School Trips to Sicily

The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily’s rich cultural heritage and volcanic landscape make it a fascinating school trip for students of all ages, particularly those studying geography or classical history. 

A school trip to Sicily gives students a chance to visit one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mt. Etna. This is a prime case study which is guaranteed to bring elements of physical geography to life outside the classroom.

For history students, few places on Earth can claim to have been ruled by so many varied external powers. Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Spanish and French empires have all claimed Sicily at one time or another, before the island finally unified with Italy in the 19th century. Comparing the lifestyles, architecture and cultural impact of these civilisations is a unique opportunity for any class.

Whatever your focus, NST plan out bespoke itineraries to meet the needs of your class and ensure that your Sicily school trip is an unforgettable experience for both students and teachers alike. 

Browse our curriulum-linked school trips in Sicily

Geography

Geography

Sicily has an astonishing diverse heritage and a geography field trip here provides a great range of geographical opportunities for pupils of all ages.

Learn more about our geography trips to the Sicily here

Classics & Ancient History

Classics & Ancient History

Until the 20th century, Sicily was the crossroads of the Mediterranean – Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Normans and Moors all passed through and left their mark. Explore this historical location on an exciting ancient history school trip to Sicily.

Learn more about our classics & ancient history to Sicily here


Sicily highlights - our groups love...

Mount Etna 

Mount Etna 

A visit to Mount Etna - Europe’s highest and most active volcano – will open up a variety of study opportunities for your students. For geography groups 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.

 

Lipari & Vulcano Islands    

Lipari & Vulcano 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. 

Alcantara Gorges    

Alcantara Gorges    

Formed by the volcanic activity of Mount Etna, this 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.

 

Strait of Messina & Tindari Lake 

Strait of Messina & Tindari Lake    

The Strait of Messina 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.

In Tindari groups can visit 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.

Taormina & Giardini Naxos  

Taormina & Giardini Naxos    

The medieval town of Taormina is popular with tourists, groups can vsit the Greek theatre reconstructed in the second century AD with its unforgettable view of Mount Etna.  The seaside resort of Giardini Naxos has many churches and archaeological park where groups like to spend some free time.

Etna Land Theme Park

Etna Land Theme Park

A popular Sicily attraction, which is embarking on a transformation from water park to a theme park. Groups can enjoy a full day at this exciting amusement park.

 

Palermo

Palermo

In this beautiful and historic capital the classical tradition can be followed in the mosaics of the Norman Palatine Chapel and the cathedral of Monreale made by Byzantine craftsmen. Visit the church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti and pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum with its intriguing Selinunte finds.

Segesta & Selinunte

Segesta & Selinunte

Segesta is one of the best preserved Greek archaeological sites. Groups can examine the unfinished Greek temple alone on the hillside with its columns still unfluted and lifting bosses still in place. A well-preserved Hellenistic theatre is also here which can be reached via a short shuttle bus ride.

Selinunte has one of the earliest and one of the largest Greek temples. One temple has been helpfully reconstructed to enable students to visualise the site. The quarries at Rocca di Cusa provide evidence for how the stones for the temples were cut from the rock.

Valley of Temples, Agrigento

Valley of Temples, Agrigento

Classicists can examine the remarkable Valley of the Temples. The Archaeological museum set among the remains of Roman and Hellenistic ruins contains one of the giant telamones from the temple of Zeus. A comfortable overnight base before continuing to Noto, Sicily’s ‘Baroque City’. 

 

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina

Famous for its Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale, the town also has a range of significant architecture.

Sicily school trip experts

Many groups travel with NST to Sicily every year, and members of our team regularly visit Sicily to really get to know the ins-and-outs of the area, from logistics and visits to our range of student-friendly accommodation.

Your dedicated Tour Co-ordinator will use their knowledge of Sicily to create an itinerary that’s tailor-made, perfectly timed and meets your exact school travel needs. They’ll be able to share their first-hand experience, suggest options you might not have considered and give you insight into the feedback other teachers have given us too.

Planning your first school trip?

If you're planning your first school trip, our essential guide will take you through each step of the process.

 

  • Choosing your destination
  • Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head
  • Promoting your tour in school
  • Confirming your booking
  • Tailor-make your tour
  • Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment)
  • Quick reference timeline
  • Pre-tour checklist

Additional support, resources & information:

Tour planning service

Tour planning service

With NST, you’ll get your own dedicated, knowledgeable Tour Co-ordinator who’ll work with you from start to finish. You’ll benefit from their unrivalled destination knowledge, and their experience gained from working with many other groups too. They’ll tailor-make your itinerary from scratch and take care of everything for you:

  • Pulling together an itinerary that runs smoothly
  • Planning the right balance of visits every day with realistic timings
  • Pre-arranging and pre-booking your visits, entrance tickets, passes and meals


You’ll receive your final itinerary a full 4-weeks before you travel too.

FREE school trip promotion pack

FREE school trip promotion pack

We’ll support you and provide everything you need to advertise your school trip around school and to parents. Our free school trip promotion pack consists of:

  • Parents’ letter & permission slip template for you to complete
  • A3 posters to promote your trip around school
  • PowerPoint presentation templates which you can tailor to your own needs
  • Parents’ leaflets covering how NST manage safety, financial protection and details of our travel insurance
  • Online parents’ video which showcases the benefits of taking a school trip


For selected destinations, we’ll provide a trip launch web page using video footage and imagery. This web page is provided by a weblink and can be shared with pupils and parents in many ways.

Risk assessment support including preview visits

Risk assessment support including preview visits

Risk assessment plays a vitally important part in the planning and organisation on any school tour.

Our risk assessment guide aims to help you understand more about your obligations and how you can more effectively manage group safety on your next educational visit and provide you with risk assessments for your trip.

Planning first school trip

Planning first school trip

Organising your first school trip can appear to be a daunting process.  If you're planning your first school trip, our guide will help to take you through each step of the planning process, answering frequently asked questions and providing tips and support along the way.  Our helpful guide covers the following: 

  • Choosing your destination 
  • Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head 
  • Promoting your tour in school 
  • Confirming your booking
  • Tailor-make your tour
  • Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment) 
  • Quick reference timeline 
  • Pre-tour checklist 


View our essential guide to a successful school trip here

Get live updates on your group's tour location

Get live updates on your group's tour location

Locate My Trip uses GPS technology and is the easy, convenient way for your school to follow your location whilst on tour. Specifically designed to provide reassurance to both parents and teachers, NST will know where your group are 24/7. If your schedule needs to change, we’ll put plans in place to keep your tour on track. 

With Locate My Trip your group can also share photos and videos with the school and parents, via a secure link, to keep them updated on your experience whilst you’re away.

Watch our short Locate My Trip video here.

Your online school trip organiser - My Tour Manager

Your online school trip organiser - My Tour Manager

Save time and stay on track with your school trip admin with our online orgnaniser - designed to help busy teachers like you. 

With My Tour Manager, you'll be able to download FREE resources and access trip paperwork online and in one place. Your personalised checklist details what you need to do and by when, plus you'll receive fortnightly reminders too. 

What's more, you can take all your trip documents on the go whilst on your tour with our app, My Tour Manager-On-the-Go. 

Find out more and watch out short My Tour Manager video here

Free classroom resources

Free classroom resources

We've created a range of free resources and educational posters to brighten up your classroom! 

Take a look at our downloadable posters here

Brexit & your school trip

Brexit & your school trip

How will Brexit affect my school trip?

While the political situation remains uncertain, ABTA has identified actions travellers may wish to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption.

This information only covers areas where travellers can take reasonable action or put plans into place now. Areas where the situation is still unclear are not included, but the information will be updated once clarified.

Click here for a summary of the latest advice from ABTA, more information can be found here.

If you're travelling with NST and have any specfic questions. please contact your Educational Travel Advisor.

Why choose NST...

Here's why thousands of teachers choose NST each year...

  • Unrivalled knowledge

Your dedicated Tour Co-ordinator will use their unrivalled local knowledge and expertise of Sicily to create a tailor-made, curriculum-linked itinerary to meet your group’s exact needs.

  • Making it easier for you

With our online school trip organiser, travel app, free classroom posters and trip launch resources to support your in-school promotion.

  • Free group leader inspection visits

We offer a free inspection visit to your chosen destination to support your risk assessment planning. 

  • Value for money

We’re committed to bringing you the best possible value trips to help make every penny count.

  • More than 50 years’ experience

With over 50 years’ experience, with NST you can rest assured that your group is in safe hands.

  • Risk assessment guidance

Our risk assessment guidance will help you to manage group safety on your next educational trip.

  • Peace of mind

Your group’s location can be followed with our trip tracking device - Locate My Trip - plus you’ll have 24/7 support from us whilst you’re away.

  • Offsetting carbon emissions

For every trip taken, we'll plant a Maya nut tree in Peru to support reforestation, local communities & biodiversity. Plus, we'll offset an additional tonne of CO2 to guarantee carbon emission reductions. 

Looking for protection on your next school trip? 

Booking with a school travel company is the best way for you to protect parents’ money and give yourself peace of mind.  

 

Don’t forget – if your school arranges transport, accommodation and other services directly, you’ll be liable under the Package Travel Regulations – meaning you’ll have all the responsibilities of a travel company, both legal and financial. 

 

Financial protection from the moment you book

NST are fully bonded:

  • ABTA
  • ATOL
  • IATA

Managing safety on school trips

For your protection, NST's independently audited Safety Management System covers:

  • 24-hour emergency cover
  • Audited accommodation & transport
  • Excursions & school visit assessment
  • Group leader preview visits to assist with risk assessment planning

We're LOtC Council’s Quality Badge assured

The Department for Education advises schools to always look for the LOtC Quality Badge when choosing a school travel provider.