A group of photographers capturing the explosion of a Volcano

Canon Club Exclusive
Volcano photography Itinerary by Ulla Lohmann

Highlights of the tour (13-21 May, 2024):

Experience Stromboli volcano at night: Ascent with a guide The island of Stromboli, its buildings, and inhabitants Boat trip between the Aeolian Islands Ascent of Mount Etna and sunset on Mount Etna Lava cave on Etna Historic Taormina with sunset at Isola Bella The Sicilian way of life and good food Accommodation with volcano view and/or sea view (Etna and Stromboli) Small and familiar tour group with a maximum of 8 participants Your tour guide Ulla Lohmann

Included in the program:

  • Ulla Lohmann as a tour guide with her extensive knowledge about volcanoes and photography
  • Transfer according to the program including ferry
  • 4 nights Sicily, 4 nights Stromboli
  • Half board during the trip
  • 4 days “all you can drink” during dinner (as much Sicilian wine as you’d like)
  • Flight, accommodation, travel insurance

Not included:
  • Excursions and admissions outside the program
  • Drinks other than mentioned above and tips
  • Personal expenses

Program (subject to change due to volcanic activity and weather)

Day 01

Individual arrival in Catania until 3 pm where you will be picked up and brought to your accommodation. Around 4 pm we drive together to Taormina, where we explore the city and photograph the sunset. Transfer back to your accommodation, where the first of the legendary Sicilian dinner is ready. Sicilian wine (as much as you like) is on us!

Day 02

Mighty Mount Etna! We will start at Rifugio Sapienza (1935m) and ascent comfortably to with the cable car to La Montagnola at 2500 meters. The views from here are breathtaking! Catania below, smoking Etna towering in the back… from here, we can explore (optional) a side crater and great viewpoint, the Laghetto crater (2580m). From here, we can observe the South-East Crater and warming our feet at the same time! Below us are fumaroles, places where non-poisonous hot gas escape. For those who enjoy a hike, we will descent by foot (1,5 hours, 565 meters in altitude from the cable car). The others can comfortably descent by cable car, have an aperitivo at Rifugio Sapienza or explore Mount Silvestri, a short scroll behind the cable car with a great view. Reunited back together, we will then choose the best spot for hopefully a spectacular sunset. For sure, you will learn lots about volcanoes and photography today. After dinner and depending on the conditions at night, we will be able to comfortable take pictures from our hotel terrace of the Etna with Stars above.

Day 03

Depending on the activity of Etna, we will either explore the best spot to view the eruption, get close to the lava flow or spend it on the slopes of the volcano to get to know “Mama Etna”. We will either visit 1200 degrees hot lava flows or see weird and wonderful formations of cooled lava, such as a lava tunnel or experience why “Aa Lava” is called like this. Our friend and great fine art photographer Dario Lo Scavo (www.darioloscavo.com) willshow us his beautiful gallery with a visual record of all major eruptions at Piano Provenzana (1810m). You will learn more about volcanoes and how to take volcano images. We will explore the area around Etna Norte, where an eruption has destroyed the ski lifts and take an optional hike, for example to Monti Sartorius with a panoramic view of Mount Etna and the sea. Or you relax at Rifugio Citelli to enjoy their fantastic Latte Macchiato. After: Get ready for the sunset, a sumptuous dinner with free wine and another opportunity to take an image with stars above Etna.

Day 04

Time to enjoy the nice breakfast and to pack. Afterwards, we will leave for Milazzo. We will show you the place with the best pistachio ice cream in Sicily near the port where we take the fast ferry to go to Stromboli. Upon arrival at Stromboli, you will feel itstraight away: The clockstick differently here. People don’t have a watch, but they do have time. We will check into our exclusive boutique hotel. Here, the rooms are far away from standard. Federica Masin has designed each one and fitted it out with lots of love and her fantastic volcano paintings. If you booked a single room, you have your own bathroom and your own entry, but the common area with kitchen and living room will be shared with another person. We will enjoy a homemade meal from Federica’s fantastic kitchen and leave afterwards to ascent to the “Osservatorio” (45min, 120 m altitude gain) to photograph and observe the eruptions of Stromboli from a secret photo spot nearby. Be prepared for a moment of goose bumps and uttermost respect if you see your first eruption! I am looking forward to sharing this unforgettable moment with you. If you don’t feel like walking back to the village, you can take a shuttle. Tipp: Leave the window open at night to hear the waves and the volcano.

Day 05

Morning to relax! Your breakfast will be brought to your room, and you have time to enjoy at your own leisure. Later, we meet to learn more about Stromboli volcano and for a review of last night’s photographs. After a late lunch at our hotel, we climb the volcano, accompanied by a guide from Magmatrek, as high as is allowed at the time of our trip. Currently, the hike is 9 kilometers long and takes us to a viewpoint at 400m. It has an altitude gain of 450meters all together and takes about 2,5 hours one way, including rest points and photo stops. Most of the time, it is an easy but slightly rocky path and only in the end, it will be a bit steeper. Don’t worry, our great guide has experience with hiking pace and rest points, and we can help you if needed. We will walk slow and if you are of average fitness, the hike should not be a problem at all. (Test at home if you can walk 2-3 hours with max 10 breaks (not more then 5min each) and ascending a small hill). Our volcano guide and friend is ready to share his extensive knowledge about Stromboli with you and his experience living with an active volcano every day. The hike is optional! If you don't like to walk this long, you can take the same route then yesterday (45min, 120m altitude gain) or call a shuttle service to take you to the Osservatorio where you can enjoy a great pizza and witness the eruptions from a good photo spot. Assoon asthe sun setsinto the Mediterranean Sea, the spectacle starts: The eruptions of Stromboli. Memorable moments and great photos guaranteed! For those up at the highest viewpoint: We will bring you back to a safe spot at 290m where you can stay for as long as you want to enjoy nature’s greatest force. Another unforgettable night… as every night spend with the volcano and great company.

Day 06

Sleep in- or for those early birds- time to photograph the sunrise! Late morning, we meet again for a photo discussion, to learn about traditions on Stromboli and for inspiration how to approach and photograph people in the picturesque village, where photo opportunities wait at each corner. We will then leave for a boat trip around the island with a stopover at “Strombolicchio”, an old volcanic cone in the middle of the Sea- not only a great photo spot, but also a wonderful place to take a swim! Our next stop is Ginostra, a small village of 40 inhabitants nestled on the slope of the mighty volcano. Not many tourists visit, and you will feel the authentic life at every corner. After another swimming stop with a swim-trough cave and interesting rock deposits, our tour continues to the “Sciara del Fuoco”, a talus scree where the lava stones from Stromboli tumble into the water with a characteristic hissing sound and where the birds wait for their pray. You will be surprised by the dimensions of it all! In the evening, we will climb up to the volcano again, this time via a shorter route and to a view point of 290m (Optional- there is also the possibility to take a shuttle to the “Osservatorio” and back or to relax at the hotel). You can stay for as long as it takes you to create your dream image.

Day 07

This day serves as a reserve day, but it will also be filled with wonderful pictures and experiences. I would like to introduce you to the image processing of volcanic photos, and you will see that volcanoes are addicting: You too will not be able to wait until we can ascend to Stromboli again and enjoy the unique spectacle of huge explosions and glowing lava at night.

Day 08

We get up very early in the morning, which leaves us also time to photograph the sunrise with the colors of the coming day. Today, it is unfortunately time to say: Bye-bye Stromboli, bye- bye wonderful people on the Island! We leave the island by slow ferry. The ride with the cargo boat is a great way to see the aeolian islands and photograph from an elevated point of view. Five hours long, we can marvel at the turquoise water and enjoy the different Aeolian Islands: Panarea, Salina, Lipari, Volcano- the island which gave its name to what we love so much: Volcanoes. On arrival in Milazzo, a stopover in my favorite “Gelateria” is mandatory before we drive back to La Terra Dei Soigni, our hotel from the beginning of our trip. Depending how you feel, we can stop for a swim at the beautiful Alcantara river along the way or relax the afternoon at the hotel pool. During the final dinner (wine is on us!) with view of the Etna, we have time to review a fantastic journey end experience lived together.

Day 09

Transfer to the airport or with the shuttle bus from the hotel or from us.

Note: The program may vary due to condition of the volcano, the weather and external circumstances.

TECHNICAL DATA of all hikes:

Day 2:

Etna: Laghetto Crater The hike is optional. You can also see and photograph Etna from the station reached by cable car. Length of the route: 3 km Difference in altitude: Up 80 m - Down 80 m Altitude: 2500m - 2580m Difficulty: Medium (loose volcanic sand) Physical effort: Medium Duration: about 1 hours (photo stops not included) Etna: Descent from the cable car station La Montagnola to Rifugio Sapienza The hike is optional. You can also take the cable car down and have an aperitivo there or explore the Silvestri side crater (10min hike on flat ground). Length of the route: 5 km Difference in altitude: up 0 m - Down 565 m Altitude: 2500 m - 1935m Difficulty: Easy (unpaved road) Physical effort: Medium (high altitude) Duration: about 1,5 hours (photo stops not included)

Day 3:

Etna: Monti Sartorius The hike is optional. You can also stay at Rifugio Citelli (1740m) and enjoy their Latte Macchiato Length of the route: 3 km Difference in altitude: up 80 m - Down 80 m Altitude: 1600 m - 1680m Difficulty: Easy to medium (a short and steep ascent of 50m altitude gain in loose sand) Physical effort: Low Duration: about 1 hours (photo stops not included)

Day 4:

Stromboli: Pizzeria Osservatorio If you don’t feel like hiking, we can organize a transport for you (5€ one way, please pay yourself or free of charge if you are eating a pizza or having drinks there) Length of the route: 2,6 km Difference in altitude: up 120 m - Down 120 m Altitude: 0m- 120m Difficulty: Easy (on a paved road) Physical effort: Low to medium (it could be hot in the sun) Duration: about 45min (photo stops not included)

Day 5:

Stromboli: Guided hike to the highest point allowed (July 2022: Hike to 450m) If you don’t feel like hiking, we can organize a transport for you to the Pizzeria Osservatorio Length of the route: 9 km Difference in altitude: up 450 m - Down 450 m Altitude: 350m Difficulty: medium to hard (small path with rocky sections, some steep. Could be hot in the sun) Physical effort: Medium (if you are of average fitness), Hard (if you are not used to hiking) Duration: about 2,5 hours one way (stops for resting included)

Day 6+7:

Stromboli: Hike to the highest point allowed without guide (July 2022: Hike to 290m) If you don’t feel like hiking, we can organize a transport for you to the Pizzeria Osservatorio Length of the route: 3,5 km Difference in altitude: up 290 m - Down 290 m Altitude: 290m Difficulty: Easy to Medium (paved road most of the way, about 200m of small path with rocky sections. Could be hot in the sun) Physical effort: Easy (if you are of average fitness), Medium (if you are not used to hiking) Duration: about 1,30 hours one way (photo stops not included)