Trekking Etna is a breathtaking adventure!
Etna is the proud of Sicily. There is probably no Sicilian who does not think of it with absolute respect. It is the highest functioning volcano in Europe, and the picturesque eruptions are not at all a rare thing!
Etna is a real Woman – inspiring, inviting and dangerous, passionate and unpredictable, beautiful and giving, all at the same time!
Trekking Etna is sure worth it if you have a spare day on your vacation in Sicily. And especially if you are staying at the eastern coast!
Nowadays you can find a variety of one-day tours and trekking routes online. Check what they offer and choose the one according to you time, physical ability and preferences.
Whatever itinerary you choose, here are 7 things that will help you to prepare for the day on Etna:
1. Be prepared for ANY type of weather
The best is to have a few layers of clothes. It may be really hot up there as well as it may be very windy and very cold (even in August). And in case it is not cold – then long sleeves are even more necessary, as you may be burning under the sun. Besides, as it is almost always windy the jacket that easily closes the head is a must!
2. One cannot overestimate the necessity to have good trekking shoes on Etna
If your plan is ‘easy’ and implies going up and down at the same point (for instance, Rifugio Sapienza), you may consider renting a pair of trekking shoes right there – as of June 2016 the cost is just 3 Eu/pair. However, sometimes the trekking routes involve going up at one place and going down to a different point – in this case renting is not a good idea as you would have to return to where you started.
3. Sun cream and sunglasses
I hope the weather is good when you decide on trekking Etna, in this case burning is a very easy thing as the sun is really strong. Be sure to have sun protection with you!
4. It is possible to tour Etna not only on your own but also spending just a few pounds
For instance, you may take a bus from Catania in the morning at Stazione Centrale and return there in the evening with the same bus.
It will take you to Rifugio Sapienza when you can ask around and follow the signs to Crateri Silvestri for a nice walk.
5. As of July 2017 the price both way for a cable car from Rifugio Sapienza coupled with 4×4 jeeps to go up is 60 Euro/person
Same price at Linguaglossa if you go up there. As Linguaglossa is a bit less touristic point I wouldn’t at all recommend going there without a guide. At Nicolosi (Rifugio Sapienza) it is not difficult to go up with a cable car to enjoy the view, or even go up on foot along the cable car route. Consider 2-3 hours of walking up and about the same down if you choose this option.
6. Having a good guide is really useful there to show you the good route and go even more up (which you can’t do alone)
Be aware of the non-licensed guides. Etna is a great place, but as mentioned before it may be dangerous – it is easy to get lost and a qualified guide is a good investment. Make sure you go there with a licensed professional if you decide to pay for this service.
7. Plan trekking Etna in the morning – well, as early as possible
By midday and in the afternoon there are usually clouds around that may prevent you from enjoying a wonderful panorama. Starting your trekking/tour at 9 am is a good plan.
Etna is one of the wonderful options for a day-trip, but there are many more. Here are some ideas for day-trips if you stay on the east coast (Catania, Siracuse, Taormina or around).
And here – some suggestions for day-trips if also want to explore the northern part of Sicily, wonderful Nebrodi, Medieval Cefalu and the other interesting places.