Sicily, from sparkling seas to smoldering volcanoes

A 12-day itinerary taking you from Taormina and Etna to Vulcano

From the lofty heights of its glowing volcano to the azure Mediterranean waters that surround it, Sicily is an island like none other. Here, Mount Etna is an ever-present backdrop to island life, famous for bubbling hot springs and an abundance of mineral-rich produce – from world-famous lemons to delicious local wine. With our itinerary, featuring hand-selected boutique hotels, Sicily and its surrounding islands are sure to seduce you.

AT A GLANCE

  • 12-day independent itinerary for Sicily and Vulcano based on flying in to and departing from Catania International Airport
  • Spend days unravelling rich history dating back 2,500 years, and nights enjoying mountain views from SLH boutique hotels
  • Highlights include gazing at monolithic Mount Etna, the inviting waters of Isola Bella and a trip to nearby Vulcano island with its thermal mud baths

Vulcano Island

START IN STYLE: TAORMINA

Just an hour’s drive from Catania is a town caught between Mount Etna National Park and the Mediterranean. Elegant Taormina has been graced by many legends since it was founded by the ancient Greeks, from Oscar Wilde to Elizabeth Taylor.

Start your own Sicilian story on the beautiful beach, Isola Bella, with its inlet – the ‘Pearl of the Ionian Sea’.  Its pebble shores are easily reached on foot or a short ride by cable car. Dip a toe in the sparkling, protected waters. Or at low tide, stroll over to a tiny tidal island that’s home to lizards and rare plants. Later, step inside the Roman walls of Taormina’s ancient theatre, Teatro Antico, where contemporary performances play out against a timeless Ionian sea backdrop.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS…

Sample seasonal cuisine, Sicilian style – from a rooftop with views across the sea. Luxury hotel Villa Carlotta was built in 1860, and while it’s just a short walk from the town centre, it offers quiet exclusivity. This is especially true if you opt for the two-storey private Tower Suite. Meanwhile, Hotel Villa Ducale’s serene gardens set the scene for a peaceful retreat. Come nightfall, sip a cocktail on the grand Sicilian villa’s terrace while gazing at Etna. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.

 

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: MOUNT ETNA REGION

Once you’ve taken in its magnificence from afar, get a little closer to the volcano itself with some time spent in Etna National Park. Visit during the summer months to explore woodland hiking trails, hidden caves and the otherworldly scenery of Etna’s rocky summit. And it doesn’t just look good, it tastes good too; Etna’s fertile volcanic soil is abundant with minerals – the secret to Sicily’s unmissable wine.

 

SETTLE IN FOR THE NIGHT

Continue the volcano theme with a stay in Linguaglossa – a town founded on a lava stream. Villa Neri Resort & Spa pairs contemporary comfort with authentic Sicilian charm. Even the spa treatments celebrate the island setting, with products made from local ingredients such as citrus and sea salt. Then ach evening, a culinary journey through Sicily awaits on the terrace by an aromatic olive grove. Suggested stay 3 nights.

 Villa Neri Resort

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: VULCANO

For the final stage of your adventure, swap Sicily for the smouldering good looks (and thermal baths) of Vulcano. Fossa Di Vulcano tempts walkers keen to tackle its 391m summit – a straightforward walk out from Strada Provinciale. Arriving first at the lower crater, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across to Lipari and surrounding islands. Begin early and pack hot-weather essentials, walking boots and a readiness for the unique aroma of the steaming crater.

With the walk in your legs, get ready for the iconic Fanghi di Vulcano mud baths, simmering away and ready to revive weary muscles. But if you’re ready for a break from the fire-and-brimstone scent of Sulphur, pair bubbling volcanic waters with fresh sea air at Gelso’s beaches.

UNPACK YOUR SUITCASE

Perched on a rocky headland, Therasia Resort features seawater infinity pools perfectly positioned for soaking up spellbinding Vulcano sunsets. Choose a Master room to enjoy views all evening from your own private hot tub, but don’t forget to pop out to the terrace restaurant for a Michelin-starred meal. Suggested stay 4-5 nights.

TRAVEL TIPS

With Catania connected internationally, and only an hour’s drive from Taormina, travel to and from Sicily is fuss-free. The ferry to Vulcano is just an hour’s drive from Taormina. Hire a car to explore independently, or speak to our voice reservation team for details about transfers and transport provided by individual hotels

BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS

To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbershere. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.