- DO take the trip if you’re fit, healthy and prepared to sweat... a lot. Imagine being on a step machine in a hot gym for 6 hours non-stop. It’s genuinely that tough. If you could do that, then you’ve got what it takes.
- DO take lots of water (minimum 1 litre each) as well as snacks (chocolate, nuts, a cheese roll etc.) to keep your energy levels up. Come well fed as all the food places will be closed by the time you get down.
- DON’T try to get to the top if a) you have heart/lung/knee/ankle problems or b) you’re adverse to hard labour. This ain’t no stroll in the park! We saw quite a few people turn back after less than an hour.
- DON’T try and talk your partner/kids/parents into it if it’s not their thing. They will only resent you for it (and bring you down). Happy hikers only!
- DO take a head torch (or rent one at the base camp) The descent down a long path of deep sand is dark and verrry slip-slidy.
- DON’T wear jeans.
- DON’T wear shoes you want to keep pretty. They will never look the same again.
- DO ask someone else to take a picture of you at the top in front of the eruptions - so much better than a selfie :-)
- DO order a freshly squeezed orange & lemon juice from the first cafe at the bottom (as you exit the alley where you give your torches/helmets back) Honestly the most thirst-quenching drink of my life.
- DO sit on the top deck of the boat that takes you back to Lipari if you like really intense rollercoaster rides.
- DON’T sit on the top deck if you bruise easily!
- DON’T organise anything too strenuous the next day. We could only manage a lazy day soaking our aching bones in the hotel pool, followed by a quick trip to a beach by scooter.
- DO take extra layers. When you set off from the heat of the port, it’s difficult to imagine being cold but it’s really quite chilly up too when the sun goes down.
I hope the above is helpful.
We loved every aspect of the trip - Panarea, the ascent, the eruptions and sunset, the descent, the boat ride... - a truly invigorating and life-affirming day - so I hope the experience is every bit as good for you :-)