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“Pretty as a postcard”
Review of Stromboli Volcano

Stromboli Volcano
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Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Stromboli
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Stromboli, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Pretty as a postcard”
Reviewed 8 September 2012

The sands on Vulcano are free and thrilling. Volcano was quiet while were there.,
Perfect spot from which to see Lipari, Salina & Vulcano. Lipari is as pretty as you see in "il Postino" but the port is actually half ugly half gorgeous. Thronged with tourists and hence expensive for restaurants. (back in '03) 

Visited July 2012
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Thank TravelsInItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Zurich, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Amazing experience, but you have to be well-prepared and reasonably fit”
Reviewed 15 August 2012

Seeing an active volcano in eruption so close is really impressive! But first we had to hike quite a bit. We are not super experienced hikers, but we do hike in the mountains about once a month and, although this hike was not terribly hard, I can't call it easy neither. If you do it, make sure you are well-prepared. First of all, you need real hiking boots. I personally often hike without them, so believe me, you really need them for this hike. We rented ours together with flashlights (without which it is impossible to go down) for 9 EUR per person in the shop on the Church square (and since we were leaving early next morning before the shop opened, we just left them in Magmatrek office after the hike). Magmatrek also provided us with walking sticks (at no extra cost) and there wasn't a minute during the hike when I wasn't feeling happy about having it! Another thing you will absolutely need is water, and people are not exaggerating about 2 L per person (at least in summer)! We had only 3 L for the two of us and it was barely enough (and I am pretty sure, my boyfriend was pretending not to be thirsty, so that I could have more). It was very hot during the first hours of the hike and everyone had their t-shirts completely wet with sweat. So it is better to take a least one (ideally even two ) clean t-shirt to change, as well as a warm jacket, because when you are finally at the top and the sun goes down, it gets very windy and cold there. We were both pretty tired and starving (yes, food, don't forget food!) by the time we arrived to the top, but the time we spent there sitting on the warm ground, watching first the sunset then the volcano was great, absolutely worth the hike! Going down afterward is rather easy - most of the time you just slide down the black sand.
As to the company, we were happy with Magmatrek - they answered our emails rapidly, made sure that everyone had all the necessary things for the hike, advanced at a reasonable speed (stops every 20-30 min, most stops were short, but when you hike, pausing for a long time will only make it more difficult) and provided interesting information about volcano and the island.

Visited June 2012
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9 Thank madalison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
“Long hard climb up and down, VERY hot but fantastic view of the crater and lava”
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We climbed Stromboli in August 2012, as part of a trek around the Aeolian islands, organised by the excellent CST Tropea travel agency. The itinerary allowed us to take a ferry from Tropea to Stomboli, drop our bags off at the hotel on Stromboli, and then take a moto scooter/taxi to the company running the trek up to the volcanic crater on the same day. The trip from our hotel to the company running the trek cost 10 euros.

There are multiple companies running treks to the crater, and we were booked in with a company called Stromboli Adventures. It was immediately obvious that this is a small company, seemingly run by just two people – other larger companies running treks include Magmatrek, and they certainly seemed a lot more organised than Stromboli Adventures.

A couple of things to stress when attempting to climb Stromboli:

- you MUST be FIT – the climb takes 5 hours there and back
- you WILL need climbing boots and socks, NOT trainers or walking sandals
- you WILL need a torch or flashlight with enough power for 4-5 hours
- you WILL need high energy food and snacks for the 4-5 hours
- you WILL need at least 2 litres of water PER PERSON – ensure you have this BEFORE you go to the start of the trek as there is NOWHERE you can get water once there!
- you WILL need a warm light jacket once you get to the top of Stromboli

I cannot stress enough that you must be fit to do this. If you struggle with exercise, I cannot recommend you attempt this trek. I also think that children until 10 would struggle with this trek (more about that later!).

When we arrived, Stromboli Adventures simply took our money, handed us a helmet and paper face mask each, and then said we had to hire anything else we needed from a shop in the area. Climbing boots cost 5 euros per person, walking socks were 7 euros per person to buy, and flashlights cost 7 euros per person... this was NOT a cheap exercise, and in hindsight we could have saved a lot of money by bringing our own boots, socks and flashlights. More fool us! The owner of the hire shop insists on holding either a passport or driving license to ensure you bring the equipment back – fortunately the shop stays open until very late.

Our trek was scheduled to start at 18:00, but eventually started at 18:45 when the guide decided he was ready to start. CST Tropea had booked us with Stromboli Adventures because they claimed that they spoke English, but it soon became very obvious that neither of the guides spoke English – just Italian and German! Fortunately my wife speaks German so we were able to understand what was being said – NOT GOOD.

There was a party of approximately 20 people making the trek, with two guides – the party was a mix of ages, with the youngest child being about 7 or 8, and myself in my 50's as the oldest member!

The lead guide said that we would have walking sessions of 30 minutes, followed by breaks of 10 minutes, until we reached the top. This was not true. For the majority of the trek, we walked for anything up to 50 minutes at a time, and when we did stop, it was for no more than 5 minutes at any one time – NOT GOOD.

The climb up Stromboli is STEEP and because we went in August it was INCREDIBLY hot – I cannot stress enough that you will need water and be fit just to get up that first part. I had a light gray t-shirt on and it had turned black with sweat by the time we had got half way up. I am comparatively fit and I found it VERY hard going. The entire party was suffering, and it is did NOT help that the breaks were every 45-50 minutes or so, and only for 5 minutes at most. NOT GOOD.

It took us nearly 3 hours to climb to the crater; the first half of the climb is rough pathways, but as we got higher it turned to hard rocky paths – you DEFINITELY need walking boots. It also got cooler the higher we got, and the sweat from the first part of the climb getting cold on your skin didn't help matters. By the time we got near the top it was dark, and we definitely needed the flashlights to see our way. Also, several of the children in the group were tired and crying by this point, but our guide still only allowed 5 minute rest breaks every 45 minutes or so – NOT GOOD.

Once we reached the top, helmets were donned and the guides led us in single file along the edge of the crater to see the eruptions and lava. These were spectacular :) Pictures do not do them justice, and words cannot truly describe the sensation of feeling the earth shudder and the roar of molten rock as it bursts into the night sky. You can easily imagine how our ancestors imagined volcanoes to be the home of dragons, or where the gods forged weapons. I am guessing we were about 200m away from the lava and eruption points, hence the need for helmets!

We spent about 30 minutes at the summit, then there was a long 2 hour trek back down the volcano. This was mainly down paths of deep soft pumice, which was like walking in soft deep sand – very tiring – and then through some extremely dusty fields, where each step stirred up a cloud of dust. With 20 people all walking through, it was like walking through a dust storm for an hour, and you definitely needed the paper face masks. The deep sift pumice also contained multiple stones then got into your boots and hurt your feet, but the guides did not allow enough time or breaks for people to remove them – NOT GOOD.

We eventually got back to the start point at midnight, tired and thirsty and dusty. Several children were in tears and having to be carried by their parents. Several people were literally hobbling down the last part barely able to walk! There is a bar+restaurant+pizzeria+gelateria at the return point, full of smartly dressed teenagers, and definitely NOT a place that welcomes hot, sticky, dusty people! We found it to be very busy, and the staff quite unhelpful and impolite, especially in comparison to other Italian bars and restaurants we have visited – it definitely felt like a place for the locals to be see and been seen, and we do NOT recommend it. In addition, there were no moto scooter/taxi's back to the hotel so... another 15 minute walk back into town where thankfully we found a lovely bar, and sat outside to drink water until it came out of our ears!

The following day we spoke with staff at the hotel we were staying with, and they confirmed that the best time to climb Stromboli is in May or late September - “August is too hot for us”, they said! It does make me appreciate just how tough the guides that do the trek each day are!

Seeing the volcanic eruptions from the top of Stomboli was a wonderful experience, but I have to question whether the 5 hour effort of getting up there and back down was worth the 30 minutes of seeing the eruptions and lava from the top. Personally, I would not do it again, or if I had to I would pick a different (and more professional) company to do the trek with.

PROS
Seeing, hearing and feeling the eruptions barely 200m away

CONS
Cost of hire equipment – the casual traveller will have to hire boots, socks, flashlights etc
HUGE effort of getting up and down the volcano – heat and dust are your enemies as well as carrying water, food and clothes up the volcano
Not enough stop breaks going up and down, and the breaks were not long enough when they did come
Not suitable for the under 10's or anyone struggling with fitness






Visited August 2012
Helpful?
31 Thank coopuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Boat trip to Stromboli”
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We took a boat trip to Panarea island and Stromboli island. We booked the trip thru Navisal (office in Milazzo town) and it was a cruise with dinner on the boat. First we stoped at Panarea island for a few hours so you could enjoy lunch on the island and take a swim. The island is beautiful!
The we left for Stromboli, stayed for a while on the island for a quick swim and take on the sights of this vulcanic island.
Dinner and some music entertainment after watching the vulcano errupt in the evening, it was magical.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank susmaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
margaret river
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Salina Relax Boats Stromboli tour”
Reviewed 12 August 2012 via mobile

After ready a review that someone took a boat charter & wasn't impressed.
I highly recomend the relax boat crew they are based at Salina but do travel to all the islands, there crew also speak English , Stromboli at night was an amazing experience, the tour left salina at 1.00 so we also had a chance to swim around the island and visit other small bays and strobolini .. We also had an hour I think it was to visit the island enough time to walk around the town & eat a gelati it was a great day and the fireworks stroboli put on for us did not disappoint

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2 Thank wannah0liday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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