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Etna Discovery

- 8-days hiking & study tour on Mt. Etna volcano, Italy -

Etna's New SE crater (Dec 2018)
Etna's New SE crater (Dec 2018)
Strombolian eruption from Etna's SE crater in Dec 2018
Strombolian eruption from Etna's SE crater in Dec 2018
Looking into the Bocca Nuova crater of Etna
Looking into the Bocca Nuova crater of Etna
View from the thick sulfur layer with thin ash cover on the east rim of the Voragine crater (foreground) towards the SE crater complex (background). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from the thick sulfur layer with thin ash cover on the east rim of the Voragine crater (foreground) towards the SE crater complex (background). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Zoom onto the lava channel's center (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)
Zoom onto the lava channel's center (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)
View into an active skylight (hole to a lava tube) (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)
View into an active skylight (hole to a lava tube) (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)
Group on the summit crater of Etna
Group on the summit crater of Etna
Snow-covered Etna volcano seen from the West
Snow-covered Etna volcano seen from the West
Ancient dikes, old pathways for magma, exposed in the Valle del Bove
Ancient dikes, old pathways for magma, exposed in the Valle del Bove
Visiting a lava tube
Visiting a lava tube
The contrast between the sea and the fiery top of Etna could not be bigger: during this tour, entirely dedicated to Etna, you will get to know the different sides of the universe that is Etna volcano, Europe's largest and most active volcano: Etna's ancient pillow lavas at the spectacular "Cyclopes Coast", deep gaping craters, lava deserts, lush mountain forests, lava caves, the beautiful Alcantara gorge, scenic Taormina and medieval villages and - hopefully - lots of lava await you. You will cross Etna from south to north and get to know both the southern, eastern, northern and western sides of this fascinating volcano, each totally different in character.
In case of an eruption, the program will be adapted to prioritize accessing the activity if possible and conditions allowing.
  • Get to know Etna in depth: 6 full days on Etna
  • Good chances to see eruptive activity
  • Flexibility on location
  • Spectacular landscapes on an active volcano
  • Unusual excursions off the beaten track with Etna experts
  • See all 4 sides of Etna
  • Excellent Sicilian food
  • Full traverse of the summit of Etna from S to N
  • Hike through the impressive Valle del Bove
  • Wine tasting of the excellent Etna red and white wine
  • Accompanying volcanologist

8 days Etna

Note:
Changes in the exact itinerary could be necessary due to unpredictable weather and volcanic eruption conditions. In case of an eruption, seeing it will be prioritized.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in Catania, and own transfer to hotel in city center (bus, taxi).
In the evening, we meet for dinner and a briefing of the tour ahead.
Acc.: hotel in Catania (D)
Day 2: Cross Etna from south to north
We check-out from the hotel and are transferred to La Sapienza (Etna south), where we take a cable car and 4x4 to reach 2900 m elevation.
From here, we hike to the summit area to explore the summit craters. Afterwards, we descend along a scenic route to the northern side, endig the hikne at Piano Provenzana, from where we'll drive to our nearby mountain hut. (Luggage will be transported from the hotel to there independently.)
Duration: 6 hours hike, uphill: 2900-3300 m, downhill 3300-1900 m
Acc.: overnight in mountain hut on Etna nord (B, L, D)
Day 3: Etna Nord
Today, we undertake an excursion on Etna's north side which has a completely different character- dominated by green forests and lava deserts.
Full day tour on Etna nord, starting from Mt. Sartorius to the bottom line of 2002 eruption.
5 hours hike, uphill 1700-2500 m, downhill 2500-1900 m
Acc.: as before (Etna) (B, L, D)
Day 4: Etna Nord-East
Today we do a tour to Etna nord-est and climb to Serracozzo for an overview of the Valle del Leone. Alternatively, we can hike to the Grotta del Gelo (7 hours!)
5 hours, uphill 1800-2600 m, same downhill
Acc.: as before (Etna) (B, L, D)
Day 5: Castelmola, Taormina, Alcantara
Excursion to Castelmola and Taormina, gorge of Alcantara, in the afternoon wine tasting.
Lunch on this day is not included.
Acc.: as before (Etna) (B, D)
Day 6: Valle del Bove
Full day tour across the Valle del Bove.
Drive to Etna sud and cable car to 2500 m. Descent to the Valle del Bove and exit on Piano del Vescovo. After the tour drive to Acicastello for the pillow lava formations.
Drive back to mountain hut on Etna nord.
5 hours, uphill 2500-2600 m, downhill: 2600-1400 m
Acc.: as before (Etna) (B, D)
Day 7: Etna West
Departure from the mountain hut with baggage. Drive to Etna west. Trek to Monte dei Fiori
Drive to Catania and check in hotel (same hotel as on day 1). Farewell dinner.
4 hours, ring hike on 1600-1800 m
Acc.: hotel in Catania as on Day 1 (B, L, D)
Day 8: Departure
End of the tour or own extension.
Acc.: none (B)

Arrival info:

The tour starts and ends in Catania, Sicily´s second largest city, which is easily reached by plane or train from Rome or other large Italian cities. Travel arrangements to and from Catania are not included in the tour package in order to give everybody maximum flexibility to plan his/her trip. Please let us know if you like any assistance with your international travel to Italy and/or Catania - we will be happy to help.

Tour code: ITA_ETS
Tour type: Trekking: active volcanoes - nature & culture
Difficulty: Moderate-Challenging
Group size: 5-10
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Dates:

25 May - 1 Jun 2019

Price (p.p.): 2100 €  ? 

Included:

  • 7 nights accommodation in double rooms
  • Full board (breakfast, dinners and picknick lunches as indicated with B, L, D)
  • Fully authorized volcanologist mountain guide
  • Entrance, park fees and taxes
  • Cableway and jeep transfers where necessary
  • All transfers from and to Catania
  • Accompanying English-speaking volcanologist

Tour guide:

Dr. Evelyne Pradal is a trained geologist and volcanologist with a passion of showing and teaching her subject to the general public. Born in Aurillac, in the heart of the Auvergne, Central Europe's youngest volcanic field, she studied in the renowned Center of Earth Science of the university of Clermont-Ferrand, one of France's leading research institutes in the field of volcanology.
Her research led her to study volcanoes in Mexico, the Caribbean, Ethiopia and other areas.
After completing her doctorate degee in 1990 she went on to work as consultant and teacher in earth sciences, and she has been organizing expeditions and study trips to volcanoes in Italy, France, the Caribbean, Ethiopia and Tanzania designed to share knowledge and the fascination of her subject, the beauty of our living earth, to the general public. She also co-authored the book "Au coeur des volcans" (2004, Ed. Fleurus - Geo Ados). Evelyne with her charming smile joined our team in 2010 and guides trips to Ethiopia, the Caribbean, and a new study trip in the Auvergne, her homeland.
Evelyne Pradal at Erta Ale volcano (Ethiopia)
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