INDIVIDUAL HIKES IN SMALL GROUPS
EXPERIENCE THE HIGHEST ACTIVE VOLCANO IN EUROPE
Etna Trekking & Experience Tours
The Trekking Excursions on Etna dedicated to the more adventurous, those who want to get off the beaten track and get lost in the Etnean nature; accompanied by our team of experts who know and love Etna, and in compliance with current safety regulations.
Etna Helicopter Tour
Breathtaking bird’s eye view of Mount Etna
Duration: 30 - 95 min depending on tour
Altitude: 3500 m.a.s.l.
Etna North Craters Tour
Unknown North Side: Tour through Lunar Landscapes and Green Forests
Start time: 8 or 9 am
Duration: 6 hours
Altitude: 2100 m.a.s.l.
Etna Trekking Tour
Challenging trekking on the unknown side of Etna
Start time: 8 or 9 am
Duration: 6 hours
Altitude: 2300 m.a.s.l.
Etna & Alcantara
Hike for the whole family, from bare lava to ice-cold water
Duration: 09:00 - 17:00
Altitude: 1800 m.a.s.l.
Etna & Wine
Relaxing experience to get to know the largest active volcano in Europe and enjoy its fruits
Duration: 09:00 - 16:00
Altitude: 1800 m.a.s.l.
- Licensed and authorised tour operator
- Small groups (maximum 10 participants)
- Free equipment hire
- Certified expert multilingual guides
- Insurance always included in the price
- Itineraries and tours organised in detail
- Security and flexibility in payment methods
We are proud to offer a range of unforgettable experiences of high quality and suitable for all, even the most adventurous!
We will show you the highest active volcano in Europe through the eyes of those who, like us, love and respect it. Come with us to discover the hidden treasures of the volcano.
“You will live with us an unforgettable experience that only someone who lives here can give you”
Useful information about our Etna tours
We want our clients to be able to say more than just “I was on Etna” after a tour.
We want them to have experienced Etna, to have got to know it, to have learned what there is to know about volcanology, geology, plants, animals, … but also to have felt how a mountain of fire, gas, ash, snow is a living, ever-changing force of nature.
We want our customers to be as excited about this volcano as we are!
Hiking on Etna: What are the options?
With its 1250 km² surface area and 3357 metres altitude, Mount Etna offers more than enough opportunities for a hike. From leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, there is something for everyone, young and old. We will be happy to advise you personally on which tour is the right one for you. Here you will find the contact details.
North or south side?
Mount Etna can be climbed from the south or from the north. There, roads lead up to 1900 or 1800 metres, from where we start our trekking. To the east of Etna is a huge valley (Valle del Bove), so access is not possible to any great height. In the west, Etna is not very well accessible, it takes a long time to get there from the towns on the coast and you do not reach a great height on a hike.
On the south side of Etna, the cable car (funivia dell’Etna) offers the possibility to go up to 2500 metres. Depending on the height to which an ascent is currently permitted, you can then go further up with off-road buses. There is no cable car on the north side, so we do everything on foot. The north is therefore also less developed for tourism.
How to get to Etna?
You can either come to Etna with your own car or have us pick you up from the hotel. There is no public transport to the north side of Etna, but there is a bus from Catania (AST Bus) to the south side (cable car valley station). However, it does not reach Etna until 10:15. We usually start our tours at 9am so that we can benefit from the good visibility in the morning and spend the whole day at the volcano.
The roads to Etna are good, even with a camper van it is no problem to reach the meeting point. Only if there is a lot of volcanic sand or snow on the road, caution is advised in the curves. From 15 November to 15 April, winter tyres or snow chains are compulsory on Mount Etna.
There are plenty of (paid) parking spaces on both the south and north sides of Etna.
Itinerary of our tours
Our guide will be waiting for you at the agreed meeting point. You will recognise him or her by the T-shirt or jacket with the EtnaWay logo. From then on, we do everything in the group: we provide the equipment and, if necessary, buy food and tickets for the cable car. If you have any question or need anything, always contact our guide. He or she can help you with everything.
We always do small groups with a maximum of 10 participants and choose our routes so that we do not encounter large groups of tourists.
On our trekking-only tours, we start hiking as early as possible and spend almost the whole day at the volcano. We also have a lunch break on the mountain.
We put a lot of emphasis on bringing you closer to the volcano, our guides tell you interesting facts and anecdotes, history, geology, flora and fauna of Mount Etna and also of Sicily and last but not least of the traditions, the way of life and the peculiarities of the Sicilians.
To give you a complete picture of Etna, we also visit a lava tunnel during our hikes. This is a cave that was formed during an eruption. We always have helmets and lamps with us for this.
The equipment you need on Etna depends on the time of year, the specific weather conditions and the tour or altitude.
For all medium and difficult tours you need good hiking boots that go over the ankle. On Etna, we walk a lot over volcanic sand and ash. The small, sharp-edged stones easily get into low shoes. That’s why we recommend long trousers for protection on these tours, even in summer.
It is best to choose clothes in layers: many layers that can be taken off or put on.
The temperature on Etna at 2500 metres is about 10 to 15 degrees colder than on the coast. When the wind blows, it can feel really icy, especially in winter. When the sun is shining, it can also be warm at higher altitudes in summer. The actual, perceived temperature can therefore vary greatly and can change rapidly from one day to the next or even within one day.
In summer you need sun protection (cap, sunscreen, sunglasses) and enough to drink (at least 1.5 litres per person).
Even in winter, when there is snow, sun protection is not amiss. You will also need a hat, gloves and warm, windproof snow clothing.
On Etna it is often windy and the wind brings fine ash, so we recommend sunglasses also to protect against wind and ash. If possible, you should avoid contact lenses and wear glasses instead (or at least take the glasses and the storage container for the lenses with you).
Advantages: Equipment rental
We lend out shoes, backpacks, walking sticks and wind/rain jackets free of charge. Please tell us in advance what you need and we will bring it for you. Of course we have torches and helmets for all our guests to protect them from the falling ash during an eruption or for visiting the lava tunnel.
On the south side of Etna, there is also the possibility of renting warm clothing or buying gloves or hats. Just ask the guide at the meeting point, he or she will show you where to get what you need.
Food and drink
For a full-day tour in summer, you need at least 1.5 litres of water per person, in winter 1 litre per person is also sufficient.
On our trekking-only tours we have a picnic at the volcano. On the south side we have the possibility to organise the packed lunch directly at the meeting point at Etna (packed lunch and breakfast are always included in the price for the tours on the south side).
On our Etna & Wine or Etna & Alcantara experience tours, we have lunch in a mountain hut or at the winery with typical Sicilian food. So you don’t need to take any extra food with you. Food intolerances or diets (vegetarian, vegan, …) are taken into account there.
Best season for climbing Etna
Mount Etna can be climbed at any time of the year, but not all tours are always possible.
In the warm season we usually have stable weather on Etna and offer different tours at different altitudes every day.
In winter, it can be very cold, windy and icy at higher altitudes, so we can only do a hike at a lower altitude.
In winter it is also good if you are flexible. It is best to plan your Etna climb at the beginning of your Sicily trip, then we can postpone the tour to another day if it is rainy or cloudy.
Climbing the peak is usually possible from May to November – if climbing is allowed at all due to volcanic activity. In the other months, the summit is too icy, making it too dangerous to climb.
Safety during an eruption
The Prefecture of Catania, in collaboration with the INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), specifies, based on the current situation on Etna, up to which height Etna may be climbed or which routes may be followed. EtnaWay adheres to these regulations without exception! We respect the natural force of a volcano and want to offer our guests the highest possible safety.
Currently, Mount Etna may be climbed up to a height of 2750 metres. Above this height, larger stones fall down during an eruption and it may no longer be possible to leave the danger zone in time.
As we stay in the safe zones, a tour does not normally have to be aborted if an eruption takes place; on the contrary, we are then lucky enough to be able to admire this tremendous natural spectacle. However, we may have to adjust the route of our hike to avoid the ash rain or gas emissions. We always have helmets for our customers to protect them from ash rain.
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