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  • Monday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Saturday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Sunday Closed
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Sicilian Volcano Hike with Luca Cosma

Italy, Sicily - Trip code SV Walking and Trekking
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212Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
Days 8
Price from Call us
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Exciting trekking on three active volcanoes in the company of specialist volcanology guide Luca Cosma. Explore as close as is possible to the crater-rim zone of Europe's highest active volcano, Mount Etna (3350m), travel by hydrofoil to the picturesque Aeolian Islands and hike to the top of the Gran Cratere on Vulcano Island.

  • Stromboli - Chance to see volcanic activity by both day and night
  • Taormina - Visit the famous Greek Theatre with views of a distant Mount Etna
  • Food and Drink - Refuel with tasty Sicilian cuisine
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Lunch: 2

    Dinner: 3

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Trek Guide

    Boat Crew


  • Transport



    Cable Car


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    7 nights comfortable hotel

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    Walking grade:

    Moderate and Challenging

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    Group Size:

    10 - 15


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Linguaglossa on Mount Etna's northern slopes

Our Sicilian volcanology adventure starts at our base for the next three nights, the comfortable Maraneve Resort, located in small town of Linguaglossa on Mount Etna's northern slopes.

Your trip Leader plans to meet everyone in the reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting followed by an included dinner either at our hotel or a local restaurant. There are no other activities planned today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.

If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), which is around one-and-a-quarter hour's drive from the hotel.

Luca Cosma is a specialist volcanology guide and will be our trek leader for the week. Born on the Aeolian island of Stromboli, Luca has been leading Explore walking groups in Sicily for over 20 years and is proud and passionate about his homeland. He'll share both his scientific knowledge and stories of growing up in the shadow of a volcano.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Dinner

Day 2 - Cable car and 4WD ascent on Etna; trek with views of southeast crater and lava flows

Our hike this morning will take us as high as we can go on Mount Etna. The highest volcano in Europe, at 3350 metres, it has been in a state of eruptive activity since 2001 with the last couple of years being particularly active. Travelling by minibus to the cable car station on Etna's southern flanks, we take the cable car from 1900 - 2400 metres then swap to a four-wheel drive truck. Alighting at 2800 metres, the current maximum limit permitted (FEB 2022), we'll be able to admire the Southeast Crater, (the youngest dating from 1971) right in front of us and currently the highest point on the volcano at 3350 metres. Recent activity saw it surpass the altitude of the Northeast Crater in August 2021. We'll see the lava flows that have built up over the last couple of years; some may still be warm. Luca will, (weather and volcanic activity allowing), guide us on a descent taking us past the eruptive cones from the eruptions of 2001 and 2002 and into an amazing lava tube formed during the eruption of 2002. We should be able to enjoy superb views all the way to the north coast of Sicily and the volcanic Aeolian Islands lying offshore. We'll stop for a picnic lunch, perhaps at the panoramic point overlooking the Valle del Bove Caldera, before continuing the descent back to the cable car station.

Please note: In the event of high winds the cable car does not operate and it will be necessary to ascend from the northern side of the mountain.

Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take around four to five hours with a total ascent and descent of 400 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3 - Hike among Etna's lava flows and along a lava tube

We take a short drive up the northern side of the mountain this morning to the remains of the ski station of Piano Provenzana at 1900m - most of it was buried by lava in the 2002 eruptions. Our hike follows the solidified lava flows uphill to arrive at the crater line at around 2500 metres. We follow the crater line to the parasitic cone of Monte Nero then continue to the Grotta dei Lamponi, a long cave or lava tube, that formed when the softer lava inside the chamber eroded. We can explore inside the lava tube with our head torches for several hundred metres before returning to the edge of the 1923 eruption and eventually, Piano Provenzana.

Today's 13 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with a total ascent and descent of 600 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 - Hydrofoil to Aeolian Island of Stromboli; sunset hike up crater

We make an early start this morning to drive to the port city of Milazzo on Sicily's northwest coast, gateway to the Aeolian Islands which are a UNESCO listed World Heritage site. We catch a fast hydrofoil to the awe-inspiring island of Stromboli, a classic cone-shaped island volcano which rises dramatically from the depths of the sea to 900 metres with a cloud of smoke almost permanently gracing its peak. Around its base are some small communities, whose white-washed houses splashed with scarlet bougainvillea, provide a vivid contrast to the dark volcanic rock of the powerful crater behind. The walking on Stromboli is a one of a kind and a spectacular experience as the volcano here is constantly erupting.

In the late afternoon we climb on a zig-zagging path all the way to the current allowed limit of 450 metres, where we'll wait to admire the sunset and take in views of both any volcanic activity taking place and the surrounding panorama. Descending by the light of our head torches we'll drop in at the pizzeria (300 metres) at the Observatorio to watch the volcanic activity and maybe have a pizza and glass of wine while we watch this natural 'show'.

The top section of the climb and descent of the mountain is on volcanic ash so it's important to have good walking boots and you may find walking poles helpful too.

Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take approximately three hours in total with a total ascent and descent of 450 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Hydrofoil to Panarea Island; hike on Panarea. Hydrofoil to Lipari Island

Departing Stromboli on an early hydrofoil we plan, sea conditions allowing, to stop on the Island of Panarea. The second smallest of the Aeolian's with a year-round population of just 280, it's been a popular summer retreat with the bohemian set since the 1960s. Leaving our baggage at the harbour office, our hike takes us to site of the pre-historic village at Calajunco on a trail that zig zags up and down from sea level to around 150 metres. In the afternoon we catch another hydrofoil to the largest Aeolian island of Lipari where we stay in the port town of the same name. Lipari has a reputation as the liveliest in the Aeolian Islands. This evening we can head out to enjoy some good food and wine in one of the restaurants in the ancient harbour of Marina Vecchia.

Today's four kilometre walk is expected to take approximately two hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Day trip to Vulcano Island; climb the Gran Cratere for Aeolian views

This morning we take a small boat to the neighbouring island of Vulcano, named after Zeus' son Vulcan, the God of fire and metalworking. Vulcano has erupted spectacularly throughout the centuries - the last dramatic explosion being only 100 years ago. In 183 BC a huge eruption gave birth to Vulcanello (the Little Volcano) visible from the port. Today, Vulcano puffs out a steady stream of gases and vapour. Even offshore the presence of the sulphur, which was once mined here, is obvious. Our hike on the island takes us up to the crater rim, 'Gran Cratere' (400 m) for great views of the islands scattered around us. After descending, you may wish to try a mud bath - reputedly an excellent cure for arthritic complaints! Having caked ourselves from head to toe, its then time for a swim in the azure sea - the water here is very warm, an indication of how close the boiling interior of the earth comes to its crust. We return to Lipari for our final night on the Islands.

NB: As at April 2022 the Gran Cratere on Vulcano island is currently closed to the public due to gaseous emissions. Should this still be the case when your trip operates, your leader will organise an alternative hike instead.

Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take approximately three hours with a total ascent and descent of 386 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Return to mainland; walk to Taormina, time to visit the famous Greek Theatre

We return to mainland Sicily by hydrofoil back to Milazzo and drive south along the eastern side of the island to Taormina. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, this pretty town is home to many historic churches and a number of lively bars and cafes as well as a Graeco-Roman theatre which is famous for one of the most iconic views in Sicily - that of snow-capped Etna acting as a backdrop to the remarkably preserved columned stage. It was a favourite place during the days of the 'Grand Tour' and was frequented by Goethe, Edward Lear, D.H. Lawrence and many others. Our plan is to enter Taormina on foot, on a downhill walk from the village of Castelmola, perched high above the town. There will be free time here to wander the pretty streets full of cafes, restaurants and souvenirs shops and to pay a visit to the theatre. Our destination for our final night is the seaside town of Giardini Naxos a few kilometres to the south of Taormina.

Today's three kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 45 minutes with a total descent of 320 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends at the seaside town of Giardini Naxos

The trip ends this morning after breakfast in Taormina. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), which is around an hour's drive from the hotel.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Roman Catholic




Budgeting and packing


Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions on Mount Etna can change quickly and it can become very cold with snow possible in the summit zone at any time of the year - warmer layers are essential. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind.

-Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers)
-Long-sleeved tops
-Warm hat (e.g. woolen)
-Long trousers
-Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them)
-Swimwear and towel
-Midlayer Fleece/pullover
-Socks (liner and thicker pair)
- Gloves
- Gaiters (useful to stop the volcanic ash getting in your walking boots)


We recommend you bring supportive, high-cut, mountain walking boots. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. We recommend that you wear/carry your walking boots as hand luggage on the international flight: should your luggage be delayed, your well broken-in boots will be irreplaceable.

Bring trainers and sandals for relaxing and other sightseeing. Water shoes or rubber sandals can be helpful for the beaches on the islands.



Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of luggage and a daypack.


You should bring a resusable 2litre water bottle, sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Trekking poles are highly recommended. You will need a head torch for the Stromboli descent after dark and lava tube.

Hard hats are provided locally for the Etna and Stromboli summit hikes.


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour. Accordingly, we recommend approximately 15€ per person for tipping. 10% is recommended at meal times.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
£10.00 - 15.00
Dinner price
£20.00 - 25.00
Beer price
£2.00 - 4.00
Water price
£1.00 - 2.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
Major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Larger hotels and restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Only in major towns. Please note, the exchange rate for cash and Travellers Cheques is poor.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Foreign Exchange
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, 4WD, Cable Car, Ferry

Accommodation notes

For the first three nights of this trip we stay at the Maraneve Resort, a comfortable four-star property built in 2015 with spacious rooms furnished in a contemporary style, some of which enjoy views of Mount Etna. The property is on the edge of the small town of Linguaglossa on Mount Etna's Northern slopes and a great base for reaching all of our hikes on the mountain.

On the island of Stromboli we stay at Hotel Villaggio Stromboli. Built in a white-washed Aeolian style, there are superb sea views from its panoramic terrace and all elegantly furnished rooms also have their own small terrace. On Lipari, family-run Hotel la Filadelfia is situated in the centre of this lively port town and has a small swimming pool, restaurant and bar. Hotel Isola Bella is located at the bottom of the cliffs below Taormina which can be reached on foot via or via a cable car which connects the town with nearby Mazzaro Beach. The hotel has a roof terrace pool and looks out over a small bay.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Maximum altitude (m)




Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.


Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Moderate and Challenging
Trek details
Walks on 5 days for between 2 to 6.5 hours with a further optional walk. Terrain will be a combination of easy walking trails on compacted volcanic deposits with more challenging sections of loose ash and scree. Max walking altitude 2800 metres.

Please note that the summit treks on Etna and Stromboli are weather and volcanic activity dependent. It's possible that the local authorities may decide to close the summits with little or no notice. Should this occur we will endeavour to arrange alternative walks. Due to the volcanic dust and sulphur fumes on the volcanoes, this trip may not be suitable for asthma sufferers or customers with heart conditions.
Max walking altitude (m)
Additional Information

Why book this trip

Explore some of Europe's most active volcanoes on a trip that will both educate and inspire. Trekking in the company of specialist volcanology guide Luca Cosma, this trip includes access (subject to weather and any restrictions which may be in force at the time of travel) to both the barren yet beautiful moonscapes of the top crater zone on Mount Etna and the summit of Stromboli volcano, where we hope to observe volcanic pyrotechnics in action after dark.

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise


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