Guided Hiking Tours

Italy | Sicily: Aeolian Islands

Seven Islands with over 5,000 years of history await you.

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  • Hiking in Sicily's Aeolian Islands
  • Sicily Hiking
  • "A+++ for the guides! My group had used RW three times before and always had an excellent experience."- A Happy Client

Trip Highlights:

  • Hiking with a cultural historian on the flanks of Mount Etna.
  • Expansive views over the Aeolian Islands.
  • Delicious Italian cuisine.

From across the aquamarine waves, their call can be heard for thousands of leagues. Ulysses surely wasn’t the first to hear their sound as he crossed the Adriatic, Aegean, and Tyrrhenian seas on his Odyssey, but he definitely was a notable visitor – Sicily’s Aeolian islands, home of the sirens.

When speaking of Sicily, or the Aeolian Islands, it is impossible to go without speaking about the volcanoes. They are the reason why people first came to the region, and the soil that resulted from their eruption is the reason why everything that grows here has that special, magic quality. The craters and looking down into them has been intriguing to travelers for centuries – in fact, St. Willibald once traveled to the crests of a local volcano to see if he could catch a glimpse of hell.

The characters of the islands are also friendly, bombastic, and oftentimes caricatures of themselves. Although many of the people on the islands have made the shift from agriculture to tourism over the past decade, there are still a few locals living by their old ways, notably a fellow known as “The Viking” on Stromboli, who still makes his living catching fish and shrimp daily with a spear and his hands. Speaking of which, it is also highly doubtful that you would go to Italy without having the food at least be an equal, if not greater reason, than the hiking – and trust us, on this trip, there is no shortage of gastronomical excitement.

After touring all of the islands, you’re sure to dread the prospect of leaving. Perhaps you’ll start looking for the sirens to blame this on, and maybe you’ll be in the right for doing so!

Trip Itinerary

Arrive to Catania airport and meet your pre-arranged transfer to the charming hilltop town of Taormina, where you will settle into a truly superior and perfectly located hotel. Meet your guides and group for a welcome dinner.

We meet our local historian and tour guide this morning for a two-hour tour of the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina and the local environs. In the afternoon we take a taxi to Milazzo Port and for a 1-hour ferry to Lipari. Lipari is the biggest island and largest town of the Aeolian archipelago. It is a lively and busy place with picturesque streets, an attractive harbor, and a historic citadel.

Distance: 4 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 500 ft.

Today’s hike takes us to the top of Monte Guardia, the old outpost at the southern tip of the island. The hiking trail takes us by luxurious holiday villas built in classical Aeolian style, and to the Cappero-Osservatorio (Volcano Observatory). After the summit, we close the loop with a grand view of Lipari and its 16th-century citadel before heading to explore the town’s maritime atmosphere and rich heritage. Overnight in Lipari.

Distance: up to 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1300 ft

Today we enjoy a lovely coastal hike on Lipari beginning with a descent on a good trail towards the coast. Our beautiful trail brings us to one of the most famous viewpoints on Lipari, the Quattrocchi, or Four Eyes. Our afternoon hike follows a gorgeous valley as we make our way back to Lipari proper for a short ferry transfer to Santa Marina Salina, known for wine production and as the most fertile and green of all the Aeolian Islands.

Distance: 7 miles. Elevation gain: 2700 ft.

Fortunately, Santa Marina has entirely escaped the waves of movie stars and VIP tourism that have plagued some of the other islands, leaving the land rural and perfectly pastoral – great for us! After bagging the peak of the resident volcano, we retire for the evening at an excellent hotel with a classic Aeolian exterior and colorful and modern interior, and taste locally grown wines.

Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain: 2000 ft.

Today, we are off to the fashionable Panarea, the smallest Island in the volcanic archipelago. Hike Punta del Corvo, one of the grandest treks in all the islands. This 421 m (1380 ft) peak is the tallest on the island, and its western flank slants sharply out of the sea, while the eastern side slopes more gently as it rises from the pebble beaches below. Tonight, we visit the stunningly beautiful prehistoric village at Capo Milazzaese and stay in an elegant four-star hotel.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain: 1500 ft.

After a short ferry transfer, we explore this magical island during the day, and in the early evening we depart on a guided hike of Stromboli’s active volcano at sunset. During the excursion, geological, historical and naturalistic information is provided. Enjoy your final night on this secluded and dramatic island in an excellent four-star hotel.
Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain: 1640 ft.

We begin today with a brief ferry ride to Milazzo Port, where a pre-arranged transfer will take you to Catania airport or city.

Sicily: Aeolian Islands | Italy

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