Sicily as a hiking and diving paradise? We are here this week to go on a discovery tour and see if and what might be suitable for our next tour.

Sicily has a lot to compete with our favourite leisure activities. Sicily is rich in culture and monuments due to its chequered history. These range from Roman theatres and Norman castles to magnificent baroque facades and incredibly splendid churches. Sicily’s landscape is also impressive – with the volcano Mount Etna and small towns such as Taormina and Cefalù.

Accordingly – and because the weather didn’t quite play ball – I only did two hikes – once around Taormina and up Monte Zoccolaro, near Mount Etna.

Taormina almost feels like Venice without the water and on a hillside – lots of charm and pretty to look at. There weren’t really any hiking trails in this sense – more like climbing stairs and walking on paved paths. But the views were overwhelming.

The hike in the Etna region is completely different. Sicily is known for the fact that the paths are not really marked, even in the nature reserves, and most of them are not maintained. The path up Monte Zoccolaro is a pleasant exception. The path is easy to recognise, marked in white and red – and offers great views of both Mount Etna and the coast.

All in all, a path that is fun even for experienced hikers… if it weren’t for the northern flanks, which are now covered in snow and are steep and slippery. After the second long northern flank, I decide to abandon the hike and descend on the southern slope. An interesting choice… A path is shown on Komoot, and there are also footprints – at least from time to time… but nothing is marked. So I feel my way down carefully and occasionally descend on fine sandy lava slopes.

This is also fun, and at some point I find myself at the bottom of a dirt track made of lava sand. After a short break, I hike back along the foot of the mountain. Once again, there are no path markings or signposts. Nevertheless, thanks to Komoot, I manage to find my way back to the car.

We’ll definitely be back! But whether I will walk the Sentiero Italia with 30 stages here… I’ll think about that again…

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