South Etna Tour

High up to a hot crater & underground into a lava tunnel

180 € p.p.
*Children under 13 years pay 10 € less!
*Children under 3 years free of charge!

On this tour we see directly the power of the volcano, which in 2001 and 2002 has rammed up 3 huge craters from a plain. We hike through this lunar landscape, climb some (still hot) lateral craters and visit the Valle del Bove; in the afternoon we discover a fascinating underground lava tunnel.

Itinerary of the "South Etna Tour

MEETING POINT

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 to 2500 m altitude, where the trekking starts.

TREKKING – CRATER – VALLE DEL BOVE

When we leave the top station of the cable car, we see the summit craters towering in front of us. Accompanied by our experienced English-speaking guide, we visit the craters of the eruptions of 1762 (Montagnola), 1792 (Cisternazza) and 2001 (Laghetto – Escrivà). We walk on solidified lava flows towards the valley “Valle del Bove” and discover lava fields, craters and lava flows of different ages and colours, sometimes the soils are rough and irregular, sometimes soft and sandy.

Arriving at the viewpoint of the Valle del Bove (Ox Valley), we stand right on the edge of this huge indentation on the eastern side of Mount Etna, with a steep drop of up to 1000 metres in front of us and the summit craters towering behind us.

LUNCH BREAK

We reach the lateral crater Laghetto, 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!

DEPARTURE

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.

TASTING OF HONEYS, CREAMS AND LIQUEURS OF ETNA

Back at the cable car we can taste the sweetest specialities of Etna for free: Honey, also called the gold of Etna; creams made from pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, Modica chocolate and of course liqueurs such as: the fire of Etna, pistachio, almond, hazelnut, tangerine, melon liqueurs, etc.

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

MEETING POINT

  • at the cable car station in front of the Monte Gebel restaurant (view on Google Maps); there are plenty of (paid) parking spaces available!

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 (included in the price)
  • Camera

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Insurance cover 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

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Ticket for transport by cable car to 2500 m: up and down 30€ p.p., only up 24€ p.p.
  • 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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