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A perfect Mediterranean summer? How about a week of time travel and paddling along the wild coast? Picture this: rising from the deep-blue waters, the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands emerge off Sicily’s coast. They’re not just islands; they’re your passport to the very essence of the region—enabling active exploration, variety of pleasures, and daring fun! Grab a kayak, and paddle around these remote volcanic islands. Hike to Stromboli’s fiery crater, and uncover a place once believed to be Hephaestus’s forge. Savor mouthwatering piatti tipici and get some rest in accommodation within cliffs. And here’s the icing on the cake: you’ll end up effortlessly mastering kayaking, even if you’ve never touched a paddle before. Are you up for it? 

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Adventure highlights

  • Island hopping done right

    Circle UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands and master kayaking, even as a beginner

  • Explore volcanic wonders

    Hike to the fiery crater of Stromboli and discover captivating myths and legends about the region.

  • Mediterranean indulgence

    Savor mouthwatering Italian cuisine, lodge within breathtaking cliffs.

Itinerary

Embark on an 8-day kayaking adventure in Italy's captivating Aeolian Islands. Navigate pristine coastlines, explore charming villages, and immerse yourself in the allure of the Mediterranean. With an expert local guide by your side, enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive journey, including ground transportation, most meals, kayaking gear, and accommodations. Discover hidden gems throughout the region and create lasting memories on this unforgettable expedition through the Aeolian archipelago.

  • Upon your arrival on the captivating island of Vulcano, the southernmost jewel in the Aeolian Island chain, you’ll instantly feel the unique charm of this place. Known as the home of Hephaestus, the god of fire and the arts, Vulcano is steeped in myth and legend. After disembarking from your journey, we’ll whisk you away to our carefully chosen cliffside accommodations, which offer not only comfort but also breathtaking vistas of the rugged volcanic landscape. As the sun dips below the horizon, join us for a delightful dinner and a warm welcome celebration. This evening marks the beginning of your unforgettable Aeolian adventure, promising days filled with discovery and excitement.

    Meals: Dinner

    The dramatic coastline of Vulcano, one of the Aeolian Islands, surrounded by turquoise waters.
  • On the first day, your group will circumnavigate the island of Vulcano. The day unfolds with panoramic views of the island’s majestic volcano and stops to explore the cliff-lined coast and beaches. As the day comes to a close, go to your comfortable accommodation, where you can relax and reflect on the day’s experiences. Share stories and laughter with your fellow travelers over a delicious dinner before heading to bed.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

    Kayakers paddling near a volcanic island, one of the Aeolian Islands, in Southern italy.
  • Today, embark on an exhilarating kayak journey northward, navigating the channel that separates Lipari and Vulcano. Lipari, the largest island in the Aeolian chain, beckons with its rich history and archaeological treasures. Our explorations include a visit to the Castello de Lipari, home to a renowned archaeological museum. As the sun sets, immerse yourself in Lipari’s local cuisine and vibrant island atmosphere. Savor the flavors and embrace the ambiance of this enchanting Aeolian gem.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

    Kayakers paddling the cobalt waters in the Aeolian Islands, Italy.
  • The day begins with a paddle along the captivating western coast of Lipari, where you’ll discover pristine beaches, dramatic rock formations, and scenic viewpoints. Later, the journey leads you to accommodations nestled on the northern tip of the island, offering breathtaking views of the nearby Salina and Panarea islands. As twilight descends, unwind and enjoy dinner against the backdrop of Lipari’s stunning surroundings.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

    Kayakers paddling around a rugged islet in the Aeolian Islands, Italy.
  • Bid farewell to Lipari as you cross the channel that separates it from Salina. The destination: Stromboli, Europe’s most active volcano and the easternmost island in the Aeolian chain. Here, your group will spend two nights, immersing yourselves in the natural wonders and the isolated beauty of this unique island.

    Meals: Breakfast

    The channel between the islands of Lipari and Salina, two volcanic islands in Southern Italy.
  • This morning, your group will kayak around Stromboli with a stop to explore the charming fishing village of Ginostra. The circumnavigation offers spectacular views of the volcano and the opportunity to explore the wild and rugged coastline of the island. In the afternoon, embark on a hike to the volcano’s rim. As you ascend to the summit, at an elevation of 3,031 feet (925 m), you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands. As the day concludes, gather for dinner before heading back to your room.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

    The village of Ginostra, at the foot of the Stromboli volcano, seen from the sea.
  • Today, bid farewell to the captivating beauty of Stromboli and board a ferry to return to the familiar shores of Vulcano. Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to hike to the rim of another volcano, an experience that promises incredible vistas and a sense of accomplishment. As evening approaches, join your group for a celebratory dinner, marking the most of the final night on this remarkable journey through the Aeolian Islands.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

    The hiking trail surrounded by Mediterranean plants on the island of Vulcano, with views of the sea and surrounding islands.
  • With the memories of the Mediterranean adventure still fresh in your minds, make your way to the ferry terminal on the northeast tip of Vulcano. Once there, say farewells to newfound friends and the stunning Aeolian Islands. Depart for connections on the mainland, say goodbye to your guide and to Italy—or continue touring on your own.

    Meals: Breakfast

    The town on the island of Vulcano seen from a distance with views of the sea and surrounding islands.
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Meet your guides

Taylor Sweitzer
5.00
Taylor Sweitzer
Taylor has been extremely fortunate to grow up in an adventurous family that exposed him to the wonders and beauty of the outdoors since day one. Throughout the years, his passion has blossomed to encompass several different outdoor activities and he has found himself guiding a variety of trips all around the world. Being with The Northwest Passage has provided Taylor with the unique opportunity to pursue moments in time that help to make life rich.
Eric Lillstrom
5.00
Eric Lillstrom
Eric joined The Northwest Passage with an extensive, well-rounded background in a wide variety of outdoor skills with an emphasis on aquatics. Over the years he has specialized in teaching aquatics skills to young people and adults. As an avid backpacker, bow-hunter, and fisherman, he also enjoys scuba, trail riding, and all winter sports. Eric’s advice is to take every opportunity offered to enjoy nature—experiencing the outdoors is what keeps them grounded and allows them to appreciate their day-to-day lives.
The Northwest Passage
5.00
The Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage was founded in 1984b on the belief that there is no better way to fully experience the world than by engaging with it on its own terms. Whether that means clambering over a pressure ridge on one of their North Pole expeditions or exploring a sea cave by kayak in Crete, they have an adventure of a lifetime that fits your activity and skill level. Northwest Passage has a family of guides who are passionate about sharing their love of the outdoors with others, and provide a supportive environment that enables travelers to stretch their perceived boundaries.
5.00 (5 reviews)
Kathy V. (source: Guide’s web)

Experiencing a week of sea kayaking in the Mediterranean is what drew me to this trip. We do not do much sea kayaking in Ohio! Being in the water and paddling past spectacular scenery was exactly what we had hoped for. An added bonus was the quality of people we met on this trip – a good group of like-minded people set on a good adventure! And did we have an adventure! Thank you!

Sandy R (source: Guide’s web)

This has been a wonderful experience. Looking forward to another trip in the future – my kayaking skills have greatly improved – thanks for all the support

Jo-Lynne S. (source: Guide’s web)

What a wonderful week it has been – great paddling, ambiance and camaraderie. I have tons of photos and wonderful memories of our time together. Here’s to our next adventures – We’ll be back!

Maryann (source: Guide’s web)

Beautiful seas, beautiful scenery, beautiful people! Food, drink and exercise – my kind of vacation! Thank you –I loved it!

Jayne (source: Guide’s web)

Sometimes you need to stretch your spirit to fully understand what you are truly capable of…Kayaking was an opportunity for me to stretch out to new accomplishments and to interact in a wonderful cultural environment. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local kayaking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 8-day kayaking adventure in Italy’s Aeolian Islands
      • Accommodation during the adventure (7 nights)
      • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (breakfasts and dinners)
      • Transportation during the adventure
      • All kayaking equipment

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Lipari, your starting point (flight, train, ferry)
      • Lunches, drinks and 1 dinner
      • Any airport taxes (if applicable)
      • Optional tours during the adventure
      • Travel/medical insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • This guided kayaking trip in the Aeolian Islands is tailored for beginners, making it an ideal introduction to the sport. While prior kayaking experience is not necessary, participants should generally be active and outdoorsy individuals.

    Kayaking involves utilizing upper body strength, core stability, and endurance. To prepare for the trip, we suggest incorporating regular upper body workouts and cardio exercises into your routine in the weeks prior to the adventure. Building strength and stamina will enhance your kayaking experience. Additionally, maintaining an active lifestyle and spending time outdoors can help you acclimate to the physical demands of the trip.

    Your experienced guides will always be there to support you throughout the journey. They hold certifications in first aid, wilderness medicine, and specific kayaking skills, which means that the safety of all participants will be the utmost priority.

  • All kayaking equipment will be provided to you by your guides. Here’s a list of personal equipment and clothing you need to bring:

      • Comfortable clothing for a week of kayaking and sightseeing
      • T-shirts and shorts
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Bathing suit
      • Lightweight, breathable, rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Beach towel and sandals or flip flops
      • Synthetic T-shirt with UV protection for kayaking

    Here are other personal items we suggest you bring:

      • Pack large enough to carry all the items listed
      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 20L bag)
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, bug spray, etc.)
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Pack comfortable, season-appropriate clothing that allows freedom of movement. In the Aeolian Islands, both June and September offer ideal weather for kayaking and sightseeing. June brings warm temperatures of 77°F to 86°F (25°C to 30°C) and minimal rainfall. Similarly, September maintains pleasant warmth at 75°F to 84°F (24°C to 29°C) with low precipitation. Sea conditions are favorable for water activities. Be sure to check the latest weather forecast before your tour and adjust your packing accordingly. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your packing list with your guide before departure for any clarifications.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this guided sea kayaking tour in the Aeolian Islands, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • The maximum group size is 10.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Sea kayaking in Italy’s Aeolian Islands can be arranged for larger and for private groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors older than 8 may be permitted to join the sea kayak Crete tour on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Lipari, the starting point of the tour, most people fly into Palermo Airport. From Palermo, you travel to Lipari by ferry. Some people first take a train ride to Milazzo or Messina and then take a ferry.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best time and place to meet. After meeting fellow kayakers and your guide in Lipari, you will head off to the island of Vulcano.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of 50% (fifty percent) of the total amount of the adventure.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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