Good for: watching active volcano
Lonely Planet review for Stromboli crater
The Stromboli crater was formed only 40,000 years ago and, like a champagne bottle, it is full of gases, which is why it almost constantly launches showers of incandescent lava into the air. The most recent eruptions took place on 27 February 2007, opening two new craters on the summit.
Recent crater activity has made it illegal to attempt to climb the volcano without a guide, and local authorities have limited the number of people allowed to go up in a day. You must book in advance (a day before is usually fine, but allowing a couple is advisable in August), and the limit is 20 people per guide.
You'll meet your guide between 4.30 and 17:30, and start your trek up, reaching the peak just in time for sunset. The sight of the sun dipping into the sea, with the flaming gut of the volcano in front of you is magnificent. You're allowed to spend about 40 minutes on the top (usually resting, eating and drinking), before starting the descent. It is estimated to take about two hours to get down to Piazza San Vincenzo, normally arriving around 22:30.