Italy

The Classic Volcanoes

NAPLES TO CATANIA, SICILY
15 - 22 November 2017
20 - 27 September 2018

£1120

Includes 1 National Park and 3 World Heritage Sites
Exclusive small group tour, number of participants : 4 - 7
Prices are per person, based on 2 people sharing a room.  Single supplement is an additional £60 per night. 
The Roman ruins of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius volcano in the background
The crater of Mount Vesuvius volcano
Dramatic eruptions of Stromboli volcano
The view of Vulcano Island from the island of Lipari
The summit of Mount Etna volcano on Sicily

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 - Arrive in Naples. We spend the night in the city.

Day 2 - Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. In the morning we travel by train and visit the Roman ruins of Pompeii which were destroyed by an eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. In the afternoon we join a local tour company to visit Mount Vesuvius itself. They drive us as far up as the road goes and then we walk to the crater with a local guide.  We spend another night in our Naples hotel.

Day 3 - Herculaneum and Phlegraen Fields, Naples. In the morning we return to the base of Mt Vesuvius and visit the Roman ruins of Herculaneum, which was also buried by pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Because the depth of pyroclastic material is deeper here than at Pompeii, wood and other organic based objects are preserved. In the afternoon we travel by train and visit the Phlegraean Fields volcanic area, which is 15km west of Naples. Lying mostly underwater, the area of the caldera comprises 24 craters and volcanic edifices. At the Solfatara crater, the mythological home of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan, we see hydrothermal activity and gaseous emissions. We then return to Naples and take an overnight ferry to Lipari, onboard accommodation will be in cabins. 

Day 4 - Lipari.  The ferry docks in the morning and we spend the whole day on Lipari.  We take a local bus to the north of Lipari Island to see obsidian flow and pumice deposits from Monte Pilato. In the afternoon, again via local bus, we visit Quattrocchi on the west of the island, which has a stunning view and we descend via a coastal path to the beach, passing layered ash and lava deposits. We then return to Lipari town on foot, by local path. The night is spent in Lipari.

Day 5 - Lipari and Stromboli. Free morning in Lipari Town with the opportunity, if you wish, to visit the Old Town and Castle, in which the local museum is based with its displays on the colonisation of the islands dating back to Neolithic times, around 4000BC. We take the hydrofoil over to Stromboli, leaving around midday, with a stop at Panarea to take a picnic lunch. We arrive on Stromboli island in the late afternoon and then take a steady climb to the top, accompanied by local guides, reaching the summit at dusk. We will then spend time there watching the spectacular eruptions of Stromboli by night, before returning to the town. Those who do not feel up to the climb may wish to watch the eruptions from below by taking a short low-level walk to the Observatory (a pizzeria with a terrace giving good views of the eruptions). We then take the boat back to Lipari where we spend a second night.

Day 6 - Vulcano. In the morning we take the hydrofoil to Vulcano, the island and volcano that lends its name to all the world's volcanoes. First we climb the spectacular summit crater and see fumeroles and lava flows, and then we descend and bathe in bubbling hot springs and mud pools. At the end of the day we take the hydrofoil to Milazzo on Sicily where we spend the night.

Day 7 - Mount Etna. Today we visit Mount Etna volcano. We drive to the Rifugio Sapienza and then take the cable car and four-wheel drive bus to a place near the south-east crater. From there a guide will walk with us to near the summit of the volcano. On our way we will see lava flows, steaming vents and fumeroles. We spend the night in Catania.

Day 8 -Depart from Catania. There are direct flights from Catania to the UK and many other destinations. It is also possible fly or take the train back to Naples.