Things to do in
Catania

Between Mount Etna and the sea, this vibrant and down-to-earth Sicilian city is an architectural melting pot.

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Our most recommended things to do in Catania

Mount Etna: Cable Car, Jeep, & Hiking Tour to Summit

1. Mount Etna: Cable Car, Jeep, & Hiking Tour to Summit

Ascend to the summit of the craters of Mount Etna, one of the most coveted excursions a hiker can make. Hike in full safety with an authorized alpine and volcano guide, and marvel at the beauty and wonder of the highest active volcano in Europe.   Depart from Sapienza Refuge in Nicolosi, and ascend 2,504 meters by cable car. Then, ride in a 4x4 Jeep up to 2,900 meters, to begin your hike. You’ll hike 1.5 hours uphill, passing many craters and taking long pauses to take pictures and rest. Experience the incredible feeling of being on top of the world in this rocky, beautiful landscape with the giant sky above you. After reaching the summit, descend for 2 hours back to the cable car, which will take you to your departure point.

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Catania: Mount Etna Morning or Sunset Day Trip with Tasting

2. Catania: Mount Etna Morning or Sunset Day Trip with Tasting

Enjoy an adventurous day trip to Mount Etna, including handy roundtrip transfers from Catania. Best of all, customize your tour according to your needs, choosing from either a private or small-group experience in a choice of languages. Explore the volcano’s ancient craters, a lava flow cave, and try some local products, while taking in some breathtaking panoramic views along the way. Start your day with a pick-up from your Catania accommodation in an air-conditioned 4x4 or minivan. Digest some fun facts about the volcano from your professional guide as you drive 2000 meters up. Hear about everything from the volcano’s natural resources, memorable landscapes, and flora, to lava flows that have swallowed roads and buildings in past spurts of activity. Once you reach 2000 meters up, take a guided walk around the ancient craters, recent lava flows, and other-worldly landscape. Rest easy as the trek is an easy one, suitable for both families with younger children and older family members. Try a mini-sampling of Sicilian delicacies during the trek, with some "cantucci" biscuits and "zibibbo" wine both up for tasting. After a short break, head to your next stop — a lava flow cave. Using a helmet and flashlight, you’ll discover the cave’s origins and stand-out features in ample time with your guide. Your last stop is a panoramic viewpoint at Monte Pomiciaro, granting you unforgettable views and photo opportunities over the Valle del Bove, the volcano’s most important valley. If the sunset option is selected, take in breathtaking views of Etna during 'Golden Hour'. After your volcanic adventure, head back to Catania, where your tour will conclude.

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Catania: Etna Hiking Tour

3. Catania: Etna Hiking Tour

Enjoy a hike on the highest, most active volcano in Europe. Explore a fascinating landscape, take in breathtaking views on this climbing adventure. Start the tour with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Catania. Climb into a comfortable 4x4 vehicle and set off for Mount Etna. Arrive at the starting point for your off-the-beaten-track hike. Take advantage of a helmet, flashlight, and all the equipment you need for your hike. As you begin to walk, admire the fascinating landscape of the Valle del Bove, the biggest depression of Mount Etna, and its moonlike deserts. From there take in the breathtaking views of the smoking summit craters and the surrounding landscape facing the Ionian Sea. Finally, in the afternoon, get dropped off back in Catania where your tour concludes.

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Catania: Mount Etna Trek and Cave Tour

4. Catania: Mount Etna Trek and Cave Tour

Embark on a trek of iconic Mount Etna. Take in outstanding views, learn history from your guide and tour a lava cave equipped with helmets and flashlights. Following your pickup, you will head in the direction of Etna. Passing off road through Trazzere where you can see the lava flows of 1792, your guide will explain the fauna and flora of the volcano of Etna. They will tell you of Mount Etna's history as you travel in the direction of the Bove Valley, which is an ancient caldera formed about 64,000 years ago due to a collapse of 2 major eruptive centers. You'll soon arrive at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, where your hike starts. Follow quiet trails away from the tourist paths. Pass recent lava flows and soak up views of the coastline. During the trip you'll see the southeastern crater, Etna's most active area. Throughout the trek you can stop to taste sandwiches and local products, and will visit inside a lava cave with helmets and flashlights. At the conclusion of your experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

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Catania: Mount Etna Morning Jeep Tour

5. Catania: Mount Etna Morning Jeep Tour

After pickup from the designated meeting point, drive to Mount Etna to begin your tour. As you ascend to a height of 2,000 meters, your professional guide will tell you about the history of the volcano and explain the unique nature to you. Walk on paths away from the tourist areas to take in the flora and fauna away from the crowds.  Different aspects of the volcano will be highlighted, such as its nature and resources, its amazing landscapes and the huge lava flows that have destroyed buildings and roads. You will be taken to a viewpoint to see the panoramic view of the Valle del Bove, the most important valley on the east slope of the volcano. Then with a helmet and a flashlight, you’ll visit and explore a lava flow cave. Learn about its origin and the features inside from your guide. You’ll also have the chance to sample the wines, liqueurs, and honeys from this area. At the end of your tour you’ll be dropped back at your accommodation in Catania.

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From Taormina: Half-Day Mount Etna Morning Trek

6. From Taormina: Half-Day Mount Etna Morning Trek

Following pick-up at a pre-arranged pick-up point, depart Taormina at about 08:30 and journey to the foothills of Mt. Etna. Travel in a small group of no more than 8 people for a more intimate and personalized experience. You will be accompanied by a guide trained in volcanology, biology or geology for your convenience. Upon arrival at the active volcano, hike for approximately 1.5 hours around the perimeters of some of its extinct craters. Walk through ancient woods and along paths covered with lava about 2,000 meters above sea level. Get a better appreciation of this emblem of Sicily and its surrounding landscape from a different perspective. Learn about the fascinating volcanic phenomenon, before heading underground to explore one of the lava caves. Then, head to a local café for a typical savory snack of a sandwich, wine, a dessert and a tasting of almond wine, which is a typical Sicilian sweet wine. Return to your hotel at around 14:30 at the end of the tour services.

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Etna 4x4 Half Day Tour

7. Etna 4x4 Half Day Tour

The half-day excursion includes an easy walk to the impressive Monte Fontana and a visit of the famous valley Valle del Bove. Wander through old and new lava flows, walk on extinct craters, and visit a real lava cave equipped with helmets and flashlights, where ice was produced centuries ago. Your guide will show you the great variety of flora and fauna here - plants and animals which populate the active volcano. While walking through ancient forests you will learn a lot about the vegetation and the wildlife of Mount Etna. Your last stop of the half-day tour will be around the cold lava streams of Piano Provenzana, which were destroyed during the last big eruption in 2002. At the end of the tour you will be driven back to your accommodation. Altogether this will be an unforgettable experience.

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Mount Etna: Winter High Altitude Trekking

8. Mount Etna: Winter High Altitude Trekking

Discover the high altitude wonders of Mount Etna’s southern slope on this epic, guided climb. Start the adventure from 2500 meters above sea level at the site’s cable car arrival terminal and learn about the fascinating 2001 Eruption while admiring the great Valle del Bove depression which deeply marks the eastern side of the volcano. As you climb, soak up once-in-a-lifetime views of the mountainous scenery and the sprawling countryside below. Highlights of the tour include the Summit Craters, the Craters of 2002, the Cisternazza, the Piano del Lago, and the ancient Montagnola Crater. At the end of an unforgettable experience, descend from the summit area of the volcano towards the cable car terminal which takes you back down. The excursion is carried out and adapted to the meteorological and volcanic conditions of the day, and respects the safety of the participants at all times.

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Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

9. Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

Enjoy a cable car and 4WD ride, before walking across Europe's highest active volcano. Take in the breathtaking scenery in the company of your expert guide. Get a briefing from your guide, then ride the cable car to an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. Transfer to a 4WD bus and continue up the mountain to reach 2,900 meters above sea level near the Torre del Filosofo. Then, start your 2-hour trek to the crater summit, and take breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery and views. Walk through the lunar landscape of the lava fields as you traverse the nature trails of the highest active volcano in Europe. Take in the panoramic views from the summit and then trek back down to the upper cable car station. Return to the meeting point by cable car and get your last views of the brooding mountain. 

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Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

10. Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

See another side to Sicily as you discover the natural beauty of Catania on this walking tour. Admire the Ursino Castle, walk around the squares and plazas and discover the famous sites. Meet your guide before departing on your adventure. Stroll the city center with your local guide who will fascinate you with the city's history. See monuments built centuries ago that are still standing to this day. Many of the structures you will witness date back to the Greek colonization of the city back in the 8th-century B.C. Enjoy this tour and see the following landmarks: the piazza Duomo, Pescheria, Castello Ursino, piazza San Francesco, via Teatro Greco, piazza Dante, via Gesuiti, scalinata Alessi, piazza Università, piazza Vincenzo Bellini, and the piazza San Placido. If you are in Catania, this tour is simply a must-do.

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Frequently asked questions about Catania

Planning Your Visit

  • How to Get Around in Catania

    You can take your pick of trains, buses and even boats when you're traversing Catania. Of course, its always fun to roam around on foot too, and take in more sights. The transportation network is sometimes slow but functional. Make sure to validate your bus ticket as inspectors sometimes check tickets in transit.

  • Where to stay in Catania

    Stay near the Piazza Duomo for easy access to the center city and a scenic evening stroll home. You can choose from a variety of hotels in the area, no matter what your budget.

  • What is the weather like in Catania?

    Though temperatures never go below zero in Catania, for the full experience of this charming Sicilian town, we recommend you visit between the months of May and October. The hottest months are July and August but temperatures don't exceed the mid 80s.

Good to know

  • Language
    Sicilian and Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • Best time to visit
    The best time to visit Catania is in the summer time. The warmer months are the perfect backdrop for sightseeing, tasting local cuisine, and enjoying the Sicilian landscape.

Other Sightseeing Options in Catania

Want to discover all there is to do in Catania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Catania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 6,923 reviews

Daniele was great! He made sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable. Very knowledgeable. Had a great group. We didn’t bring hiking boots and luckily they had some for us which necessary with the snow. Covid safe too, everyone kept their mask on when together except during the hike when we all needed a bit more air hah. Definitely recommend this group. Organized and friendly!

Really enjoyed this trip. Full of culture, history and alot of significance. Our driver Alessio and his colleague Natalie were absolutely amazing. Friendly, experienced, very knowledgeable and welcoming too. I learnt alot from Alessio; his local knowledge is unbeatable. He made sure we enjoyed the whole experience and looked after us from beginning to end. Thank you.

We booked this trip very last minute and everything went very smoothly. We had Simon as a guide and from the beginning he was so friendly. Great information and flexibility within the trip. Was a super trek and the right amount of everything:)

Gita spettacolare ed organizzata benissimo. La guida (Francesco) ci ha raccolto all'albergo e scaricato nello stesso punto alla fine della gita. Puntuale, preciso, competente e bravo a coinvolgere il gruppo. Una gita spettacolare.

Alessio is so friendly and nice, he gave us many useful info around aetna as well as sicily in general. Definitely worthy