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“Volcanic Skiing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Monte Etna

Monte Etna
Book In Advance
$77.65*
and up
Small-Group Mount Etna Sunset Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 147 things to do in Catania
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sicily's greatest natural attraction is also its highest mountain: Mount Etna, at 10,990 feet, is the most active volcano in Europe and the oldest recorded active volcano in the world.
Rabat, Malta
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Volcanic Skiing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

If you are in Western Sicily early in the year, and fancy skiing on Europe's most active volcano, it's definitely worth considering a day on the slopes of Mount Etna, you ski over lava, past small craters, look up to see the steam rising from the peak, and down to distant citrus groves and the blue waters of the Med.

The ski area we visited was small, so not worth an extended trip, but for a couple of days of low key family skiing it was worth it for the experience.

Here are a few tips. First of all check the weather - if winds are high, lifts will be intermittent if working at all (etnasci.com is good for snow, lifts and weather, all info is in Italian). Italian law requires you to have snowchains with you above a certain altitude in the winter months, but these are for sale on the lower slopes of Etna. Also be aware that your diesel car may not like the lower temperatures at the top - we had trouble starting ours.

We skied from Etna Nord, where there is one chair lift (blue slope), and three drags (red slope). All the slopes are relatively easy skiing compared to Alpine slopes, and are quite short, the blue in particular is very gentle. There is easy, cheap (€3/day) parking near the chair lift, but if it's a weekend and there is sun and snow, get there before 9am to get a spot, otherwise parking is possible on the roads. There are a collection of small huts on the lava field, which somehow manage to hire out skis, boots etc (at about €40/day for an adult), and sell great coffee and hot chocolate, and basic snacks (panini, chips etc). Queues on a sunny Sat/Sun took a long time, and given the short slopes and slow lifts, unless you are a complete beginner you'll do a lot more waiting than skiing. There is a very good restaurant at the bottom of the long drag, but to get back to the main lift, you'll have to make it up a long, steep, windy drag (if you fall off near the top, the only option is to take off skis and scramble down a rocky slope), which may be an issue if you have younger kids.

There is also a ski school.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank amanda h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
104 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“One of the best days of my life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Really worth the climb (or drive up with jeep). The view up there is amazing! And then we found a place near Mount Etna where they rent quads ATVs and we drove around the volcano for like 5 hours. SO MUCH FUN! I had a blast. I will definitely remember this day all my life!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank mc_1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Expensive but worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013 via mobile

Take on Etna comfortable shoes and warm clothes even on summer! You can rent it there but it is dirty((

Helpful?
3 Thank Polina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

A true sight, steaming away in the snow... Even if you dont get up onto the slopes just seeing it from Taormina is awe inspiring. An active volcano presiding over the land.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank ElinyaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Julians Malta.
Level Contributor
42 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Loved the day trip to Etna especially as it was snowing and it was my daughter's first time in the snow. Lots of lovely souvenir shops and nice coffee shops.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank StJulians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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