Sicily lies on the very cusp of Europe, straddling the European and African tectonic plates, whose jostlings and collisions have resulted in a chain of volcanoes. There are three active volcanoes in Sicily, Mount Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano, while other vulcanological phenomena include thermal springs, sulphuric mud baths, magmic bubbles and the extraordinary Alcantara Gorge, created by a river carving its way through a mass of solidified lava.

  1. Climb Stromboli with a vulcanological guide, to see the explosive eruptions from close-up against the night sky.
  2. Wallow in the thermal mud baths of Vulcano, then cool off in the sea, swimming above the natural fumeroles that bubble through the seabed.
  3. Snorkel through columns of volcanic bubbles off the island of Panarea.
  4. See Stromboli erupt at night sitting on the deck of a private boat – preferably as you sip a glass of prosecco before dinner afloat.
  5. Take a guided jeep tour of Etna with a vulcanological guide.
  6. Visit some of the vineyards of Etna Nord – including that of Planeta Vinery.
  7. Stroll up the dormant crater of Moia Alcantara and have a picnic by the mountain lake beyond, then drive along the Alcantara valley and see the fantastic rock formations created when the river gouged its way through solidified lava.
Written by Julia Bellhouse