaches and thermal springs. We walk up to the crater which is a return hike of approximately 3 hours, and with 400 metres of ascent. The views over the island and back to Lipari are spectacular. Returning to the coast we have time for some swimming and a visit to the hot springs. In the late afternoon we take the hydrofoil back to Lipari.
    Swimming: In the sea

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Ascent 400m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 3 hours walking

  • A free day on Lipari to relax on the beach or enjoy walks.

    Today is free to relax and enjoy the beaches and town of Lipari. There is the option of taking the hydrofoil to the island of Salina. Swimming: In the sea

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Meals b

  • Hyrdofoil to Stomboli and walk to 'Sciara del Fuoco'.

    This morning we take the hydrofoil to the island of Stromboli, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean with its cone-shaped volcano and the black beaches contrasting with white houses splashed with scarlet bougainvillea. Stomboli volcano has been erupting every 15 minutes or so for at least the last 2000 years. In the afternoon we have an easy walk to “Sciara del Fuoco” ("Stream of fire") a big horseshoe-shaped depression that runs from the summit right down to the sea. There is almost always smoke and small eruptions with incandescent material being ejected, and sometimes significant lava flow. Returning from the walk, we take the hydrofoil back to Lipari. Swimming: In the sea

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Ascent 400m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 2 - 3 hours walking

  • Hydrofoil to Milazzo and transfer to Catania.

    We take the hydrofoil back to the port of Milazzo on Sicily. Here, we meet our private transport up to our hotel, located in Catania at the foot of Mount Etna. Catania is a charming town with a number of striking baroque churches and is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. There is also a wide choice of restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias, one of which we can choose for this evening’s dining experience.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Walk on Mount Etna's slopes and return to Catania for a last evening dinner.

    From Catania we take a public bus which climbs a switch-back road up Mount Etna to a height of 1900 metres. From the bus stop we have an easy walk on the upper slopes of Europe highest active volcano. Cinder cones and extinct craters are a feature of the desolate landscape. From high on the mountain, there is a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily. The walk will take approximately 3 hours during which we will climb & descend around 250 metres. After the walk we take the bus back to Catania, where we enjoy our last dinner of the holiday. Our final night at the hotel in Catania.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 250m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 250m

    • Time 3 hours walking

  • Transfer to Catania Airport.

    After breakfast there is a transfer by public bus (45 minutes) to Catania Airport, where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Single timed Catania Airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All ferry/hydrofoil transfers between the islands
  • Pizza making and dough tossing demo
  • All accommodation as described in the holiday dossier
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this trip the group will spend 5 nights in apartments in Lipari and 2 nights in a 3 star hotel in Catania.
As a general rule children of 11yrs and under will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3 or a quad for a family of 4. Children over 12 yrs will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3, or have 2 rooms for a family of 4. We will do everything to ensure that you are happy with your rooming allocation

Additional hotel nights are available. Please contact us for additional night prices.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 with the exception of lunch and dinner on day 4 (free day). Meaning you will need to purchase 1 lunch and 1 dinner.

Breakfasts are taken at our overnight accommodation and consist of tea and coffee, cereals, bread, jam etc. For lunch, the group will carry a few items to make up a picnic. Local produce such as cheeses, olives, fruits and vegetables, dried meats and biscuits are used. Dinner is taken at small local restaurants, which gives us a chance to sample traditional Sicilian fare.

The group should rendezvous at Catania Airport in time to meet the group transfer to Lipari on day 1. This transfer is timed to the arrival of the Thomson Airways flights from London Gatwick and from Manchester, and will normally depart from Catania airport at around midday. Your KE local guide or representative will assist with this airport transfer. Note that you do not have to fly with Thomson Airways to make use of this transfer but you should try to arrange flights which work with these times. If your chosen airline's schedule does not allow you to meet this transfer on your arrival day, it is possible to fly a day early and stay overnight in Catania (at extra cost), joining the group on the following day (day 1). The return transfer at the end of the trip is timed for the check-in of the Thomson Airways flights to London Gatwick and to Manchester and will normally arrive at Catania Airport at approximately 10.00am. If your flight scedule does not allow you to take advantage of this transfer it is a relatively short and inexpensive taxi ride from the group hotel to the airport. All clients MUST inform KE of their flight schedules. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be included in your booking confirmation.

An experienced, professional, English-speaking local guide will lead the trip.

Approximately €300 - 350 per family (based on mum, dad and 2 kids) should be sufficient to cover your personal spending requirements including beer, wine, soft drinks, and mineral water. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs in most towns and if you are bringing your spending money with you, we recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of Euros. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks, wine or beer, you should make an allowance for this.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We recommend that you decide levels of tipping and give any tips as a group rather than from individual group members.

There is no weight limit as such other than that imposed by the airline, but we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and one daypack per family member. Please bear in mind that you may have to carry your own bags for short distances when transferring on Hydrofoils and for this holiday wheeled luggage is recommended.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude at 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels when walking above 2000 metres.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes
  • Sandals or trainers/sneakers
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers /pants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Lightweight gloves

    Daypack c.30 to 40 litres (depending on how much of the kids' stuff you want to carry)

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles (approx 1 litre / quart per person)
  • Swimwear and towel
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Torch
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts.

The following items are optional:

  • Shorts
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel clothes
  • Small padlock (to lock your luggage)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Europe

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

In May, June and October we can expect daytime temperatures of around 25°C / 77°F, dropping at night to 15°C / 59°F. We are unlikely to experience any rain, as Sicily enjoys a favourable Mediterranean climate. During July and August you can expect hotter temperatures - up to 30°C / 86°F.

Walking in Sicily: (Cicerone Guide) Lonely Planet Sicily. The Rough Guide to Sicily Your Child’s Health Abroad. (Bradt publications). Travel With Children. (Lonely Planet).

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