Mount Etna – a must-do excursion when visiting Sicily, Italy

UNESCO World Heritage sites are great places to visit for immersive excursions. With 1092 cultural sites, wilderness areas or a combination of both, in 167 Party States (countries that participate), there are plenty to choose from, especially in Europe where there is an abundance. One such site worthy of visiting is Mount Etna on the island of Sicily in Italy.

At 3350 metres above sea level, although not the highest in Europe (that is Teide in Tenerife), Mount Etna is the largest active strato volcano in Europe and the highest in Italy. On clear days, it is visible from half of Sicily, so even on a visit to the island you’re bound to see its sometimes snow-capped peak at some point.

But to truly experience Etna’s vastness and uniqueness as well as its historical and on-going impact on the island, not forgetting spectacular panoramic views, an excursion up to the top (or almost the top) is a must, whether you’re vacationing on the island or visiting as part of a tour of Italy or as a shore excursion during on a Mediterranean cruise that includes a port stop at Catania, Messina or even the quaint town of Taormina, where the view of Etna is fantabulous (see top pic).

Although you can drive the base of the volcano and stop at Sicilian villages, souvenir shops and other sites, much of Mt Etna is protected and can only be visited by or with authorized personnel for educational and recreational purposes. Certain areas are also dangerous for obvious reasons so, while hiking to the top of the volcano is possible much of the year, if you have the time, energy and strong knees, it is certainly not advisable to hike alone beyond the cable car station, and only designated, well-defined trails should be used.

A guided hike up the trail that follows the cable car is the best way for energetic adventure-seekers who want to experience this active volcano, but you’ll need to allow a few hours to reach the top. If you love volcanoes and want to experience more of Europe’s most active volcano, a multi-day guided trek that takes you to various craters and other volcanic features is ideal.

If you’re a less active traveller, or limited on time, a cable car ride that takes you to an elevation of 2500 m, followed by an escorted tour in a 4×4 vehicle that takes you up to 2950 metres above sea level is the best way to experience Etna. Or if you’re somewhat energetic, you can take a guided hike from the top cable car station (I’d do this). The hike beyond there takes about 2 hours, so make sure you have time if you’re on a shore excursion.

Whichever you choose, plan your trip. Book your excursion in advance, and be prepared for at least some hiking. Wear appropriate footwear, and dress in layers as the temperature can drop by 10 degrees. You’ll also need water as well as sunscreen and a shirt or jacket to protect you from the sun; and don’t forget your sunglasses.

Mount Etna souvenir shops. Photo via Pixabay.
Mount Etna road. Photo via Pixabay.
Mount Etna cable cars. Photo via Pixabay.
Mount Etna volcanic landscape. Photo via Pixabay.

Is Mount Etna on Sicily in Italy on your bucket list?

If you’ve dreamed of visiting Sicily and exploring Mount Etna, stop dreaming…start planning. Kaz Custom Travel can help you plan, create and arrange everything needed for an experience of a lifetime at this UNESCO World Heritage Area and Italy’s biggest and most famous island.

Related Posts

British Isles – Around the World from A to Z – B

British Isles – Around the World from A to Z – B

This week in our virtual tour Around the World from A to Z, the British Isles is featured. I have already written about Britain on another page, but this week I will also include differences to look out for when driving in the British Isles as well as safety tips for pedestrians, safety tips for solo female travellers. I also highlight some features in my favourite region, plus share six ways you can travel sustainably in the British Isles.

read more
Austria – Around the World from A to Z – A

Austria – Around the World from A to Z – A

Starting with Austria, this year, Kaz Custom Travel will take you on a journey around the world from A to Z, virtually that is, until we can travel again. Throughout 2021, we will feature a different destination around the world corresponding with a letter of the alphabet. We hope to feature one destination a week, but due to time constraints and our work schedule, it may be less often. Our goal is to provide you with some travel inspiration as we share a few titbits about each destination, a few travel tips, fun facts and foodie ideas, as well as safety and sustainable tourism insights, for when we can travel again.

read more
10 things you may not know about the Danube and Eastern Europe

10 things you may not know about the Danube and Eastern Europe

I was inspired to write this blog post on 10 things you may not know about the Danube and Eastern Europe after attending AmaWaterways’ latest Webinar Wednesday (actually it started off as a social media post, but it got too long haha). The presenters were giving insights into some of the destinations visited on a cruise of the lower Danube in Eastern Europe. As I wrote some notes, I decided this would make a great topic for this week’s featured Travel Trivia post on Facebook and Instagram. Several hours of research later, I decided a blog post would be better.

read more
New Onboard Safety Protocols by AmaWaterways

New Onboard Safety Protocols by AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways has introduced new safety protocols and ship enhancements to protect guests and staff, and recently opened up cruising to the European travel market again. Soon, Canadians will be able to cruise Europe’s great rivers again. Watch this video to see how AmaWaterways will ensure you travel safely onboard with them.

read more
Christmas Markets Cruise on the Danube

Christmas Markets Cruise on the Danube

No one brings Holiday Magic to River Cruising like AmaWaterways.
The Christmas holidays are over for 2019, but if you’ve ever wanted to experience the excitement, wonder and joy of Christmas markets in Europe, then you must see the highlights included in the itinerary for AmaWaterway’s Iconic Christmas Market Cruise on the Danube.

read more
Explore Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Explore Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

If you’re looking for an Australian Adventure, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. Located on the beautiful east coast, you’ll not only discover some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery in its pink granite mountains, pure white beaches and azure bays, but you’ll also find evidence of Tasmanian aboriginal culture, such as shell middens and rock art. Continue reading to learn more.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This