North Etna Tour

Challenging trekking to the Valle del Bove & the most beautiful cave of Etna

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

A walk above the clouds on the edge of the valley “Valle del Bove” at 2300 m altitude, where we get to know the diversity of Etna. We visit a piece of paradise: the north-east side of Mount Etna. Off the beaten track, this tour takes us through birch forests and lunar landscapes, visiting craters, eruption vents, lava flows and probably Etna’s most beautiful underground grotto.

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

A walk above the clouds on the edge of the valley “Valle del Bove” at 2300 m altitude, where we get to know the diversity of Etna. We visit a piece of paradise: the north-east side of Mount Etna. Off the beaten track, this tour takes us through birch forests and lunar landscapes, visiting craters, eruption vents, lava flows and probably Etna’s most beautiful underground grotto.

Itinerary of the "North Etna Tour"

MEET AND GO!

We meet at an altitude of 1740 metres at the Citelli mountain hut, base point no. 15 of the Etna Park. Our hike begins, we enter the beech, pine and birch forest of Etna.

At the beginning, the route is characterised by a constant up and down. We cross channels of lava smoothed by the water of the snow melts and walk through more or less dense strips of vegetation.

SERRACOZZO CAVE

On discovering what is hidden beneath the surface.

After about one and a half kilometres, we reach the Serracozzo cave, which was formed during the 1971 eruption.
The Serracozzo Cave is a fantastic example of the 190 or so lava tunnels scattered around Mount Etna. These caves are formed during the eruptions, by the flow of the boiling hot (between 1100 and 700° C), still liquid lava.

The cave consists of two very different sections: after a low, narrow entrance, for the first 10 metres we find ourselves between high walls with a smooth, almost glassy surface, polished by the hot lava… a surprising, enchanting landscape.

Then, as it descends, the grotto becomes a lower and lower tunnel until we can no longer walk upright. Here everything changes: the floor becomes leathery and the ceiling shows beautiful shapes called “dog’s teeth” (denti di cane). These protrude down from the ceiling like small stalactites.

VIEW OF THE “VALLE DEL BOVE” VALLEY

Back on the surface, we pick up the trail again and start walking uphill. After about half a kilometre, we find ourselves at the edge of the Valle del Bove. A breathtaking view stretches out before our eyes: the whole valley lies before us, 35 km² of lava flows that have piled up on top of each other over the last 50 years!

We have the opportunity to see a huge wonder of nature, a semicircular cauldron carved all over the eastern side of the volcano.

We admire a slope full of lava flows that, like immobile stone tongues, testify to how the volcano’s activity has covered this large surface in just half a century.

If you look closely at the edges of the valley, you can also see the previous structure of Mount Etna, which created the Valle del Bove about 8000 years ago when the then summit collapsed.

Here we can also see the magma dicchi, an interesting volcanic formation that is particularly noticeable here, as well as some extinct craters. Another special feature of the valley is the so-called Cicirara stone (chickpea stone).

At the edge of the valley, the trail continues uphill towards Pizzi Deneri, until it reaches the 1928 eruption cones.

MONTE FRUMENTO DELLE CONCAZZE

We leave the ridge, cross the lava flow of 1928 and direct our steps towards Monte Frumento delle Concazze, at 2,150 m one of the highest lateral craters of Etna, formed about 3,500 years ago.

Unlike the material we have seen so far, the lava that makes up the cone that now lies before us has a reddish colour. This is due to the oxidation of the iron contained in the lava.

From this observation point, you can admire the entire group of Sartorius craters in the characteristic button bar shape. We enjoy the view, our view encompasses a large part of the north-eastern side of Etna to the sea and Calabria in the distance.

We continue to descend until we re-enter the forest of Etna birches (Betula aetnensis, a unique variety of birch found only here). After crossing the lava flow of 1928, we reach the Citelli mountain hut again.

We are probably tired but happy to have seen such great views and some of the most beautiful formations of Etna!

Until the next adventure!

Important information about the tour

MEETING POINT

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

  • 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

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • 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)

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Everything that is not listed under “Services included”.

SERVICES ON REQUEST

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

IMPORTANT MESSAGES

  • 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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