Mount Etna, Catania

4.4
Europe's tallest active volcano, Mount Etna is a World Heritage site surrounded by a sprawling national park. The volcano is in an almost constant state of activity. It produces fertile volcanic soils that support the vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad surrounding plain. The national park encircling the volcano encompasses nearly 590 sq km (193 sq mi) and includes more than 20 towns. The park features snowy mountaintops, dense woods, and vast deserts of black lava. Due to the volcano's frequent and often dangerous activity, which is monitored by at least 100 seismic stations, this area is occasionally off-limits to tourists. Be sure to check for any current advisories before you make the trip. Arrange your visit to Mount Etna and discover more family-friendly attractions in Catania using our Catania trip builder site .
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Mount Etna Reviews
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  • Never as Etna, a path may be capable of instilling such peace, and it is strange because in any case it is not a monte tranquillo ... The search of the soul passes through paths of obstacles, ramps and narrow passages, to the Summit, and it will be like touching the sky.
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  • We arrived around 9:30, place of parking to take in the shops next to the parking lot. We took the cable car + bus + guide for € 63, rate high enough to delivery. The arrival of the cable car we rented a jacket and shoes, although the ascent is possible in sneakers, if you're not afraid of dirty. On the other hand the cutting wind or warm clothing is essential, especially on days of high wind, which can go in gusts to 110 Km/h.Puis access to 2950M in 4 x 4 bus in a lunar landscape, then several craters with a tour guide. View breathtaking, view the Calabria in clear weather. Unforgettable day.
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  • Wow - what an amazing trip! We drove up Etna and parked at Rifugio (please note there is a charge and you buy ticket from kiosk €6). We too cable car, bus and then the Alpine Guide - this was a great ...  more »
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  • Etna is really incredible! I walked from Rifugio Sapienza to about 2900 m, just under the highest crater. The way is not easy, you walk on a vulcanic gravel slopes, so you need good hiking shoes and a warm jumper and a cap even in the middle of the summer, because of very strong cold wind. The views are often covered by the clouds, but just being on this giantic vulcano is an unforgetable experience.
  • Don't expect real lava! :) other then that, it's a cool, windy place where you can take nice pictures, have a snack and buy souvenirs.
  • Fantastic place to visit. Takes you 3 hours or so with return to Catania or Taormina. To get all the way to the top you must add another 3 hours.
  • Exciting place! The mountain of the mountains.
  • Travel to Mount Etna on the whiff of the bus drivers oily Rag! Part 1 Travelling to Mount Etna is a great trip, but it can cost you a packet if you take the tour using a tour Company with a guide, we were quoted 219 euro for two for the day Trvelling from Syracuse in Sicily. You can make it cheaper if you go from Taomina where the average price for two is 66 euro. Here is how to do the trip starting at 6 euro! Mount Etna itself is an active volcano not really a mountain at all, the last eruption was in 2008 and the lava cools pretty quickly, so don't expect to see any fireworks display. Still the trip is stunning. Etna itself is a world heritage listed site and is situated in a park area in between Catarnia in the south and Taormina in the North. Catrania is a commercial port town with very little going for it as a destination, so don't plan to spend any time there trying to see the sights. However you will need to travel there to take the trip. There are basically two trips, one is a train journey that skirts around the base of eta in a circular route, stopping at various towns on the way, a list of towns are shown below. This trip is well worth taking if you are not too active and want an easy sightseeing tour with visits to some pretty local towns on route. However I recommend the second option which is a bus which takes you to a small village called Ripenzo which is situated at 2900 metres above sea level about just over half way up the mountain. There is only one bus per day which leaves from the AST bus stop outside the railway station. It is a white AST bus and it leaves at 8-30 in the morning and returns at 4-30 in the afternoon, this is the bus to catch. You will need to purchase your tickets from the tabachi on the main road opposite the AST bus station, it is in Via Luis Revenga and you need to buy AST tickets to go from Catania to S. Ripenzo. Then go to the bus departure point around 8-15 am. There is absolutely no information regarding this bus at the bus station, but it is a white AST bus which should Say Etna at the bottom of the front windscreen. If you cannot see the destination on the bus ask the AST Driver for Etna at S. Ripenzo, make sure you don't just say Etna or he will send you on a wild goose chase to the Etna bus lines office a few streets back. The journey takes about 2 hours with a mysterious 20 minute stop in Nicolosi, still you can stretch your legs here. Upon arrival at S. Ripenzo jump off the bus. From here you have two options. There is a cabin situated right next to the spot where you get off the bus, which offers long walking excursions up the mountain taking about 5 hours, they call it the long tour. If you are game take this one, but prepared there is about 2 hours of stiff walking and it gets pretty cold up there, so take warm clothes and ladies, no high heels, you need walking boots for this one. If you do not have suitable clothes they will charge you for the hire. The trip costs 50 euro 60 if you hire the clothes. The tour consists of a cable car up to 3100 metres then by jeep plus a 2 hour walk up to a crater nera the summit at 3300 metres. Unless there has been a recent eruption, you are unlikely to see any action, not even smouldering. The next option they call the short tour, for this one you have to walk up to the cable car start point which is obvious to see, up the hill at the back of the excursion cabin. From here you can take the cable car for the short trip up to a plateau at 3100 metres which costs 27 euro or you can take the cable car plus Jeep and guide for a short trip up the mountain which will cost you 51 euro. My pick is none of these, for free you can see breathtaking views of the craters and surrounding scenery. From the excursion office, start walking around the road so that all the souvenir shops are to your right and you can see ahead of you the Silvestri bar and Bistro.

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Experience the charms of Sicily at your own pace by booking your stay at a private cottage or luxury villa in Catania. Family-owned cottages offer easy access to some of Sicily's finest beaches, while Catania's self-catering villas often feature sprawling yards and private swimming pools. To experience Sicilian nature and authentic way of life, consider staying at a working farm just outside Catania's city limits. A low-cost alternative, farms and B&Bs spread around the countryside offer comfortable rooms and excellent local food, just a short drive from the busy city center.
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