Etna erupting

HOW TO VISIT ETNA FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS IN SICILY

We like to provide the public and users who follow our blog with useful information to visit our beloved Sicily. For your holidays in Sicily you cannot absolutely deprive yourself of seeing, but above all going up, on the highest active volcano in Europe, Etna, your majesty.
Etna or Mongibello is a volcano originated in the recent geological period (Quaternary) and in 2013 the XXXVII session of the UNESCO Committee, included Mount Etna in the list of properties constituting the World Heritage.
Due to frequent eruptions the height of Etna varies frequently. In the progressive years of the 1900 the eruptions have even brought an increase of height of the volcano, while in the contemporary years a lowering. Scholars and physicists argue that over time the volcano may drop significantly.

Etna eruption

Photo source: https://ingvvulcani.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/i-crateri-sommitali-delletna/
Paroxysmal eruptive activity at the crater Voragine, December 2015, taken from the West.
Photo by Veronica Testa.

 

How to reach Etna and what to see.

Mount Etna is easily accessible from different sides. For those coming from outside Sicily, you must first reach the nearest airports, Comiso and Fontanarossa (Catania). In this regard, we recommend an article about how to get to Sicily.
Obviously getting to Fontanarossa is more convenient because Catania is the largest city on the slopes of the volcano, but geographically you have two alternatives and for those who also have the need dictated by air connections, you can land at Comiso airport.
From Comiso airport you can head towards Catania using the provincial roads SS514 and SS194.
The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, without considering the timing to climb the volcano.
The Etna volcano has two sides (south side and north side), usually subject to excursions and guided tours.
The southern slope is that of Nicolosi, the northern slope is that of Linguaglossa.

If you depart from Catania city center with a private vehicle you will reach the two sides with totally different timing. In fact you will arrive on the southern slope of the volcano in about 40-45 minutes, while 1h and 20 minutes for the north side.

Surely the northern area of ​​the volcano lends itself to a larger and larger area, but what we want to emphasize is how the same side has a totally different scenario on the south side.
On the north side of the volcano you will be submerged by woods at times and by lava rock and the alternation of this landscape could attract more tourists’ curiosity as well as the fascination of the different.
On the southern slope we savor the typicality of the volcano, a landscape totally submerged by volcanic rock but you will have the opportunity to climb up to an altitude of 2600mt through the use of the Etna cableway.
The volcano plant is active only in winter, obviously for sports activities (skiing and snowboarding) on ​​the volcano, but the Etna cable car is a service active 365 days a year and at a cost of € 50 will allow you to explore the volcano like you’ve never seen it before.
Breathtaking landscapes alternate between north and south, but we allow ourselves the luxury of describing a spectacular northern slope landscape, with a view of the Taormina coast and therefore a view of the sea.
In both sides you can also reach the main craters of the volcano.
Do not miss the sylvan criteria on the south side of the volcano and the south east craters. Following the images and maps of the craters of Etna and the links with in-depth articles:

The map seen from above the Etna with all the most important map points

Photo source: http://www.sicily-holiday.com/it/sicilia-nordorientale/99-first-visita-etna.html

View of craters and orientable signs north south east west

 

CONCLUSIONS

Seeing Etna is one of life’s most beautiful experiences. Discover the landscapes, discover the volcanic stone, the most shocking events that occurred on the volcano, will leave you a considerable cultural baggage.
The advice we can leave you is to rely on a private and expert transport service that can advise you well and that will be able to make you explore the best places on the volcano, both the southern slope and the northern slope. Do not deprive yourself, if you have time and passion, of going to both sides. Even if far away and with a waste of physical energy, do it, you won’t regret it.

In the following article you have received some useful info, links necessary to learn more about the history of Etna, private transport services with driver and excursion services to fully enjoy this sensational wonder and experience.