Coming to Sicily without walking on Mount Etna's top is like going to London without walking on the Tower Bridge or to Paris without walking up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower! Not only because Mount Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe, but especially as since 2013 it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. An experience definitely not to be missed when in Sicily!
For this tour led by a tour leader we will pick you up from your hotel or b&b with one of our vehicles: with a minimum of 3 people the vehicle is a luxury Mercedes-Benz 4x4 or a comfortable 8-seat minivan! it takes some time to arrive at Mount Etna from Palermo but the journey is worthwhile as we get through Sicily, a view that stuns everybody for its peculiarity. The panorama changes according to the seasons: from a brilliant green in Spring to a scorched brown in Summer to a moonish grey in Winter... plus mountains and valleys which recall The Lord of the Rings. But behold: Mount Doom is nothing compared to Mount Etna!
The peak of the volcano is visible from a long distance before arriving near Catania, the largest city close to Mount Etna and the second for population in Sicily. After about a 3.5-hour drive crossing Sicily eastwards from Palermo, we arrive at the almost 2,000 metres (almost 6,600 feet) of the Rifugio Sapienza. From this place you can walk, take photos, have a coffee and lunch... but after such a long way why not to get higher? If you want to do so (most people do!) the cableway is the only way to reach 2,500 metres (over 8,200 feet): the view is more striking and the walk really different as there are no roads, just tracks! If this is not enough and you really want to reach almost the top, there’s a special truck to take you to 3,000 metres (over 9,800 feet) and an Etna guide to lead you on a unique walk along and into a crater: this is going to be a really unique and unforgettable experience! The cost for the cableway, the truck, and the guide may seem expensive but keep in mind that Mount Etna, even though being totally safe, is the highest active volcano in Europe!
Another interesting experience may be to enjoy some typical local food at a bar... which is not a normal bar, being located at 2,500 metres (or, if you don't want to take the cablecar, there are bars and restaurants at 'only' 2,000 metres...).
Why touring with Palermo Walks? We have been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our vehicles are checked every month, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions. Book your tour now to enjoy the best of Sicily!
P.S.: Safety first! In wintertime, in case of snowstorms or rainstorms the driver will decide whether it is safe or not to reach the top. If Mount Etna is not accessible the driver will provide suitable options.
- 7:30 Hotel or b&b pick-up by car or minivan
- 10:45 Mount Etna (Rifugio Sapienza)
- 13:45 Lunch (not included)
- 14:30 Departure from Mount Etna towards Palermo
- 17:30 Hotel or b&b drop-off