Mount Etna and Catania - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mount Etna and Catania - UNESCO World Heritage Site

The tallest active volcano in Europe and the volcano's city 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 guided tour 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 on and into a crater: this is going to be a really unique and unforgettable experience! The cost for the cableway and the truck may seem expensive but keep in mind that Mount Etna, even though being totally safe, is an active volcano.

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 Catania in about 45 minutes. Catania is the volcano's city: known for its seismic history, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, in 1693, and by several volcanic eruptions the most violent of which was in 1669. Founded possibly by the Sicels, an ancient population, in the 8th century BC, it then became a Greek colony. In 1434 was built the first university in Sicily and in the Renaissance Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centres. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic, and educational centres in the island.

The Baroque city centre of Catania is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: to be mentioned the Cathedral, originally constructed in 1078-1093 on the ruins of the ancient Roman Achillean Baths by order of Roger I of Sicily but destroyed and rebuilt several times because of earthquakes and eruptions of the nearby Mount Etna; the Church of the Badia di Sant'Agata, facing the Cathedral; the Church of Sant'Agata la Vetere, built in 264 but and cathedral until 1094, rebuilt many times for the usual issues. Also the Ursino Castle, built by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. Even though it is not related to UNESCO, a granita, a popular flavoured sherbet, is compulsory!

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!

 

Schedule:

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

 

 

  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €129,00
    Number of People:
    * Date:

    Customise your Experience

  • Options

    • Cableway €30 per person, cableway plus truck and Etna guide €62 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.
    • 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 guide 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 tour leader service (cheaper than the guide service, only general information is provided) or a driver service (the cheapest option, good for those who don't need information about the sites), please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: daily (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day).
    • Departure: 7:00 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: 12 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 and Catania - province of Catania.
    • 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. No shorts and no sleveless garment as not allowed in religious sites.
    • Contribution: 1 person €249, 2 people €139 per person, 3-4 people €129 per person, 5-8 people €119 per person.
    • What is included: hotel or b&b pick-up and drop-off by car or minivan, guide speaking English and Italian.
    • Entry tickets: not included.