Sicily’s Ionian coast takes in Taormina’s golden beaches to the ancient ruins of Siracusa, via the bustling town of Catania and all the charming seaside fishing villages in between.
Just imagine, summer in Sicily… a rugged island with golden shores, the scent of citrus, fantastic food, and towns rolling in relics thanks to numerous settlers throughout its history (Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs…). Right in the heart of the east coast lies Sicily’s second largest city. Monochrome and Baroque, Catania is defined by Mount Etna, which looms ominously over the region. The bubbling behemoth has played its part in shaping the place both historically and geographically, its spewing lava having destroyed the city in the past. Explore the grey-black volcanic stone-paved streets taking in this cultural city’s historical sights, from the duomo and the church of San Benedetto, to the gustative delights of the renowned Pescheria market and the local signature dish pasta alla Norma (pasta, fried aubergines, tomato and ricotta – mamma mia!).
No trip to the region would be complete without visiting Europe’s largest active volcano. The UNESCO World Heritage site is forever shape-shifting, and has been in a constant state of eruption since 1998. Day trips are available, entering either by the more popular Sud entrance that takes in the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana, or via Linguaglossa towards the less developed Nord entrance, through forests and lush fruit orchards. From an altitude of around 2,000m, visit the two inactive Silvestri craters, which date back to the eruption of 1892. The smaller, reddish crater can even be visited in its entirety, so you can get up close and personal with this lunar landscape. And why not take a 4x4 off-road drive, heading to higher altitudes of 3,000m. Stay around until sunset, for magical, breathtaking views of the Bove valley and its other-worldly landscape of lava caves and ash deserts.
So with direct flights from Luxembourg, your bubbling hot Sicilian summer is only two and a half hours away!
Stay on and visit the national park, trek among the centuries-old lava flows, caves and active fumaroles.