Volcanoes of Italy - the Grand Tour
- 15-days study & walking tour from Vesuvius to Etna -
- All active volcanoes of Italy in one tour!
- Travel in a small international group
- Archeological highlights such as Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Beautiful beaches and relaxing boat trips
- Wonderfully located hotels
- Delicious South-Italian food and wine
- Experienced volcanologist as tour guide
Itinerary (15 days)
Arrival in the city of Naples and your hotel in the historic center of Naples. The group meets in the evening for a welcome dinner in a typical restaurant in the lively city center.
Morning visit of Vesuvius with short hike around the famous volcano´s crater and walk in the Valle dell'Inferno, lunch and wine-tasting at one of the excellent vineyards on Vesuvius´s lower slopes, and afternoon - evening visit of the excavated Roman city of Herculaneum.
Morning visit of the historic Volcano Observatory of Mt Vesuvius with its interesting museum and afternoon exploration of the excavated city of Pompeii and the Antiquario di Boscoreale
Day trip to explore the volcanoes of the Campi Flegrei (Phlegrean fields): the Solfatara, Monte Nuovo, Lago di Averna and Pozzuoli, ending at the famous Cape Miseno view point before enjoying dinner at a nice beach restaurant.
Free day in Naples to further explore the city´s rich cultural heritage (e.g. museums, second visit to Pompeii, optional guided visit of the historic center of Naples, ...) In the evening we go to the port of Naples to take the night ferry to Stromboli island.
Early morning arrival on Stromboli and sunrise breakfast, midday to relax at the hotel or explore the small town, evening climb to the Sciara del Fuoco to watch the volcanic activity.
Free morning and midday before we undertake the more challenging climb to Stromboli´s summit (highest point is Pizzo at 918 m asl) in the afternoon. Reaching the summit area around sunset we have about one hour to view the eruption from close range before we start our nighttime descend.
Another full day to further explore Stromboli. In the morning we have a boat trip around the island and after lunch you are free to relax and/or undertake an additional climb to the summit craters, hike to the Sciara del Fuoco,...
Morning hydrofoil transfer to Lipari and afternoon hike to visit this volcanic island´s spectacular pumice deposits and historically used obsidian flow.
Morning visit of the archaeological museum of Lipari before we take the speed boat to Vulcano island. After a hike around the active crater and optional visit of the hot mud pools and/or fumaroles on the beach we return to Lipari in the (late) afternoon.
Morning boat to Sicily and transfer to our hotel on Etna volcano. In the afternoon we offer an optional hike (2.5-3 hrs) to a great viewpoint for a first impression of Mt Etna´s dramatic landscapes.
If the volcanic activity and weather conditions allow so, we spend a full day on the summit region of Mt Etna to observe its smoking craters, volcanic deposits and historic lava flows and cinder cones.
Second full day hiking excursion on Mt Etna which focuses on a the giant Valle del Bove depression on the volcano´s SE flank.
Spare day, if not used for Etna we visit attractions nearby around Etna: a lava cave we can walk through, the Alcantara Gorge, Taormina with its Greek theatre. In the evening, drive to Catania where we celebrate the last night in its lively historic center.
The tour ends today with transfer to Catania according to your departure time. Probably, you still have time enough to explore a bit of Taormina or the lively city of Catania itself, which offers more than enough to visit: the famous local market (especially the fish-market is spectacular!), numerous Ancient relics, baroque architecture, or simply enjoy its buzzing charm from one of the plenty street cafes.If you have more time, we recommend you extend your stay in Sicily or on the islands - options of things to do here are nearly unlimited, and we are ready to give you advice.
Group size: 6-12
Duration: 15 days (14 nights)
Dates:13-27 Oct 2017
12-26 Oct 2018
11-25 Oct 2019
Price (p.p.): 3590 € ?
- 14 nights accommodation in double room (upper mid-range category)
- Most meals (breakfast + lunch snack + full dinner menu incl. wine, beer, coffee etc. in reasonable amounts)
- All transports and excursions as described
- Entry fees to museums, volcanoes, archaeological sites etc. as described
- Volcanologist guide from our team
Tour guide:For the Grand Tour of Italy, normally Tom will be your tour guide:
Dr. Tom Pfeiffer (1970) is a German volcanologist with a PhD degree in geology about the volcanic history of Santorini volcano from the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
For over 20 years, Tom has been both working (at the Hawai'i and Vesuvius volcano observatories), traveling to volcanoes around the world, and organizing guided tours to volcanoes such as to Santorini, Etna, Stromboli, Kilauea on Hawaii and volcanoes in Africa and Indonesia. During his travels, he found his strongest passion in photography (link to his book) and the sharing of his knowledge and the living adventures outside the scientific community.
In 2004, he founded VolcanoDiscovery as a tour company, where he guides most tours in Greece and Italy as well as pilot and special eruption tours.
Other activities include a large number of articles about volcanoes published in newspapers and magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American (April 2003 issue about Etna) and others. More recently, Tom participated in documentary film productions about Santorini (“The myth of the lost city of Atlantis”, "Mystery Hunters", both on Discovery Channel) and Stromboli (“Quarks and co: Vulkane” on the German television channel WDR), and the ongoing series "Volcanic Odysseys" by Canadian filmmaker Michael Dalton (Love Nature & Smithsonian Channel).
Tom speaks English, Danish and Italian fluently (besides German, of course) and Greek and French with some Spanish quite well. He has spent a total of about 2 years in Italy (Rome, Sicily, Naples Volcano Observatory), a year on Santorini in Greece, as well as worked for 4 months at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, lived in Denmark for 7 years before moving to Athens in 2004.
Travel arrangements to Naples and from Catania are not included in the tour package, in order to give everybody the best chance to plan his/her trip according his preferences. Naples is easily reached by plane or train (e.g. from Rome airport or other cities). When the tour ends in Catania on Sicily, a connecting flight to the departure airport (e.g. Naples, Rome, Milan) can be easily booked for you at low additional cost. The tour can be ideally combined with a preceding or extension program in Italy, including e.g. visiting cities like Rome, Florence or spending more time on Sicily or one of the islands. We will be happy to make suggestions and can help you with such travel arrangements, as well as assist you with your international travel to Italy.