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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive cantania

Welcome to Syracuse!Welcome to Syracuse!

Welcome to Catania, Sicily! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by your guide and driven one hour to Syracuse. Get settled into your hotel, and rest up for the excitement ahead. 

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Villa Lipari (or similar)

Day 2: syracuse

Spend time on Ortygia Island todaySpend time on Ortygia Island today

In the morning, meet your local city guide for a walking tour of Syracuse. During the Greek Classical Period, this east coast city, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, was the largest in the ancient world—even bigger than Athens.

Today's tour includes the city's Neapolis Archeological Park, with its famous Greek theater hewn out of the hillside and the fine Roman amphitheater where gladiators once fought. Then continue to Ortygia Island, a small island in the center of the city, home to many more historical landmarks.

The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the city.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Villa Lapari (or similar)

Day 3: ragusa and agrigento

Picture-perfect RagusaPicture-perfect Ragusa

This morning, drive 1.5 hours to Ragusa, another picture perfect Baroque town whose buildings crown the summits of two adjacent hills. Stop for coffee and to wander in the old town of Ragusa Ibla. Get back in your vehicle, then soak in the scenery during the 2.5 hour drive to Agrigento, where you'll take a lunch break.

The afternoon is dedicated to the ancient ruins of Agrigento, once one of the most prosperous cities in Sicily. The ancient acropolis, now the modern city, overlooks a southern ridge, misleadingly named the "Valley of the Temples." Visiting these temples, walk around the ruins of the largest Doric temple ever constructed, the Temple of Zeus. Also explore the perfectly-proportioned Doric columns of the Temple of Concord, as well as the oldest temple in the complex, honoring Hercules. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Colleverde Park Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: villa romana and mt. etna winery

Visit a winery near Mount EtnaVisit a winery near Mount Etna

This morning drive two hours to the impressive Villa Romana del Casale, a magnificent country mansion containing nearly 10,000 square ft. of beautiful, multicolored mosaics. Thanks to the beauty and complexity of this Ancient Roman villa (UNESCO listed since 1997), it is considered one of the most important examples of a state residence among its contemporaries of Roman times. 

After sightseeing and lunch, continue your drive (1.75 hours) through gently rolling open landscapes to the foothills of Mount Etna. Once there, head to Tenuta San Michele, where you'll spend a relaxing afternoon visiting the vineyards and wine cellars, and enjoying wine tasting of the prized Etna reds, whites and sparkling wines.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Tenuta San Michele (or similar)

Day 5: northern side of mount etna

Hike Mount Etna's northern sideHike Mount Etna's northern side

Today is dedicated to exploring Mount Etna from the northern side. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. It is the highest volcano in Europe (3330m) and one of the largest in the world.

Drive about an hour up to 1900m on Etna's slopes, where you'll see hundreds of subsidiary cones and spent craters that were formed by lateral eruptions along regular lines of fracture which, together with twisted lumps of lava strewn chaotically around, provide an otherworldly setting.

Then get out of your vehicle and get ready for a walk! Today’s walk is accompanied by a local volcanologist, and you'll walk to the fissures of the 2002 eruptions, and the site of the former ski resort area of Piano Provenzana. Reach a high point on the walk of 2200m. Afterwards, follow the now solidified lava flows downhill through the pine forests to 1900m.

Expect to walk for about four hours, 4.5 miles, for a total ascent of 650 ft. and a descent of 460 ft. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Tenuta San Michele (or similar)

Day 6: southern side of mount etna

See more of Mt. Etna todaySee more of Mt. Etna today

Today, explore Mount Etna from the Southern side. Drive an hour, and when you reach the mountain get out of your vehicle to begin your walk. You are again accompanied by a local volcanologist and today will see another area of the 2002 lava flow. 

Today's planned 3.5 mile walk is expected to take around 3 hours, with a total ascent of 500 feet and a descent of 450 feet. Depending on the weather and eruptive conditions, plus the group's ability to walk, it may be possible to organize a further hike above 2200 meters, getting closer to the crater.

Descend from Etna and transfer to Milazzo, where you board a hovercraft to Lipari, your home for the next three nights. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Residence La Giara (or similar)

Day 7: stromboli island

Climb the volcano on StromboliClimb the volcano on Stromboli

This morning, board a private boat to Panarea, where you have time for a visit of the town and a swim, and then onto Stromboli Island for a day of exploration by foot. 

There are two options for the walk on Stromboli, depending on your walking ability. First, you may choose to take a circular walk to 272 meters above sea level to see the lava flow field called the "Sciara di Fuoco." This walk is suitable for all abilities, and it's rare for the route to be inaccessible due to volcanic conditions. The Stromboli to Sciara del Fuoco walk is just under 8.5 km, and will take you around 2.5 hours, with an ascent and descent of 325 metres.

Alternatively, you may decide to take a more strenuous walk that involves climbing to the top of Mount Stromboli at 924 meters above sea level. It is only possible to do this climb if you are accompanied by an authorized volcanologist as part of a guided group walk. 

If you do wish to climb to the top, your walk begins in the late afternoon and reaches the summit in time for sunset. Here, rest for 30-40 minutes in the darkness, which offers the best chance to observe the light show caused by the lava-spewing volcano. Then descend at night (and bring a flashlight, as there are no public streetlights on the island). The top section of the climb and descent of the mountain is on volcanic ash so it's important to have good hiking boots, and you may find walking poles helpful, too. Please note that this walk may be restricted or canceled at short notice due to volcanic activity or bad weather. The Stromboli summit walk is 14 km and takes around six hours with an ascent and descent of 1000 meters.

If you do not wish to climb to the top, board a private boat at dusk and cruise around the side of the Sciara del Fuoco lava flow to observe the eruption. The boat returns to Lipari once the walking group has descended from Stromboli, generally around midnight.  After, return to your hotel to rest. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Residence La Giara (or similar)

Day 8: lipari or vulcano island

Explore beautiful LipariExplore beautiful Lipari

Today is a mellow day, giving you a chance to recover from yesterday’s late night and time to wander the town of Lipari. Enjoy this free day to explore and rest as you please.

If mellow isn't your thing, consider this optional excursion today: Take the public hovercraft to the Aeolian island of Vulcano, named after Zeus' son Vulcan, the God of fire and metalworking. Although now dormant, Vulcano has erupted spectacularly throughout the centuries, with the last dramatic explosion only 100 years ago. In 183 BCE, a huge eruption gave birth to "Vulcanello" (the Little Volcano), visible from the port. Today, Vulcano puffs out a steady stream of gases and vapor. Even offshore the presence of the sulfur, which was once mined here, is obvious.

Upon arrival, walk to the Gran Cratere rim, which provides great views of the island and archipelago. The descent along green slopes gives you an amazing contrast of colors against the blue sea and the dark grey rocks.

The hike up Gran Cratere on Vulcano island is just under 4 miles and takes around 2.5 hrs with an ascent and descent of 1200 feet. After the descent, cool off with a swim in the sea and in the natural, volcanic hot water and mud pools. 

Return to Lipari by public hovercraft.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Residence La Giara (or similar)

Day 9: taormina

The Greek Theater in TaorminaThe Greek Theater in Taormina

This morning, take the public hovercraft from Lipari to Milazzo where a private minibus takes you to Taormina. Enjoy lunch after checking in to the hotel.

In the afternoon set off on a guided walking tour of Taormina, Sicily's most famous resort village. Once a favorite haven for the likes of D. H Lawrence and Oscar Wilde, Taormina today is still a charming favorite for travelers. After a walk around this chic and beautiful town, with its pretty medieval churches and charming streets, it's easy to understand why.

A highlight is a visit the Greek Theater in Taormina. Here, snow-capped Mount Etna acts as a spectacular backdrop to the remarkably preserved, columned stage. It's easy to see why this is possibly the most famous view in Sicily, and it makes for a superb photograph.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Villa Diodoro (or similar)

Day 10: fly to alberobello & matera

See the famous Trulli housesSee the famous Trulli houses

This morning, transfer to Catania airport where a short flight takes you to Bari, capital city of Puglia, the heel of Italy. Continue the day with a drive to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello. The area is famous for its unusual Trulli round houses with their white-washed dry stone walls and pointed "witch's hat" tiled roofs. Trullis (or Trullos, as they're also known) are either built singly or in groups of up to five, which would have originally been occupied by a single family.

In the late afternoon head to your final destination, Matera, where you overnight for two nights. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Sassi (or similar)

Day 11: matera

Matera hangs on the side of a gorgeMatera hangs on the side of a gorge

Today is all about Matera, beginning with a guided walking tour. The town is impressively located on the side of a gorge eroded by the Gravina River and is famous for its ancient "Sassi," a UNESCO-listed troglodyte residence whose origins date back to the prehistoric era. Explore the labyrinth of Matera's narrow streets and alleys, going up and down stone stairs that will transport you to a distant past and allow you to see how the houses and rock churches in the Sassi neighborhood have been cut deep into the rock through the centuries. This part of Matera has been continuously inhabited for 5,000 years. 

The afternoon is at your leisure to continue exploring the town, or for taking a walk to the other side of the gorge. End the day on one of the many terraces, sipping a cappuccino and soaking up the magical atmosphere.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Sassi (or similar)

Day 12: amalfi coast & sorrento

Explore the beautiful Amalfi CoastExplore the beautiful Amalfi Coast

This morning, leave the Heel of Italy and head for the beautiful Amalfi Coast. When you reach Salerno's Piazza Concordia, you'll board a local ferry that will take you on a scenic trip down the coast to Amalfi. If the ferry is cancelled for any reason, then you will travel to Amalfi by coach instead. 

On arrival in Amalfi, enjoy an orientation tour and free time for lunch. A great maritime power since the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th century Cathedral of Saint Andrea dominates the town—a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hail from Constantinople. 

Later, continue on to Sorrento for dinner and your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
TBA

Day 13: pompeii & mount vesuvius

Sobering scenes in PompeiiSobering scenes in Pompeii

This morning take a short walk to the rim of the volcanic crater of Mount Vesuvius, from where there are remarkable views down to Naples, the coastal plain and the glistening bay. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland and dominates the skyline between Naples and Pompeii, rising up from the flat, fertile landscape. Since the mighty eruption of AD 79, it has had another 18 violent eruptions. The last one, in 1944, surprised the Allied forces and destroyed an entire squadron of 88 B-25 bombers belonging to the American Air Force. Descend back along a well-graded cinder track, and take a break for lunch.

The afternoon is dedicated to Pompeii, with a guided walking tour of this remarkably well-preserved provincial Roman city. Pompeii once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial center, as well as a favorite residence of wealthy Roman patricians. Of course, on one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, this all changed when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city, preserving the town and its citizens in layers of ash and pumice. On your tour, you will see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently-decorated villas, such as that of the Vetii. Human casts of some of the victims trapped by the eruption give an emotive snapshot of this catastrophic event. 

After the visit head to Naples for your dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Starhotel Terminus (or similar)

Day 14: naples & rome

Naples offers incredible viewsNaples offers incredible views

This morning tour Naples, beginning with a visit to the National Museum, one of the most important archeological museums in mainland Europe. See a prestigious collection of ancient art and a myriad of treasures from the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, including poignant everyday household items. 

In the afternoon take the high-speed train from Naples to Rome—travel 140 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes. Be prepared to carry your own luggage on and off the train. 

Once in Rome, a private transfer takes you to your hotel, where you can get settled before dinner.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Selene (or similar)

Day 15: rome

Tour the ColloseumTour the Colloseum

Get up early today to beat the crowds! Begin with a guided tour of the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater in the world and a well-known symbol of the Roman Empire. Built by Flavian Emperor Vespasian, the mighty arena could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, all attracted by gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles and executions. 

Continuing along the Roman Imperial Forum, next climb the Campidoglio hill and then wander down the back streets of the Jewesh Ghetto district. Here, there is a chance to indulge your love of animals and history with a visit to Torre Argentina, a cat sanctuary situated amongst four Roman temples, one of which is Pompey's Theater, the very place where Julius Cesar was assassinated. 

The afternoon is dedicated to the Vatican, visiting Saint Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Hotel Selene (or similar)

Day 16: depart

Southern Italy memories will stick with youSouthern Italy memories will stick with you

Sadly, it's time to say good-bye to Italy. At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

Meals
Breakfast

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,895
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$800
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Sep 21-Oct 6, 2018

Need to Know

Duration:
16 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
10-14
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Journeys International Announces New Trips for 2018

The year was 1978, and Drs. Will and Joan Weber set off to Nepal with a group of curious souls who wanted to be immersed in and enlightened by a different culture in a very different part …

Hike many of the volcanoes of Southern Italy
Hike many of the volcanoes of Southern Italy
Tour buildings on the Amalfi Coast
Tour buildings on the Amalfi Coast
See the Doric Temple of Segesta, a major city from the Elymian people of Sicily
See the Doric Temple of Segesta, a major city from the Elymian people of Sicily
The village of Matera is stunning to see from all angles
The village of Matera is stunning to see from all angles
Visit a winery and gaze upon Mount Etna in the background
Visit a winery and gaze upon Mount Etna in the background
Enjoy the clear turquoise waters of southern Italy
Enjoy the clear turquoise waters of southern Italy
Enjoy Matera, a city in the province of Basilicata
Enjoy Matera, a city in the province of Basilicata
Stromboli Island provides the backdrop for beautiful Lipari
Stromboli Island provides the backdrop for beautiful Lipari
See why the Amalfi Coast is known for its beauty
See why the Amalfi Coast is known for its beauty
Tour the ruins of Pompeii
Tour the ruins of Pompeii
Ragusa offers a great historical perspective
Ragusa offers a great historical perspective
Enjoy some time in quaint Taormina
Enjoy some time in quaint Taormina

Volcanoes and Villages of Southern Italy

Pompeii, Stromboli and Mount Etna, and city tours of Rome, Naples, Matera

overview

Join expert geologist Ian Lange on this unique and one-time-only exploration of Italy's Southern volcanic region, including the famous sites of Pompeii, Stromboli and Mount Etna, as well as city tours of Rome, Naples, Matera, and more.

Climb various volcanoes with Ian and local volcanologists, and learn about the unique history and geology of each one. Expect hiking throughout the trip, ranging from easy walks to vigorous optional climbs, for those who prefer more of a challenge. 

Of course a trip to Italy would not be complete without visits to the cities, good food, and wine tasting, all of which are included in this itinerary. This trip provides comfortable lodging that will offer the hospitality, cuisine and culture of southern Italy without the formal luxury and expense of high-end hotels that are less convenient to the sites on this trip.

About the Trip Leaders

Your trip's leadership team includes Ian and an Italian guide throughout, plus local guides or volcanologists at each significant venue. Journeys co-founder Will Weber will also join the trip if it fills with 14 travelers.

Ian Lange, the accompanying American expert, is a noted volcanologist and geology professor. He is also a seasoned Journeys traveler, having been to Sumatra and Iran. 

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Join expert geologist Ian Lange on this unique and one-time-only exploration of Italy's Southern volcanic region, including the famous sites of Pompeii, Stromboli and Mount Etna, as well as city tours of Rome, Naples, Matera, and more.

Climb various volcanoes with Ian and local volcanologists, and learn about the unique history and geology of each one. Expect hiking throughout the trip, ranging from easy walks to vigorous optional climbs, for those who prefer more of a challenge. 

Of course a trip to Italy would not be complete without visits to the cities, good food, and wine tasting, all of which are included in this itinerary. This trip provides comfortable lodging that will offer the hospitality, cuisine and culture of southern Italy without the formal luxury and expense of high-end hotels that are less convenient to the sites on this trip.

About the Trip Leaders

Your trip's leadership team includes Ian and an Italian guide throughout, plus local guides or volcanologists at each significant venue. Journeys co-founder Will Weber will also join the trip if it fills with 14 travelers.

Ian Lange, the accompanying American expert, is a noted volcanologist and geology professor. He is also a seasoned Journeys traveler, having been to Sumatra and Iran. 

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive cantania
    Welcome to Syracuse!Welcome to Syracuse!

    Welcome to Catania, Sicily! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by your guide and driven one hour to Syracuse. Get settled into your hotel, and rest up for the excitement ahead. 

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Villa Lipari (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: syracuse
    Spend time on Ortygia Island todaySpend time on Ortygia Island today

    In the morning, meet your local city guide for a walking tour of Syracuse. During the Greek Classical Period, this east coast city, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, was the largest in the ancient world—even bigger than Athens.

    Today's tour includes the city's Neapolis Archeological Park, with its famous Greek theater hewn out of the hillside and the fine Roman amphitheater where gladiators once fought. Then continue to Ortygia Island, a small island in the center of the city, home to many more historical landmarks.

    The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the city.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Villa Lapari (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: ragusa and agrigento
    Picture-perfect RagusaPicture-perfect Ragusa

    This morning, drive 1.5 hours to Ragusa, another picture perfect Baroque town whose buildings crown the summits of two adjacent hills. Stop for coffee and to wander in the old town of Ragusa Ibla. Get back in your vehicle, then soak in the scenery during the 2.5 hour drive to Agrigento, where you'll take a lunch break.

    The afternoon is dedicated to the ancient ruins of Agrigento, once one of the most prosperous cities in Sicily. The ancient acropolis, now the modern city, overlooks a southern ridge, misleadingly named the "Valley of the Temples." Visiting these temples, walk around the ruins of the largest Doric temple ever constructed, the Temple of Zeus. Also explore the perfectly-proportioned Doric columns of the Temple of Concord, as well as the oldest temple in the complex, honoring Hercules. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Colleverde Park Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: villa romana and mt. etna winery
    Visit a winery near Mount EtnaVisit a winery near Mount Etna

    This morning drive two hours to the impressive Villa Romana del Casale, a magnificent country mansion containing nearly 10,000 square ft. of beautiful, multicolored mosaics. Thanks to the beauty and complexity of this Ancient Roman villa (UNESCO listed since 1997), it is considered one of the most important examples of a state residence among its contemporaries of Roman times. 

    After sightseeing and lunch, continue your drive (1.75 hours) through gently rolling open landscapes to the foothills of Mount Etna. Once there, head to Tenuta San Michele, where you'll spend a relaxing afternoon visiting the vineyards and wine cellars, and enjoying wine tasting of the prized Etna reds, whites and sparkling wines.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tenuta San Michele (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: northern side of mount etna
    Hike Mount Etna's northern sideHike Mount Etna's northern side

    Today is dedicated to exploring Mount Etna from the northern side. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. It is the highest volcano in Europe (3330m) and one of the largest in the world.

    Drive about an hour up to 1900m on Etna's slopes, where you'll see hundreds of subsidiary cones and spent craters that were formed by lateral eruptions along regular lines of fracture which, together with twisted lumps of lava strewn chaotically around, provide an otherworldly setting.

    Then get out of your vehicle and get ready for a walk! Today’s walk is accompanied by a local volcanologist, and you'll walk to the fissures of the 2002 eruptions, and the site of the former ski resort area of Piano Provenzana. Reach a high point on the walk of 2200m. Afterwards, follow the now solidified lava flows downhill through the pine forests to 1900m.

    Expect to walk for about four hours, 4.5 miles, for a total ascent of 650 ft. and a descent of 460 ft. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tenuta San Michele (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: southern side of mount etna
    See more of Mt. Etna todaySee more of Mt. Etna today

    Today, explore Mount Etna from the Southern side. Drive an hour, and when you reach the mountain get out of your vehicle to begin your walk. You are again accompanied by a local volcanologist and today will see another area of the 2002 lava flow. 

    Today's planned 3.5 mile walk is expected to take around 3 hours, with a total ascent of 500 feet and a descent of 450 feet. Depending on the weather and eruptive conditions, plus the group's ability to walk, it may be possible to organize a further hike above 2200 meters, getting closer to the crater.

    Descend from Etna and transfer to Milazzo, where you board a hovercraft to Lipari, your home for the next three nights. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Residence La Giara (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: stromboli island
    Climb the volcano on StromboliClimb the volcano on Stromboli

    This morning, board a private boat to Panarea, where you have time for a visit of the town and a swim, and then onto Stromboli Island for a day of exploration by foot. 

    There are two options for the walk on Stromboli, depending on your walking ability. First, you may choose to take a circular walk to 272 meters above sea level to see the lava flow field called the "Sciara di Fuoco." This walk is suitable for all abilities, and it's rare for the route to be inaccessible due to volcanic conditions. The Stromboli to Sciara del Fuoco walk is just under 8.5 km, and will take you around 2.5 hours, with an ascent and descent of 325 metres.

    Alternatively, you may decide to take a more strenuous walk that involves climbing to the top of Mount Stromboli at 924 meters above sea level. It is only possible to do this climb if you are accompanied by an authorized volcanologist as part of a guided group walk. 

    If you do wish to climb to the top, your walk begins in the late afternoon and reaches the summit in time for sunset. Here, rest for 30-40 minutes in the darkness, which offers the best chance to observe the light show caused by the lava-spewing volcano. Then descend at night (and bring a flashlight, as there are no public streetlights on the island). The top section of the climb and descent of the mountain is on volcanic ash so it's important to have good hiking boots, and you may find walking poles helpful, too. Please note that this walk may be restricted or canceled at short notice due to volcanic activity or bad weather. The Stromboli summit walk is 14 km and takes around six hours with an ascent and descent of 1000 meters.

    If you do not wish to climb to the top, board a private boat at dusk and cruise around the side of the Sciara del Fuoco lava flow to observe the eruption. The boat returns to Lipari once the walking group has descended from Stromboli, generally around midnight.  After, return to your hotel to rest. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Residence La Giara (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: lipari or vulcano island
    Explore beautiful LipariExplore beautiful Lipari

    Today is a mellow day, giving you a chance to recover from yesterday’s late night and time to wander the town of Lipari. Enjoy this free day to explore and rest as you please.

    If mellow isn't your thing, consider this optional excursion today: Take the public hovercraft to the Aeolian island of Vulcano, named after Zeus' son Vulcan, the God of fire and metalworking. Although now dormant, Vulcano has erupted spectacularly throughout the centuries, with the last dramatic explosion only 100 years ago. In 183 BCE, a huge eruption gave birth to "Vulcanello" (the Little Volcano), visible from the port. Today, Vulcano puffs out a steady stream of gases and vapor. Even offshore the presence of the sulfur, which was once mined here, is obvious.

    Upon arrival, walk to the Gran Cratere rim, which provides great views of the island and archipelago. The descent along green slopes gives you an amazing contrast of colors against the blue sea and the dark grey rocks.

    The hike up Gran Cratere on Vulcano island is just under 4 miles and takes around 2.5 hrs with an ascent and descent of 1200 feet. After the descent, cool off with a swim in the sea and in the natural, volcanic hot water and mud pools. 

    Return to Lipari by public hovercraft.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Residence La Giara (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: taormina
    The Greek Theater in TaorminaThe Greek Theater in Taormina

    This morning, take the public hovercraft from Lipari to Milazzo where a private minibus takes you to Taormina. Enjoy lunch after checking in to the hotel.

    In the afternoon set off on a guided walking tour of Taormina, Sicily's most famous resort village. Once a favorite haven for the likes of D. H Lawrence and Oscar Wilde, Taormina today is still a charming favorite for travelers. After a walk around this chic and beautiful town, with its pretty medieval churches and charming streets, it's easy to understand why.

    A highlight is a visit the Greek Theater in Taormina. Here, snow-capped Mount Etna acts as a spectacular backdrop to the remarkably preserved, columned stage. It's easy to see why this is possibly the most famous view in Sicily, and it makes for a superb photograph.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Villa Diodoro (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: fly to alberobello & matera
    See the famous Trulli housesSee the famous Trulli houses

    This morning, transfer to Catania airport where a short flight takes you to Bari, capital city of Puglia, the heel of Italy. Continue the day with a drive to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello. The area is famous for its unusual Trulli round houses with their white-washed dry stone walls and pointed "witch's hat" tiled roofs. Trullis (or Trullos, as they're also known) are either built singly or in groups of up to five, which would have originally been occupied by a single family.

    In the late afternoon head to your final destination, Matera, where you overnight for two nights. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Sassi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: matera
    Matera hangs on the side of a gorgeMatera hangs on the side of a gorge

    Today is all about Matera, beginning with a guided walking tour. The town is impressively located on the side of a gorge eroded by the Gravina River and is famous for its ancient "Sassi," a UNESCO-listed troglodyte residence whose origins date back to the prehistoric era. Explore the labyrinth of Matera's narrow streets and alleys, going up and down stone stairs that will transport you to a distant past and allow you to see how the houses and rock churches in the Sassi neighborhood have been cut deep into the rock through the centuries. This part of Matera has been continuously inhabited for 5,000 years. 

    The afternoon is at your leisure to continue exploring the town, or for taking a walk to the other side of the gorge. End the day on one of the many terraces, sipping a cappuccino and soaking up the magical atmosphere.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Sassi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: amalfi coast & sorrento
    Explore the beautiful Amalfi CoastExplore the beautiful Amalfi Coast

    This morning, leave the Heel of Italy and head for the beautiful Amalfi Coast. When you reach Salerno's Piazza Concordia, you'll board a local ferry that will take you on a scenic trip down the coast to Amalfi. If the ferry is cancelled for any reason, then you will travel to Amalfi by coach instead. 

    On arrival in Amalfi, enjoy an orientation tour and free time for lunch. A great maritime power since the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th century Cathedral of Saint Andrea dominates the town—a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hail from Constantinople. 

    Later, continue on to Sorrento for dinner and your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    TBA
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: pompeii & mount vesuvius
    Sobering scenes in PompeiiSobering scenes in Pompeii

    This morning take a short walk to the rim of the volcanic crater of Mount Vesuvius, from where there are remarkable views down to Naples, the coastal plain and the glistening bay. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland and dominates the skyline between Naples and Pompeii, rising up from the flat, fertile landscape. Since the mighty eruption of AD 79, it has had another 18 violent eruptions. The last one, in 1944, surprised the Allied forces and destroyed an entire squadron of 88 B-25 bombers belonging to the American Air Force. Descend back along a well-graded cinder track, and take a break for lunch.

    The afternoon is dedicated to Pompeii, with a guided walking tour of this remarkably well-preserved provincial Roman city. Pompeii once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial center, as well as a favorite residence of wealthy Roman patricians. Of course, on one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, this all changed when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city, preserving the town and its citizens in layers of ash and pumice. On your tour, you will see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently-decorated villas, such as that of the Vetii. Human casts of some of the victims trapped by the eruption give an emotive snapshot of this catastrophic event. 

    After the visit head to Naples for your dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Starhotel Terminus (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: naples & rome
    Naples offers incredible viewsNaples offers incredible views

    This morning tour Naples, beginning with a visit to the National Museum, one of the most important archeological museums in mainland Europe. See a prestigious collection of ancient art and a myriad of treasures from the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, including poignant everyday household items. 

    In the afternoon take the high-speed train from Naples to Rome—travel 140 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes. Be prepared to carry your own luggage on and off the train. 

    Once in Rome, a private transfer takes you to your hotel, where you can get settled before dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Selene (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: rome
    Tour the ColloseumTour the Colloseum

    Get up early today to beat the crowds! Begin with a guided tour of the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater in the world and a well-known symbol of the Roman Empire. Built by Flavian Emperor Vespasian, the mighty arena could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, all attracted by gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles and executions. 

    Continuing along the Roman Imperial Forum, next climb the Campidoglio hill and then wander down the back streets of the Jewesh Ghetto district. Here, there is a chance to indulge your love of animals and history with a visit to Torre Argentina, a cat sanctuary situated amongst four Roman temples, one of which is Pompey's Theater, the very place where Julius Cesar was assassinated. 

    The afternoon is dedicated to the Vatican, visiting Saint Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel Selene (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 16: depart
    Southern Italy memories will stick with youSouthern Italy memories will stick with you

    Sadly, it's time to say good-bye to Italy. At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,895
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$800
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Sep 21-Oct 6, 2018

Need to Know

Duration:
16 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
10-14
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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