One of the most beautiful active volcanoes in Europe, the Etna Volcano, a UNESCO heritage site since 2013, is located in Sicily and is one of the favorite activities of tourists. Easily accessible, there are also specialized guides and off-road vehicles that take visitors up to the summit craters. Today we talk about the volcano and how to organize an excursion. You are planning a trip to Sicily, I suggest you read 5 days in Sicily.
In case you have decided to rent a car, it is very easy to reach the starting area. From here the Etna Cable car is the only company to make the excursions to the authorized crater areas. It allows you to reach the summit areas of Europe’s highest volcano with the gondola and special off-road vehicles. Starting at 1,923 meters up to 2,500 meters, the volcano is 3340 meters high in total.
Winter season (from December to March): from 09:00 to 15:45. Summer season (from April to November): from 09:00 to 16:00 (last departure 15:15).
At an altitude of 2900 meters, there is the famous Philosopher tower, a building so named in memory of the philosopher of Agrigento who climbed the volcano to study the phenomena and place it on his own home. The summit of the volcano consists of the central crater, the North-East crater, and the South-East crater.
HOW TO VISIT ETNA VOLCANO
There are many agencies that organize tours to visit Etna, it all depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend.
ONLY CRATERS = in case you simply want to visit the lower craters, you don’t need a guide or jeep. The road is paved and easily accessible by any car. Once you get to the craters, there is a car park and various restaurants, shops and hotels. The craters are just 100m from the parking lot.
The area is full of caves formed by lava, such as the Grotta Dei Tre Livelli, Grotta del Gatto and Grotte di Serracozzo. The caves can be visited only with a guide.
CRATERS + EXCURSION = I chose the option of visiting the area by jeep with a guide, in my case, it only spoke Italian. This option includes jeep tours visiting Etna park. Price 45/50 € per person, I do not recommend the tour for the high price.
HIKING = hiking or trekking excursions are similar, you can choose to do it with a guide or alone. If you are not experienced always better to go with a guide.
SKIING = during the winter season it is possible to ski. The trails tend to be very smooth, thanks to the volcano’s settled lava! Better yet, crowds to be small, and at about 25 euros per day, ski passes much less than those in the north. For optimal snow conditions, try to go in December, January or February.
Now, are you ready to discover Taormina?