Etna Top Crater
High altitude adventure, to the discovery of top craters. Get ready for the highest experience Etna can offer you. A full day excursion, with a fantastic trekking path that runs between unique lunar- like landascapes like you have never seen before.
|● Meeting Point Cableway||149€ p.p.|
|● Meeting Point Giarre (motorway exit)||179€ p.p.|
|● Pick Up in Hotel||198€ 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 of begins. We also come across cold and dried lava flows that, like black highways, tear the mountainside.Direction: Etna Park
Once we reach the ski station, we leave our jeep and go up the volcano slope by cableway, coming across old extinct craters as well as lava fields from more recent eruptions. At about 2000 and 3000 m we will be able to see very few plant species that manage to survive in very extreme conditions, such as extreme temperatures both in winter and summer, dry soil, strong wind.
Ski station: the ascent starts
1 These 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.
All around us, craters and solid lava flows coloured in shades of black, grey and red; here, the incessant activity of the volcano does not allow vegetation to grow. By looking carefully, we can notice round lava rocks¹ that differ in colour and density if compared to the surrounding: we are talking about lava bomb1.
Trekking in the lava desert
What on earth are they? These rocks are lava bombs or volcanic bombs, that is,rocks originated by burning lava drops – pyroclastic fragments – that are thrown out from the eruptive channels by the high pressure during strombolian explosive activities. They can reach the size of few meters of diameter.
After the last trekking part, you will feel as if you are on top the world. It is hard to describe how one feels up here: you will be mesmerized by so much beauty and so much majesty, all surrounded by the beautiful energy of the skies and the fiery power of the volcano under our feet. Unique landscape with changing bright ground colours. Landscapes and weather conditions that may rapidly change, wind, smoke, steam, gasses, all variable conditions that, weather permitting, will give you the chance to peer even into the volcanic channel. On days where the skies are clear, visibility will allow you to admire most of Sicily with its mountains and lakes. Our descent will begin after a walk on the Central Crater’s edge.Central craters-The roof of the world
We will stop for a pic-nic once a comfortable area will be found. Packed lunch is not included in the tour price. You can bring your own lunch or grab something at the local vendors at the beginning of the tour.Lunch
During the descent we will come across highly variable landscapes: we will step on unstable, rough rocks, shaped by fire, and we will dip our boots in the volcanic sand as well. As we make our way down, we will enjoy the lunar-like landscapes, with heart and eyes filled by the many wonders of this epic journey. This day will be remembered as one of the most spectacular of our lives, having walked on top of Europe’s most active volcano in.Downhill
After a lengthy exploration of Mt. Etna and after having satisfied our senses, 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, tired but happy.
See you on the next adventure!