3.5 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

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  • Location:Taormina, Italy
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Best Mount Etna, Randazzo and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip from Taormina

Combine free time in the foothills of Mount Etna with a visit to Alcantara Gorges and the medieval town of Randazzo! After leaving Taormina, explore the rock pools of beautiful Alcantara Gorges (own expense), and then visit Basilica di Santa Maria in Randazzo. In the afternoon, succumb to the allure of Mount Etna and explore the hiking trails around the volcano’s northern refuge at leisure. Upgrade to visit Mount Etna’s summit and take a walking tour of the craters at the top.


  • Day trip from Taormina to Alcantara Gorges, Randazzo and Mount Etna’s foothills
  • Explore rock pools and volcanic canyons on a walk through Alcantara Gorges
  • Visit the medieval town of Randazzo and explore its cathedral, Basilica di Santa Maria
  • Travel to the north refuge on Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano
  • Enjoy free time to hike around the foothills of Mount Etna on your own
  • Upgrade to visit Mount Etna’s summit with a guide and walk around its craters

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

Walking and climbing along the rocks of Alcantara Gorges is a great way to escape the Sicilian heat! The area is totally sheltered from the sun, so be prepared for freezing cold water if you decide to paddle in one of the rock pools.

What You Can Expect

Best Mount Etna, Randazzo and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip from Taormina

Visit the Cathedral of Randazzo on your Day Trip from Taormina

Hop aboard your air-conditioned coach in central Taormina and travel to the nearby Alcantara Gorges, a series of deep incisions in the cliffs around the Alcantara River. Ancient volcanic eruptions created the gorges and now the area is peppered with deep canyons, caves and rock pools that beg to be explored.

After paying your entrance fee, head into the parkland and enjoy a short walk through the gorges with your guide, admiring the waterfalls and crystal-clear rock pools that abound. Return to your coach and relax on your journey to Randazzo, just outside Parco della Etna –a scenic national park.

Basilica di Santa Maria – Randazzo cathedral – is the town’s medieval masterpiece, so step inside and discover its beauty with your guide. Admire the columns that were built from local black lava stone and see a collection of 18th-century paintings. If you visit on a Sunday, your guide will also allow you some free time to browse the Sunday market at leisure.

Return to your coach and travel through Parco della Etna, into the foothills of Mount Etna, the smouldering volcano that’s lauded as Europe’s most active. Travel to the north refuge point, at an altitude of 6,234 feet (1,900 meters), and then leave your coach to explore the area independently.

If you are hungry, enjoy a bite to eat and drink in the refuge’s cafe (own expense), and be sure to ask your guide for hiking trail recommendations. The volcano’s rugged terrain matches the drama of its views, so sturdy walking shoes are just as necessary as your camera.

Upgrade to skip the free time and head straight to the top, 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 guide around the summit’s craters and peer into the hornitos (small openings that release lava) while learning about volcanic activity.

Board your coach at the pre-arranged time, and then travel back to the start point in Taormina.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

Enjoy the whole day. The highlight of the day was Mount Etna. We were so lucky to have had a beautiful and clear day. Would highly recommended this day tour to everyone. The tour company was excellent as they had organised the day before to pick us up from our hotel and take us closer to the pick up point for the tour.

4 star rating: Recommended July 2015

We had a really fun day on this tour. It gives you a great chance to see what this part of Sicily has to offer, cramming quite a lot in to a relatively short space of time, without making it feel rushed. The star of the show is definitely the Etna trip - it's a fascinating place even though it was extremely cloudy at the top so there weren't many views to see!. I would urge people going on this trip to bring warm clothing, even if it feels like a hot day down below, as it's very cold at the high altitude and there were patches of snow on the ground even though we went in June and the temperature in Taormina down below was 30C..

The Alcantara gorges provided a nice walk around, though we didn't think they were particularly spectacular. Personally I think the tour could ditch the Randazzo part completely as it's not an especially nice village and there's not much to do there although the stop-off does provide an opportunity to grab lunch.

I feel it important to mention that a few things mentioned on the itinerary on the Viator tour didn't actually happen. For example:
- the guide did not come around the gorges with us we were left to walk around on our own
- there was no cable car on the trip and this was not even mentioned at any stage.
- the guide did not come with us to the craters: we were basically dumped out of the 4x4 and left to wander around on our own.
- disappointingly, we did not actually go to the summit. We went high up Etna, but not to the summit. The guide actually said to someone on the way back that it is not allowed for tourists to visit the summit any more - so why advertise otherwise?

None of these issues were massively problematic and we still had a good day, but it seems odd to mention things like this on the itinerary if they're not going to be provided, or even mentioned. I would urge Viator to revise the details provided on this site, so that they match what is actually provided.

3 star rating: Worth doing May 2015

The trip was good but he only covered Mount Atna. This trip covers Randazzo and Alcantara Gorges. They never even mentioned those two places once in the trip. I paid for all three and got only one out of this.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this June 2015

I expected more. The tour had two stops before the Etna totally expendable. When we arrived it was after lunch, the worst time to see the volcano in activity. The best time is in the morning.
The tour was so expansive for little.

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Tour code: 6099ETNAVALLEY


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