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Province of Messina

Cave Tours

Our most recommended Province of Messina Cave Tours

Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

1. Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

2002 Lava front. The first visit is the 2002 lava flow, reachable by jeep through a winding dirt road surrounded by chestnut and oak forests. The 2002 eruption lasted from October 27th to January 29th 2003 and it is considered one of the most explosive eruptions of the past one hundred years Corruccio Cave’s Continuing our excursion we will reach the Ragabo pine forest where hidden among pines and brooms, we will discover the cave of Corruccio (1350 meters above sea level) a cave formed by flowing lava. Piano Provenzana Later, driving up along the Mareneve road we will reach Piano Provenzana (1800 meters above sea level), a ski resort, theater of the great eruption of 2002. After enjoying an excellent espresso, we will take a short walk to visit the ruins of the hotel Le Betulle destroyed by a molten lava flow. Monti Sartorius Our tour continues with a short walk to some of the side craters, the Sartorius Mountains (1700 meters above sea level), formed in the year 1865 and characterized by seven small, aligned eruptive cones (or "buttonholes"). This area holds great geological and botanical treasures, and our tour winds along clearings rich in endemic species, large volcanic “bombs” and woodlands dominated by birch trees (Betula Aetnensis). Halfway down from the top of one of the craters, one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Ionian coast, from Riposto to Taormina, the Calabrian coast, the North-East Crater (3350 meters above sea level), the impressive dark lava formations of 2002 and the eruptive mouths (2000 meters above sea level), near the tourist resort of Piano Provenzana. Traveling through one of the wine roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.), we will arrive at a local restaurant. This is the ideal place to enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature while sampling local cuisine and excellent wines. (Lunch not included) Alcantara River In the afternoon we will discover a unique canyon comprised of basaltic lava (the “Alcantara” Gorges) and shaped by the waters of the Alcantara river. The Alcantara's vertical cliffs reach 30 meters in height and its structures have been forged by high intensity geological and geothermal events. In prehistoric times, a river flowed here over clay sediments until a massive volcanic eruption channeled magma into the river bed forming the current canyons. After this stop, we end our memorable day and return to town.

Taormina and Catania: Mount Etna Exploration and Cave Tour

2. Taormina and Catania: Mount Etna Exploration and Cave Tour

Begin your trip to Etna with an easy walk around the Sartorius Craters, whose eruption is dated back to 1865. This excursion to Mount Etna will allow you to understand the different types of eruptions that can take place on volcanoes, as you undergo an easy trek of about 4 kilometers up and down this interesting fissure eruption site. Afterward, head to the Etna Nord Ski Resort, where a lunch break is planned in a beautiful chalet at 1,900 meters above sea level. Following lunch, embark on a cave exploration of a lava tube. Created by a prehistoric lava flow, it is now enriched by the Etna birch forest which surrounds it. This cave was allegedly used for some time by bandits, whereas others say the tunnel was used to store snow during winter to then be used in the warmer seasons. Whatever the truth behind its common use during the past centuries, it's a wonderful place to explore with caving equipment such as helmets and torches to ensure a safe visit. If time allows, the excursion will conclude with a free tasting of Etna's finest products, including honey, wine, liqueurs and much more at a local producer in Zafferana Etnea. This village of honey sits along the Etna Wine Route, which will lead you back to your accommodation where you will be dropped off at the conclusion of your tour. Alternatively, upgrade your experience to a private tour and enjoy an itinerary adapted to your desires, specifications, and pace. The guide will follow a tailor-made itinerary based on your requests, a route that can also be reviewed during the day.

From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

3. From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

Begin your Sicilian adventure with pickup from your hotel at 9 AM. Sit back and relax as you’re transported in comfort to a truly unique location, Mount Etna. Positioned above the convergent plate margin between the cities of Messina and Catania, Mount Etna is the highest-located active volcano in all of Europe. Learn about this fascinating volcano  from your expert guide, and explore its ancient craters and lava caves with helmets and torches. Then move on to explore Taormina at your leisure without a guide. Discover one of the most pristine areas of Sicily, celebrated for its stunning natural landscapes, marine beauty, baroque and medieval monuments, and its quaint Greek theater.

Etna Nature and Flavors: 6-Hour Tour from Taormina

4. Etna Nature and Flavors: 6-Hour Tour from Taormina

Visit the tallest volcano in Europe and explore Etna Park on a 6-hour tour from Taormina. The first stop of the day is in the town of Zafferana, known as the town of honey, located on the eastern side of Etna. Visit one of the area’s top organic farms to taste products such as honey, olive oil and wine. Later, put on a helmet and headlamp and head inside a lava cave to learn how lava flows are formed. At the Sapienza Refuge, see both the newest eruptions of the volcano and the old Silvestri craters dating from the 1892 eruption. Trek along a nature path enjoying breathtaking views, before the drive back to Taormina.

From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

5. From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

Jump in the shuttle bus and head out into the lunar landscape of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna. At over 6,500 ft (1,981 meters), this majestic mountain dominates the coastline, concealing plenty of treasures within its lair. No trip to Sicily would be complete without a visit to the tempestuous territories of Mount Etna. Starting at Rifugio Sapienza, follow the line of the old Silvestri craters down into a cave of lava formed during the eruption of 1792. From here, head to the province of Zafferana, where you'll visit a local organic farm and sample honey and wine, cultivated in the fertile soils of the region. En route to Taormina, look at the spectacular wildlife reserve of Isola Bella from above. Upon arrival, spend lunch at your leisure, then re-group to check out the highlights of this unique historical town. From the old-world charm of the ancient Greek theater to the breathtaking views of the Bay of Nexus and the striking architecture of Palazza Corvaja, this town steals the heart of every visitor.

Etna: Bove Valley Hiking Tour with Volcanologist Guide

6. Etna: Bove Valley Hiking Tour with Volcanologist Guide

The park of Etna has been part of the UNESCO heritage list for several years, and it offers a thrilling trekking in a exciting path on the north side of the volcano. Starting at an altitude of about 1 mile, at the Rifugio Sapienza, you'll catch the cablecar up to 1.5 miles above sea level. After, you'll trek to reach the ridge of the Bove Valley, an extensive depression that occupies most of the eastern flank of the volcano, where you can admire many lava flows because today it is a natural basin and protection for the villages at the bottom of the volcano. Once you reach the ridge of the Bove valley you can observe the top of the active crater and be fascinated by the beauty of the volcano. Along the way you will encounter lunar landscapes and rich Etnei woods.

From Catania: Day Trip to Mount Etna and Taormina

7. From Catania: Day Trip to Mount Etna and Taormina

Hike to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna, and continue to the characteristic town of Taormina on a guided day trip from Catania with return hotel transfers. Visit old craters and lava flow caves and sit down for a picnic lunch in nature with a glass of wine. Start with a pickup from your accommodation in Catania and make your way to Etna. Get introduced to the fascinating world of volcanic phenomena by your guide. Gear up in hiking equipment and walk through ancient woods, extinct craters and past lava flows on Etna. Explore a volcanic cave and the surrounding landscape of Etna. After working up an appetite, enjoy a packed lunch with some typical street food products in an open area. In case of bad weather, go to a refuge to munch on sandwiches.  Next, head to the historical center of Taormina for a self-guided visit. Admire the Ionian coast on one side and Mount Etna on the other, immersed in a picturesque atmosphere. Visit the elegant avenue that separates the medieval city gates, Porta Catania and Porta Messina, walk down the alleys, and see the Greek theater. After your visit to Taormina, jump back on board for the return trip to Catania.

From Taormina: Etna Summit Area, Lunch & Alcantara Tour

8. From Taormina: Etna Summit Area, Lunch & Alcantara Tour

Reach the summit area of Etna, ascending 2750 meters by either cableway or off-road vehicle on this tour from Taormina. Hike the base of the active craters with a naturalistic guide, experience the lunar landscapes, and savor a typical Sicilian lunch with local wine and drinks. Begin your tour with a pickup from your accommodation (or close vicinity in Taormina and the surrounding area). You'll travel in a small group of no more than 8 people for a more intimate and personalized experience. Drive to Mount Etna where you'll start the ascent to the summit area (2750-2800 meters of altitude). Depending on the availability and the circumstances, in order to guarantee an optimal service, the ascent can be carried out either by cableway or off-road vehicles only. Once at the summit area, enjoy light trekking with a volcanological guide and a naturalistic guide. Walk through a desert of black ashes and extinct craters, while admiring the lunar landscape and the spectacular view of the active craters from a close distance. Back at 2000 meters, you'll be given the proper equipment, such as helmets and torches, to visit one of the striking lava caves of the volcano. Then, enjoy a typical Sicilian light lunch with local wine and drinks during the midday break. Finally, you'll admire the Alcantara Gorges created when thick lava flows invaded the bed of the icy river Alcantara, giving rise to geometrically perfect rocks.

From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

9. From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

After being picked up from your accommodation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, set off in the direction of Mount Etna. Embark on an adventurous drive up to the volcano, passing by the small towns of Pedara, Nicolosi, and Zafferana Etnea and cold lava fields. Reach the Rifugio Sapienza Etna starting point where the next portion of the tour begins. Your English-speaking guide will explain to you the most interesting phenomena of the active volcano and about the plants and animals of the region. Climb into a cable car and soar up to an altitude of 2500 m. Next, continue upwards to 2900m in a special jeep. Explore the area at the foot of the main crater known as Torre del Filosofo. Marvel at the stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea if it is a clear day. During a 40-minute tour of the area, your expert alpine/volcanology guide will explain all about the geology of the area and how the hot smoking craters were formed after the 2002-2003 eruption.  After this, return to the Rifugio Sapienza to enjoy a traditional Sicilian lunch at a chalet. Once you've filled your belly, get kitted up with helmets and flashlights and begin on an unforgettable adventure inside a real lava cave. At the end of the tour,  you will be driven back to your accommodation in Catania or Taormina.

Mount Etna: 5-Hour Jeep Tour with Transfers

10. Mount Etna: 5-Hour Jeep Tour with Transfers

Your driver will meet you at your hotel and you’ll head off on the drive to Etna volcano. Spend 5 hours on this jeep adventure, and ride up to a maximum altitude of 1,900 meters. Enjoy great views and taste a special local product as you discover the hidden treasures of the most active European volcano. During the first stop, your driver will provide an introduction to Mount Etna, and you’ll visit a lava front. Next is a 50-minute walk through lava craters (Sartorius Mounts, at 1,700 meters) or, if you prefer, free time at Rifugio Citelli. Later the jeep will take you up to 1,850 meters (Piano Provenzana) to see some of the lava flow from the 2002 eruption. In between the trip, you’ll stop for lunch in a local rustic restaurant with wine included. Make a final stop at a lava cave before the drive back to Taormina.

Frequently asked questions about Province of Messina Cave Tours

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What people are saying about Province of Messina

This tour does not take you to the top, but to some side craters. And you see old lava flows up close. The guide takes you off road through forests and moon-like landscapes. On the road to Etna, we drove through small villages and narrow streets. Where you will never go yourself. Learned a lot about the history of Sicily. For lunch, the wine tasting with snacks at Gambino is recommended. The day ended with a visit to the Alcantara gorge. Cool off in the cold water! (Water shoes recommended)

Simone is an incredible guide who was able to answer all our questions, teach us a lot of things while adding good humor and humor at will. He also gave us advice for the rest of our trip! Attention, to arrive at Etna, you have to pay 60€ to take the cabins, but it is not to be missed!!!

The excursion was simply fantastic! Giacomo was a great guide who introduced our group to Etna in English and German in a very committed, flexible and very pleasant way. Absolutely recommendable!

Great excursion, learned a lot about La Etna, background, connections and with a lot of respect for the laws of nature. Thank you Giacomo, also for your patience in the afternoon.

Great day spent with our guide Giacomo. We were a small group of 5. Very interesting and rewarding visit. We highly recommend this activity!