For a totally unique and immersive experience, take a tour up to the top of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, located in the north western flank of Sicily. The views over the glittering Mediterranean and across to the beautiful islands alone are well worth the extra effort required to climb to the summit, which lies at an altitude of 3,320 meters (over 10,000 feet).
Originally constructed in the 1950s, the inaugural cable ride to the summit took place in 1966, which began approximately 2,000m up, on a sheltered mountain plateau on the side of the volcano.
Unfortunately, in 1971 a violent eruption from the volcano destroyed the highest section, with subsequent eruptions in the eighties and another in 2001 causing irreparable damage to some of the more integral sections.
The current cable car was reconstructed in its place and opened its doors to visitors in 2004, encompassing a slightly lower departure base and summit for safety.
Visitors can choose from various excursion options; from self-guided tours and 4x4 jeeps safaris to eco-green tours in sustainable electric vehicles, with guided tours mandatory for anyone wishing to peek inside the active crater at its summit. Please be advised that this option includes a fairly stiff climb to the top at high altitudes and is not for the faint-hearted. Therefore, anyone who suffers from asthma or cardiovascular disease may not be able to participate.
There's still plenty to see for anyone not venturing to the top, including the chance to see old and new lava flows, idyllic Sicilian villages, vineyards and the famous lava caves, not to mention breathtaking views over the impressive volcanic landscape and out across the ocean.
I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; radiant with pink light, fading gently into a pastel sky. Nothing I have seen in Art or Nature was quite so sublime.
You should note that due to strict safety regulations, self-guided tours are only able to scale to a height of 2,800m (9,000ft). It gets very busy in the peak summer months, so we highly recommend booking any guided tours ahead of your visit.
Opening hours are from 9am-4pm throughout the year, with the last cable car departing at 3.30pm.
There are additional sunset excursions which depart at 5.30pm every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (for reservations: +39 095 914141)
Alternatively, you can begin planning your next vacation by viewing the entire fleet of superyachts available for Italy yacht charters.
Piazzale Rifugio Sapienza
Show Phone Number+39 095 387426