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Overview

Geography Trips for Schools to Sicily, Italy

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Boasting an array of intriguing geographical landscapes, Sicily is a budding geographer’s dream. As the smoking hulk of Mount Etna dominates the skyline, visitors are invited to get up close to its raw red crater and explore its impressive lava flows, volcanic rocks and parasitic cones.

Alternatively, swap volcanoes for rivers and head to the coast. While the Alcantara River cuts through an ancient lava flow, producing an almighty gorge within superb basalt columns, Giardini Naxos’ coastal area offers an excellent case study of coastal management and settlement/tourism study options. Combine your chosen visits with a trip to past classical civilisation sites, such as Siracusa, and you’re sure to have a memorable tour.

“One of the best school trips I have been on, an amazing experience.”

Mr Geoff Simpson, April 2015 - Sicily

“Excellent 5 days covering everything we intended to, with great value for money as activities chosen were perfect for our budget.”

Ms Holmes, October 2016 - Sorrento

“As the students are still talking about the trip two weeks on, I would say this was a huge success, well planned and flexible when needed.”

Mr Peter Allonby, April 2015 - Sicily

Why Sicily?

Once you’ve been to Sicily it’s easy to see why it is such a popular destination for budding geographers. We are pleased to report that 100% of geography teachers who have taken a Geography Trip here would recommend it to a fellow teacher and when asked how well it matched their teaching objectives they gave it an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. Truly a fantastic destination for witnessing geography outside of the classroom.

Did you know?

At their closest points, mainland Italy and Sicily are separated by just 2 miles.

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Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.

Sicily Fact File

Perfect for:
All ages and stages of secondary education

Transport options:
Flight

Nearest Airports:
Catania Fontanarossa Airport and Palermo Airport

Flight duration from UK:
Approx. 3 hours

Best time to visit:
Visiting from April to October means more chance of reaching the summit of Mount Etna

Curriculum Links:

Changing Places
Coastal Systems & Landscapes
Globalisation & Global Systems
Natural Hazards
Plate Tectonics
Population
River Systems & Landscapes
Rocks, Weathering & Soil
Rural Environments
Tourism
Urban Environments
Weather & Climate

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Recommended Visits


Sicily Geography Recommended Visits

As well as being the perfect place to see volcanic landscapes in all their glory, Sicily offers some great geographical experiences which help students to further their understanding of other topics taught in the classroom, such as river and coastal landscapes. Undoubtedly, a visit to Mount Etna is definitely the reason for most teachers choosing Sicily. However, there is plenty more to see whilst you are there. Here are just a few of our recommend visits on Sicily:

Visit
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Mount Etna SUD Mount Etna NORD Aeolian Islands: Lipari Aeolian Islands: Vulcano Aeolian Islands: Panarea Aeolian Islands: Stromboli Alcantara Gorge Giardini Naxos Leisure Excursion: Museum of Lava Leisure Excursion: Piazza Armerina Leisure Excursion: Agrigento Leisure Excursion: Taormina Leisure Excursion: Traditional Pizzeria Evening
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Study Resources

Bespoke Geography Trip Student and Teacher Resources

Our multi award-winning study handbooks comprise a student handbook and its corresponding teacher guide made up of destination specific study units, all of which are in full colour and contain a mixture of maps, diagrams and text. The student handbook offers a variety of pre- and post-visit activities as well as interactive on-site tasks.

How does it work?

The study handbooks comprise a Student Handbook and its corresponding Teacher Guide, made up of destination-specific study units, all of which are in full colour and contain a mixture of maps, diagrams and text. The student handbook offers a variety of pre and post-visit activities, information and interactive on-site tasks.

Our Study Handbooks are bespoke to each tour and only contain study units which are appropriate to the group's particular itinerary, learning objectives and the age/stage of the pupils, as well as the all-important balance between educational and leisure activities wished for the tour.

Sicily Study Resource
Geographical Association Scottish Association of Geography Teachers

Sicily Study Handbook Ratings 

Usefulness of Teacher Resource:

Usefulness of Student Guide:

Content relevance:

Overall Rating:

Study Units available:

  • Alcantara Gorge
  • Mojo Crater
  • Mount Etna SUD
  • Mount Etna NORD
  • Vulcano (Full or abridged version available)
  • Giardini-Naxos: Settlement Study
  • Giardini-Naxos: Coastal Resort Tourist Evaluation
  • Giardini-Naxos: Coastal Management
  • Lipari
  • Aci Castello
  • Panarea
  • Stromboli
Other options available for inclusion in your Study Handbook are:
  • Tourist Questionnaires (available in a number of languages)
  • Volcanic Terms Glossary
Sample Pages
Sicily Handbook Sample Page 1 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 2 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 3 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 4 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 5 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 6 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 7 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 8 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 9 Sicily Handbook Sample Page 10
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Itineraries

Sicily Sample Itineraries

Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations, with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group. But just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itineraries created for two of our clients below.

Aeolian Islands: Lipari

4 days,
3 nights

Dates: 28th April - 3rd May

Passengers: 82 students and 10 adults

Accommodation: Kings House Hotel

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits:Alcantara Gorge, Giardini Naxos, Vulcano, Mount Etna Sud, Silvestri Craters, Piano Provenzana, Panarea, Stromboli

Day 1:

After touching down in Sicily, the group board their coach and depart for Alcantara Gorge where they enjoy a hot lunch in the restaurant. They then split up into smaller groups to view the 3D introductory film show, followed by time at the viewing platform and down at the river level. They also have the option to visit the ‘Farmer’s Market’ shop to taste and buy typical Sicilian food products!

They then make their way to Giardini Naxos for free time to explore the town and visit the ice cream parlour, later checking in to their hotel for a relaxing evening.

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 2:

Today the coach departs for Milazzo where the group take the ferry to Vulcano. After meeting their Alpine Guides, they begin their Gran Cratere trek where they eventually reach the crater rim and learn about the geography of the area. As a reward, the group relax in the naturally heated mud puddles. They then spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure before returning to the hotel.

Day 3:

The day begins with a visit to Mount Etna Sud, where they enjoy a cable car and 4x4 truck ride! Once at the summit, the Alpine Guides take the group around the crater rim and explain some of the volcanic features of Mount Etna, leaving some free time to visit the Belvedere viewpoint before heading back down.

Afterwards, the group split into smaller groups to watch the 7D cinema show, whilst others enjoy a spot of souvenir shopping. They all then spend time visiting the Silvestri craters, before departing for Piano Provenzana to view the 2002 devastation and explore the lava fields.

Day 4:

As the final day, the group depart for Milazzo and take a boat trip to Panarea and Stromboli. Sailing along the Bay of Calajunco and past the Zimmari’s beach, they arrive at Panarea for free time to explore the island in golf buggies! The boat trip then continues on to Stromboli where they enjoy free time until sunset, later viewing Stromboli’s active lava flows, ‘the sciara del fuoco’. After returning to the hotel to check out, they board their early morning flight back to the UK.

After returning to the hotel to check out, they board their early morning flight back to the UK.


Bespoke Quotation
Mount Etna

5 days,
4 nights

Dates: 4th – 8th April

Passengers: 29

Accommodation: Hotel Solemar

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits: Vulcano, Alcantara Gorge, Castelmola, Taormina, Mount Etna, Castiglione di Sicilia, Francavilla di Sicilia and Linguaglossa.

Day 1:

The group made their way to Gatwick airport for their afternoon flight to Catania Airport, arriving in Sicily that evening. Upon arrival the group met their coach driver and made the transfer to the hotel where they were warmly greeted with an evening meal.

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 2:

It was an early start to the day with breakfast and collection of packed lunches before departure for a visit to Vulcano, where they would trek up the Gran Cratere. The group boarded the ferry at Milazzo and made the short hop over to Vulcano where they were greeted by their guide for the day and began their trek. The group followed the main road out of town, where there is a signed trail to the crater. After a moderate ascent of an hour-and-a-half, the students reached the wide crater rim where they saw inside the crater and got to view its smoke holes and hissing fissures that are covered with a layer of bright yellow sulphur. The guide led the group along the panoramic rim around the crater, offering views that extended over all of the Aeolian Islands and to Sicily. Once back at sea level, the group took a relaxing dip in the Mud Puddles. With a water temperature of around 32ͦc, the students entered the pools, encased themselves in the mud and baked in the sun before showering. Once everyone was relaxed and rejuvenated, they boarded the return ferry back to Milazzo and returned back to the hotel for their evening meal. The students spent the remainder of the evening at a local ice cream parlour; sampling every flavour they could!

Day 3:

The group got a slightly later start to the day today and made their way to the Alcantara Gorge. This impressive gorge cuts down through an ancient Etna lava flow and reveals fantastic basalt columns. The group took a walk along the botanical and geological paths, taking in the spectacular viewing points of the gorge. After the walk was complete, the group had free time to visit the 'Framer's Market' shop where they sampled and purchased some local produce. The traditional town of Castelmola was the group's next stop, where they looked out for evidence of the impact of globalisation. It was then onto Taormina where the group arrived at a pizzeria for a pizza making lunch, before exploring Taormina further with many choosing to visit the Greek Ampitheatre with its astounding backdrop of Giardini Naxos Bay and Mount Etna. On returning to the hotel, the group had free time to relax, socialise and freshen up before their evening meal.

Day 4:

After breakfast, the group departed for Mount Etna. Upon arrival, the group took the cable car up to 2500m over the old lava flows and cinder cones before boarding 4x4 trucks which took them up to the summit through snow lined tracks. An alpine guide walked the group to the best vantage point of the crater explaining the volcano's history; all the while rumbles were felt underfoot; clearly demonstrated to the volcano's activity. After the descent, the group made a stop at Piano dell'Acqua to explore the vast lava fields that were created by the 1992 eruption. A little weary from a full day, the group returned to the hotel to freshen up before heading out to a local pizzeria to sample an authentic Sicilian pizza.

Day 5:

Departure day for the group but not before morning visits to Castiglione di Sicilia, Francavilla di Sicilia and Linguaglossa for independent study. After lunch it was time for the group to leave Sicily and they departed for Catania airport for their flight back to the UK.


Bespoke Quotation

Accommodation

Sicily Accommodation

We have a number of hotels in Sicily which are perfectly suited to school groups. Here are just two of our favourites:

Hotel Solemar

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This charming hotel built on an unspoilt stretch of coast has an excellent location enjoying views of the castle of St Alessio.

“As a returning school, the hotel were very welcoming and accommodating.”

Gil Little, Queen Anne School

The hotel has 28 comfortable rooms spread over 3 floors, all of which have air conditioning, satellite television, telephone and private bathroom facilities. Students are accommodated in double, triple or family rooms. Groups can take advantage of the warm Mediterranean sea on the hotel's private beach.

Hotel Solemar

Average Customer Ratings

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