Alive with restless mountains, rugged coastlines, azure seas and intriguing geographical landscapes, a trip to the Bay of Naples and Sicily is the ultimate experience for any geographer.
We give our run-down of the top 8 adventures, certain to rock the world of any geographer.
1. Take a guided trek of Mount Etna Nord, Sicily
Dominating Sicily’s skyline is the smoking hulk of Mount Etna. Take a trek up the north side of Etna to see Europe’s largest active volcano from a different perspective. Magma mia! In an almost constant state of activity, this is a must for any adventuring geographer.
Your expert alpine guide will take you up close to one of the raw red craters of this powerful formation, where you can explore the intriguing landscapes of lava formed from the 2002 eruption, and witness the impacts of the volcanic eruption on the infrastructure and environment.
2. Journey to the island of Vulcano, Sicily
The southernmost Aeolian Island of Vulcano makes an instant impression, with its smouldering crater and pungent odour. Begin your adventure by taking a scenic ferry ride, before exploring the island up-close with a guided trek to the crater rim of the Gran Cratere volcanic cone.
At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with steaming fumaroles and vibrant sulphur deposits… not to mention the dramatic views of the surrounding islands. Perfetto!
3. Witness Stromboli’s glowing summit, Sicily
The enchanting Aeolian volcanic island of Stromboli is another visit for geographers to tick off. Journey to the island by boat to witness the splendour of the volcano of the same name, which has been in a near constant state of eruption for thousands of years.
Take a guided trek midway up the volcano’s flanks to view the huge, and often active, Sciara del Fuoco (Stream of Fire). Afterwards, explore the rest of the island, before returning to the boat as darkness falls to catch a glimpse of the volcanic glow from the summit crater.
4. Discover the idyllic Isle of Capri by boat and land, Bay of Naples
Journey to the fabled Isle of Capri and take a round island boat trip to admire its beauty and reveal a haven of coastal features. You’ll pass by the famous natural formations of the Blue Grotto, the Green Grotto and the Faraglioni Rocks.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the towns of Capri and Anacapri to peruse their collection of fancy cafes and designer boutiques, before taking a walk to the Natural Arch from Capri town. Alternatively, take a chairlift to the best vantage point at the summit of Monte Solaro for sweeping views of the island.
5. Climb Mount Vesuvius, Bay of Naples
Dominating the Bay of Naples is the mighty Mount Vesuvius, which famously destroyed the nearby Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted in 79 AD. A walk to the immense crater rim reveals the now dormant volcano’s sulphur-emitting fumaroles and solidified contortions of lava, pumice and tuff… as well as dramatic views!
A close inspection of this mighty stratovolcano brings home the potential dangers faced by the one million people living in its shadow.
6. Step back in time in Pompeii, Bay of Naples
With Lonely Planet calling it ‘Europe’s most compelling archaeological site’, the ruins of Pompeii are not to be missed. Take a guided tour of the Roman city and discover more about everyday life before the 79 AD eruption, when it was showered with ash, stones and pumice.
Events will be brought to life as you witness sites, such as the Forum, the Basilica and the Amphitheatre, as well as plaster casts of the victims. A stark reminder of Vesuvius’ powerful forces.
7. Explore ancient remains in Herculaneum, Bay of Naples
While the people of Pompeii were showered with ash, stones and pumice during the 79 AD eruption, the wealthy holiday resort of Herculaneum was buried by a river of boiling mud. This excellently preserved town was once home to affluent Romans and offers a smaller, easier to navigate site. A guided tour will bring the ancient remains of the settlement to life and reveal the stories of its past.
8. Sample delicacies at Fondo Galatea Working Farm, Bay of Naples
No visit to Italy is complete without sampling the local delicacies. Tucked away in the Campanian countryside is the family-run Fondo Galatea. A guided visit of this typical Southern Italian working farm explains the farming methods and techniques practised, as well as the importance of the climate and soil for growing traditional Mediterranean crops.
The best bit? The mozzarella and local cheese production demonstrations – complete with some delicious samples! Finish your visit with a pizza making lesson and lunch. Buon Appetito!