If you are planning on visiting Sicily, you should consider hiking up Mount Etna. The highest active volcano in Europe offers amazing views, incredible landscapes and the possibility of experiencing the wild side of Sicily. If you are unsure about how to organize your trek on Etna, you can follow this guide and prepare yourself for one of the best experiences of your life!
First, before departing from your country, make sure to check the weather forecast. People coming from colder nations often think that Sicily is always hot, even at the top of Mount Etna. That’s not true because even in summer it can get really cold up there. Bringing the appropriate clothing and gear will make your trekking experience that much more comfortable on Etna.
Hiking Mount Etna with Etna Experience
By the way, Etna Experience is a local tour operator that organizes incredible tours – providing you with all of the equipment needed for a good trek! I decided to book with them and joined the Mt. Etna Summit Easy Tour because I really wanted to go higher without too much physical effort. All of their tours start from Catania – the guides pick you up close to your accommodation, which is a nice touch and makes everything easy.
From the beginning, the guides explain everything about Etna – its history, the most powerful eruptions (like the 1669 one which was the strongest eruption in the history of Catania) and all the details about life near the volcano. Etna Experience provides all the technical equipment for free. This includes trekking shoes, jackets, helmets and flashlights. All of this gear will help you travel light without carrying too much heavy luggage yourself.
On this tour, we arrived at 2,750 meters taking the cable car up and jeeps. We saw the smoking southeast crater and the Bove Valley on the east side of Etna. It was one of the most exciting journeys of my life! After this, we came back to 2,000 meters to have lunch offered by Etna Experience: tasty local street food and awesome red wine by Emilio Sciacca Etna Wine. This was free and gave the group strength for what was about to come.
The second half of the day was spent at this altitude. We walked around extinct craters and ventured inside the volcano, visiting a volcanic cave. It was awesome to experience the power of nature this close. We came back in the afternoon. Everyone was a little bit tired but very happy!
Need to Know Before You Go
After checking the weather, another recommendation if you want to hike on Etna is to contact a local tour operator like Etna Experience and join one of their tours. This way you can choose the best tour that suits you, while they take care of everything like transport, equipment, insurance and lunch. Another very important recommendation is to take your camera with you to shoot this incredibly astonishing volcano.
My adventure on Mount Etna was so exciting that I booked some more tours with Etna Experience. They gave me a 10% discount on the second tour and 15% discount on the third tour. The second tour I did was one of their best-sellers: Mt. Etna, Wine & Alcantara Gorges Tour. This tour gives you the chance to understand how Etna shapes the environment around it.
The Alcantara Gorges are volcanic canyons formed over thousands of years by Mount Etna. During the break, we visited the Martinella Vineyard – home to all the Emilio Sciacca Etna Wines. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the vineyard. Be sure to read more about Etna Experience on their website and contact them on WhatsApp to find out more info.