Etna Trekking Tour
- private guided hiking & trekking tours on Etna volcano -
"Just to say what a great trip to Etna and thanks to Rosario for showing me such wonderful sights. It was fantastic!" (Tom Salt, UK)
Tour code: ETN_PRI
Difficulty: Custom (variable)
Duration: half and full day (4-12 hrs)
Dates:Custom and group dates
no scheduled dates at present
Price (p.p.): from 100 EUR p. P.
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Enjoy Europe's most active volcano on a private day-tour with one of our expert mountain guides! Stand on the roof of the Mediterranean,- Etna's majestic summit towering at about 3300 m a.s.l.,- and enjoy a breathtaking view around. To peer into the abysses of Europe's largest active volcano's craters is an experience of a lifetime.
In a small private group, an experienced guide from our team brings you all the way up to Etna's summit (if weather, your condition, volcanic activity and regulations by authorities allow it).
Depending on the chosen itinerary, this tour requires moderate to excellent physical condition, adequate clothing and takes between 4 and up to 12 hours total duration.
Currently (July 2012), the summit craters are closed for access and excursions are limited to the area beneath 3100 m asl.
Etna's summit craters - long circuit (ETN_C02)
ca. 5-7 hrs total / moderate
Day 1: Transfer to 2800 m - visit summit area - hike back to base (1900 m)
Start at La Sapienza mountain station (1900 m elevation), take cable car and/ or jeeps to bring you quickly to ca. 2900 m elevation. From there, climb to the summit crater(s) (ca. 1-1.5 hrs climbing, 200-400 m difference). The exact route of ascend and which of the summit craters can be visited will depend on weather, fitness, activity etc. Spend ca. 1-2 hrs in the summit region, descend to the point of departure; short break in the 2900 m elevation area, then visit the impressive newly formed craters of the eruption in 2002-2003. Descend towards the new crater formed in the 2001 eruption and walk to a phantastic viewpoint on the rim of the Valle del Bove. Descend all the way back to La Sapienza along a soft sandy slope (great fun!), cross recent lava flows and craters and peer into a deep cave on the way back.
Etna's summit region & short mountain traverse (ETN_C04)
ca. 8-9 hrs total / moderate
Day 1: Transfer with cable car+jeep to 2900 m (Etna S) - summit area - descend to Etna's north side (or vice versa)
Starting at La Spaienza, you the cable car + jeep brings you to 2900 m on Etna's S side near the base of the north-east crater. Climb the summit craters from there (ca. 300 m climbing). Spend ca. 1-2 hrs in the summit region, then cross to the spectacular N rim of the Valle del Leone (at Pizzi Deneri) and finally descend on the N or NE side skiing down a great ash slope. A car brings you back to the point of departure on Etna S.
Grotta del Gelo excursion (ETN_GDG):
Day 1: Excursion to Grotta del Gelo
Early start in 4x4 vehicle to get to the trailhead near Monti Pizilli at ca. 2400 m elevation on the NE rift zone. Conditions permitting, the summit area is crossed with spectacular morning views; alternatively, the transfer is through Etna North climbing the 4x4 road on the NE rift zone.
From there, it's a 3 hrs hike through bizarre lava fields with many beautiful structures, recent cinder cones and eruptive fissures until the Grotta del Gelo cave is reached in the late morning. Its location is one of the most remote of whole Etna!
We visit of the cave (ca. 1-2 hours), using crampoons to get onto the ice inside which forms a small permanent glacier normally present all year.
After lunch break at the cave, we hike back (ca. 3 hrs) along a remote trail back towards the NE rift zone at lower elevation and circel part of Etna's NE fland between 1900 - 1600 m elevation, gradually entering more and more into beautiful and dense pine, birtch and chestnut forests. On the way, a second great lava cave can be visited, the "Grotta dei Lamponi", with huge lava channel structures.
In the early afternoon, we arrive at a well-serviced mountain hut, where we will have a drink or late lunch. From here, it's ca. 1.5 hrs transfer back by car circeling Etna's east side along one of Etna's most scenic roads. Arrival back at Etna South in the late afternoon.
The tours usually start at La Spaienza mountain hut at 1900 m elevation on Etna's south side. On request, we can include transfers (e.g. from Taormina or Catania) for you at additional cost.
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