Where the northern moving African Tectonic Plate meets the Eurasian plate, a fault line spreads across the Mediterranean, jutting dramatic volcanoes out of the turquoise sea, and
forming one of the most actively volcanic regions in Europe. We will spend a week exploring the impact that these volcanoes have had on the local culture throughout history as well as today. We will appreciate how the landscapes around us are often shaped by factors out of our control and viewpoint, in this case raw energy bursting through mantle and crust below our feet to form the Aeolian Islands. Using the beautiful town of Liapri as our base, we will visit nearby Vulcano, Stromboli and Mt Etna to develop our understanding of plate tectonics, geothermal energy, volcanoes and lava and magma.
THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY AND CAN BE AMENDED TO SUIT THE GOALS, BUDGET AND DATES OF YOUR SCHOOL GROUP
Our Geography Adventure to the Aeolian Islands and Sicily begins today as we touch down in the ancient city of Catania to be greeted by our friendly local guide. We will then transfer to Lipari (2h bus and 1h boat), the closest island of the archipelago of the gorgeous and volcanically active Aeolian islands. Depending on the hour of arrival, we should have some time for a walk around the town, before having a group meeting with our guide to discuss the trip and ask any questions, before enjoying some of Italy’s famous cuisine in a local restaurant.
Waking up this morning to a soft Mediterranean breeze we will breakfast and then begin a walk around the southern side of the island to enjoy the memorable views over neighbouring Isla Vulcano and to see the landscape of Lipari up close. We will come back for some lunch before enjoying a free afternoon to perhaps visit the archaeological museum of the island or spend time exploring the centre of the town before meeting up for a group dinner.
This morning we will transfer south to Isla Vulcano and hike up to the mighty crater. Here we can see the power of the planet which has burst through mantle and crust to form these beautiful islands. Viewing the crater from this height gives us a great opportunity to see a volcano up close. Returning to the shore after lunch, there is time to go to the famous black beach and to visit the thermal springs. We will return back to Lipari for dinner.
This morning we will jump on the hydrofoil to Stromboli, an active volcano and one of the most picturesque of the Aeolian islands. We will have some free time after lunch to visit the beautiful village or go to the beach, before meeting in the mid-afternoon to begin our exciting excursion to the active summit. In the darkness this evening we will journey with our friends Magmatrek who will take us to the top to view the red magma glow in the dark, a truly unique and exciting experience to illustrate the volcanic activity underneath our feet! The volcano of Stromboli has been erupting for at least 2000 years at intervals of about 15 minutes. There is almost always smoke and small
eruptions with incandescent material being ejected. We will return back to the hotel later and have a well-earned dinner of more hearty local food.
In the morning, we will take the hydrofoil to Milazzo then take a private transfer to the Alcantara river on the north slope of the Volcano. We will take a walk down to admire the basaltic columns and the dramatic gorges, and maybe even brave a swim in the freezing water. (Canyoning/wetsuit excursion can be arranged depending on the water and weather conditions at the time). We will arrive into the historic centre of Catania, a UNESCO World Heritage city and a lovely place to spend the evening.
From Catania, we will take a private transfer to the south side of the imposing Mount Etna where we will enjoy a trek on the slopes of Europe highest active volcano (3329m). Cinder cones, extinct craters and lava caves are a feature of the beautiful landscape of this upper part of Etna. From high on the mountain there is a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily and on the summit craters. Although it has not wrecked as much havoc as its neighbour Mt Vesuvius, Etna is still very active and eruptions have occurred regularly in recent years,. ejecting volcanic ash and smoke into the sky. After discovering Mt Etna we will return to Catania for our final dinner to celebrate our time in Sicily.
Our adventure will come to an end this morning as after breakfast we will drive to the airport for our flight back home.
Per Person, Twin Share