Home to Europe’s largest volcano, Mount Etna, Sicily is the ideal destination for an exciting and adventurous school trip. Geography students in particular will marvel at the plethora of geothermal and volcanic activity to be studied here. We’ve gathered together a list of some of the things not to be missed on your next trip.
There is so much to see and do in Sicily that it was a challenge for our Travel Specialists to create a list of just ten favourites. Make sure you speak to our team to find out what else your students can get up to on their school trip.
Our top ten activities
1. Reach the summit of Mount Etna
Explore the lunar landscape at the summit of Europe’s largest volcano. Ascend from Stazione Sud (the south station) via cable-car and 4WD bus to a height of around 3,000m, where your Alpine guides will lead you on a walking tour, showing you craters, fumaroles and evidence of recent eruptions.
2. Ride the rollercoasters at Etnaland
Etnaland is Southern Italy’s largest theme park, packed with rides for the mild or wild-hearted!
There are countless roller coasters, water rides and attractions to enjoy, all in the sunny setting of Catania.
3. Take to the water at Alcantara Gorge
The symmetrical shapes of the Alcantara Gorge were created when a red-hot lava flow hit the cold water and fractured into basalt columns, which have been eroded further over thousands of years creating a steep-sided and spectacular ravine.
The best way to see these is to take to the water in tubes or with floats on, riding the river and studying the erosive power of lava and water.
4. Enjoy the coastline of Panarea
Panarea features some of Sicily’s best kept secret beaches and picturesque towns.
This island is a great opportunity for students to shop for souvenirs and relax on the beach.
5. Guided Hikes in Etna National Park
We offer guided tours for different abilities, so whether you are ready for a 5-hour challenging hike to see hornitos, craters and lava bombs, or a gentler trek to witness important volcanic and botanical features, we can recommend a hike for you.
6. View the volcano from an ancient theatre in Taormina
Your students can note how tourism and living in the shadow of the volcano has impacted on the local community. Taormina also boasts the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily. Though originally built in the Hellenistic era, it was completely reconstructed by the Romans for use in gladiatorial shows and offers spectacular views of Etna.
7. Bath in geothermal mud at and explore the craters on Vulcano
Explore the island of Vulcano on a day trip from Sicily.
The island gave its name to ‘volcano’ and remains an inspiring destination for anyone interested in volcanoes.
Journey to the ‘Gran Cratere’ (main crater) to experience the dramatic scenery of vast peaks and craters as well as active fumaroles.
On your return to the main town, you might like to visit the thermal mud pools where you can bathe in warm, therapeutic mud, heated by geothermal energy.
8. Watch Stromboli light up the skies
On a day trip to Stromboli you will spend a leisurely day wandering around the ancient villages or relaxing on the beach, and an evening meal in Stromboli, your return boat transfer offers the chance to see the spectacular eruptions of Stromboli by night, in particular the sciara del fuoco (stream of fire), where you may see red-hot flowing lava.
9. Snorkelling and boat rides in the Cyclops Riviera
The Cyclops Riviera is a nine-mile marine reserve boasting rich biodiversity and plenty of solidified lava remains both above and below the water.
Discover the magnificent coastline between Acireale and the Cyclops Riviera by boat – you’ll see basalt columns at the base of the Timpa Nature Reserve, the clifftop Norman castle perched on a lava promontory high above Aci Castello and the famous faraglioni of Aci Trezza, huge lava stacks which pre-date Etna and inspired the legend of Odysseus and the cyclops Polyphemus.
Then get your wet suit on! It’s time to snorkel in the clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
10. Travel back in time at Syracuse
Syracuse is home to a staggering number of well-preserved Greek and Roman remains.
The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent 2,500 year old Greek theatre which once seated 15,000 spectators.