Walking Sicily and the Aeolian Isle | Langdale Guided Walking Holidays

Vibrant culture, ancient history and breathtaking natural wonder, a little piece of paradise awaits every turn of our exploration of Sicily and the UNESCO protected Aeolian Islands...

 

  • Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano
  • Guided walks in unique volcanic landscape
  • Aeolian Islands including Lipari, Stromboli and Vulcano
  • Island hopping using local boat services
  • Explore picturesque, rustic villages
  • Stay overnight at Milazzo, Taormina and the island of Lipari
  • Chance upon Stromboli's incredible eruptions
  • Sample typical wines of the area in local vineyards
  • Soak in the volcanic sulpher hot springs and thermal baths

Separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, Sicily is part of Italy, but distinct in its unique landscape and culture, not to mention the host of several impressive active volcanoes, including Mount Etna - the largest active volcano in Europe.

Explore the world of the Iliad and The Odyssey, where Ancient Greek theatres and temples sit tucked away among the canyons and volcanoes of this mesmerising landscape. Witness the breath-taking natural wonder of Stromboli's dramatic eruptions, island hop across the deepest blues of the Mediterranean and sample fine wine and cuisine in a region renowned for its quality of ingredients and its authentic culinary traditions.

Thousands of years of competing histories and culture, from the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Arabic, Byzantine and Norman periods have made their presence felt across the island. It’s no wonder that Sicily feels like one big open-air museum, with picturesque towns and villages that are a melting pot of Ancient Greek, North African and Italian culture.

With beautiful hotels located in Milazzo, Taormina and the island of Lipari (one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean), set out on an escorted tour and see the awe-inspiring Sicilian landscape up close and on foot over a week of expert-led guided walking, accompanied throughout by a professional tour leader and local bilingual guide.

Walking Grade: Grade: Moderate

Day 1: Wednesday 2nd October: Fly to Catania and Transfer to Milazzo, Sicily

Arrive in Catania and met by our agents and transfer by private coach to the the Eolian Hotel located in Milazzo, Sicily.
Meet up with our local guide.

Dinner and overnight at Aeolian Milazzo Hotel. Superior room with balcony and seaview.

Accommodation: Eolian Milazzo Hotel, Milazzo

Meals: Dinner,

Day 2: Thursday 3rd October: Ferry to Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Transfer to Mea Hotel

Today marks our departure for the Aeonian Islands. Check out of the hotel after an early breakfast and transfer by private coach to the harbour of Milazzo for the boat to Lipari. The ferry leaves at 9:30.
Check-in at the Hotel Mea, Lipari Island.
After optional refreshments we set off with our guide to walk along the sea front, through the old town, cathedral,
acropolis and museum to arrive at Marina Corta where we embark on a private chartered boat for a one-hour cruise to the west of the island to see outcrops of rocks called Le Formiche, Pietra Lunga and Pietra Menalda. We then pass Angels Cave before making our way back to the harbour.
After we disembark, stop at one of the many cafes in Marina Corta for an optional snack before going back hotel via the
old town and acropolis, enjoy the views over the harbour. Free time to relax at the hotel in the afternoon.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Mea, superior room with balcony.

Walking: Moderate: 3 hours, 6km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 400m↑ – 400m↓ | Elevation max/min: 2.950m↑ - 2500m↓

Accommodation: Hotel Mea, Lipari

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 3: Friday 4th October: Hiking tour of Lipari

Free time in the morning to explore the harbour area or to relax at the hotel.
After an optional lunch a private minibus takes us to the start point of today’s walk on the western side of the island, stopping in several places to enjoy views of nearby Salina Island. The western side of Lipari Island is an untouched, wild area where the former white volcanic rock (pumice stone) quarries are located. Our hiking route follows a ridge around the distinctive volcanic rocks (Tuff Rocks) of Timpone Pataso, known for its prevalence of fossils. From here, our trail takes us further south to the San Calogero thermal baths, remnants of one of the oldest ancient thermal baths. Along the trail we will stop at various look out points for panoramic views over the surroundings islands. With good weather condition we’ll be able to see a beautiful sunset from the cliffs.
Upon arriving back from our day spent exploring Lipari we have a barbeque planned. Overnight at Hotel Mea, superior room with balcony.

Walking: Moderate: 3.5 hours, 7km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 350m↑ – 200m↓ | Elevation max/min: 360m↑ - 130m↓

Accommodation: Hotel Mea, Lipari

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 4: Saturday 5th October: Vulcano Island

We head for the harbour for a journey by boat to Vulcano, the southernmost island of the Aeolian archipelago. Our
route up to the top of the crater starts directly from the port of Levante.

The walk follows a well-marked trail of grey ash to the top, steep in places, but your reward is when you arrive at the rim
you can look right down into the crater. Continue around the rim trail observing active fumarols. Spectacular views of
the other islands in the archipelago. Return by the same route.

After our descent there, our meeting place is Cantina Stevenson where lunch will be prepared for us. After lunch there
are a number of options, including an opportunity to bathe in one of the famous hot sulphur springs*, further explore
the island or spend some leisure time on the black sand beach, before taking the boat back to Lipari.
NOTE: *Best to use an old swimming costume for the hot sulphur springs as the smell tends to linger!

Dinner tonight under your own arrangements. Restorante Filippino is recommended and, for anyone interested, our guide
can make a reservation.
Hotel Mea, superior room with balcony.

Walking: Easy: 3 hours, 7km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 390m↑ – 390m↓

Accommodation: Hotel Mea, Lipari

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,

Day 5: Sunday 6th October: Stromboli

Time to relax this morning before catching the boat service to the island of Stromboli.
Optional visit to the museum in the morning.
After brunch in the hotel we leave early afternoon for a boat trip to the island of Stromboli. Today’s route takes us
through the village of Stromboli passing typical Aeolian houses as we start our hike to the edge of the Sciara del Fuoco
viewpoint at 400 metres above sea level, with a dramatic, distant view over the volcano’s crater.
Picnic lunch provided by the hotel.
We then take the boat back to Lipari at about 8:00 pm. After a short stop in front of Stromboli Island to admire the
eruptions from the sea under cover of darkness we arrive back at the hotel around 22:30 in good time for a nightcap in
the bar.
Overnight at the Hotel Mea, superior room with balcony.

Walking: Moderate: 3 hours, 9km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 400m↑ – 400m↓ | Elevation max/min: 400↑

Accommodation: Hotel Mea, Lipari

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 6: Monday 7th October: Taormina

It’s an early start to take the ferry back to Milazzo after breakfast, before heading to Taormina by private coach.

Check-in at the hotel and after an optional snack we leave for a guided tour of Taormina, including the beautiful village of Castelmola.

The road is very steep so we travel by our private coach to the summit. From here we have sweeping views out over the Gulf of Taormina and the coast. It’s in this picturesque rural village that we can sample the characteristic almond wine of Castelmola at Caffe Turrisi.

After enjoying the views and ruins of the medieval castle, we return to Taormina by coach to stroll around the narrow labrynth streets, Villa Comunale Gardens and ending at the world famous Greek Theatre carved out f the hillside and refurbished by the Romans in the for an optional visit. (closing time one hour before sunset – extra fee 10 €)

Accommodation at Villa Diodoro. Superior room with sea view and balcony.

Dinner at a local restaurant, Giardino Di Babilonia in Taormina and overnight at Hotel Villa Diodoro.

Walking: Easy to Moderate: 3 hours, 7km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 390m↑ – 390m↓

Accommodation: Villa Diodoro, Taormina

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 7: Tuesday 8th October: Mount Etna

Collect your packed lunch from the hotel at breakfast and travel by private coach to Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano.

Our destination is Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. We head for the Crateri Silvestri, taking the cable car up to an elevation of 2500m. From here we walk to the middle crater (2950m), hiking around the crater’s rim before making the return back down to the cable car station (2500m).

Great panoramic views over the Bove Valley (situated on the northern side of Etna) on the descent. This impressive landscape offers insight into the effects of the last eruption, where a dramatic horseshoe formation was carved out of the eastern side of the volcano.

After Mount Etna we visit a high-altitude vineyard with a wine-tasting session arranged, accompanied with local delicacies.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at the Hotel Villa Diodoro in Taormina.

Walking: Moderate: 3 hours – 6 km | Elevation gain uphill/downhill: 400m↑ – 400m↓ Elevation max/min: 2950m↑ - 2500m↓

Accommodation: Villa Diodoro Taormina

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 8: Wednesday 9th October: Return Flight to UK

After breakfast in the hotel we transfer by private coach to the airport for the return flight to UK.

Meals: Breakfast,

Eolian Hotel - Milazzo

Milazzo Walking tour Hotel Italy

The first night is at the Aeolian Milazzo Hotel, conveniently close to the harbour where we depart by boat to Lipari Island the following morning. Rooms are graded Superior with balcony and seaview.

 

Hotel Mea - Lipari

Hotel Lipari

On Lipari we stay four nights at Hotel Mea located in a quiet area, a five minute walk from the harbour and the perfect base to explore the Aeolian islands. Rooms are graded Superior, and come with a balcony.

 

Our hotel in TaorminaHotel Villa Diadoro - Taormina

Upon leaving the islands we head for Taormina where we stay at Hotel Villa Diadoro for two nights. Rooms are graded Superior with balcony and seaview.

 

 

Availability Status: Available To Book

Option Price p.p Notes
Holiday inc. flight £2,350 Based on two sharing a twin/double room, includes economy flight departing from Manchester or Gatwick
Single supplement £265

What The Standard Price Includes

  • International air travel from UK
  • Private airport transfers
  • Accompanying tour leader
  • Local qualified English-speaking guide
  • Private coaches in connection with the walks and visiting places of interest
  • Welcome reception
  • Local boat services to the three Aeolian Islands
  • Mount Etna cable car
  • Visit to a winery
  • Entrance fee to the Greek Theatre
  • Almond wine tasting
  • Support of our local agents, Michelangelo International Travel
  • Four nights at the 4-star Hotel Taormina
  • Three nights at the 4-star Hotel Aktea
  • Breakfast each day in the hotel
  • Dinners in hotels or local restaurants
  • Picnic lunches for the walking programme

Not Included

  • Drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities to guide, which are optional

 

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

Outbound

Wednesday 2nd October: Fly to Catania, Sicily and transfer to Taormina
Arrive at the airport, London Gatwick or Manchester, under your own arrangements for the flight to Bucharest. Please check-in at least two hours before departure time.

Depart London Gatwick:

  • Deaprt London Gatwick: 07:20
  • Flight Time: 3:05
  • Arrive Catania–Fontanarossa: 11:25

Flight time: 3hr 05
Carrier: British Airways BA2586

Depart Manchester:

  • Depart Manchester: 08:00
  • Flight Time: 3:30
  • Arrive Catania–Fontanarossa: 10:30

Flight time: 3hr 30
Carrier: easyJet

Return

Friday 18th October: Return Flight to UK
Private transfer to Catania–Fontanarossa Airport.

Depart Catania: 

  • Depart Catania–Fontanarossa (BST+1): 17:25
  • Flight Time: 3:10
  • Arrive London Gatwick: 18:35

Flight time: 3hr 10
Carrier: British Airways BS2585

Depart Catania–Fontanarossa:

  • Depart Catania–Fontanarossa (BST+1): 11:30
  • Flight Time: 3:05
  • Arrive Manchester: 13:35

Flight time: 3hr 05
Carrier: easyJet

Flight times are the latest known and are subject to confirmation from the airline. All flight times are local time (BST+1).

October Weather

Average Temperatures
21 C° high
14 C° low
Average Rainfall
48 mm / month
19 days / month
Average Sunshine
6 hours / day

Useful Information

Currency: Euro (EUR). £1 will get you (roughly) 1.15 Euros, with the average price for a cup of coffee in Italy being 1.34 € . There are ATMS in Taormina and Lipari. You can exchange money in post offices and banks, which will generally give you a better rate (without commission) than the dedicated exchange offices (cambio). You may need your passport or ID on hand when exchanging money.

Language: Italian is the dominant language, but there is a strong dialectic variant in Sicily - which even native Italian speakers can have difficulty understanding (signs, menus etc are however in standard Italian, with English translations in hotels, restaurants and other tourist areas). You may find it difficult to communicate in English outside of hotels and restaurants, especially with older generations of Italians.

Timezone: Time alternates between Central European time (GMT+1) and Central European Summertime (GMT+2).

How Fit Do I Need to Be? Hiking trails do not exceed anything above a moderate pace, with the most challenging among our guided walking routes being the ascents of places like Mount Etna and Stromboli. Walking in the historic centres of the towns, villages and cities is at a more relaxed pace, best suited to sightseeing. Our policy is always to set the pace to the needs of the group, and we are happy to take regular breaks if necessary.

By keeping group sizes at a manageable level, we can cater to a range of comfort levels while out on the path, but we generally find that you are more likely to get the most out of these tours if you’re at a confident level of fitness prior to your departure.

Dressing for the the Sicilian Climate: Hiking boots will be the only technical bit of clothing necessary, with lightweight layers appropriate for higher altitudes, to be taken on and off where necessary. We travel in October, with mild and bright weather best suited for hiking excursions.

Power Plugs and Sockets in Sicily: Wall outlets will typically accommodate the European two and three-pin plugs, if you're travelling from outside the European mainland you will need an adapter.

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