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This Etna off road tour is a semi-private experience to explore the northern slopes of Mt Etna with a volcanological guide by 4WD bus. The highest active volcano in Europe offers you incomparable views of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, as well as the possibility of looking -from a very close and safe location- the central active craters of the volcano. Enjoy the experience of walking on ancient lava flows and discover the always-changing landscape of a living volcano.
Starting from the tourist station of Piano Provenzana, located at about 1800 mt above sea level, we are going to drive – with our Etna off road bus authorized by the Etna Park Authority – in the middle of ancient lava flows, also admiring ancient extinct craters, to arrive at the Volcanological Observatory that was built in 1977 at about 2850 mt above sea level. From here you are going to start a 15-minute hike that will take you at the end of the promontory of Pizzi Deneri, where you will have the most beautiful and stunning views, embracing a wide view on the Sicilian coast. You are also going to admire from a very short distance and totally safely the central volcanic cone where the main craters are.
On the way back, we are going to stop at 1.900 mt to explore the area of the craters formed during the eruption of 2002, the so-called “perfect eruption”. From here we are going to continue downhill on foot back to Piano Provenzana.
Hey there! We are Chiara, Katia, Mariarita and Sara. Meet us in Sicily and discover the impressive lava landscape created by Mt. Etna: a thrilling experience that will take you to about 9,850 ft on the highest active volcano in Europe!
Mt Etna landscape and views: the highest active volcano in Europe will amaze you with its powerful natural activity and its natural landscape. From the top of Pizzi Deneri you are going to see the most beautiful view on the Sicilian coast, from the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the entire Eastern coast facing Calabria with the Strait of Messina, the famous town of Taormina, the Bay of Giardini Naxos and down to Syracuse.
Etna off road tour: by authorized Etna off road vehicles we are going to drive uphill to reach the Volcanological Observatory, where you will see just in front of you the central volcanic cone with the main craters.
Hiking: On the way back, we are going to leave the Etna off road bus to continue with a very nice and easy hike around the “buttonhole” craters of 2002 eruption. We are going to walk around the edge of the craters, to appreciate geological formations and admire also the endemic plants of Mt. Etna. On the way uphill, it is also possible to make a stop to take a picture of the Umberto & Margherita Craters, formed during the eruption of 1879.
Volcanism: Mt Etna is one of the most studied volcanoes in the world and for this reason it is also inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. With this Etna off road tour, led by a volcanological professional guide, you learn how a volcano works, the different kinds of eruptions, and you will experience by yourself how an eruption can affect the landscape.
Starting from your accommodation we will drive by private bus/van up to the tourist station of Piano Provenzana, where you will meet your volcanological guide and the rest of the people joining the Etna off road tour.
From Piano Provenzana we will start to drive uphill by off road bus, enjoying the lunar landscape of the volcano, passing through the lava flow that in 2002 destroyed the tourist station and the facilities of Piano Provenzana, and also visiting the so-called Umberto & Margherita Craters to take pictures.
We will leave for a while the off-road bus to walk and reach the end of the promontory of Pizzi Deneri. Here you are going to enjoy the view of the central volcano system and, if the air is clear enough, also the view on both the Northern and Eastern coasts of Sicily island.
Again, on our Etna off road bus, on the way back we are going to stop at the 2002 craters, to enjoy the thrilling experience of walking around the edge surrounded by the lava landscape. We will finally go on foot along a fun sandy descend to reach again the off-road vehicles. According to your preference, we can continue to walk downhill to finish at the starting point in Piano Provenzana.
It is mandatory to wear proper hiking shoes, that you can rent at Piano Provenzana (included in the price). A windbreaker could also be helpful on Mt Etna, especially in the autumn season.
Our Sicily experiences will be only assured for the accommodation located in North Eastern Sicily.