from 79€ p.p
A complete excursion for nature lovers. We will visit one of the most interesting areas of Etna, with lava flow caves, side craters, lava flows and, in the afternoon, the gorges of the Alcantara river will amaze us with columnar basalts and freezing waters.
Pick up at Giarre or Fiumefreddo (motorway exit)
Trekking or running shoes, proper clothes depending on the season, the weather conditions and to the altitude: during winter season we recommend snow clothing (hat and gloves essential), during summer season you should wear a wind jacket, a hat and bring sunscreen. Bring some water, a snack, and don't forget your camera!
• Pick up/drop at Giarre or Fiumefreddo
NOT INCLUDED SERVICES
Anything not specified in the "Included services"
EXTRA COST SERVICES BY REQUEST
• Pick-up from the hotel or another meeting point (price by arrangement).
Tell us in advance about any special needs or health issues, such as allergies, heart disease, pressure problems, walking difficulties, handicaps.
We will do our best to let you enjoy the tour to its full extent. Hiking at this altitude is not permitted to women over 3 months pregnant. Thank you!
Once on-board of our 4×4 jeeps, we will make our way towards Etna’s hill. We will leave the wonderful “Riviera dei limoni” (Lemons’ coast), to approach Etna’s villages. We will then get on the road that leads through the volcano’s slopes, crossing old mulattiere (ancient mule drivers’ roads) and coalmen paths, we are soon at about 1000 mt altitude where a protected area of 720km² begins. We also come across cold and dried lava flows that, like black highways, tear the mountainside.
Surrounded by uncontaminated greenery, we can enjoy the view of chestnut trees, pines, oaks, beeches as well as endemic plants like Etna’s birch and Etna’s brooms.
Eruptive cones, lava flows, lava valley stand out in front of our eyes, testifying the volcano’s incessant eruption activity that carves out its own shape since more than 500.000 years.
We will get into a fantastic Nature trail, inside the Etna Park, heading towards the craters. We will arrive on the top of a lateral crater, created by an eruption with the typical buttons’ line progress, called “bottoniera”. What is a crater? It is a pyroclastic slagheap that has been thrown out from the volcanic shaft and, once placed around the eruptive vent, creates a cone.
Once we get to the edge of the lateral crater, in the exact point where incandescent lava used to come out from volcano slope, we will explain to you the features of Etna’s eruptions. You will have the opportunity to admire all of the different colours that lava turns into, as a beautiful reflection of a rainbow, and experience first hand all of the different kinds of consistency of pyroclastic rocks.
We will be able to see very few plant species that manage to survive in very extreme conditions both in winter and summer.
Through the off-road routes you will have the population to discover hidden places around Etna.
We will get deep inside the forests, and together we will observe the competition between nature forces.
On one side the power of the volcano with its black and harsh lava flows, on the other side the power of nature that always generates new vegetation and makes the landscape look smoother.
After all this adventure we will take some time to admire Etna’s top craters.
We will stop at the ski station of Piano Provenzana and we will admire the north east craters and 2002 eruptions.
If you like you can enjoy a food tasting of typical Etna products such as honey, pistachio, almonds or hazelnut paste, sun dried tomatoes, olives and mushrooms paste etc.
Let’s deeply penetrate in the heart of the wood to discover what’s hiding below the volcanic hard surface. Suddenly a crevice in the ground appears by our eyes: one of the about 190 Etna lava flow caves.
We start our underground adventure: leaving the surface, we enter into the mountain deepness to discover its most hidden secrets, visiting a lava flow cave.
After having explored the most interesting Etna area, we take a break enjoying a nice lunchtime in a typical mountain hut/chalet that seems to have landed here in Sicily directly from Alps.
We can try traditional dishes of our Sicilian kitchen, delicious mountain specialties, since in Sicily we are lucky to have both exquisite seafood and delicious mountain food, typical from the inland areas.
Coming down we come out from the protect area of the Etna Park and we go towards the Alcantara Valley.
We meet the river for the first time near the Castiglione di Sicilia’s bridge and, from this moment, our path is intertwined with it until we reach the gorges.
We leave the jeep and go down walking until we get the riverbed: we are now in the deepest point of Alcantara gorges, facing 25 meters tall basalt cliffs that proudly stand all around us. Here we can touch the icy water of Alcantara river and the bravest of us can even plunge in the water and venture for a few dozen meters inside the gorges.
If you feel brave enough you will be guided through the gorge. The water gets up to your knees and it’s usually 10 degrees temperature.
After a lengthy exploration of Mt. Etna, we will have reached the end of our adventure together. Once down, we will cross the Alcantara Valley we will be going back home, tired but happy.
See you on the next adventure!