Ramblers Walking Holidays

From Sicily to the Sea - Alf Robertson

Blog post   •   May 26, 2016 17:39 BST

One of our most experienced leaders, Alf Robertson, has just led the first of a sparklingly refreshed Mount Etna & North East Sicily holiday and is more than happy with the results of our tweaks! 

"It is always especially gratifying to encounter an old friend who has had a makeover and come up shining new!

The splendid walking in the hill country of northeast Sicily beneath the eternally smoking dome of Etna has been a highlight of the brochure for three decades. Now this grand old favourite, which has delighted hundreds of Ramblers 'aficionados' over the years, has been scrubbed up fresh. I had the good fortune to be the first leader to test fly the new package.

From a refreshingly quiet base by the sea many of the fine inland walks are still readily accessible, but now we can return to relax in the evening on the sun terrace of the Hotel Nike or splash around more energetically in the fine sea water pool. Nor is it a hardship to savour the outstanding hotel food, though the quantities will demand an element of self-discipline. After all we must still leave space for that customary afternoon 'gelato'! The dramatic excursion to Etna, always a hit, is equally easily reached. A number of fine new walks overlooking the dramatic coastline become accessible and, as icing on the cake, the delightful hill town ofTaormina is much easier to reach and Siracusa and Catania are considerably more convenient to visit.

So if you have not made the acquaintance yet of this old friend of mine I strongly recommend you to look them up. Or if you are one of the many loyal ramblers who have enjoyed her company in the past, why not reacquaint yourself with her and see the beauties of northeast Sicily in a whole new perspective?

As you settle in your place on the outdoor terrace overlooking the sea at breakfast, you will have a charming dilemma: gaze across the blue waves to the hazy outline of the toe of Italy romantically hovering on the horizon, or turn the chair inland and admire the smoking, snow-streaked cone of Etna.

Never mind, you have all week to savour both aspects of this magical area. Oh, and keep off the typically Italian breakfast cake selection - it is only breakfast and you have hills to climb!"