What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The atmospheric crater of Vulcano with its smell, smoke, fumerole heat and distant view of Stromboli. In Lapari wine tasting was a great way at the beginning to get to know each other and sample the excellent local vino. Descending steeply from Stromboli in the softest volcanic sand you could imagine. It's pitch black, look up and the heavens are filled to bursting with stars.
What did you think of your group leader?
Turi was open, friendly and professional, going the extra mile to arrange things for us even in free time.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Deffinitley take a bright head torch for the night climb of Stromboli. You will get bitten by mosquitos in your rooms and out! Debateable whether you need gaiters - long trousers and reasonabley high walking boots were sufficient to keep the ash out of mine and most others in the group I think.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I've only scored this 3 stars because there isn't anything that's not possible to do easliy on your own without a group. Most dissapointing was having to join public tours, with group numbers doubling in size to ascend Stromboli and Mt Etna. On both occasions there was little opportunity to truely take in your surroundings or photograph them because of time and extended group size restraints. In particular we waited an hour and a half before we could set off for our climb up to Stromboli (waitng for members of the public to join us). This meant we were the last group to leave and were nowhere near the top by sunset, seeing nothing of the magnificance of Strombili. Though the trip notes do say you need escorting by a trained guide, they are misleading in not revealing these are tours for the general public which anyone can book in advance.