Etna Morning Tour
Half day jeep tour. We will discover old and new lava flows, unforgettable
landscapes and underground secrets. We will explain to you volcanic phenomena,
flora and fauna as well as geological peculiarity of Europe’s highest active volcano.
|● Meeting Point Giarre (motorway exit)||60€ p.p.|
|● Pick Up in Hotel||65€ p.p.|
Children under 12 pay € 10 less! Children under 3 years free!
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.Direction: Etna Park
Surrounded by uncontaminated greenery¹, we can enjoy the view of chestnut trees, pines, oaks, beeches as well as endemic plants like Etna’s birch and Etna’s brooms2. 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.
Etna Park Protect Area
1Here woods are mainly of: Chestnut (Castanea Sativa), Oaks (Quercus Ilex, quercus cerris and quercus pubescens), manna ash (Fraxinus ornus), larch pine (Pinus Nigra Larix) and wild beech (Fagus sylvatica).2 There are also typical plants as already mentioned Brooms of Etna (Genista aetnensis) and an extraordinary type of insular endemic tree: the Etna Birch (Betula aetenensis)
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 slope1, 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.2
Visiting the craters
1On Etna there are around 250 craters, among lateral and eccentric.2These are mainly plants that exist only on Etna and nowhere else in the world.
A typical example is the Spinosanto, Astragalus Siculus. We can find a variety of endemic species, actually known as aetnensins: Etna sorrel Rumex scutatus aetnensis, Etna chamomile Anthemis aetnensis and Senecio squalidus. These plants are extremely resistant and have been found up until the impressive altitude of 3050 m. Another noteworthy plant is the Etna soapwort, Saponaria sicula, used as a symbol of the Etna park.
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 cave1.
Lava flow cave
1 These lava tubes are created during eruptions, through the flowing of the incandescent lava, still fluid, between 700 and 1100 °C (1292 – 2012 °F)….During its flowing, the outer coat cools and solidifies, becoming somehow like a shell or a crust. Once solidified, it lets the inner fluid go on at a stable temperature, sometimes for kilometres, until it completely empties the outer shell, leaving besides a cave. And that is how a new lava flow cave is born.
After a lengthy exploration of Mt. Etna, we will have reached the end of our adventure together. Once down, we will cross the Etna Park again (Parco dell’Etna), and, going through antique lava flows, we will be going back home.
See you on the next adventure!
Etna Morning Tour
Meeting Point Giarre (motorway exit) 60€ p.p.
Pick Up in Hotel 65€ p.p.
Etna Morning Tour
starting from 60€ p.p.