Etna Top Easy Tour – Summit Area
The Summit Area accessible to everyone!
The Summit Area accessible to everyone!
Pick-up: We will pick you up outside/nearby your accommodation in Taormina or in its close vicinity (depending on the accommodation’s location, we will organize a convenient meeting point) between 8.30 and 9.00 AM. Each of our minivans can accommodate up to 8 participants.
Guided trekking at 2900 – 3000 MT on Etna South. Drive to Etna South (approximately 1 hour and half); from Rifugio Sapienza, you will start the ascent by cableway first (until 2550mt) and then by off-road vehicle up to 2900mt; there you will start a light trekking (about 40/45 minutes), around the summit area; our naturalistic guide and a volcanological guide (mandatory at this altitude) will walk you through deserts of black ashes and extinct craters. The expert guides will show you extinct craters as well as introduce you to the spectacular volcanic phenomena that occurred over time You will admire the central craters from a very close distance. The trekking part will last about 40 minutes.
Volcanic Cave. Equipped with helmets and torchlights that we will provide for free, you will be able to get in the volcanic underground and visit one of striking volcanic caves of our volcano; during this part the guide will explain origins, characteristics and uses of the of this fascinating volcanic phenomenon.
Lunch. You will then stop by a restaurant near Rifugio Sapienza, where you will taste an authentic typical Sicilian lunch made from fresh typical products and local wine (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options available upon request).
Alcantara Gorges. As final step of the day, you will stop at the River Park of the Alcantara Gorges. These were created when thick lava flows reached the icy Alcantara river and formed these geometrically perfect rocks. You will be amazed at the sight of this river streaming through the high walls that form the gorge, and will be able to walk along the watercourse.
Drop-off. At the end of the trip, at around 6.00/6.30 PM, the guide will drop you off at the starting point.
We remind you to wear sneakers (trainers or trekking shoes) with socks as well as a winter jacket since the temperature at that altitude is generally 10-15 ° C lower than Taormina. In case of snow, we also recommend bringing with you a second pair of socks. We can provide snowshoes and walking sticks. If you think you are not well equipped, please let us know when booking: we will provide the proper footwear and outerwear.
We also suggest bringing a bottle of water for the trekking as well as a towel and swimwear for the stop Alcantara Gorges (summer only).
The itinerary might be subjected to variations due to factors such as weather conditions and/or if deemed necessary.
Located at 1910 meters of altitude, Rifugio Sapienza‘s construction began in 1936. Back then, it was meant to give shelter to hikers heading to the central craters; now it has been converted into a small hotel and restaurant. Moreover, it is today the departure point of the Funivia dell’Etna (the Cableway) and the of the ski-lift. Many have been the times in which it was lapped by the lava streams, yet it remains untouched to this day.
Standing at about 2900 meters, Torre del Filosofo has been a place of fascination and myth. Although the original building was destroyed several times by the lava flows and has been permanently buried by volcanic material in 2002, legend has it that the philosopher Empedocle built this shelter to observe and study the wonders of volcanic activity. He was so much enchanted by the volcano and its astonishing activity, that according to the myth he died by falling in one of the craters.
The outcome of the “perfect eruption”, Barbagallo Craters sprung in the 2002/2003 eruption. They owe their name to the Barbagallo’s, a generation of passionate and expert guides that since the 19th century have been leaders for those interested in knowing and sharing the beauties of the volcano. The eruption started on October 27th, 2002 and lasted until January 29th, 2003 and was considered one of the most explosive eruptions of the last 100 hundred years.