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South Etna Tour 3000

We stand on hot lava & look directly at the summit craters

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"


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.


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.


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.


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.


After exploring Etna inside and out, we have reached the end of our day together.

Until the next adventure!

Important information about the tour


  • Cable car station / in front of the Monte Gebel restaurant (view on Google Maps); there are plenty of (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 (included in the price)
  • Camera


  • Insurance during the entire tour
  • Authorised English-speaking guide (tour guide, AIGAE-GRE 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
  • Packed lunch
  • Tasting of typical products: Honey, cream, liqueurs


  • Cable car and off-road bus ticket for transport to 2900 m at the price of 78€ p.p.
  • Everything that is not listed under “Services included”.


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


  • 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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