8. Mount Etna: Central Crater Guided Hike for Advanced Hikers
Set off on a grand, one-of-a-kind adventure on Mount Etna, with spectacular features suitable for expert hikers. Discover volcanology with your licensed volcanological guide and immerse yourself in the evocative natural scenery among the lava flows of Etna.
From the meeting point, which has an altitude of 1800 meters, go up on special 4x4 vehicles along the 8-kilometer-long panoramic road of the north side of the volcano up to a height of 2,825 meters.
From this point, begin the 5 km uphill walk on a path surrounded by volcanic slag and large bombs to the edge of the great Central Crater of Etna. The total uphill altitude difference is 490 up to the edge of the main crater of Etna at 3,315 meters.
Once there, stop to admire the grandeur and magnificence of the processes associated with the volcanic environment: gas emissions and low- and high-temperature fumaroles surrounded by the brilliant colors of the sublimates.
Enjoy the rooftop view of Sicily if weather conditions or the amount of volcanic gas emissions permit. After admiring the spectacle of the summit, begin your journey downhill along the slag and volcanic ash slopes, to the base of the Volcanological Observatory, where you stop for lunch.
Then, continue inside one of the large sandy channels, characteristic of the northeast side of the volcano. Surrounded by endemic plants and seasonal streams, you will reach the downhill path to Piano Provenzana, the endpoint of the excursion.
The total time of the trekking route is 5 to 6 hours and the total kilometers (round trip) are 12 km of which 5 km is uphill and 7 km is downhill (variable values). The difficulty level is for experienced hikers accustomed to regularly going to the mountains.
The maximum reached altitude is 3,315 m while the minimum reached altitude is 1,800 m. The downhill altitude difference is 1,500 m (may vary).