Hiking Etna Trail: lava tunnel, Valle del Bove, view Summit Craters
Come and visit the most beautiful part of the famous Etna Trail route of the Maxi Race circuit
"Serracozzo" is one of the most fascinating routes on Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, a new sports track used by Trail competitions in July. These particularities justify the choice of the route for the international races of Trail of the Maxi Race circuit.
What you will see on Mount Etna North:
- Visit of the most beautiful lava tunnel, the "Serracozzo" of the 1971 eruption.
- This is the best view of the great "Valle del Bove" caldera.
- We can see from near the summit craters of Etna and recent lava flows.
- Lava bombs and their impact craters are present on the Trail route.
There are 3 options to make the Serracozzo trail of Etna, in small groups (max 12 pax):
- 50€ per person: join us at Rifugio Citelli at 09:30 am (Etna North), 1700 meters above sea level (there is free public parking). You will have the accompaniment of our English speaking guide from 09:30 am to 3:00 pm, the free loan of hiking shoes (we communicate the sizes in advance), helmet, poles, backpack, k-way included. For the rest, you must already be equipped with adequate clothing and water. For your comfort you can sleep at Rifugio Citelli.
- 70€ per person: with your vehicle you reach our meeting point in Giarre at 08:00 am. You park your car (there is free public parking) and ride in our luxury vehicle VTC (Mercedes GL or V-Class Extra Long 2019) with dedicated driver. We offer you breakfast. You will have breakfast like the real Sicilians, in the best local pastry shop. Here we provide free equipment for hiking.
- 90€ per person: this includes the pick-up directly at your hotel (Catania-Taormina areas) in a luxury VTC vehicle (Mercedes GL or V-Class Extra Long 2019) with dedicated driver. Breakfast is always offered. The necessary equipment for trekking is included. After the excursion we will take you to the hotel.
When to book, how long before? We do not do mass tourism. So, to make sure you have room, it is best to book quickly.
Walk on the ridge of Valle del Bove, visit the Serracozzo lava tunnel
The path that climbs along the ridge of Serra delle Concazze to Serracozzo belvedere is very interesting because it allows you to cross a very rare birch forest in these latitudes and to visit a really fascinating lava tunnel.
In addition, you can admire, with our French speaking guides, a magnificent view of the Valle del Bove, a large horseshoe-shaped caldera about 6 kilometers in diameter.
Description of the Serracozzo lava tunnel, Etna eruption of 1971
The cave of Serracozzo is the most beautiful cave of the volcano for its particular structure and for the effects produced inside by the beams of light that illuminate it from above. It is located on the east side of Etna, at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level.
This tunnel, in the upstream part, is the eruptive fissure produced in 1971 and has a section in the form of a door lock with a height of several meters and a maximum width of 3 meters.
On the vault there are openings. The downstream section is a steeply sloping tunnel 350 m long and 2 to 3 m wide, the floor of which consists of slag lava. In the first section, the walls are opaque but retain a glassy appearance.
The excursion to Serracozzo provides:
- 5 hours of hiking on rugged trails in a lunar landscape accompanied by a English speaking alpine guide.
- We can choose the difficulty depending on your sport level: 300, 500 or 1,100 meters elevation gain (from 1,800 to 2,100 / 2,300 / 2,900 meters altitude) and 300 / 500 / 1,100 meters vertical drop.
- The volcano Etna has several routes, for this hike "Serracozzo" we can choose according to your sporting level the walking distance: 6, 8 or 12 km (descent into the volcanic sand).
The climb is steep, on a path immersed among the beautiful birch aetnensis (a species of birch endemic to Etna) that can survive more than 2000 meters above sea level. After a climb of about 300 meters, the Valle del Bove appears. Here, better than in other places, you can see the magmatic dicchi.
These are real lava walls, formed during the rise of magma towards the craters. A peculiarity of this path is to walk several hundred meters along the Valle del Bove, towards Pizzi Deneri and the crater southeast.
In the distance, we can also see Mount Frumento delle Concazze, one of the largest secondary craters of Etna and all Sartorius craters.
The cliffs of the Valle del Bove are full of old infiltrations of magma, while extinct craters are also present inside.
We leave this beautiful panorama and begin the descent to meet a ravine of volcanic ash that we must follow almost to the end, before returning on the way to the esplanade in front of the Citelli refuge.
Thanks Estelle #EtnaTrail #Etna3340
Information for the Serracozzo Etna Nord hike
You can eventually sleep at Rifugio Citelli. The Citelli refuge is accessible from the Messina-Catania motorway (A 18). Exit at the Giarre exit and follow the signs for Macchia, San Giovanni Montebello and Sant'Alfio.
Once here (km 9), follow the signs for Fornazzo and the north of Etna. From Fornazzo, continue on the county road of Mareneve to the junction (km 14.5) towards the Citelli refuge. From there, continue for 3 km and you have arrived at the refuge.
To go on this hike, you have to be perfectly healthy, sporty and have no physical problems. Climbing is prohibited for asthmatics and people with respiratory, cardiac and joint problems.
Equipment to provide:
Hiking or Trail shoes, high sock socks, hiking pants, fleece, windproof waterproof warm jacket, backpack, scarf or Bandana, a picnic and water (1 liter per person).
The temperature beyond 2500 meters can be between 10 ° and 0 ° in autumn / winter and 15 ° / 30 ° in spring / summer.
Conditions of sale:
You can cancel and be refunded free of charge until 1 week before the date of the excursion.
We will update the weather and geodynamic conditions of Etna 48/24 hours before the excursion.
If the weather conditions are unfavorable the excursion will be postponed to another available day or the deposit will be fully refunded.
Meeting point Etna North Serracozzo:
- At your hotel between Catania and Taormina (thank you for giving me the exact address of the pick-up) with our luxury vehicle VTC (Mercedes GL or V-Class Extra Long 2019) and dedicated driver. Back around 4:00 pm
- 08h00 am in Giarre highway exit, from Etna Fuel gasoline distributor https://goo.gl/maps/URpKmqQDdd22 You arrive with your vehicle, park it in the car park (there is free public parking) and get in our luxury vehicle VTC (Mercedes GL or V-Class Extra Long 2019) with dedicated driver. Take the motorway Catania - Messina, motorway exit GIARRE. Pass the toll, at the roundabout take the first exit on the right. After 300 m on the right side you find the gas distributor. Back around 3:30 pm.
- 09:30 am Rifugio Citelli (Etna North), Via Mareneve, 95010 Sant'Alfio CT. Follow this link with Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/tGksRc4bu62a93vZ9 Back around 3:00 pm (there is free public parking).
- Other places of care: quote on demand.
With the pickup at Rifugio Citelli, Etna Nord:
You will have the accompaniment of our guide from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. For the rest, you must be already equipped with adequate clothing, a picnic and water (1 liter per person).
Thanks Antonio De Luca