Hiking the Stromboli Volcano
The Stromboli Volcano is located on a small island off the coast of Northern Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. A constantly active volcano, minor eruptions occur often and are visible from just about anywhere on the island, as well as points in the sea nearby. Because of the eruptions lighting up the sky, the island is often referred to as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”. For the past 2,000 years, Mt. Stromboli has been erupting continuously, with a pattern formed from three active craters at the peak of the volcano. In differencing intervals, ranging from minutes to hours, mild volcanic bombs erupt from the craters, spawning a term known to geologists as the “Strombolian eruption.” As one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the best way to get up close and enjoy the scenery is to plan a hiking excursion.
Hiking Mt. Stromboli is a popular activity for tourists and townsfolk alike, and has granted the island a main source of tourism and revenue. A hike up the volcano isn’t easy, and is recommended for intermediate to expert hikers, but it can be an outrageously rewarding experience. Hikers have a great vantage point to the unique eruptions, which is as close as one can get while still maintaining a safe distance. However, hiking the volcano unguided is illegal, so it’s important to book a tour before you begin trekking up the mountain. There a variety of businesses on the island which book guided tours of the volcano, and schedules vary, so there’s likely to be something which fits exactly what you’re looking for.
Many tours offer group or individual excursions, which take approximately 5 hours or longer, depending on the volcano’s activity. Group excursions usually consist of a minimum of ten hikers, so if you want a more personal approach, you can hire a guide to assist you in an individual hike. You ca personalize your hiking approach and usually set your own schedule when you chose to hire your own guide, as opposed to a group tour. Many guides speak a variety of languages as well, so if Italian isn’t your native tongue, there’s no need to worry.
You can safely hike the volcano year round, but depending on the season, the conditions can vary. The trails can be especially hot in the summer months, so hikers should be well prepared to take appropriate breaks and rehydrate. Some tracks are steep, so it’s recommended that hikers be in great physical shape before opting for a Mt. Stromboli excursion. All hikers are required to have high quality trekking boots and a battery powered electric torch for safety purposes, as well as a hiking helmet. Preparations for a comfortable climb include a backpack with supplies (sandwich, dried fruit, and water) as well as a sweater or wind jacket, long pants and a change of t-shirt, and a scarf to cover your mouth and nose from dust.
After the hike, be sure to visit some of the island’s other charms, like black sand beaches and gorgeous garden settings.
I strongly recommend vulcano Consult if you plan to go there