- Day trip to Mount Etna from Taormina
- Travel to Etna’s base station at Rifugio Sapienza
- Enjoy three hours at leisure to trek around the foothills of Mount Etna
- See the famous Monti Silvestri Craters near Rifugio Sapienza
- Upgrade to visit Mount Etna’s summit with a guide and walk around bubbling craters
Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour
Admire sweeping Sicilian views from Europe’s most active volcano; it’s an experience you’ll never forget! As you walk, look out for loose bits of black magma stone that you can take home as a free souvenir of your trip.
What You Can Expect
Hop out of your coach at the base station Rifugio Sapienza, and then enjoy roughly three hours at leisure to trek independently around the foothills of Mount Etna. The area is covered with hiking trails that zigzag in all directions, and your host will happily point you in the right direction for the Monti Silvestri Craters – two small, yet impressive, craters near the base station.
If you want lunch before or after your hike, visit Rifugio Sapienza’s restaurant. Food and drinks are at your own expense, but the restaurant offers a good selection of hot and cold snacks.
Eager to visit Mount Etna’s summit? Upgrade to skip the three hours of independent time and head straight up to the top with your alpine guide, instead. Ride by cable car to a height of 8,202 feet (2,500 meters), and then travel the remaining distance by 4x4 jeep, stopping at a dizzying 9,843 feet (3,000 meters). Follow your alpine guide carefully around the craters at Mount Etna’s summit, peering into hornitos (small openings that release lava), and learning about volcanic activity in Sicily. At the end of your walk, return to the base station via jeep and cable car to meet the rest of your group.
Then, return to Taormina in the comfort of your air-conditioned coach. Your day trip finishes with a drop-off at the start point.
The tour leader from the coach was helpful and friendly.
When we arrived at our destination, everything about our visit was clearly explained. You can stop at the first level and walk on a small crater, but this involved a much more slippery slope than higher up. Having a pre-booked ticket does not mean that you ‘queue jump’, as some people in the party thought, but it does mean you are all ready to go. The queue is because the cable cars are small, for just four persons. At the top, the small ski-type buses were waiting to take us to a smoking crater. Try hard not to be put off if you are a bit slow or elderly or have children with you. My husband is 65, has spinal problems and walks with a stick – tie your courage to the mast and do it! The guide was wonderful, waiting at intervals around the crater in order that those with children or less able walkers could keep up. His descriptions and answers to questions were very clear.
The views are breathtaking; indeed, the whole experience is breathtaking. This is the nearest we mortals will ever come to walking on the moon! We are well travelled and this day out will be among the most memorable of a lifetime.
You do need to take a fleece and possibly a waterproof as the weather can change very quickly. We were exceptionally lucky as the weather was superb and it was neither cold nor windy. We each wore only a light fleece. On the day of our visit, the wind was blowing the sulphur fumes away from us, but a buff would be useful on a colder and windier day to cover either head or mouth or both.
As the tour returns to Taormina in the afternoon, you do not need to buy lunch. We had red wine, mixed fruit and excellent cakes for two for around 10 Euros.
Make sure you ring the day before to confirm your trip and they will state time and place of departure,usually from your hotel or very close by.
Excellent value for money if you can afford it.
A fantastic day out!
Mt Etna is certainly not to be missed if you are travelling in the area. The tour itself was quite good: the guide was excellent - well informed of the science and history of Etna; and the tour to the higher elevation is worth it. The whole environment is very different from the first stop and it is kind of a shame to take the time to do the trip and not include that. Viatour's service was perfect - no glitches. Our name (and at least one other couple I saw) was not on the guide's list, but we had our receipt as instructed and he just penciled us in, and advised the driver for the second leg that we were aboard. I would use Viatour again: no add-on fees and everything is already checked out - so "one-stop shopping", hassel-free.