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Things to do in Catania

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

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.

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.

Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

3. Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

Enjoy a cable car before walking across Europe's highest active volcano. Take in the breathtaking scenery in the company of your expert guide. After a briefing with your guide, ride the cable car to an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. Then, start your 2-hour trek to 3000 meters 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, 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. 

Etna: Guided Trekking Tour to Summit Craters

4. Etna: Guided Trekking Tour to Summit Craters

Enjoy a physical challenge with rewarding views on this guided climb to the highest authorized safety altitude of Etna. Take breaks along the way and capture unique photos of the summit craters as you admire the stunning natural beauty all around you. After meeting and departing from Rifugio Sapienza, with the cable car you reach an altitude of 2,500 meters and here will start trekking on foot for about 2 hours uphill and 2 hours downhill by visiting a lava flow channel, with both ancient and recent lava flows until you reach the base of the most active crater at the moment, the Southeast Crater and the Central Crater. Then your guide will also take you to see the great craters of 2002 called Crateri Bargaballo. Enjoy a fun descent over the sand, overlooking Valle del Bove. Finish by taking a cable car to return to the starting point. Feel safe accompanied the entire way by volcanological guides, who are regularly authorized to guide on active volcanoes, in accordance with local ordinances and volcanic risk levels. They carry out this excursion to the maximum permitted safety level, currently planned at 3000 mt very close to the summit craters of the volcano. The hike, of great volcanological and geological interest, is a valid alternative to the Summit Craters (3,340 meters), and is among the most complete and fascinating trek you can make on Etna between craters, fractures, and lava flow.

From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

5. From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

Explore the highest, active volcano in Europe on this day tour from Taormina. Travel by cable car and jeep to the top of Mount Etna with a local guide. After being picked up, relax as you are driven to visit the highest volcano in Europe with its smoking peak seen throughout Sicily. Drive to the Mount Etna Refuge with the opportunity for refreshments as you ready yourself for further ascent.  Climb higher by cable car up to 2,500 meters. Continue by jeeps up to the authorized upper crater zones with the assistance of licensed guides of the Italian Alpine Club. See the 4 distinct craters at the summit area and more than 300 vents on the flanks, ranging in size from small holes to large craters. Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in a safety zone according to weather conditions.

Nicolosi: Mount Etna Cable Car Excursion up to 3000 meters

6. Nicolosi: Mount Etna Cable Car Excursion up to 3000 meters

A valid alternative to the summit craters is the 3,000 m Etna excursion. You go up by cable car up to 2,500 meters. From here begins the path on foot. It will be possible to observe the summit craters, then we will stop on a lateral crater (barbagallo at about 3000 meters). You will admire the recent lava flows (2021) until you reach the inside of a lava channel. We will visit an effusive vent (2002 eruption) and from here we will descend along the sandbanks to the mound from where we will observe the Bove Valley, admiring, on fine days, a view that sweeps from the Ionian Riviera to the interior of Sicily. Duration 4/5 hours. Departures at 9.30 and 10.30, meeting time 30 minutes before departure (the departure at 10.30 is compatible for those arriving by bus (AST) from Catania). Meeting Point Shelter Alpine Guides Etna Sud, next to the Refuge Sapienza

Catania: Mount Etna Sunset Jeep Tour

7. Catania: Mount Etna Sunset Jeep Tour

Learn all about Mount Etna, taste local produce, and watch the sunset over the unique landscape on a half-day guided Jeep tour. Stop for a tasting of wines, spirits, and honey to discover the tastes and smells of the local products made in this volcanic region. Drive along roads framed by breathtaking views of the various dormant craters. Admire the beautiful Valle del Bove and visit an area of ancient explosive activity, Hornitos. At the end of the tour, enjoy a splendid panorama of the landscape at sunset.

Catania: Valley of the Temples and Turkish Steps with Brunch

8. Catania: Valley of the Temples and Turkish Steps with Brunch

Begin the day with a pick-up from your accommodation in a comfortable minivan at around 8:30 AM. The first stop will be in Agrigento. This city used to be the richest of all the Greek colonies.  Admire the beautiful and impressive Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. See some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world. Pindar, the Greek poet, and writer, described it as one of the most beautiful cities of those inhabited by mortals. The Valley of the Temples is famous for its well-preserved temples, seven in total.  The Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world helping the site to gain the classic UNESCO world heritage award. At the site, visit the remains of many other temples dedicated to various divinities like Juno, Hercules, Hephaestus, and Athena. Next see one of the most amazing beaches in Sicily. A few kilometers away from Agrigento, find the Scala dei Turchi, literally translated to Turkish steps. Discover a dazzling white rock formation, rising from the clear blue sea-like giant steps. Walk this gentle slope, high above the sea on your feet, and enjoy a unique experience. Here, have free time to enjoy one of the most famous beaches in Sicily. Enjoy brunch made of typical Sicilian food with bottles of water, and red local wine. Arrive back in Catania in the early evening, at around 7:00 PM.

From Catania: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Audioguide Tour

9. From Catania: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Audioguide Tour

Enjoy two of the most iconic spots in Sicily on a full-day tour. Accompanied by an audio guide, explore the Valley of the Temples housing the ruins of sacred Greek temples. Visit the Villa Romana del Casale to see extensive examples of vivid Roman mosaics. Start from the center of Catania, where your driver will welcome you in a comfortable air-conditioned van. Head to your first stop, the Valley of the Temples Archaeological Park in Agrigento. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its well-preserved Doric temples dedicated to Greek divinities. Wander back into ancient times as you walk through Greek ruins during your 3 hours at this site. Next, head to Piazza Armerina, yet another UNESCO-listed site. Visit the Villa Romana del Casale, an imperial villa with the world's best-preserved Roman mosaics. Marvel at its mosaic floors, walls, columns, and coins. Over the course of 1.5 hours, explore this historic masterpiece.

Catania: Mount Etna Morning Jeep Tour

10. 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 its 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. Visit an area of ancient explosive activities, Hornitos, a semi-cave and a state refuge. 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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Frequently asked questions about Catania

What are the best day trips and excursions from Catania?

The best day trips and excursions from Catania are:

Mount Etna

Other Sightseeing Options in Catania

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What people are saying about Catania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 12,032 reviews

Even despite the closure of the roads leading to Mount Etna due to bad weather conditions, our optimistic, joyful and patient guide was able to provide a wonderful trip to our group. We were able to visit most of attractions of the program (even though with small alterations) while listening to the numerous interesting stories about Mount Etna and its relations to the city, myths and history of Catania. The tasting of local products like honey, olive oil and pistacchio cream took place in a small antique museum of the tradition of beekeeping, which was the perfect location to round up the trip.

Enzo was an incredible guide. His vast amount of knowledge was impressive and you can tell he truly has a passion for what he does. The sights to Mt. Etna, the cave, the village with honey, and Taormina included so many experiences that we wouldn’t have navigated on our own. We highly recommended this tour because we were able to see the best of these areas in only a day with a guide who really knows his stuff.

Hiking tour - it was not usual touristic hike, and it was amazing! If you ready to put some effort to see amazing views, hear interesting facts, enjoy tasty sandwich for 3 euros with an amazing view - this your is for you!

Absolutely amazing experience! Marco and his team provided equipment and took really good care of every aspect of the tour. Highly recommended!

Was a great experience. Dario was a very good and friendly guide!