Geography School Trips & Tours to Sicily

A geography school trip to Sicily provides a great opportunity for groups wanting to study key themes at GCSE and A-level, including volcanic activity and coastal processes and the resulting formations. This island offers superb geography visits including Mount Etna which provides an excellent case study to expand upon back in the classroom.

Sicily has an astonishing diverse heritage and a geography field trip here provides a great range of geographical opportunities for pupils of all ages. For physical geographers there are river and coastal studies plus the active volcanoes of Etna and Stromboli. Local farming, fishing and tourist industries provide the human geography element (as well as plenty of gastronomic and leisure time benefits). This is a fantastic geography tour option for pupils. 

Prices start from£499pp

Price Shown includes

  • 3 nights’ half-board accommodation
  • Return flights & airport transfers, all taxes and charges included 
  • Local Guide
  • Visits including: Mount Etna, Alcantara Gorges, Strait of Messina & Tindari Lake
  • Coach transportation for visits shown
  • Extensive group travel insurance
  • Free place ratio of 1 in 10

Price shown is based on 35 paying passengers departing from a London airport in April 2018 and is subject to availability.


On-tour support

Get even more from your trip with an NST Field Studies Guide from only £35pp.

On-tour support includes:


Accommodation

Popular options in Sicily


4 day Sicily geography trip package includes

Sicily Day One

Morning & afternoon: Daytime flight and transfer to accommodation, independent exploration of local area

Evening: Free time to settle in, evening meal

Sicily Day Two

Morning & afternoon: Full day excursion to Mount Etna (TECTONICS/HAZARD MANAGEMENT)

Evening: Evening meal and free time

Mount Etna  

A visit to Mount Etna - Europe’s highest and most active volcano – will open up a variety of study opportunities for your pupils. The themes of plate tectonics and eruptions, land use, tourism and much more can be investigated here. Over the course of a full day your group will be transported by coach to 1,900 metres above sea level, then by cable car and jeep to reach 2,500 metres.

Your guide will then take you on foot until you reach 2,900 metres above sea level. The continual volcanic activity of Mount Etna has a very real impact on local communities and makes for a fascinating case study, enabling you to cover a number of human and physical geography topics during your tour. What hazard management plans are in place? How has the landscape changed over the years? All this and more can be explored on this full day visit.

Sicily Day Three

Morning & afternoon: Strait of Messina and Tindari Lake full day visit

Evening: Evening meal and free time

Strait of Messina & Tindari Lake    

Head to Messina to an excellent position from where the Strait of Messina can be viewed clearly and discussed. The Strait is a narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Italy which connects the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas. The intense currents and characteristic chemistry of the waters of the Strait determine an extraordinary ecosystem with a high abundance and diversity of species.

You will then move onto Tindari, in particular, the Black Madonna Sanctuary situated high on the cliff tops. Hear how the statue of the Black Madonna is said to have been created at the base of the cliffs. You will also have a fantastic viewpoint over this ‘linguetta di sabbia’ (tongue of sand), which stretches 1.5km into the sea, defiantly resisting the destructive, relentless raids of the Tyrrhenian. Clearly visible on satellite photos, the ‘tongue’ is raised about 4 metres above sea-level at its highest points and creates a kind of lagoon on its land side. Several small lakes dot the surface and provide an ideal home for a large variety of flora and fauna (indeed it is now a nature reserve). 

Sicily Day Four

Morning: Alcantara Gorges visit (TECTONICS/ PROCESSES)

Afternoon: Transfer to airport for return flight to UK

Alcantara Gorges    

Groups flying home in the afternoon or evening will have time to spend their morning visiting the Alcantara Gorges which were formed by the volcanic activity of Mount Etna. The stunning basalt formation known as the Alcantara Gorge lies on the Alcantara River about 20 minutes’ drive south west of Taormina. Etna’s geological influence on the surrounding countryside has created a beautifully scenic site encircled by small luscious green woods.

Gorge Trek: By choosing to spend a little extra time at the gorge, groups have the opportunity to get stuck in and walk in the water through the gorge itself with local experts and provided kit. Trek through the immense natural canyons, 50m deep carved out by an ancient lava flow and observe its beautiful scenery where you can see the lava monoliths carved by water over the centuries. Fitness level options vary from ‘easy’ upwards.

 


More popular geography visit options available

Sicily Optional Day Five

Morning & afternoon: Full day excursion to Lipari and Vulcano Islands (TECTONICS/COASTS/TOURISM)

Evening: Evening meal, free time

Lipari & Vulcano Islands    

Depart with your guide on your mini cruise to these two volcanic Islands. Sail along admiring the islands’ coastlines, before passing Punta Castagna. After docking, explore the town of Lipari or spend time in the town centre. You’ll then sail to the island of Vulcano. Here your group can explore the black beaches, hot springs and sulphur mud baths, which you can experience yourself for a small fee. Next, set sail around the Aeolian Islands where you’ll see an array of fascinating landforms including the Faraglioni, the Papa Giovanni rock and the Grotta degli Angeli. 

Vulcano Island Day

Board the public ferry with your local guide and sail directly to Vulcano Island which was constructed during six volcanic stages. The highlight of the day is a walk up the Fossa Volcano to the Grand Crater, which last erupted just over 100 years ago. The eruption deposited 15 feet of pyroclastic material at the summit of Fossa. You’ll also see (and smell!) several active fumaroles and extensive sulphur deposits. More recently, this cone has been the site of volcanic unrest (1985-1995) without culminating in an eruption. Your group will also see the famous mud baths, which are based on natural hot springs.

 

Stromboli and Vulcano Islands

Stromboli and Vulcano Islands

This two night option provides a truly unique trip, with an opportunity to climb a volcano and see the continuous emission of blobs of lava shot a small distance into the air as ‘fire fountains’. Your ferry will take you into Stromboli village where you will walk to your accommodation. You’ll then have time to explore the village and observe the coastal rock formations. In the late afternoon you will meet your Local Guide and collect your trekking safety equipment before setting off on your trek around 5pm. You will hike to 400m, where a viewing platform is positioned for great views of the ‘Stream of Fire’. The darkening conditions make it the ideal time of day to see the lava movements.

The following morning you will take the ferry to Vulcano Island with the opportunity to walk up the smaller Fossa Volcano to the Grand Crater and visit the mud baths before returning to your hotel in Stromboli and returning to the mainland the following morning.

Etna Land Theme Park

Etna Land Theme Park 

Why not treat your group and enjoy a day’s visit to this popular Sicily attraction, which is embarking on a transformation from water park to a theme park. Your coach will drop you off and pick you up, leaving your group to enjoy a full day at this exciting amusement park.


Evening activites

  • A quiz or disco at your hotel (most hotels can provide a room for groups to use in the evenings)

Study themes

Human:

  • Tourism
  • Hazard management
  • Cultural diversity

 

 

Physical:

  • Fluvial systems
  • Tectonic processes
  • Ecosystems
  • Coasts
  • Geology
  • Environmental change

Study levels

A-level
GCSE

 


Expert's comment

Italy’s largest island dominated by Mount Etna provides a wealth of experiences, with Etna and the Eolian island providing dramatic proof of the destructive forces that are both a hazard and an opportunity. Its closeness to Africa marks Sicily at the crossroads for migration and its coastline and coastal towns developed since Greek times show how man has adapted his environment.
Paul, NST Field Studies Guide

 


Transport

We can arrange for your group to fly from a range of UK airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.

Flight


Giving you full support throughout

Before your tour

  • Your own dedicated NST contact
  • Bespoke tour itineraries
  • Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
  • Curriculum linked visit programmes
  • Great value for money - no hidden costs
  • Free group leader inspection visits
  • Risk assessment guidance
  • Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits

Whilst you're away

  • Free educational resources
  • Group-friendly accommodation
  • Exceptional standards of coaching
  • On-tour support from our reps on the ground
  • Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
  • 24/7 support just a call away
  • Extensive group travel insurance

On your return

  • Priority rebooking services
  • Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
  • You say, we listen - we're committed to continuously improving our tours
  • School travel company of choice since 1967

“I can’t tell you how inspired my pupils are after our recent tour with NST. Since returning, the number of pupils opting to study geography at GCSE has increased.”
Emma Pilling, Tre-Gib School