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Mount Etna

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Travel Guide Europe Italy Sicily Mount Etna

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Introduction

Mt Etna, Sicily

Mt Etna, Sicily

© All Rights Reserved dpedler

Mount Etna is the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, and also one of the most active in the world. It is situated on the eastern part of the island of Sicily, near the city of Catania. The mountain is almost always in a state of eruption the last couple of years.

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Getting There and Around

The best way to get onto the mountain is from the south, via a road that leads up to the mountain. At an altitude of 1,900 metres, there is a parking lot. There used to be a cable car going up the mountain, but this was destroyed and hasn't yet been rebuilt. From the parking lot most trails lead to the Valley of Oxes (Valle del Bove). The first of the four active craters is not that far away.

There are buses going up the mountain until the parking lot, and there are a couple of tour agencies in Taormina offering tours to the mountain.
AST is the only public bus service which arrives closest to the mount summit. It terminates next to the Rifugio Sapienza about 1400m below the summit on the south side. In Catania the bus leaves from the AST bus hub (located next to the central railway station) daily at 8:15, also between June 15th and September 15th on working days at 11:20. From Etna departures are: daily at 16:30, and between June 15th and September 15th on working days at 10:45. The journey takes approx. 2 hours. The bus makes a 20 min. stop at Nicolosi. The bus quickly gets packed so it's wise to get in right at the starting point. A single ticket costs €6.

There are a few ways to get around on Mount Etna:

  • From Rifugio Sapienza (Etna south) during good weather, you can either:
  • Pay for a trip on a 4-wheel-drive vehicle + cable car (€60 return, but they have agreements with some close hotels) about 800 metres nearer the top.
  • Walk (no climbing gear required in summer). The walk is steep and, being a volcano, is pumice scree. In bad weather, you can walk if you are experienced and prepared for freezing weather. The walk can be a little strenuous for the inexperienced, particularly considering the altitude.
  • From Piano Provenzana (Etna north) by walking to arrive on the summit Crater. This is a beautiful tour because it's possible to admire forests and lava sceneries.

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Eat

There are several cafes / restaurants around Rifugio Sapienza

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Drink

You can buy many hot chocolates to warm up your toasty bones. Also on colder months, as you go up Mt. Etna you will find several shops and there you can buy the drink, "Fuoco dell'Etna" which is a liqueur which will definitely keep you warm as you hike up. It will get very cold.

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Sleep

For places to sleep, you can best check the list of accommodations in Catania.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 12:19 on Apr 24, 17 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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