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Self-Guided Walking on Sicily & Aeolian Islands

Italy
Available Departures: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from

US$1,010

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Discover the power of Etna, Stomboli & Vulcano on this one week self-guided walking holiday.

Trip Code: SGSI
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Sicily & Aeolian Islands

Highlights
  • Hike on the great Etna, Sicily’s sleeping giant

  • Stay on Lipari and delight in a choice of walking routes

  • Enjoy an evening hike on Stromboli for a geological light show as Stromboli spits and hisses before your eyes

  • Discover the rich history of Taormina with its magnificent Greek Theatre


At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking and sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Mount Etna guided tour
  • Stromboli guided evening hike
  • Join In Taormina / End in Catania

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

Step back in time and soak up the rich culture of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. A place where the relaxed pace of life will leave you wanting to turn your visit into a permanent holiday. We have specially designed this trip to showcase the very best of the islands history, geology, warm hospitality and, of course, exquisite walking.

Arriving in Taormina, steeped in medieval charm, you will soon see why Sicily was an integral stop on the Grand Tour. Enjoy a guided hike on mighty Mount Etna to bring this active landscape to life, and relax over lunch at a local winery before setting sail to the neighbouring Aeolian Islands. Basing yourself on the perfectly located island of Lipari for 3 nights you will have plenty of time to soak in the town’s colourful streets and explore Lipari and the neighbouring islands of Vulcano, Salina and Panarea with a choice of walks to choose from. Your final walk of the week is on the magnificent Stromboli where you spend an evening on a guided walk so you can get up close and enjoy the theatrical lava eruption as it lights up the night sky. This is a walk not to be missed. You end you week in the ancient port city of Catania where you can soak up the vibrant atmosphere and get lost in the hullabaloo of the La Pescheria fish market for a truly Sicilian experience.

Is this holiday for you?

This trip is ideal if you have an interest in geology, love great food and delight in walking through history. We have specially designed this trip to provide the perfect balance of culture, coastal walking and exploring the dramatic volcanic landscapes on foot so you can really get the most out of your experience of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. With a choice of walks with varying distances fro …

This trip is ideal if you have an interest in geology, love great food and delight in walking through history. We have specially designed this trip to provide the perfect balance of culture, coastal walking and exploring the dramatic volcanic landscapes on foot so you can really get the most out of your experience of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. With a choice of walks with varying distances from leisurely to more strenuous you can tailor this trip to best suit you. Walking options are up to 14km with up to 600m ascent in a day. Plus guided walks on Etna and Stromboli provide an insight into the formation of the mighty volcanoes.

Why KE?

We have included guided walks on both Etna and Stromboli so you can get up close to the towering volcanoes for which the region is known.

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Itinerary

Arrive in Taormina, idyllically perched atop a rocky promontory high above the sea. Settle into your hotel and stretch your legs with an exploration of this magnificent city. You will soon see why Taormina was an integral stop on the Grand Tour; brimming with mediaeval charm and breath-taking views around every corner. Take time to visit the perfectly horseshoe shaped Teatro Greco theatre. Built in the 3rd century BC it still hosts concerts throughout the summer months and, if you are lucky, you may be able to watch a concert in arguably one of the most spectacular settings in the world.

In the evening stroll to Corso Unbertol and soak in the atmosphere of the friendly pedestrianised area with its pretty clock tower, cathedral and ornate fountain. A perfect spot to enjoy a spot of dinner in one of the inviting cafes.

Accommodation

Hotel

No trip to Sicily is complete without a visit to Mount Etna. Today you will get to scale the mighty volcano on a guided hike with a local guide to really bring this active landscape to life. After breakfast you will transfer to Piano Provenzano, where you will meet your guide and begin your walk through the lush vegetation, which flourishes in the fertile volcanic soils, leading you to lava flows both old and new to discover a lava cave carved into the mountain. The almost continuous eruptive activity of Mount Etna continues to influence volcanology on the island and is essential for enriching the soils of the vineyards in the area. When you have finished your walk you will get to sample the divine wines produced on Etnas slopes with an included lunch at a local winery.

In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the impressive Alcantara Gorge with its strange rock formations as the ancient lava flows met the freezing waters of the Alcantara River. The perfect spot for a paddle to cool off after a day exploring before heading back to Taormina for a second night in this ancient town.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Ascent

450 M

Descent

450 M

Distance

10 KM

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast and the opportunity to enjoy the final sights of Taormina before taking the train to Milazzo, where you will board the Hydrofoil to neighbouring Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands. Check into your accommodation and stretch off your sea legs with a stroll to visit the dominating citadel perched high on the outcrop. The perfect vantage spot for keeping watch over the harbour below and the heart of the old town. Alternatively, meander through the colourful streets of Lipari town laced with elegant historic houses with traditional balconies and shops selling the local fare; capers and Malvasia wine. We recommend enjoying a coffee stop at Marina Corta, the historic harbour where you will find fishermen playing cards in the piazza and children playing in the cooling waters, what better place to soak in the atmosphere.

In the evening, enjoy dinner in one of the many local restaurants where the catch of the day will no doubt be the star of the menu amongst locals and visitors alike.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Feeling rested today you get to explore the island, leaving the hustle and bustle of Lipari’s main port in favour of your interests, whether that be history or secluded coves and perfect beaches. Today you have a choice of three walks to choose from depending on which best suits your mood:

Option 1: Explore the southern tip of the island and Mt Guardia. Leaving Lipari your walk takes you first to an observatory accompanied by fantastic views along the coast, to neighbouring Vulcano, and the rugged cliffs of Faraglioni. The second part of your walk returns you to the old town of Lipari where you can soak in the fantastic historical architecture and enjoy the many cafes.

11km / 470m ascent / 470m descent

Option 2: Walk from Acquacalda to Canneto. Catching the local bus to Acuacalda your route will take you along the beautiful coast hopping from one beach to another as you meander through the Mediterranean scrub which comes alive with colour in the spring. Along your way you will discover pumice caves and reach a magnificent panoramic viewpoint (346m) before descending into Canneto to end your day with a dip in the ocean before heading back to Lipari.

5km / 350m ascent / 350m descent

Option 3: Walk from Quattropani to Lipari. Taking the bus to Quattropani this walk will take you to explore the western coast of the island for an opportunity to delve into the wild side of the island. Making your way along the rocky coast all the time with breath taking views, you will reach the San Calogero thermal baths, thought to be the oldest spa in the Med. Sadly, this spa is not suitable for bathing in today but it offers a fantastic insight into the islands history. When you have finished exploring your route continues through humble villages and fascinating fumaroles to Lipari.

14km / 586m ascent / 950m descent

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today you have a choice to explore of neighbouring islands; Vulcano, Salina or Panarea. Each island brings its own unique experience, plus, if you would prefer to stay on Lipari you also have the option undertaking one of yesterday’s walks.

Option 1: Vulcano Island, around the Gran Cratere. The small island of Vulcano packs a punch providing an almost lunar landscape for you to explore as you make your way up to the Gran Cratere (great crater) from which its emits its famous yellow sulphurous smoke. Reaching the top you are greeted by magnificent 360degree views of the Aeolian archipelago. Descending from the crater you can enjoy a changing landscape as you walk through the contrasting greenery which flourishes in the fertile soils, making your way towards to vibrant blue sea below. Taking the afternoon ferry you return to Lipari for a coffee before dinner.

Please note: should the crater walk be closed for safety an alternative coastal walk on the island is possible.

6 km / 290m ascent / 290m descent

Option 2: Just a short hydrofoil away lies the island of Salina with its magical atmosphere. Taking the bus to Castello of Pollara you will hike along the western coast towards the pastel-coloured houses of Rinella. Along the way is a challenging climb but your efforts will be rewarded with views of the Filicudi and Alicudi islands before descending into Rinella where you can enjoy refreshments at the pretty waterfront before heading back to Salina for the hydrofoil to Lipari.

9km / 430m ascent / 430m descent

Option 3: Circumnavigate the small island of Panarea. Taking the hydrofoil to Panarea, the furthest of the islands, this route will take you to circumnavigate around this tiny island. Hiking over the ridge of the ancient volcano you will have the vantage over entire Aeolian archipelago. If you wish you can add a short detour to visit the islands prehistoric village dating back to the Bronze Age.

7 km / 487m ascent / 487m descent

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today you say farewell to Lipari and set sail for Stromboli, home to possibly the most captivating of the Aeolian Islands, thanks to its perfectly shaped volcano dominating its skyline. Arriving on the island you can stroll through the idyllic narrow white-washed streets to your hotel. Walking on Stromboli is a one of a kind experience, best enjoyed in the evening when the volcano lights up the sky with its theatrical eruption of lava. Spend your afternoon relaxing in the town and enjoy the evening show on a guided walk to the summit just in time for sunset. Your guide will return you to the town where you can end your evening with a late dinner or glass of wine as you chat about your exhilarating walk.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before taking your final hydrofoil of the week, to Milazzo where you will travel to Catania by train or bus to spend your final evening on Sicily. You will have the afternoon to explore this ancient port city, steeped in history. This is a city packed with energy, bars and real life activity. Take time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and visit Piazza Duomo where the impressive Baroque Cathedral di Sant Agata stands proud dressed in Baroque grandeur. Alternatively get lost in the hullabaloo of the La Pescheria fish market and enjoy a frozen ‘granita’ in one of the local cafes.

In the evening, enjoy one of the many delightful restaurants in the city where you can enjoy the local delicacies and raise a toast to a great week of walking.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Sadly, today draws your Aeolian adventure to a close as you enjoy a relaxed breakfast before making your onward journey. If you aren’t quite ready for your holiday to end yet, it is possible to arrange additional nights in Catania. Ask our sales team for details.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Airport Airport
Train
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described

  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Full day guided tour Etna

  • Stromboli guided sunset excursion

  • Transfers to/from walks as described

  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Travel insurance

  • Travel to Taormina

  • Travel from Catania

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Ferries and public transport

  • Tourist Taxes may apply and are usually under 5 Euros per person per night

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan (lunches)

  • Personal equipment

  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using a signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for most of our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, so please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling instead.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts at Taormina and ends at Catania. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Catania with many departures from regional UK airports.

If you are flying to Catania Airport you can travel via public transport to Taormina, the journey takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. From the airport take the direct bus to Taormina. Alternatively it is possible to arrange a private transfer, please ask our sale team for more details.

The trip ends in Catania from where you can take the metro system to Catania Airport or take a taxi for a cost of approx. 10 - 15 Euros.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday. We have also included one lunch on day 2 to allow you the opportunity to enjoy the local produce of Etna.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Sharing a meal together is at the heart of Sicilian culture, so as you can imagine, you are going to want to sample everything. Sicilian cuisine is completely different from your usual Italian cuisine. It is a culinary melting pot thanks to its historic invasions by the Spanish, Normans, Vikings and Arabs. Each has influenced the islands cuisine to create a foodie heaven. Here you can expect to find a plentiful menu of vegetables and seafood with dishes such as caponata (aubergine with pine nuts) and gambero rosso (red prawns) freshly caught by local fishermen. Whether you are grabbing a quick snack of arancini (delicious balls of creamy risotto which are breaded and deep fried) whilst exploring or sitting down to a 3 course feast the Sicilians will have poured a lot of passion into it.

Breakfasts are generally a continental affair but a firm breakfast favourite in local cafes is a warm brioche bun served with a bowl of frozen granita- crushed ice flavoured with fruit or coffee. It may not be your usual breakfast but certainly worth a try, particularly on a hot day.

Insalata Eoliana is a deliciously hearty salad and a specialty on the Aeolian Islands, perfect for fuelling your walks. Made with the islands famous capers, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and topped with olive oil, lemon and oregano it is fresh and tasty. Alternatively, you may opt for a quick bite of sfincione, a variation on a pizza slice consisting of a square dough base topped with tomato sauce and possibly grated caciocavallo cheese or anchovies.

In the evenings you will find menus filled with seafood options and lots of tasty pasta dishes often featuring aubergines, a popular vegetable in the region. With an abundance of fresh fish on offer, meat doesn’t have a starring role in Sicilian food, though you can expect to find veal dishes.

If like us you have a sweet tooth, then you can look forward to sampling lots of cannoli and gelato- the locals like to enjoy theirs in a brioche bun like an ice cream sandwich. Yum!

For this trip we have hand selected a wonderful group of 3* and 4* hotels, each with their own personal style in keeping with the region. All hotels offer fantastic hospitality, a lovely breakfast and have sociable communal areas perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring with bars, terraces and one also has an outdoor swimming pool. Perfect for cooling after a busy day exploring.

It is possible to arrange additional nights' accommodation in Taormina before your trip, or Catania at the end of your trip if you would prefer to extend your time living 'la dolce vita'. Please speak to one of our sales team for details.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace. However, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense and the fitter you are the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable walking on rugged terrain for approximately 3-4 hours a day, covering a distance of up to 10km and ascending up to 500m.

Sicily and the Aeolian Islands have a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool winters. April to July and September to October are when temperatures are the most pleasant. At these times of year, daytime temperatures will vary between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade, falling to between 10 and 20 degrees centigrade at night.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Lonely Planet Sicily.

The Rough Guide to Sicily

A House in Sicily - Daphne Phelps

Sweet Honey and Bitter Lemons Travels in Sicily on a Vespa - Matthew Fort

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit inside your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

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2025

Dates

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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on a twin or double basis, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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