Climbing Mount Etna

by Jack Guy

Sep 18, 2019

© Lex Schmidt | Dreamstime

Destinations / Europe

As an active volcano your first thought might not be to climb Mount Etna, but it is a popular hiking destination for many visitors to the island of Sicily.

At 3,350 meters tall, Etna is fairly high. It might not be the tallest volcano in Europe, but it is the largest, thanks to a base that measures 150 kilometers in circumference.

One thing to know before you go is Etna is a stratovolcano and there are four craters at the summit. It’s the most active volcano in Europe, and visitors were injured by rockfall in February 2017.

Don’t let that put you off visiting, though, as the regular eruptions are usually not too violent. You can join one of the many tour groups or set out on your own to follow well-marked trails, but first make sure you’ve got some decent shoes and a wind jacket. It might be hot at the bottom, but parts of Etna remain snowy year-round and there is a real chill at the top.

If you’re not feeling up to a hike, take the cable car to 2,500 meters elevation and hitch a ride on the 4×4 shuttle service to 2,950 meters above sea level. The volcano is found in southeast Sicily, near Catania, where there is an international airport for easy access.

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