Sicily: From Volcanoes to Mud-pools
By Anna Jade
Sicily, otherwise recognised as the large island of Italy’s boot, is the largest Mediterranean island and the idyllic destination for 21 geography students this half term. From hiking up mountains to bathing in mud-pools, this Italian region has so much going for it, even if we did all come back sunburnt…
Day One - Alcantara Gorge:
Once we had arrived at the island, out first day was spent exploring the Gorge and River of Alcantara. This striking landform composed of crystallised basalt columns was, in short, formed by the cooling of volcanic lava and erosion from the river. This process resulted in what we can see today: smooth, basaltic columns featuring striking geometric shapes.
At the bottom of this gorge was a beautiful stone beach, formed by the fast flowing Alcantara River. The water here was unusually cold, making for a perfect escape from the constant heat!
Day 2 - Mount Etna:
Our second day was spent climbing the highest volcano in Europe, and one of the most active on our planet. After travelling in a coach, cable car and 4x4 vehicle, we reached the summit of 3,329m above sea level. Despite it being rather cloudy and cold due to the altitude, the views of the crater were still spectacular.
Day 3 - Vulcano:
Vulcano is a small island to the North of Sicily and the place after which all volcanoes are consequently named. Regardless of the very strong smell of sulphur, we thoroughly enjoyed hiking up the side of the mountain, viewing the active crater and bathing in the natural mud-pools!
Day 4 - Taormina:
Our last day on the island was a relaxed one as we were given the opportunity to explore the tourist destination of Taormina. Not only did it have beautiful Italian buildings and an amphitheatre full of history, the pizza was easily the best I’d ever had.
And there you have it, a whistle-stop tour of the best places we visited on our geography trip to the incredible island of Sicily.