Mount Etna Summit and Crater Trek
- Duration: 6 hours
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Fantastic experience! So pleased that my boyfriend and I chose Etna Tours to go with! This excursion was fantastic value for money, and what an incredible experience looking down into the craters of Europe’s most active volcano to see it spewing molten lava! They provided walking boots, jackets, helmets and walking sticks. We were able to pay the additional €33pp for the cable cars and 4x4 bus on card. The hike was relatively difficult but we took it at a nice gentle pace and every direction you looked the views were breathtaking. Because we were lucky enough to have such good visibility out guide took us over the centre of the volcano to the north east side and we got to gaze down into an additional crater to the one on the itinerary and this was rumbling and intermittently spewing molten lava, what a thrill! The first crater was beautiful as well, huge and moon-like with impressive plumes of smoke all around. The two guides were very jovial and handed out treats at lunch. Amazing!
I really enjoyed my hike up to the craters of Etna. The guide waited at the meeting point and drove us over to the office with a bus, where we were provided with equipment such as jackets and helmets. I had to pay an extra 66€ for the cable car (cash, but credit card is possible too). Sandwiches at the top station were better than at the restaurant. It got really cold and windy in the clouds up at the top so I was happy about the jacket. We walked to the base station of the cable car, went up and then took the vans up as far as they would go. Then the hike to the actual crater started, which is only possible with a guide. The views into the caldera were spectacular. Gas, steam, clouds, ash, crazy rocks and more made this experience otherworldly. Unfortunately the weather changed when we reached the top. At first it made for very special photos, but we had to quickly make our way back down so not to get trapped in a thunderstorm. All in all a very impressive experience.
The experience was very good in general. We could arrive by bus in the morning and everything went pretty fast (not much waiting and queueing). Hiking shoes were provided (I definitely recommend using some), but the first pair I got was quite broken. The second pair was good. The tour was good with enough guides to accommodate people with different speeds. The explanations about the volcano could be more extensive and part of the problem there was that the guide didn't speak English that well. Also be aware that the price listed is not the full price, but more like a deposit. In total we paid 100 EUR per person (which was a fair price in my opinion, but just be aware of it).
Really enjoyed the day. Couple of basic tips- you need boots and pull the socks over your boots to avoid half of etnas rocks ending up in your boots. Piedro is a very good guide but sometimes forgets to tell up what’s coming up- like a steep down hill that requires you to dig your heels in on the way down. It was a great excursion but be in time and dont forget to bring your lunch and water- ps u don’t need poles and they are a pain for other walkers.
An incredible day! I cannot fault anything about the trip: communication beforehand was excellent and our guide on the day, the organisation of the day, and the pace... were all fantastic! The views were spectacular and we felt safe and well informed the entire time! I would 100% book this trip again if I revisit the area and have already raved about it to friends and family!