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Sicilian Volcanoes Family Holiday

8 days
incl. taxes
Suitable for:
Age 9+
Activity level:
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Family Group
Family Tours
Group size:
Designed for:
Ages 9-12
Also for:
Ages 13-16

A family holiday to walk on Mt Etna, observe volcanic activity on Stromboli and discover villages on the Aeolian Islands

Lying off the coast of North-east Sicily, the volcanic Aeolian Islands are fringed with black sand beaches and dotted by picturesque fishing villages. We start the trip by walking to the crater rim in Vulcano, taking a dip in the thermal springs and kayaking around the island's black beaches. Next, we head towards fiery Stromboli to observe unique volcanic explosions which will provide an unforgettable highlight of the trip. Returning to mainland Sicily, we explore the most recent lava flows and extinct craters on the very active Mt Etna. With fun-packed educational activities, and some free time to enjoy the beach, this holiday won't fail to entertain and interest kids and adults alike.


  • Hike on three active volcanoes
  • Kayak and swim in the cobalt Tyrrhenian Sea
  • Learn about the Aeolian Islands' geology
  • Enjoy boat trips and time at the beach

Key information

  • 7 nights comfortable 3-star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 8 days land only/flight inclusive
  • 6 days, kayaking, boat trips, trekking and sightseeing
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Designed for 9-12 yrs old, also suitable for 13-16.
  • Travel by private minibus, boat and on foot
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Catania.

    Start in Catania, a UNESCO-listed historic city located at the foot of Mt Etna. After a short briefing with the tour leader, and depending on the arrival time of the group, we will have an orientation walk in the historic centre and admire the Baroque architecture and piazzas.

  • Day 2

    Wander around Catania's famous food market before transferring to Vulcano; afternoon walk to the crater rim.

    This morning we visit the renowned Catania food market, where we shop around for the best local produce for lunch, which will include fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes. We then take a private transfer to Milazzo (2 hours), the closest port to reach the Aeolian Islands. From here, we catch the hydrofoil boat and sail across to Vulcano (1 hour), famous for its black sand beaches and bubbling thermal springs. We settle in at our hotel, located on one of the many black sand beaches. In the afternoon, we ascend 400m to the crater rim in Vulcano, to see the steaming 'Fumaroles' (vents of volcanic gas). Approx. walking time 3 hours. This evening kids will take part in a fun and entertaining pizza making demonstration!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Discover hidden caves and secret beaches while kayaking around Vulcano's coastline; afternoon visit to thermal springs and wine tasting for adults.

    Today we discover the hidden caves and quiet black beaches of Vulcano, whilst kayaking on the island's coastline. After lunch, there is time to go to the famous black beach and take a dip in the bubbling thermal springs. In the evening adults can enjoy a wine tasting session.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Free day. Relax in one of the island's black beaches or take a day trip to the picturesque island of Lipari.

    Today is a free day, with the opportunity to either relax on the island's black sand beaches or visit a sulphur mud bath. You can also take a day trip to the picturesque island of Lipari, the biggest of the Aeolian islands. A gelato tasting session can be arranged, or you could perhaps visit the archaeological museum or take a stroll on the south side of Lipari for stunning views of Vulcano's main crater.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Boat trip to Stromboli; easy walk to “Sciara del Fuoco” viewpoint to observe the incandescent volcanic explosions; return to Vulcano.

    We take a private boat to the island of Stromboli, one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean with black sand beaches and contrasting white houses. The island is famed for being home to one of only four active volcanoes in Italy and an interesting place to explore for geologists and tourists alike. Although Mother Nature doesn't work with an exact schedule, today we should have the opportunity to witness the fiery nature of the volcano of Stromboli, which has been erupting for at least 2000 years at intervals of approximately 15 minutes. On our way to Stromboli, we have time to stop off at hidden beaches for a refreshing dip in the sea. Upon arrival, we have an easy walk to "Sciara del Fuoco" ("Stream of Fire"); a fiery channel where the lava outflows can sometimes plunge directly into the sea. Returning from the walk, we take the boat back to Vulcano. Approx. walking time 3 hours.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Hydrofoil to Milazzo and transfer to Mt Etna. Stop en route in a typical Sicilian bakery to try delicious local sweets.

    Leaving Vulcano behind, we take a boat ride to Milazzo and then a private transfer to Mt Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano. En route we will stop at a typical Sicilian bakery ("pasticceria") to sample some delicious local sweets. We drive to our hotel located at the foothills of Mt Etna , in the village of Nicolosi, where we have some free time for relaxation. Time permitting, we also recommend a visit to the interesting Etna Museum, one of the most visited scientific and educational centres in Sicily. The museum offers a modern and interactive explanation of volcanology and it is equipped with screening rooms, a new 3D cinema and a playroom.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Walk on the slopes of Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano.

    After a short transfer (30mins) we reach Rifugio Sapienza (1900m), the start point of our walk on the slopes of Europe highest active volcano. Cinder cones and extinct craters are a feature of the desolate landscape of this upper part of Etna. From high on the mountain, there is a wonderful panorama of the eastern coast of Sicily. Depending on the weather and volcanic conditions, there is an optional climb where we can take 4x4 jeeps to 2900m and then further on foot to 3350m, escorted by a volcano or alpine guide. Price: €80 per person, payable locally in cash (price subject to change). In the afternoon we transfer back to out hotel in Nicolosi, where where we stay for our last night.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Catania and end in Catania.

    The trip comes to an end after breakfast and a single group transfer to Catania.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners are included.

Please note that the diet in this part of Sicily is heavily dependent on fish and meat. However, vegetarian options are widely available. Breakfast is usually a continental style buffet, whilst lunch is normally a picnic or taken in local cafes. For the evening meal, you can expect it to be dominated by Mediterranean flavours like pasta with rich tomato sauces, olive oil, cheese, salami and pizza. They combine an excellent variety of seafood and meat for the perfect taste of Southern Italy.


Is this trip for you?

The Activity Level for this trip is 3 (Moderate). It is Designed for ages 9 to 12 but is also suitable for ages 13 to 16. Our family activity levels are aimed at children in the primary or ‘Designed for’ age group. We are confident it is also suitable for those in the ‘Also for’ age range, however note if your child is in this secondary category they may find it a little easier. Please see the family activity levels on our website for further information.

When grading our trips, we consider multiple factors, the pace — how busy an itinerary is — and the level of activity involved. Then there’s the amount of time a family will spend travelling. The weather is an important factor too.

During the week's holiday we will make day excursions from our base In Vulcano. Travel time is kept to a minimum wherever possible, although there are two longer travel days (Day 2 and Day 6) when we transfer from/to mainland by bus and boats (total travel time approx. 2 to 3 hours).

There are 3 days of walks which will be around 3 - 4 hours including breaks. All the walks are at a moderate grade and conducted at a leisurely pace suitable for children. We'll also take a kayaking trip around Vulcano. No previous experience is necessary, but participants must be able to swim. During the week we will travel by hydrofoil and boat to Stromboli and Lipari.

There is plenty of time during the holiday to enjoy the beach, the sea and a free day for families to make their own explorations or excursions. Please be aware that Sicily can be very warm, possibly reaching 30-35 degrees in the summer. Please note that the optional summit trek to Etna and the witnessing of the eruptions on Stromboli are weather and volcanic activity dependent. The local authorities may decide (without previous notice) to close the summits and suspend all excursions. In the unfortunate event this occurs, the leader will suggest some alternative optional activities.

The 3 hotels used during the week are simple but comfortable with private bathrooms and Wi-Fi. The hotel in Vulcano is located right in front of the beach.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


3-star hotels

We spend the first night in a 3-star central hotel in Catania, 4 nights in a beach hotel in Vulcano and 2 nights in a family-friendly hotel in the village of Nicolosi, on the foothills of Mt. Etna. The hotels have been chosen for their warm hospitality and their typically Sicilian character. On the October departure we won't be staying in Vulcano but in Lipari, the biggest of the Aeolian islands which offers more facilities and services during the autumn season.

List of hotels normally used:

Gattpardo House or Hotel Valentino in Catania 

Hotel Conti in Vulcano or Hotel Rocce Azzurre in Lipari (October 2018 departure only)

Hotel alle Pendici in Nicolosi

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

You can’t deny there’s an inextricable link between happiness and travelling.

  • Reviewed June 2018
    Sarah Podesta

    Fun, educational and activity-filled trip!

    This three- centre holiday combines city, beach, island-hopping, and walking at altitude on Mount Etna, and as a result a week's holiday goes a long way! We loved the balance between physical activity (walking and sea kayaking) and relaxation, and between organised group time and time to do what took our fancy as a family. The itinerary as a whole was very good and we appreciated the way that bus journeys on transfer days were broken up with informative visits to the local pasticceria and the volcano museum. Hotels were fairly basic but clean and perfectly adequate and transport arrangements ran very smoothly. Overall this was a wonderful holiday with friendly like-minded families and a helpful, knowledgeable guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trip from Vulcano to Stromboli via Panarea, with a stop for leaping off the boat to swim in the beautiful clear sea; circling Stromboli in the boat after sunset and spotting a volcanic eruption; visiting the archaeological museum on Lipari and viewing the Greek and Roman relics; walking through the Catania fish and produce market.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alessio was full of local knowledge and very helpful and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take earplugs - it was a bit noisy at night on a couple of occasions. If you want to experience the sulphur mud baths on Vulcano, take an old swimsuit because apparently the mud gets into the fabric and the smell lingers for months afterwards. It's possible to hire walking boots and other kit on Etna, so no need to buy if you don't already have. Long socks are very useful to stop the volcano ash getting into your boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only disappointment with the itinerary was on the final day, when our flight left Catania at 2145 but we were dropped in the city at 10 am and left to our own devices until 7 pm. It was a very hot Sunday and finding i) amusement and ii) shade was a challenge. We ended up spending a lot of time in the airconditioned department store and then reading books in the park. Some suggestions of what to do in Catania on a Sunday, or a hotel lounge to use as a base for the day, or an alternative flight time, would have been a good idea.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Michelle Laverick

    A fabulous trip

    We travelled on the May 1/2 Term departure to Sicily and we had an amazing time. The tour manager was brilliant and the group of 15, made up of 4 different families, were lovely. The trip combines some great activities with plenty of chill out time too. Our family highlights included climbing Mt Etna and also the walk to explore the Fumaroles of Vulcano and Kayaking around the coastline of Vulcano. For me, I also loved swimming around the bay every morning, where we stayed, before breakfast. It was so tranquil and warm. The visit to Stromboli was brilliant and we all enjoyed the boat ride and the pizza for dinner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of Mt Etna was definitely the most breath-taking and inspirational experience I had on the tour. It was incredible and the volcano was more active than I'd anticipated. It was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Allessio was very organised and was a very lovely and caring tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't miss the opportunity to climb to the top of Mt Etna. It is incredible.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great tour. The accommodation is in a great location and I would have never have thought about going to the Islands of Sicily. They are really stunning and remote, which makes for a relaxing yet active break.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Eamonn Gallagher

    Sicilian Volcano Family Adventure

    First time on organised tour with family. Lovely to have everything sorted by someone else instead of Mum. Lots of varied activity. Ever base covered including the frequent luggage movements. Arrangements ran like clockwork or so it seemed to us, although our tour guide never stopped looking out for us all. Not a lazy trip but when did climbing volcanoes not involve effort. First time with Exodus - God willing we will be back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Laying on the sun deck of a boat at the base of Stromboli, in total darkness, watching shifting stars across the Milky Way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frederick, ex circus performer and tour guide, was and is a star. Passionate about her country of Sicily and able to communicate that passion to us. A bundle of energy, in control, thoughtful and always, not just hearing but listening to her clients. Federica not only led the tour party but was part of the tour party. It takes a rare skill to combine herding cats with handstands and card tricks. A pleasure to have been part of her world.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    High ankle walking boots to prevent volcano sand, grit and dust getting inside your shoes.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Mark Warne

    Family Volcanoes Sicily Trip - Warne/Fox Family

    Fantastic trip and our guide Frederika absolutely was the best. My 10year old thought she was 'awesome'. Volcano and the islands are beautiful and Etna is just another world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The extra spent to go to the top of Etna is a must. At 3,400m you see how powerful and alive our planet is - it make you fell very humble to be there. The Etna Alpine guide was so passionate and informative about his 'island'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frederika (FA) was the best. She was informative, engaged with the kids brilliantly - even on our rest day - and could not have done more for us. She told us in advance what to expect the next day and couldn't have been more helpful She should gain a vote as your group leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The islands are more hot but more humid than you think. Scarves to cover your phase in the sulphur fumaroles on Volcano and Etna are helpful -e especially for the kids. The Etna Center provides you with mountain boots,gators and fleeced waterproofs all within the extra excursion cost if you are trekking to the summit. Sturdy walking trainers or trail shoes are suitable for all other hikes

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fantastic trip - my 10 year old has voted it his best holiday ever - 8 days seemed longer when you were there as we we were very active but could easily have stayed for longer.

Dates & Prices

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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