Where: Stromboli, Aeolian Islands nr. Sicily
Best Season: July & August are great times to stay up all night and watch the show!
Best Sights: Dramatic firework show of super hot lava
Remember to Bring: Flashlight, food & water, a guide & strong boots
Watch out for: Red hot lava missiles & changing weather conditions
Of all the Aeolian Islands, Stromboli is the most beautiful. A sheer volcanic rock rising from the sea. If you dare to brave it, you can sleep on the foothills of 3000ft Mt Stromboli, an active volcano, and witness the onslaught of throbbing hot pieces of lava.
You can take a day trip to Stromboli, but it is better to stay at least one night in order to climb the volcano and see the dramatic lava flows and explosions against the night sky. It’s a 3-hour-long strenuous hike from the village base to the summit.
How to get there
Cars cannot be taken to Stromboli village or the nearby village of Ginostra, so travelling in from neighbouring destinations by ship or small boat and then hiking by foot is your only option.
Where to stay
The population of Stromboli during the summer months goes from about 500 locals to 7000, so you’ve got to book your accommodation well in advance. Hotels are expensive and a room in a pensione (hostel) costs about $35. If you’re planning a longer stay, there are hotels and guest houses on Stromboli but during the winter or high season (July and August) accommodation can be a problem so remember to book ahead.
- If you’re not fully equipped you can buy hiking gear from Stromboli.
- Before you set out, take a trip to the visitor centre near Scari where you can find out more about the geology of this mystical and mighty volcano.
- You’ll need a guide to take you all the way to the summit, and you’ll find one at the San Vincenzo Church Square. It’s not only illegal but also dangerous to climb the volcano alone. The weather is known for turning, and fog, thunderstorms, falling rocks and active lava can all lead to an accident. A guide will be better equipped to anticipate the mighty volcano’s moods, and navigate your trip safely.
- To make the most of the fantastic night time fireworks, the parties leave in the afternoon staying at the summit until late at night. During the summer tours depart at midnight until the early morning.
- You should never sleep on the top, as occasionally there can be massive lava explosions, so the very top of the mountain should be climbed with a guide.
Flashlight, food, water, hiking boots, sun protection and wind protection.
An excellent starting point for planning your Stromboli experience!
Main Image: Veronique Mergaux, Stromboli, Flickr Creative Commons