Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route

From: $3,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: Apr-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 10

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

Chat Online

Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

This is an example of a HTML caption with a link.

Price:

2014

REI member: $3,499

Non-member: $3,900

2015

REI member: $3,699

Non-member: $4,075

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $999

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Apr 14–23
  • May 5–14 Sold out
  • May 26 – Jun 4
  • Jun 9–18
  • Sep 8–17
  • Sep 15–24
  • Sep 29 – Oct 8
  • Oct 20–29

2015

  • Apr 13–22
  • May 4–13
  • Jun 8–17
  • Jul 6–15
  • Sep 7–16
  • Sep 28 – Oct 7
  • Oct 13–22

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-15

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Hotels, 8 nights. Ferry cabin (on overnight ferry to Stromboli), 1 night

Trip Highlights

  • Explore three magnificent volcanic peaks: Etna, Vesuvius, and Stromboli
  • Discover Southern Italy, from the Amalfi Coast to vibrant and diverse Sicily
  • Walk among quaint hamlets, small vineyards, volcanic rock, and ancient ruins
  • Enjoy delicious Southern Italian cuisine and stay in the comfort of small hotels

From quintessentially Italian Naples to Sicily's medieval villages and lush landscapes, our active adventure in Southern Italy offers dramatic day hikes and enlightening cultural discoveries. Our exploration centers on three iconic volcanic peaks, inviting us to enjoy a closer look and learn more about the powerful forces that formed them.

We begin with a short cruise to the magical Isle of Capri for a warm-up hike along one of the island's scenic trails. Returning to the mainland, we walk the Amalfi Coast's spectacular "Path of the Gods" and visit romantic Positano. Explore the ruins of Pompeii, victim of a devastating eruption 2,000 years ago, before hiking to the summit Mt. Vesuvius. On the Aeolian island of Stromboli, a twilight hike up to the glowing caldera reveals the wonder of a close-up lava display.

Our adventure culminates on Sicily, a land that has played host to the Greeks, Arabs, Romans, Spanish, and French. Here, we walk through quaint hamlets and small vineyards, enjoying the relaxed pace of village life before pushing on to the summit of Mt. Etna.

See more trips in Italy.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet in Naples and savor your first taste of Southern Italian cuisine.
  • Day 2 - Take a hydrofoil cruise to the Isle of Capri; walk panoramic pathways.
  • Day 3 - Explore Naples and hike along the enchanting Amalfi Coast.
  • Day 4 - Hike the spectacular "Path of the Gods" to colorful Positano.
  • Day 5 - Tour Pompeii and hike up Mt. Vesuvius; overnight ferry to Stromboli.
  • Day 6 - Hike up Stromboli for a summit sunset and watch for fiery lava displays!
  • Day 7 - Hike on the volcanic island of Vulcano; soak in thermal baths.
  • Day 8 - Walk from tiny Castelmola to medieval Taormina in the shadow of Mt. Etna.
  • Day 9 - Summit Europe's highest active volcano, Mt. Etna (10,899')!
  • Day 10 - Depart from the Catania airport for one last view of Mt. Etna.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet in Naples and savor your first taste of Southern Italian cuisine.

    Your trip begins today in Naples, Italy. Naples can be reached via easy rail connections from Rome or by air via connecting flights from the U.S. Vibrant, chaotic, classically Italian, historic Naples invites travelers to discover its vast assortment of world-class museums, atmospheric neighborhoods and fabulous restaurants. Depending on your arrival time, you can opt to begin your exploration of this fascinating city independently or relax before our initial group rendezvous this evening. An orientation meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in our centrally-located hotel, followed by a casual dinner nearby. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Take a hydrofoil cruise to the Isle of Capri; walk panoramic pathways.

    After an early breakfast, a 40-minute hydrofoil ride across the Gulf of Naples transports us to the rugged and beautiful Isle of Capri where we begin our first day's hike. From Capri Town's central piazza, we'll walk past colorful villas with flower-filled gardens to the Grotta di Matromania, a series of hidden caves tucked into the island's limestone crags and the site of ancient pagan worship ceremonies. Continuing along the path, we'll step onto the Terrazza di Tragara, a spectacular stretch of trail offering picture-postcard views of Capri's iconic Faraglioni sea stacks and the summit of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. Returning to town, we'll have some free time to stroll through the narrow alleyways or perhaps take a dip in the cooling Mediterranean waters. A hike to the Villa Jovis, a 2,000 year-old Roman palace built by emperor Tiberius, is also an option. We return to Naples late this afternoon for dinner and overnight. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3 hours with 1000' elevation gain/loss. Optional hike to Villa Jovis: 2 hours with 500' elevation gain/loss.

  • Day 3 - Explore Naples and hike along the enchanting Amalfi Coast.

    We begin the day with a walking tour of Naples' historical city center including the "Spaccanapoli" district, fascinating Napoli Sotterranea (Underground Naples), Via Toledo and Plebiscite Square. In late morning, we'll transfer by private vehicle to the Amalfi Coast, with its rocky sea cliffs and colorful villages clinging precariously to steep hillsides. Our destination is the quiet coastal village of Agerola, perfectly situated near our daily walking routes. After checking in to the hotel, we set out on an afternoon hike through the forest to the enchanting town of Amalfi. Upon reaching Amalfi, we'll have some time to explore some of the town's notable sites including the Piazza Duomo and ornate 11th-century cathedral of Saint Andrew before returning to Agerola for dinner. Overnight in Agerola for the next two nights. All meals included.

    Hiking: 4 hours with 2,100’ elevation loss.

  • Day 4 - Hike the spectacular "Path of the Gods" to colorful Positano.

    We'll enjoy an exhilarating day of hiking today along the "Path of the Gods"; an aptly named trail built high above the shoreline and affording panoramic views of the entire Amalfi Coast. The trail ultimately leads us to Positano, a lovely village of white Moorish-style houses built above a sand beach melting into a small bay. We'll take some time to explore Positano, climbing the stairs that serve as thoroughfares between the terraced levels of the town and enjoying a swim in the bay, before returning to Agerola for the evening. All meals included.

    Hiking: 4 hours with 2,000' elevation loss.

  • Day 5 - Tour Pompeii and hike up Mt. Vesuvius; overnight ferry to Stromboli.

    Considered to be one of the world's premier archaeological sites, the ruins of Pompeii offer a fantastic glimpse into Roman life as it was 2,000 years ago. The sudden, catastrophic eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius in the 1st century AD buried Pompeii in 60 feet of volcanic ash and hid its existence from the rest of the world for 1,700 years. Rediscovered in the mid-18th century, ongoing excavations have uncovered a city frozen in time, filled with well-preserved buildings, frescoes and thousands of personal artifacts. We spend the first half of the day visiting the ancient city with our guide and gaining insight into the history and fate of this lost civilization. Looming over the city of Naples and the surrounding countryside, Mt. Vesuvius (4,203') is the first of three volcanoes along our route and the destination of this afternoon's hike. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and currently sits dormant allowing for closer exploration. We'll take a short hike to the volcano's summit, the Bay of Naples serving as our backdrop, while our guide shares his knowledge of the mountain's geological and natural history. In late afternoon, we'll return to Naples and have dinner at one of the city's renowned pizzerias before heading to the port and boarding an overnight ferry to the Aeolian island of Stromboli. Overnight on ferry in a double en-suite cabin. All meals included.

    Hiking: 1 hour with 350' elevation gain/loss to the summit of Vesuvius.

  • Day 6 - Hike up Stromboli for a summit sunset and watch for fiery lava displays!

    Rising dramatically from the cobalt sea, the cone-shaped island of Stromboli is comprised of a single active volcano known for its constant mild eruptions and fiery night-time lava displays. Arriving refreshed on Stromboli this morning, we'll spend the first part of the day exploring the island's coastline and visiting the charming village of San Vincenzo. This afternoon, we'll set out on a guided hiking excursion up the flanks of the volcano accompanied by certified volcanologist guides who assist us in choosing our route and enlighten us on the forces that have shaped this unique island chain. With luck, we'll have an opportunity to see some of the famous lava displays at twilight before descending back down the mountainside and returning to our hotel. Overnight tonight on Stromboli. All meals included.

    Hiking: 6 hours with 2,900' elevation gain/loss. Our descent will take place after sunset, in the dark. Please note that individuals with asthma and other respiratory conditions are not permitted to hike on Stromboli. For those who do not wish to hike to the top of the Stromboli, there is the option to hike around the base of the volcano to the Sciara del Fuoco where one can still observe the explosions above. Hiking time 4 hrs with 1300’ elevation gain/loss.

  • Day 7 - Hike on the volcanic island of Vulcano; soak in thermal baths.

    A one-hour hydrofoil transfer delivers us to Vulcano, our second island in the Aeolian archipelago famous for its black sand beaches and hot springs. We'll spend the afternoon enjoying a 3-hour hike to Fossa, the island's volcanic center, for a close-up view of its steaming fumaroles. After our hike, we'll slow down the pace and have the option to take a relaxing soak in Laghetto di Fanghi, the island's thermally-heated mud baths. Dinner and overnight tonight on Vulcano. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3 hours with 1,300' elevation gain/loss.

  • Day 8 - Walk from tiny Castelmola to medieval Taormina in the shadow of Mt. Etna.

    After another short over-water transfer, our Mediterranean odyssey continues in intriguing Sicily as we arrive in the tiny Sicilian hamlet of Castelmola. In addition to its serene landscape of almond trees and vineyards, Castelmola is known for the breathtaking panoramas of Mt. Etna and the sea as seen from its quaint cobblestone streets. From Castelmola, we'll begin our mostly downhill hike to the medieval town of Taormina, located along the shores of the Ionian Sea. We have time on our own to visit the town's Greek Theatre – originally built during the 3rd century BC and still used today for performances during Taormina's annual summer arts festival – or take advantage of the town's great shopping opportunities and perhaps sample some refreshing mulberry gelato. The final leg of today's adventure has us boarding our vehicle for the 1½-hour drive to our lodge on the southern flank of Mount Etna in preparation for tomorrow's full day on the legendary mountain. Overnight near Mount Etna. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3 hours with 1,000' elevation gain/loss.

  • Day 9 - Summit Europe's highest active volcano, Mt. Etna (10,899')!

    Along with our mountain guides, we'll spend an amazing day exploring the largest and highest active volcano in Europe (10,899'). A combination of cable car and 4 x 4 vehicles transport us up to 9,100' where we'll begin our hike to Etna's four summit craters (access dependent on current conditions). Walking among the giant lava dunes, we'll appreciate the fantastic views of the Ionian Coast stretching out below our feet before descending down the mountain. Later this afternoon, we transfer to nearby Catania – designated as a UNESCO World Heritage City for its beautiful baroque architecture – and check in to our hotel in the city's historic center. Tonight, we'll enjoy a final celebration dinner with our traveling companions and newfound friends. All meals included.

    Hiking: 6 hours with 1,800' elevation gain and 4,700' loss. Please note that individuals with asthma and other cardiovascular conditions are not permitted to hike on Mt. Etna.

  • Day 10 - Depart from the Catania airport for one last view of Mt. Etna.

    This morning, a group transfer will be provided to the Catania airport for departing flights to the U.S. (via a connection through Rome or other European city). Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Price Includes

Hotel accommodations and cabin on overnight ferry to Stromboli; all meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10; English-speaking local guides; certified volcano guides on Stromboli and Mt. Etna; baggage transfers; all ground/water transportation within Italy as noted; transfer to Catania airport at trip's end; all sightseeing excursions as noted including entrance to Napoli Sotterranea, Pompeii and Vesuvius.

Not Included

Air transportation to/from Italy; transfer to Naples hotel at start of trip; gratuities; excess baggage charges; alcoholic beverages; entrance to Taormina's Greek Theatre; airport taxes and items of a personal nature such as laundry expenses, immunizations or insurance of any kind.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should enjoy hiking and be in good physical condition. We spend 4-6 hours hiking on most days at elevations ranging from sea level to over 10,000' (Mt. Etna). While some hikes are on well-maintained trails, others involve walking over loose dirt, rocks, ash and many stone stairs and include stretches with some steep ascents and descents. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we strongly encourage participants to begin a conditioning regimen at least three months prior to departure consisting of hiking, walking/running and/or cycling. If you live in an area conducive to hiking, try to get out on those hills if possible and work some elevation gain and loss into your training regimen. The better shape you are in, the more you'll enjoy all that this unforgettable adventure has to offer.

Weather

Spring and fall are desirable seasons to visit Southern Italy generally offering an abundance of sunshine and more moderate temperatures than mid-summer. Average daytime temperatures typically range between 65° - 85° F (depending on specific location and elevation above sea level) with evenings cooling down into the 60s and 70s. Early and late summer departures can be warmer with daytime temperatures rising into the high 80s at lower elevations. As some of our hikes take place in the mountains, weather can change unexpectedly and trip members should arrive equipped with some warmer clothing and rain gear.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Large duffel bag or soft sided suitcase (wheels and retractable handle are okay)
  • Daypack (2000 - 2500 cu. in.) to carry your camera, water bottles, lunch, extra clothing
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Passport pouch or money belt
City Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight easily washable items for travel and city wear
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain or wind pants, waterproof and breathable
Clothing
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Lightweight thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants, lightweight and synthetic, zip-off legs work great!
  • Hiking shorts, lightweight and synthetic
  • Long-sleeve shirts (quick-drying, synthetic)
  • T-shirts (quick-drying, synthetic)
  • Underwear
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
  • Low-cut gaiters
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Swimsuit
Footwear
  • Lightweight hiking boots, waterproof, broken-in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for evenings and travel
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Casual socks
Travel Accessories
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight and spare batteries/bulb (required for night descent on Stromboli)
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm (SPF 15+ minimum)
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Daypack rain cover or heavy duty plastic trash bags in case of rain on the trail
  • Pocket knife
Optional Field Gear
  • Knee supports
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera, memory cards and spare batteries
  • Battery charger for electronics
  • Small binoculars
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Favorite energy snacks and/or drink mixes
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Ear plugs/eye mask
  • Sewing kit

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Please be sure to bring luggage you can handle on your own to facilitate transferring it on and off the ferry boats. Bringing a headlamp is required.
  • When descending Stromboli in the dark, a headlamp is necessary to illuminate the trail and will allow you to be hands-free so you can use your trekking poles.
  • Sarongs make excellent lightweight, quick-drying and compact travel towels. Another good option is the REI MultiTowel Lite (available in various sizes) or similar. See www.rei.com for details.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin or blister remedies for foot treatment. Thin liner socks made of silk or synthetic fibers worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate the contents.
  • We recommend a daypack rain cover or a small, sturdy garbage bag to line your pack and keep you gear dry should inclement weather be encountered.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresVesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route
 
4.9

(based on 14 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (13)
  • Exceeded expectations (12)
  • Well organized itinerary (12)
  • Accommodations (11)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (11)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (8), Avid adventurer (5)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • I liked the itinerary (14), Destination (13), Active adventures (12), All the details planned for me (12), Good value (9)

      Reviewed by 14 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-10

      Back to top

      Previous | Next »

       
      5.0

      Awesome REI adventure

      By CLE1

      from St. Louis, MO

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

          This is a busy trip, packed with a great mix of history, culture, beautiful hikes, boat rides, fine food and city tours. Be prepared to wake up early, be fully active and learning all day, have a short time to freshen up before dinner at about 8:30 PM each night. There were one or two afternoons with time for a nap or doing some hand washing. If you want to shop for something specific, ask your guide to point out the best Opportunity. Consider spending time in Rome before meeting up with the REI tour then take the train to Naples. It helps relieve any jet lag before the hiking begins.
          We loved everything about this trip!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • We have taken two previous trips with REI and knew the activity levels & general pace of their adventures. We wanted to visit Italy and were intrigued by the various experiences offered by this itinerary.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Every day was wonderful and offered something different. Pompeii and the underground tour of Naples were amazing. Path of the Gods offered beautiful views and the night hike to Stromboli was a most unique experience, even though the volcano was relatively quiet at the time. Andrea was a great guide and teacher!
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Pay close attention to the elevation gain and loss of each hike and practice hiking uphill wearing a loaded backpack. Follow the gear list because it was accurate. Tennis shoes are fine for some hikes, but boots and gaiters are a must for the volcanos. Most of our Sept. days were very warm, but we needed lots of layers on Mt. Etna! Bring a suitcase with wheels!
           
          5.0

          Bucket List Trip!

          By Sitka

          from Santa Barbara, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer, Love Surprises

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Urban And Rural Pleasures
          • Well Coordinated
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

              This trip exceeded my expectations. The guides were very attuned to the needs/level of experience of each individual.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • As a trip to Sicily was already planned, I wanted to combine a hiking trip with it.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Hard to choose just one! Stromboli was very special. It was a pleasure meeting Andrea and Stefano, and our group had great camaraderie right from the first day.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Bring gaiters, a good head lamp and a comfortable pack.
               
              5.0

              Best Trip Ever!

              By Sallie

              from Boone, NC

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Education
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                  The trip was the best trip of my life. The group was excellent. The planning and details of the trip were well worked out and included a variety of experiences. Hiking 4 different volcanoes was fascinating. The towns that we visited were diverse and beautiful. I would do this trip again.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, Destination, Excellent Reviews, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • I love the Amalfi Coast, and I wanted my daughter to see it with me.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • There was nothing that wasn't perfect! The Stromboli hike was amazing! The guides were also supportive and knowledgeable about history, volcanoes, plants,mythology and pretty much everything else.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Take this trip! Get Andrea and Stefano as guides!
                   
                  5.0

                  It's a must

                  By Paulo M

                  from Israel

                  Pros

                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Guides
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                      How many persons that you know that has been near an active Volcano?
                      we are one of those lucky persons. This trip combine the unique experience of being close to active Volcanos, with the amazing Amalfi Coast and Capri. We were lucky to have a guide expert in geology. It is a must for all active travellers.

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • Itinerary
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Stromboli and Amalfi Coast
                       
                      5.0

                      Excellent trip that exceeded expectation

                      By Alan and Sally

                      from Central CA

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Food
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                          Good hiking boots and gaiters are essentials. We had time between hikes to rest and enjoy local scenery and food. The last night's dinner in a subterranean restaurant in Catania was a highlight.

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • We wished to combine an active itinerary with exploration of the local cultures and cuisine.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Climbing Stromboli volcano in the dusk to watch volcanic eruptions and then descend back to the village in the dark using headlamps.
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • Would begin the trip with several independent days in Rome; travel from Rome to Naples by train to meet the REI group was effortless

                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Great Trip

                          By Captzarkon

                          from Garden City, Idaho

                          About Me 68 years and still moving

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Best Guide Ever
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Food
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                              The only thing I would have changed was to have less shopping time in Capri and at one other location. Also, being American the breakfast coffee was sometimes cold but it tasted great!
                              THe best experiences were being on top of volcanoes and seeing their power and current activity. Although, at 68 years I did get tired the achievement of making the top on the few hard days was a great feeling
                              Every day had either "WOW" volcano views or just the scenery of the Italian coast and the island views.
                              The food was excellent and I got to make my own pizza one evening.
                              Our group "meshed" beautifully and it was a truly shared experience.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts, Trust for REI
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • Never been to Italy and the idea of hiking volcanoes was unique and intriguing
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • Many highlights. Mt. Stromboli going off 4 times while we were at the top (after dark) was great as well as just getting to the top. We had a great group and our guide, Andrea, made the trip the best.
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Good hiking shoes - ask for Andrea as the guide. Be in good hiking shape. Be receptive to learning about volcanoes.

                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Fantastic Trip!

                              By KerrySnow

                              from College Park, MD

                              About Me Casual Adventurer

                              Site Member

                              Pros

                              • Accommodations
                              • Activity Level
                              • Exceeded Expectations
                              • Food
                              • Guides
                              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                                  Our guide, Andrea, was an absolutely perfect person to lead this trip. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the geography, natural history, and culture of southern Italy, the Aeolian Islands, and Sicily. All of the hotels were charming and all of the food was great. The hikes were well planned to include spectacular views (including 4 active volcanoes), small seaside towns, and great restaurants. I highly recommend this trip (and any trip led by Andrea).

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • I wanted to visit southern Italy, see historic sites (Pompeii, the Aeolian Islands, etc.), and visit volcanoes.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • Impossible to say. Every day was an adventure, different from all of the others.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • Pay attention to the gear list. I opted against bringing gloves (who would need gloves in southern Italy in May?)...bad mistake...it was bitter cold on top of Etna.

                                  (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Lovely hikes, quaint villages

                                  By michael88

                                  from Morristown, New Jersey

                                  About Me Avid Adventurer, Hiker, Snorkeler, Swimmer

                                  Site Member

                                  Pros

                                  • Exciting volcano hikes
                                  • Hikes
                                  • Lotsa free time
                                  • Photography
                                  • Quaint villages
                                  • Vistas
                                  • Water views

                                  Cons

                                  • Food plan needs work
                                  • Poor pack lunches
                                  • Two nights in Naples

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                                    I really enjoyed the touring from Positano to Amalfi to the islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Sicily). Fun water travel by both boat and ferry. Epic water views. This trip has more free time than other REI trips; if you like shopping, you can count on several two or three hour windows after the day's hiking is over. The volcano hikes were quite memorable. The accommodations were rather nice. If you have a camera, this is a trip for you.

                                    Food was a real bummer on this trip. Too many meals at the host hotel. Poor pack lunches. Not enough meals out on the town. And an insistence by our tour leader that our whole group (17 in all) had to eat at the same 'Last Supper' table every meal - way too rigid. But we had a lot of fun at a wine tasting one night, and at a make-your-own pizza party another. Then again, a few of the lunch stops are at spots so staggeringly beautiful you don't care if you're eating dog food. Hopefully REI will improve the food plan as this trip evolves.

                                    Another downside to the trip is it has a lot of one night stays. I personally would prefer a two night minimum because it gives travelers more time to enjoy a given locale. And the two nights in Naples just doesn't fit with the village destinations found on the balance of the trip.

                                    Overall this is a very good trip, with some of the best hikes and viewsheds I've ever experienced.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Wanted to explore the magnificent Amalfi coast by foot.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Mt. Etna ascent.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Expect the food plan to be as disappointing as the hikes are exhilarating.

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Breathtaking views & great hiking

                                    By thowell from Alabama

                                    from Birmingham, AL

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                                        I enjoyed having two nights in several hotels, rather than just one night stays everywhere. We had several hours free in each spot for shopping, sunbathing or exploring an island's alleyways.
                                        Favorite island: Stromboli
                                        Favorite volcano: Mt. Etna
                                        Favorite historical site: Pompeii
                                        Most Unusual site: Underground Naples, with a great guide!
                                        Favorite beach: black beach of Vulcano
                                        Best shopping: Positano and Taormina
                                        Favorite hiking: Path of the Gods
                                        We had a good group, ranging in age from 16-60's, but it was our guide, Stefano, who held us all together. He was terrific, patient, and encouraging to all of us. Plus his picnic lunches were delicious! My only suggestion for improvement for this trip would be the night hike to Stromboli. I would start earlier and have a smaller group, stay at the top a little longer for eating and viewing, and descend a little slower as a group. Also, be sure to try the granitas, especially with cream! Ciao!

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • I have never been to Southern Italy and love hiking mountains or, in this case, volcanoes. I also love islands and being on the sea so this was perfect.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • "Skiing" down Mt. Etna in the black ash!
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • Carry poles and gaiters and use them on both Stromboli and Etna. Put your gaiters on before you start the hikes. Carry a lightweight back and pack light so you can move easily from place to place.

                                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Great geology, gelato, and guides!

                                        By Chuck from Arizona

                                        from Tempe, AZ

                                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                                        Pros

                                        • Accommodations
                                        • Activity Level
                                        • Exceeded Expectations
                                        • Food
                                        • Guides
                                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about REI Adventures Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route:

                                            We really appreciated our guides' enthusiasm for the region, its history, culture, and food. The mix of activities was a great balance. Exposure to intense tourist sights was modest and could be further minimized (e.g., town of Amalfi, town of Capri).

                                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                            • It was a great way to experience the culture, history, and food of this beautiful region. Hiking through it all provided a different perspective. Volcanoes, ruins, blue water, and Italian food, what could be better.
                                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                            • Too many to name, but the top of Stromboli and hiking around Etna were super.
                                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                            • Be ready to do some hiking, nothing really strenuous, but you got to be able to exercise.

                                            Displaying reviews 1-10

                                            Back to top

                                            Previous | Next »

                                            How are we doing? Give us feedback on this page.

                                            • Join REI today!
                                            • REI Membership
                                            • REI members enjoy discounts on REI Adventures trips and more benefits.
                                            • Join REI today!
                                            • Sign up for REI Gearmail®
                                            • and get 15% off selected items!
                                            • Store Locator
                                            • Locate an REI store near you.
                                            • Find a Store
                                            © 2014 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. REI, the REI Tree and Mountain design, Novara, and
                                            REI Adventures are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc.

                                            Find REI on: FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickrMobile site