THE ETNA - EUROPE’S TALLEST
The impressive giant seems to guard the eastern coast of Sicily gently, and blends harmoniously into the beautiful landscapes of the island. It is surrounded by the 60,000 km nature reserve Parco dell’Etna and is one of Italy’s most beautiful natural phenomena.
Beautiful landscapes surrounding the mighty Etna
The lower areas of the volcano are characterized by cultural landscapes with blooming gardens and lemon and pistachio trees, and vineyards. From an altitude of 1,000 m, dense woods of chestnuts, oaks, beech and birch trees follow. The height of the giant volcano changes constantly – currently it is around 3,343 m. It is the tallest active volcano of Europe and is listed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 2013.
The fertile lava ash makes the soil cultivable and the rain clouds surrounding the volcano favour a flourishing agriculture. But it also has destroyed many surrounding villages and landscapes with its eruptions. The most serious volcanic eruption happened in 1669 and the village Catania was almost completely overrun by lava. During its eruptions in 2002/2003, the ski resort and the cable railway was destroyed, but was put into operation two years later.
It hast four main craters and more than hundred small craters, which are more dangerous, as they tend to surprising eruptions.
The unique Baroque village Catania
The beautiful coastal village Catania lies at the foot of the Etna, and was almost completely destroyed by its eruptions for several times. Catania was rebuilt in the typical Sicilian Baroque, as some further villages in the eastern part of the island, which were destroyed by the serious earthquake in 1693.
The special thing is, that in Catania the lava stones were used to rebuild the city, as they were already in place. The dark stones do not give the village a happy note, but a unique and special face!
A tour along the slopes of the Etna to the peak is one of the most exciting things to do on your Sicily-trip! The primeval lava deserts and the wonderful panoramic view already are worth the trip. The routes change constantly, as many craters and its surrounding areas may be closed for visitors, due its danger of eruption. Therefore, it is important to do the tour with a tour guide who knows the current routes. You can even go skiing on the giant volcano! It has the most southern ski resort in Europe and the maintenance of the slopes is a huge challenge.
Booking and further information
Explore the giant volcano Etna on a custom-made group tour to Sicily! We will be glad to provide the detailed travel schedule of the sightseeing trip to Sicily. Feel free to contact us for further information and send us your no-obligation request via our contact form, e-mail or by telephone at +49 611 945879 42.