Mount Etna Tours & Tickets

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CataniaMount Etna Tours

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Mount Etna | Sicily’s majestic inferno

Fearsome and fire-breathing, Mount Etna in Sicily is a sight to behold. Its caved-in appearance is owed to the numerous eruptions it has witnessed over millennia. This renowned (and notorious) mammoth is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and the highest in the Mediterranean region. Its ever-changing landscape of smoldering craters, flowing black lava, and ancient forests offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all travelers. 

If you’re travelling to Sicily, your trip isn’t complete without visiting Mount Etna. This guide explains all the different Etna tours on offer and helps find the perfect experience for you.  

Things to know before booking Mount Etna tickets

  • Looking for ways to avoid paying the fees charged for visiting Mount Etna? Take a public bus to Rifugio Sapienza, and hike all the way to the Mountain Hut, which doubles as the Cable Car station and coffee shop.
  • Are you a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush? Then an ascent to the summit craters might be the adventure you are looking for. Book tickets that include a cable car ride, hike or trek.
  • If prefer a more leisurely pace with stunning views, opt for a scenic hike through the Valle del Bove, a vast volcanic caldera.
  • If you are traveling with family or friends, choose a jeep tour that will allow you to explore lava caves and enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the Sicilian vineyards without much exertion.
  • There’s a lot more to Mount Etna than just being an active volcano. Book a guided tour to learn about its facts, myths and legends from an expert.
  • If you’re coming from neighboring cities like Catania or Taormina, book trips that include transfers to and from these destinations.
  • A walk through this awe-inspiring is sure to leave you hungry for action, adventure and of course, food. Grab tickets that include lunch and wine tastings. Mount Etna is a feast for all senses, pun intended!
  • As Mount Etna is an active volcano, stay updated on any safety warnings or restrictions, as eruptions or safety concerns may lead to tour cancellations.
  • If you’re travelling with kids, opt for jeep tours or guided treks as they can get a hands-on experience and appreciate the landmass better.
  • As certain parts of Mount Etna require walking at an incline or down a slope, accessibility may be hampered for wheelchair users. In this case, booking a jeep tour is an ideal way to see around Mount Etna.

Why visit Mount Etna?

Soaring above Sicily, this colossal titan of fire and earth offers a kaleidoscope of experiences beckoning the adventurous, and the curious, alike. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why Mount Etna deserves a coveted spot on your travel bucket list:

Geological marvel
  • Geological marvel: Having existed for over 500,000 years, Mount Etna has lived (and continues to live) a rich life. It’s only over the last 2,700 years that volcanic activity has been recorded. So merely stepping foot on this ancient landscape is enough to give you goosebumps.
  • Old caves, new uses: Did you know that some of Etna’s lava-formed caves have now been repurposed to store meat and wine? Caves are conducive storage spaces as they are cool yet humid, preserving flavors and preventing spoilage, and you’re sure to see a few of them on your visit.
  • Trek through time, not just terrain: Weave past ancient Greek and Roman ruins nestled amidst the volcanic landscapes. Imagine Greek philosophers contemplating Etna's fury and Roman soldiers guarding its slopes as you lace up your boots and embark on a historical trek. 
  • Beep beep on a jeep: On a 4x4 jeep, travel to Mount Etna and traverse undulating landscapes. Stop at ancient craters and peer into their smoldering depths, marvel at towering lava fountains frozen in time.
  • Volcanic vistas: Take in barren lunar-like vistas near the summit to lush forests and vineyards at its base. Overall, Mount Etna promises terrific panoramic views of the Sicilian landscape.
  • Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts: All roads lead to Etna, whether you’re hitching a ride on a jeep or hiking up top. Embrace the outdoors and Etna’s beauty by appreciating the summit through different means and perspectives.
  • Entrenched in Sicilian folklore: Etna is identified as the workshop of Hephaestus (Vulcan to the Romans), the god of fire and metalworking. It is also known as the residence of the nymph Aetna. It is even referred to as the home of the Cyclops Polyphemus in Homer's Odyssey.

All your Mount Etna tours explained

mount etna trek
mount etna jeep tours 4x4
Transfers
wine

Wine and food tours

Ideal for: Foodies and wine connoisseurs
Duration:
6-8 hours
Guide:
Available

  • Sample wine that’s grown from the grapes of volcanic soil.
  • Besides wine, also savor local cuisines and delicacies, liqueurs and more.

Recommended tickets

Explore Mount Etna

Valle del Bove
Silvestri Craters
Lava caves
Valle del Bove

Valle del Bove is a vast, moon-like caldron carved by ancient eruptions. Amidst  a desolate landscape are fields of black ash, volcanic bombs, and bizarre lava formations. Forget the moon – feel like the first explorer on a newly discovered alien world.

Silvestri Craters

These twin craters, dating back to 1892, offer close-up views of volcanic vents and fumaroles (steam vents). Hike to the rim for breathtaking panoramas and a glimpse into the volcano's fiery heart.

Lava caves

Descend into Etna's labyrinthine lava caves, natural wonders formed by flowing molten rock. Witness the intricate formations and feel the coolness of the volcanic earth. Meats and wines are often stored in these caves.

Things to do on Mount Etna

mount etna climb

Climb it, of course

The vast majority of climbers utilize Rifugio Sapienza (1910 meters) as their starting point for guided hiking and trekking tours. This mountain hut on the south side of the volcano offers easy access to transportation, various tour options, and basic amenities ensuring you have a smooth climb.

Ride the cable car

Ride the cable car

When heading towards the summit, a portion of your Mount Etna tour will be spent in a cable car. The quickest way to traverse the long and sloped part of Mount Etna, your cable car ride will take you to the starting point of the trek to the summit.

Go skiing in the winter

Go skiing in the winter

Experience the unique thrill of skiing down Etna's snow-capped slopes in winter. Carve tracks through volcanic ash and powder, with breathtaking views of the smoldering peak as your backdrop.

Take a jeep tour

Take a jeep tour

If you’re the type to admire and enjoy beauty from a distance, then the Etna jeep tours are for you. See volcanic formations, pass by craters and stop to savor local delicacies from the comfort of a 4x4 jeep.

Enjoy food and drink

Enjoy food and drink

Try honey produced by bees foraging on Etna's wild flowers, or indulge in "Salame di Sant'Angelo," a local salami aged in lava caves. Refuel at Rifugio Sapienza or other mountain huts serving hearty pasta dishes, grilled meats, and warm soups. Look for wines made with local grape varietals like Nerello Mascalese and Carricante.

Plan your visit to Mount Etna

Timings
Location
Tips and guidelines
Dress code
Accessibility
Safety
Eat
Stay
mount etna timings

While there is no fixed schedule, tours to the summit typically begin at 8:30 AM and last for 5-8 hours. You can opt for a Mount Etna tour or visit certain parts of the mountain on your own.

Best time to visit:  The best time to visit Mount Etna includes the months of May and late September and October. Even during these shoulder months, you can expect a decent number of tourists at the location given the popularity of the attraction.

mount etna getting there

Address: 95031 Adrano, Metropolitan city of Catania, Italy

Find on maps

Getting there

By bus: 2-5, 431N, 439, 530, 534
Nearest stop:
VI Aprile Sangiuliano (1 minute away from the meeting point)

By car: You can drive down to Rifugio Sapienza. Park here and then get a ticket to a 20-seater off-road vehicle that takes you up to 8,500 feet. From here, a qualified guide can take you higher or if you choose, you can even use their services to ascend to the summit.

cable car
  • Try and reach Rifugio Sapienza (the starting point and located on Etna’s southern side) by around 8:30 in the morning. While the cable car officially starts at 9 AM, the first lift sometimes begins 15 minutes earlier. If you get here on time, you’ll be able to avoid the massive crowds that generally start arriving around or after 10 AM.
  • That said, maximize your exploration by taking advantage of the cable car and off-road vehicles available for ascending Mount Etna. The cable car offers a smooth ascent, and the off-road vehicles navigate the challenging terrain.
  • Take the opportunity to savor the unique flavors of Mount Etna. Indulge in local delicacies, such as honey, wine, and pistachios, known for their distinct volcanic tang.
  • Don’t let the fiery breath of Mount Etna fool you into thinking it’s summer year round–once you ascend the peaks, it gets quite chilly. Carrying a jacket and a hat is advisable to beat the sudden cold.
  • Always stick to the paths defined by the tour guides, especially when you’re walking up or hiking. This is because the landscape is constantly changing, so going off on a detour can be dangerous.
Dress code
  • Goes without saying, but wearing sturdy shoes or hiking boots are a must while visiting Etna. Save those flip flops for the beach!
Accessibility

Due to uneven terrain and undulating lava fields, Mount Etna is not the most accessible destination on the planet. That said, there are limited provisions for wheelchair users to enjoy the volcano either on a 4x4 drive or by taking the Ferrovio Circumetnea train which circles the volcano. The Circumetnea departs from Catania and ends at Riposto.

Safety

Is it safe to visit Mount Etna? On most occasions, yes. The meteorological department is actively tracking Etna's state and will issue warnings if an eruption is about to occur. Moreover, Etna's eruptions tend to be relatively predictable, often occurring from its summit craters or new vents that open on its flanks. This means that most areas around the volcano are considered safe zones. Areas that are deemed too dangerous due to recent eruptions or volcanic activity are typically closed off to the public. However, before you visit, it is best to check whether it is advisable to visit Mount Etna during that period.

mount etna tour
  • Dolceria Salemi: Enjoy cakes, coffee, and lovely Italian food at Dolceria Salemi, about 18.4 km from Mount Etna.
  • Etna Quota Mille: This rustic restaurants offers Souther Italian, Sicilian, and Mediterranean cuisine and is about 56.6 km away.
  • Trattoria N'Da Calata: Whether you are looking for traditional Sicilian food, vegan or vegetarian dishes, or even a health meal, Trattoria N'Da Calata is for you and is 21 km away.
stay

Beyond Mount Etna

Alcantara Gorge

Alcantara Gorge

The Alcantara Gorges, also known as Gole dell'Alcantara, are a stunning natural wonder in eastern Sicily, formed by the Alcantara River cutting through ancient lava flows from Mount Etna. The most striking feature is the towering vertical columns of black basalt rock, resembling a giant's organ pipes.

Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples, or Valle dei Templi in Italian, is an extensive archaeological site in Agrigento, Sicily, boasting some of the best-preserved Greek temples outside of Greece itself. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of Sicily's most significant cultural treasures.

Palermo Botanical Garden

Palermo Botanical Garden

The Palermo Botanical Garden is a stunning and educational oasis in the heart of the vibrant city of Palermo, Sicily. It's not just a collection of beautiful plants; it's a historical landmark, a research institution, and a haven for nature lovers seeking tranquility and knowledge.

All Your Questions About Mount Etna Tours Answered

What is Mount Etna and why is it so famous?

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is the highest in Europe. It’s known for its unique geological formations, craters, lava caves and more.

Where can I buy Mount Etna tours?

You can purchase Mount Etna tours online. You can choose from a variety of tickets like guided tours, intercity transfers, jeep tours and more.

Why should I book Mount Etna tours online?

Buying Mount Etna tours online affords you the following advantages:
1. Guarantee: You can rest easy as your experience is assured – whether you’re choosing to go on a hike, jeep tour or wine tasting tour.
2. Variety of options: From trekking to offroading to riding a cable car, purchasing tickets online gives you a plethora of options to choose from.
3. Discounts: Grab the best deals and offers on Mount Etna tours when you book them online.

What can I do on Mount Etna?

You can choose to climb the summit, explore its craters, sit inside a comfortable jeep as you take in the terrain, go wine tasting and savor local delicacies… there’s something for everyone on Mount Etna.

Can I cancel my Mount Etna tour?

Yes, you can get a full refund on canceling your Mount Etna tour up to 24 hours before the scheduled time.

Who can avail discounted Mount Etna tours?

Children aged 2 and below can avail free tours. Children between the ages of 3 and 12 get discounted tickets.

Can I climb the summit Mount Etna's summit?

Yes, you can visit the Mount Etna summit but only via a guided tour.

What is the best way to reach Mount Etna?
  • Traveling from Taormina or Catania are popular ways to arrive at Mount Etna. From these cities, you can either drive to Rifugio Sapienza, the southern starting point or take public transportation. 
When was the last Mount Etna eruption?

The last eruption of Mount Etna happened In November 2023.