Mount Etna and Taormina - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mount Etna and Taormina - UNESCO World Heritage Site

The tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most visited cities in Sicily: in one tour!

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...).

From Mount Etna we arrive in Taormina in about 75 minutes. The most remarkable monument remaining in the city is the Ancient Greek-Roman Theatre, which is one of the most celebrated in Sicily on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location; then Palazzo Corvaja from the 10th century built by the Arabs, the Duomo from the 13th century built by the Normans, and the Baroque fountain. Furthermore, Taormina has many lively bars, fine restaurants, and antique shops that make the city one of the most visited in Italy.

Taormina is famous for its link to modern and contemporary art and culture, too. Taormina's first important tourist was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who dedicated exalting pages to the city in his book titled Italian Journey. In the late 19th century Taormina gained further prominence as the place where Wilhelm von Gloeden worked most of his life as a photographer of predominantly male nudes. Also credited for making Taormina popular was Otto Geleng, best known in his hometown of Berlin for his fine paintings, which he composed and painted in Italy but exhibited in Germany. From April 1950 through September 1951, a villa was home to Truman Capote, who wrote of his stay in the essay Fontana VecchiaHalldór Laxness, the Icelandic author and Nobel Prize winner, worked here on the first modern Icelandic novel: Vefarinn mikli frá Kasmír.

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.

Schedule:

  • 7:30 Hotel or b&b pick-up by car or minivan
  • 10:45 Mount Etna (Rifugio Sapienza)
  • 13:00 Lunch (not included)
  • 13:45 Departure from Mount Etna towards Taormina
  • 14:30 Taormina
  • 16:30 Departure from Taormina towards Palermo
  • 19:30 Hotel or b&b drop-off

 

 

  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €139,00
    Number of People:
    * Date:

    Customise your Experience

  • Options

    • Cableway €30 per person, cableway plus truck and Etna guide €63 per person; 0-4 years old free, 5-10 years old €20 for the cableway and €40 for cableway, truck, and Etna guide. Please contact us to add this option to your booking, agency fees apply. If there is too much snow for running the cableway and/or the truck, it might be possible to take the snowcat at the cost of €75 per person.
    • Internet connection: €10 per person.
    • Customisation: if you prefer a shorter or a longer tour, to add or remove some points of interest, and/or if you require different hours, please contact us.
    • For a tour leader speaking a language different from English or Italian, please contact us.
    • For luxury services please contact us.
    • For special needs please contact us: convertible car seats for babies and foldable wheelchairs may be rented at €15 each.
    • For a driver service (the cheapest option, good for those who don't need information about the sites), please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: daily (except on the 1st of January, on the 1st of May, and on the 25th of December).
    • Departure: 7:30 from your hotel or b&b in Palermo's city centre. The time may slightly vary according to the total number of participants, so it will be confirmed via email; if your hotel or b&b is outside Palermo's city centre please contact us.
    • Duration: 14 hours.
    • Number of participants: 1-8, for more people please contact us.
    • Type of tour: open (people from different groups may join in), though limited to 8 people in total; for a private tour please contact us.
    • Location: Mount Etna - province of Catania; Taormina - province of Messina.
    • Modality: by car or minivan.
    • Dress code: bring a jacket, a raincoat or a K-Way as, also in summer,  the weather on Mount Etna can be windy and rainy; in winter it snows daily and the temperature is usually very low; special jackets, socks, and boots may be rented at the Rifugio Sapienza for about €2 per garment; it is recommended to wear closed and comfortable shoes.
    • Contribution: 1 person €299, 2 people €169 per person, 3-8 €139 per person.
    • What is included: hotel or b&b pick-up and drop-off by car or minivan, tour leader speaking English and Italian, a booklet with information about the site.
    • Entry tickets: not included.