Beginning at sea level this half day hike on the only continuously active volcano in Europe is one for the bucket list. You set out late afternoon and the ascent starts with an easy stroll through green vegetation and as you climb higher this gives way to stark black sand and steeper slopes. Scheduled to arrive at the summit at sunset, have your camera ready for spectacular views towards the Italian mainland and molten lava in the volcano’s craters. Proper hiking footwear and a headlamp are required for this guided hike.
Mount Etna rising almost 11,000 feet into the sky is probably the first thing you recognise when you first arrive in Sicily. It is an active volcano, but one that erupts only sporadically. This means that most of the year you can spend the day exploring its slopes and craters. There are almost 20 different trails you can take whether you are looking for a short easy stroll with the kids (Sartorius Mounts is the perfect choice for this), or a real challenge. We recommend the entire Move Valley trail. Most hikes begin at the Rifugio Sapienza and you can hire a guide, reach the summit via cable car and a bus, or go solo.
Combine your love of the sea and hiking with a visit to this nature reserve in the south eastern corner of Sicily. The Vendicari Reserve has three hiking trails to choose from in this unspoilt oasis. The green trail is for the history buff as there are several archeological sites along the way. The beach aficionado should choose the blue trail and visit three different beaches en route.
Cefalù is one of those Italian seaside towns that has the visitor searching the real estate ads in a shopfront window and thinking of moving there forever. For the best view of the ochre coloured houses, the sparkling sea and fishing boats, climb to the top of the rocky La Rocca hill. Look for the twisty Salita Saraceni staircase to begin your ascent. This hike takes a little less than an hour.
If the stairmaster is your favourite piece of gym equipment you are going to love the vertical climb up Filo Dell’ Arpa. The highest peak of the Aeolian island of Filicudi rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Along the way you can see long died out volcanic craters.