Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route
From the quintessentially Italian city of Naples to Sicily's medieval villages and lush landscapes, our active adventure in Southern Italy offers an exciting combination of dramatic dayhikes and enlightening cultural discoveries. Throughout our exploration, three iconic volcanic peaks – Mt. Vesuvius, Stromboli and Mt. Etna – are never far from view, inviting us to enjoy a closer look and learn more about the powerful geological forces that gave them form. We begin our odyssey with a short hydrofoil cruise across the Gulf of Naples to the magical Isle of Capri. Surrounded by the blue waters of the Mediterranean, we'll take a warm-up hike along one of the island's scenic trails and people-watch in the village piazza. Returning to the mainland, the spectacular Amalfi Coast is our next stop as we hike the unforgettable "Path of the Gods" and visit romantic Positano, its sun-washed houses built into a cliffside above a turquoise-colored bay. En route back to Naples, we'll ascend to the summit of Mt. Vesuvius and explore the ancient city of Pompeii, a victim of one of Vesuvius' devastating eruptions 2,000 years ago and one of the world's most renowned archaeological sites. And just when it seems the views can't get any better, we'll board an overnight ferry to the Aeolian island of Stromboli – a volcanic cone rising abruptly from the sea. A twilight hike up to the glowing caldera (with certified volcanologist guides) offers one of the best opportunities on the planet to witness a stunning, close-up lava display. Our adventure culminates with two days on Sicily, a land that has played host to all of the great Mediterranean civilizations including the Greeks, Arabs, Romans, Spanish and French. Here, we appreciate the relaxed pace of traditional village life as we walk through quaint hamlets and small vineyards before pushing on to the summit of magnificent Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano (10,899'). During our adventure, we'll enjoy delicious Southern Italian cuisine and spend our evenings in the comfort of small hotels.
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.
Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route Itinerary:
Day 1 Meet your guide and fellow travelers in vibrant Naples. Savor your first taste of Southern Italian cuisine this evening.
Day 2 Board a hydrofoil for a quick trip to the lovely Isle of Capri. Walk Capri's pathways enjoying panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
Day 3 Explore Naples' historic city center this morning. Travel to the Amalfi Coast and set out on a hike to the enchanting town of Amalfi.
Day 4 Hike along the coast on the spectacular "Path of the Gods" to colorful Positano. Take a refreshing dip in the cool coastal waters.
Day 5 Tour the amazing ruins of Pompeii before hiking up Mt. Vesuvius. Taste the world's best pizza. Catch an overnight ferry to Stromboli.
Day 6 Set out on a late afternoon hike up volcanic Stromboli. Arrive at a summit viewpoint at dusk and watch for fiery lava displays!
Day 7 Travel to the island of Vulcano and hike to its volcanic center, filled with steaming fumaroles. Enjoy a soak in the thermal baths.
Day 8 Arrive in Sicily and walk from the tiny hamlet of Castelmola to the medieval town of Taormina, Mt. Etna looming on the horizon.
Day 9 Full-day hike to the summit of Europe's highest active volcano, Mt. Etna (10,899')!
Day 10 Departing from the Catania airport, our flight affords us one last incredible view of towering Mt. Etna before heading home.
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.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted on the trip itinerary. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, you will be asked to pay a reduced single fee, which is half of the full single supplement. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single rooms available on most departures.
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.
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.
This trip is rated Moderate . 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.
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.
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
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.
- Valid passport
- Airline tickets
- 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
- Bring a few lightweight easily washable items for travel and city wear
- Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
- Rain or wind pants, waterproof and breathable
- 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)
- Sun hat
- Low-cut gaiters
- Wool or fleece hat
- Lightweight gloves
- Lightweight hiking boots, waterproof, broken-in, aggressive tread
- Comfortable shoes for evenings and travel
- Hiking socks
- Liner socks
- Casual socks
- 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
- 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.