Etna Craters from 2002 Tour

Unknown North Side: Tour through Lunar Landscapes and Green Forests

90 € p.p.
* Children under 13 years pay 10€ less!
Children under 3 years free of charge!

A tour to discover the largest craters of the 2002 eruption, the most impressive and abrupt volcanic activity of the last 20 years. From the top of the craters we admire the panorama of the northern side of Etna, from Calabria to the north-eastern main crater. This very varied route takes you to lunar landscapes and fairytale forests, making the tour an exciting experience that shows you the many faces of Etna: from barren craters of lava slag to the fertile forests of endemic birch trees and the dark corners of the lava caves.

Course of the "Craters of 2002 Tour"


Armed with water, sandwiches, camera and everything we recommended in the “Information” section, we are ready to go.

At the ski facilities of Piano Provenzana, Etna North, at 1800 m, we come across the last pine trees of the Pineta Ragabo forest and some beech trees and then suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of a lunar landscape. Between huge lava fields and lava bombs in various shades of black and red, we feel like we are on Mars.
Slowly, as we approach the craters, the rough, reddish surfaces of the lava flows give way to the rounded surfaces of the lava bombs scattered across the landscape like remnants of a war.


We visit the extraordinary fracture of the 1928 eruption, where the lava reached Linguaglossa in only 8 days.

We follow this exciting trail, which, although not at high altitude, follows an extremely vivid piece of the North-East Rift – or Pernicana Fault. This is one of Etna’s largest faults and causes displacements in the order of 2 to 4 cm every year.


We hike up to the top of the largest craters from the 2002 eruption;
imposing pyroclastic cones that formed in an amazing way in only 10 days.

From here we can see that originally several lava flows were moving in different directions. But then they gradually came to a halt, all except one, which moved on inexorably at a remarkable speed of 10 km/h, stopping just 5 km before Linguaglossa.


After the hike at Piano Provenzana, we descend to an altitude of 1740 m and make our way to the 1971 eruption to visit the Serracozzo Grotto.
A few minutes by car and only a few kilometres from the path we have just travelled, we are immersed in a completely different environment, in an almost fairytale atmosphere: entering a birch forest is always a fantastic experience, but when it is a species that is unique in the world, the sensory impression is even more overwhelming.


Arriving at the 1971 lava flow, we notice the beautiful knitted lava, unique shapes found on the surface of lava flows that have moved slowly.
But only when we look at a lava tunnel from the inside do we realise what the glowing lava can create as it flows through this tube.
We enter the lava tunnel and discover stalactites (called dog’s teeth), bubbles (blisters), lava tubes, …
Until the next adventure!

Important information about the tour


  • At the Mareneve kiosk in Piano Provenzana (view on Google Maps). There are sufficient (paid) parking spaces available.


  • High trekking shoes (low shoes get a lot of sharp-edged volcanic sand in them) and high socks. When you put the socks over your shoes, they prevent sand from getting into your shoes, like gaiters.
  • Clothing appropriate to the weather and altitude, in layers: during the winter season snow clothing incl. Gloves and hat; in summer windbreaker, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • 1.5 l water per person
  • Packed lunch
  • Camera


  • Insurance during the entire tour
  • Authorised English-speaking guide (tour guide/AIGAE excursion guides with BLSD certificate)
  • Equipment: trekking poles, windbreakers, backpacks, helmets, lamps and hiking shoes (please let us know your shoe size when booking)
  • Breakfast
  • Tasting of typical products: Honey, cream, liqueurs


  • Everything that is not listed under “Services included”


  • Pick-up from hotel or other meeting point (price by arrangement)
  • Trekking shoe rental


  • Please inform us in advance of any special circumstances: health problems, allergies, heart disease, blood pressure problems, limited mobility, disability. We will find the best solution for you for an unforgettable day on Etna.
  • We do not recommend activities at this height for women from the third month of pregnancy onwards.
  • Changes may occur or the tour may be cancelled if the guide deems it necessary if weather or volcanic conditions threaten the safety of the group.
  • Of course, all our staff are fully vaccinated for your and our protection.
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