With its crystal blue sea, rugged coastlines and unblemished mountains, visitors who are after an active holiday in Sicily can enjoy all these wonders on the island’s various hiking trails.
There are a number of trails that criss-cross Sicily and offer walkers incredible views of the countryside and coastline.
With its slew of stunning hiking trails there is so much choice for you to choose from and here we give an overview of the best hikes that you can go on during your stay at our Verdura resort in Sicily.
Duration of hike: 5-6 hours
Length of hike: 8km (around 5 miles)
For this hike you will need to start at the quaint town of Stromboli and during this hike you will really get a great insight into Sicily’s most active volcanic island. For those of you wanting to summit the Stromboli volcano you’ll need to go with a guide as though eruptions are small it is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
The trail takes you past yellow broom and over black volcanic slopes that reveal stunning views of the town below.
As you get to the top of the climb you will be in awe of smouldering craters and if you hike up the trail at sunrise you will be treated to the sun rising revealing the puffs of smoke and fountains of lava.
Duration of hike: around 4 hours
Length of hike: 3.34 km (over 2 miles)
A list about the best hiking spots in Sicily just wouldn’t be complete without Mount Etna.
The best way to really see the magnificence of this volcano is to walk up it as you will ascend and experience its varied climatic zones and the weird and wonderful vegetation growing.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is Europe’s largest active volcano and as you reach the top you will be amazed by the bleak lava hinterland.
To walk up the volcano you will need to start from Rifugio Sapienza and to avoid the crowds you would be best off starting your hike in the morning. You will also need to take warm clothes, hiking boots or comfortable shoes with good grip.
The best way to ascend the volcano is to go on a tour with Go Etna as they will be able to tell you about the past eruptions and other fascinating events.
Duration of hike: 1 hour
Length of hike: 3km (1.8 miles)
This easy loop is really scenic as it starts and ends at Chiesa di San Antonio and goes around Capo Milazzo, which is just north of Milazzo.
You will pass olive groves and cactus as you descend towards the sea. As you get close to the peninsulas northern tip the views get even better as you get a glimpse of the natural pool of Piscina di Venere.
You can stop off for a dip at the rock-fringed pool as it is ideal for swimming before you begin the loop back past the 13th-century Santuario Rupestre di San Antonio church to your original starting point.
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
Duration of hike: 5 hours
Length of hike: 14km (around 8.5 miles)
Just an hour west of the popular holiday destination of Palermo is the Zingaro Nature Reserve, which became Sicily’s first nature reserve in 1986.
This is regarded by many locals as one of Sicily’s best walking locations as it is home to a spectacular shoreline.
The trail takes you past beaches, fields and shrubbery and if you love your wildlife then keep an eye out as the nature reserve is home to around 40 bird species and 700 species of flora. If you get lucky you might even get to see the rare Bonelli eagles.
The best trail to follow is from the park’s southern entrance to the centre of the park and back.
Anapo river valley
Duration of hike: around 4 hours
Length of hike: around 6.5 km (around 4 miles)
Hiking in the Anapo river valley is magical as you can get an up-close look at steep cliffs that are dotted with thousands of rock-cut tombs dating from the 13th century BC.
The site was granted UNESCO status back in 2005 and the rocky necropolis of Pantalica opens up the door to an ancient world.
In total there are an estimated 5,000 burial chambers and as well as these fascinating attractions you can enjoy lots of stunning scenery along the route.
Vendicari Nature Reserve
Duration of hike: 1 hour 30 mins
Length of hike: 5 km (just over 3 miles)
The Vendicari Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Oasi Faunistica di Vendicari in Italian) is home to lots of great hikes.
For this particular walk you’ll need to start at the main entrance of the reserve and you’ll be finishing your walk at Spiaggia Calamosche.
This coastal walk follows boardwalks through marshes that are filled with a variety of birds including flamingos, geese, and storks. These are dependent on the season as lots of other birds that visit the island are migratory.
The walk takes you by the coastline and sea and it’s here where you’ll see an ancient defence tower and other historical buildings. You will also come across Spiaggia Calamosche during the hike and this is a beautiful stretch of sand that is lapped by turquoise waters.
Image Credit: Clemensfranz (Wikimedia).