What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Walking around the crater of Stromboli with steam and sulphur from fumaroles and breathtaking views over the islands. Climbing Stromboli at dusk listening to the thunder of eruptions and watching the explosions and lava fountains in the dark and then descending ash slopes by moonlight. Wine and antipasti evening at Gilberto and Eva in Lipari Descent of Etna and snow covered black ash craters with amazing thunder and lightening show! Watching dolphins leaping off the Bow of the boat on the way to Stromboli lovely coastal walk on the free day with superb views
What did you think of your group leader?
Maria was excellent, she managed expectations from the start but delivered well above them. She watched the whole group and gave as much or as little attention as people wanted. She was attentive without being smothering. she had lots of suggestions for free time and good recommendations for eating. i think she did a very good job and gave up her free time in catania to eat with the group at a local restaurant on the last night.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
A lot of this trip is weather dependent. if the wind is in the wrong direction then its not safe to walk all the way round the rim of vulcano and if the sea is rough the boats cant cross so be prepared for changes of plan. Walking is quite challenging due to heat rather than difficulty, i found poles a great help. The beaches are all volcanic and sharp stones so water shoes are advisable. sicily is chaotic and timetables can be rather flexible so be warned patience is required on this trip!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
the mountain hut is actually a very nice hotel so dont fret! apartments are lovely and canneto is much quieter than lipari to stay in but only 10-15mins on bus to the action should it be required! dont expect canneto to provide wild socialising as its a sleepy and empty place in june where you may be the only drinkers left in the bar. Gelato and Granita are amazing so you will come back fat. supermarkets are very cheap but hotels and bars are not.