A dreamlike landscape, steaming hills and ash-covered dunes in the distance. This is the sight of the highest volcano in Europe.
The Etna volcano is one of the most fascinating in the world:at 3,300 meters of altitude over about 45 km of basic diameter, it is the most impressive land volcano in Europe and in the entire Mediterranean area, listed in the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2013. At its foothill there is the Etna Park which covers 59, 000 hectares, it is rich in plant life with pines, birches, chestnuts and brooms.
The park contains twenty towns from which you can access the volcano through paths and dirt roads or by the “circumetnea” railway.
Climb up the Volcano
The Etna offers multiple itineraries: choices range from on-site specialized guides to jeep tours.
On foot, the Footback Trail is the ideal route for those who want to enjoy the scenery at every step;the hike, which is very busy, is about 1km and is of medium difficulty.
The territory of Etna offers several-day routes with the possibility of overnight accomodation in one of the many shelters. There are many requests and the reservation is almost mandatory. One of the most interesting excursions is the on to the top craters: there are many on foot trails, from the simplest to those for experienced hikers such as the one that stretches for about 42km and that lasts 3 days.
Relaying on local guides is the best way to find the right solution.
The “Circumetnea” Railway
The scenic circumetnea railway is often used, it runs through all the villages around the volcano. Departures take place from Catania and Giarre: a romantic and slow itinerary that will make you savor the picturesque views of a unique landscape. Whichever way you visit it, the Etna will surprise you with the diversity of the landscapes, the silence and the fairytale panorama that is offered from every angle.