Excellent day out and fantastic guide. Would recommend the tour to anyone!
Excellent guide.Good variety but gorge possibly not necessary for a good day.A bit early starting at 7.00 am
Do not miss this trip! Fantastic view, feeling on top of the Volcano ...
I only wish I'd paid to ascend Etna on the day...
It was a wonderful trip, the villages were beautiful to travel through and the train, although very very hot and uncomfortable, offered us the chance to view Etna and the flat lands from a different view point.
The guide was excellent and knowledgable
This was one of the best paid day excursions I have ever been on - wonderfully organised and fascinating. The bus driver Francesco was an artist who drove down scenic small roads with breathtaking aplomb. Elizabeth's commentary was very informative and the experience of climbing up Mt Etna's slopes was wonderful. An unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone. One bit of advice - if you book directly via Viatour don't forget to give them your hotel address so that they can collect you.
fab tour - Etna great, coach long and too packed but nice journey although squashed, tour operator awful - we booked the trip with train and to the top, leaves at 7am, couldn't reach the contact number and wasn't staying nearby, got lost was 4 mins late - they went without us!, we spent nearly 2 hours from 7am in S
I actually really liked this tour. The tour began with a visit to a nature center that had a river running through it, and you could see really neat volcanic rocks. Not really Etna and so maybe not for everyone but I enjoyed it. We then took an old fashioned narrow gauge train around part of Etna, the train was not air conditioned being old fashioned but the windows let in a breeze and the views were beautiful. The bus ride partway up Etna was painless, and let us out in a touristy area with many restaurants. I purchased the option to take the funicular and 4x4 further up. The funicular was fun to ride, although the windows were a little dirty which made taking pictures a little fuzzy. The 4x4 took us much higher, but we were still hundreds, if not a 1000 meters from the peak. It was still cool to wander around the mountain after getting out of the 4x4, but it would have been nice if there was an option to purchase a hike/guide to take us further up the mountain to the summit. Overall I liked this trip and would do it again.
Very good day out, with plenty of activities and excellent views of Etna and its surroundings.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and it has given us a desire to return to Alcantara Gorges for a trip on its own.
We like visits to Volcanoes and would recommend this even if you only want the Scenery from the trip there and back
Great experience. Alcantara Gorges is just alright but Etna was really cool. Wish we had a little more time to see the smoking peak.
I so enjoyed visiting the Alcantara Gorge that lost track of the time and then lost my tour group. However, the local agents SAT were on the ball they hooked me up with another group and after some unscheduled activity I met up with my own group at Etna. Etna didn't put on too much of a show that day, but just seeing the surreal landscape, black ash with patches of white snow, was incredible. I can also now claim to have walked across a volcano crater not during an eruption, mind you. I was sorry that we did not get to to the actual rim of one of the active craters.
An exciting trip which goes through Alcantara Gorges. We visited that wonderful place and, in an end, we were late 3 minutes, to find that the coach left. I must mention that our guide was Santo who left us there as he did not count his passengers. Someone from the same company took us by car and raced us up to a crossway to catch the coach back. From that point up to the end our trip was gorgeous.
Good tour. Alcantara gorge very pretty and trip up to Mt Etna was amazing but be prepared for the cold. Circumetnea train was a bit of a train wreck. Train is crowded and hot and the trip pretty boring. Should be dropped from the tour as it's a waste of time.
This Etna excursion was great. Mount Etna is incredible. It felt like we were on another planet. We took the tour to the summit. Mount Etna is 3323 meters high and we got to 3000 meters. The day was clear and warm. We truly enjoyed the top of Mount Etna. The Alcantara Gorges stop was just OK. Actually we were disappointed there. The railway ride was also disappointing. It circles around the base of Mount Etna, as mentioned in the tour description. However, what tripadisor did not mention is that it is a public train (even though it is a 1950's era train) and therefore stops to pick-up and let-off passengers. I think that skipping both the Alcantara Gorges and the train would have given us longer at the summit of Mount Etna, which to me was the highlight of the excursion. The guide on the bus spoke German, English and Italian. Whenever he described something on the way to Mount Etna, he did so in the 3 languages, changing the order in which he spoke all the time. However, it also meant that sometimes we were way passed the sight he was describing by the time he got to speak our language. These are things that Tripadvisor should consider and maybe improve on for this tour. But like I said, Mount Etna itself is fabulous and worth the money.
Ana B Australia
I would highly recommend going to the top of Mt Etna - it as great. The tour guide was a little bland and we didn't get much history and background. But what we actually saw on the tour was great - the gorge and etna were a must see.
This was definitely a full-day trip. The portion of the trip that was focused on Mount Etna was exactly what we expected, and we enjoyed this very much. However, I expected something a little more dramatic on the Alcantara Gorges portion of the trip, based on the pictures advertised - instead, we had to pay extra to go into the gardens, and really, it was to see water flowing in a river downstream of the gorges. So perhaps the description of the trip was a bit exaggerated. However, I will say our tour guide was very knowledgeable (in three languages at a time, no less!); and I must mention that our bus driver did a fabulous job getting us around on some very tiny streets with challenging traffic.
I really enjoyed the Mount Etna part of the trip, it was fun going up to the top. The Circumetnea was a bit boring. The view from my side of the train was rubbish and it was hot and cramped. I would rather have had longer either at Etna or at the Alcantara Gorge which I felt was a little rushed and I didnt have time to really enjoy.
PAUL R United Kingdom
A well organised tour with helpful guides and comfortable double decker coach.
A little more time may have been useful in the gorges a bit rushed as you only get about an hour and with a early start about 7am, does not give enough time for a food or drink break.
The train ride is pleasant as you can see the surrounding countryside which lasts about an hour.
The trip to Etna is the best with sufficient time to see everything and worth paying the extra to reach the summit.
We went at the end of May and would advise if you go at this time to take a jacket, hat and gloves as it is pretty cold as snow was still at the top with a cold wind.
Did this tour recently and was a highly worthwhile tour to do. Mount Etna rules this island of Sicily and a tour up to near her summit is a memorable trip. The bus was comfortable and air conditioned and the driver excellent. Overall including the Alcantara Gorges was a good itinerary.
My only faults were that I could see a hotel pick up option on the booking site. When I was in Taormina because I was staying at Isola Bella and the start time was 7:00am at the bus station I caught a cab up at an additional cost of EUR20. Once on the bus we got on our way and the bus picked up many people including some only 200M from my hotel. Not impressed.
Secondly we were told at the start that this tour would be outlined for us by the guide in Italian, Deutsche and English. While it started off this was, it was very evident that by the middle of the tour the main languages used were Italian and Deutsche only by our guide Alfredo. We were receiving about a third of the dialogue that the Italians and Deutsche were hearing. We were hearing words about wines vino rosso etc and the volcano and extras that were evidently being spoken but got inadvertently left out of our abridged version. This was consistent with what two other couples on the tour thoughts as well. If I booked a tour like this again I would ensure that the tour was in English as much as the other languages to ensure you get the full story. Just a tad disappointing.
From my point of view we spent far too much time riding on a bus and a train and not enough time enjoying and photographing the countryside, vineyards, pistachio nut bushes and learning about the geology of volcanic activity from a native speaker. I did not enjoy long portions of the narration in German and while Elizabeth was pleasant, her directions were often unclear.
Interesting but disappointingly the clouds closed in. Luck of the draw. Still worth doing.
Needed more time to be able to get to ground level of gorges to appreciate them. If going on full Etna trip with cable car and jeep need more time to explore ground level with shops and to get something to eat. Was quite rushed to get back to coach.
Although the views and experience were remarkable, the tour itself lacked a uniting narrative. The guide was pleasant and knowledgeable, but the overall impression was of several discrete bits rather than a holistic journey into the history etc of Sicily. I suggest an overarching theme as much better way to present a tour.
I was also very unimpressed withe price we paid when other people on the tour had paid less for the same tour..