South Etna Tour 3000
We stand on hot lava & look directly at the summit craters
Duration: 09:00 - 17:00
Altitude: 3000 m.a.s.l.
Would you like to spend a whole day on the back of the Sicilian volcano? Nothing better than this tour! Visit with us the most fascinating places of Etna: caves, craters, landscapes… and dare even more, dare the 3000 metres!
Itinerary of the tour "South Etna 3000"
BREAKFAST, EQUIPMENT AND GO!
We meet in front of the Monte Gebel restaurant at the valley station of the cable car. Here we are already at 1900 m altitude in the UNESCO protected area “Etna Park”. To get to know each other, we have breakfast together with the guide and take a snack for the lunch break.
Our guide will now also give you the equipment if you don’t bring everything yourself: trekking poles, windbreakers, backpacks, helmets, lamps and hiking boots (please let us know the size when booking).
Together we take the cable car and off-road buses to 2900 m altitude, where the trekking starts.
UP TO 3000 METRES
We reach the rim of one of the highest side craters of Etna, the Barbagallo crater. From here we can overlook a large part of the volcano, Sicily and the coasts of Calabria. A crater is formed by cinders that are ejected from the volcanic vent and accumulate around the eruption opening, forming a cone. The two Barbagallo craters were formed during the 2002 eruption. At the edge of the side crater, we explain the characteristics of Etna’s eruptions. You can see the different colours that the lava can take on and touch the different consistencies of the volcanic rock.
From the Barbagallo craters we also have a wonderful view of the Southeast crater, one of the 4 summit craters of Etna. If we are lucky, we will see a gas or ash eruption. We can also observe the main crater well from here.
TREKKING THROUGH THE LAVA DESERT AND TO THE VALLE DEL BOVE
We continue our hike through this lunar landscape, encountering extinct craters and crossing the lava surfaces of the last eruptions. Around us, craters and lava flows in various shades of black, grey and red. We can notice roundish stones that are different from all the others: the lava bombs.
On our hike we also come to the Valle del Bove. We are standing in front of this huge valley on the eastern side of Mount Etna, in front of us the slope descends steeply up to 1000 metres, behind us the summit craters tower.
We reach another lateral crater, the Laghetto crater, formed in about a month during the 2001 eruption.
We sit down at a cosy spot and take our lunch break, but beware: the ground is still hot here, so don’t burn yourself!
We start the descent on hard volcanic rock and through soft volcanic sand, on which we walk down as if on powder snow. Between 2000 and 3000 m altitude we see the few plants that can withstand the extreme climatic conditions, both in summer and winter, the drought and the strong wind, such as Etna’s amphora (Rumex aetnensis), Saponaria dell’Etna (Etna’s soapwort) or Etna’s chamomile (Anthemis aetnensis). Our guide can also tell you a lot of interesting facts about the flora and fauna of Etna.
Etna is not just rough, inhospitable lava. At lower altitudes, many different flowers and fruits grow on the fertile lava soil. If you want, you can taste the typical products of Etna at the cable car station: honey (the gold of Etna), creams for example pistachio cream with pistachios from Bronte or liqueurs like the Etna Fire.
LAVA TUNNEL – GROTTA DEI TRE LIVELLI
After arriving back at 1900 metres above sea level, we want to discover what is hidden beneath the hard crust of lava. We drive a short distance by car to the Grotta dei Tre Livelli (Cave of the Three Levels): we see a hole in the ground in front of us and descend into one of the 190 or so lava tunnels on Etna, created by the flow of hot lava. Equipped with helmets and lamps, we begin the underground adventure to discover the most hidden secrets of “a muntagna”, as the Sicilians call Etna.
RETURN – UNTIL THE NEXT ADVENTURE!
After exploring Etna inside and out, we have reached the end of our day together.
Until the next adventure!
Important information about the tour
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
SERVICES ON REQUEST