Etna 3000: cable car + hike on the hot lava

Amazing Etna trail that lead up to the base of the summit active craters, full day visit with a volcanologist guide

Etna Excursion 3000 - Hike to the summit base of Etna


Visiting Mount Etna climbing up to the base of the summit active craters at over 3000 mt of altitude is one of the most fascinating experience to explore the volcano, all followed by an alpine volcanologist guide.  A tour to explore Etna and her desert nature, visiting the major craters that are still warm today because of the eruptions occurred between 2001 and 2003. You will walk across the most recent lava flows of 2017 to reach the base of the active craters, until 300 mt from the summit.

Go beyond the limits where most of other groups must stop (2920 meters of altitude): we will take you where others can’t go without a volcanologist guide, reaching the base of the summit active craters!

The tour includes also a visit to a long lava channel with walls high several meters, created at the effusive vent of the 2002 eruption, and a stop to witness the immensity of the Valle del Bove: the Caldera, the scientific name, is 5 km wide and 7 km long and with its extension covers almost the entire eastern side of the volcano. Its walls go up to 1000 meters of height.


Etna tour highlights

  • Mt Etna hike : a tailored trail, from the cable car terminal at 2500 mt up to the base of the active craters at 3000 mt and back, far away from the massive tourist flows
  • Visit to the Etna’s hot craters, a walk over the hardened lava flows of 2017, and a speleological experience to get through the long lava channel of the eruption of 2002
  • Fantastic scenario over the wide caldera Valle del Bove, huge depression covering the whole eastern flank of Etna, result of a major eruption
  • Free tasting of Etna's best products as honey, wines, liqueurs and much more at a local producer in Zafferana Etnea, Italy's best honey makers
  • Etna guided tour in English with an official alpine volcanologist guide



The exclusive itinerary proposed by Etna3340 allows you to explore the hottest areas of the volcano, just at the base of the summit active craters, otherwise inaccessible without a real authorised guide. You will enjoy being far from the main touristic flows, to better appreciate your experience. 

Our excursions are conducted by official volcanologist guides, only pros authorised by the Italian law to lead groups on volcanic ground.


Excursion to Mount Etna, first part of the day

We will come to pick you up with our 4x4 jeep at your hotel (or at 07:45 at our meeting point in Viagrande), and that’s where your adventure will begin. We will have the pleasure to offer you an all-you-can-eat breakfast (coffee / cappuccino, fruit juice and pastries or granita and brioche), then we will continue our tour along the southern slopes of the Etna.

We will drive towards the cable car station, passing through the Silvestri craters and Rifugio Sapienza to start our Etna experience up to 3000 meters, base of the summit.

The typical lunar landscape is astounding: the new road built over the 1983 lava flows will blow your mind and the destructive passage of the lava is testified by many samples left aside, as destroyed houses, encircled woods areas.


Climb to Mount Etna Summit base

Your Etna trip starts from 2500 meters of height, first part done on cable car, then you will go up to 3000 meters (base of Etna summit craters), walk on an 8-km-hiking trail, visiting also the most interesting and devastating eruptions of volcano Etna as those of 2001, 2002/2003 and the latest lava flow of 2017.

Furthermore, during eruption conditions, our Etna 3000 is the perfect choice to witness a live Etna’s eruption. You could watch the eruptive activity, the great "Valle del Bove" (theatre of recent eruptions) and the panorama over the Mediterranean Sea, Taormina, Catania and the Italian coast.

At 3000 meters of altitude you will appreciate being able to approach the great craters of the summit (the New Mouth, the Central and the South-East craters) on an exclusive trail far from the crowd, because not allowed without an official alpine volcanologist guide.  If you’d rather stay comfortable and walk less, there is the possibility to use the cable car and the 4x4 Unimog as part of a private tour (with jeep and guide just for you) - quotation on demand. In winter all excursions may be subject of changes due to weather and snow covers conditions


Visit of a Lava Channel

Along the journey you will also visit a lava channel, a natural cave formed by flowing lava, which moves beneath the hardened surface of a lava flow. Tubes and channel can drain lava from a volcano during an eruption, or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased, and the rock has cooled down and left a long channel.


Tasting of honeys, wines and liqueurs in Zafferana Etnea

Time allowing, the excursion will end with a free tasting of Etna's best products free tasting of Etna's best products as honeys, wines, liqueurs and much more at a local producer in Zafferana Etnea, honey makers’ village along the Etna Wine Route.


During the warm season and in the absence of snow - Picnic Lunch

In order to make the most out of the volcano, your lunch usually will be a picnic surrounded by nature. If you have not been able to prearrange a packed lunch, along the way we will make a stop in order to let you choose some of the traditional Sicilian products.

Your guide will be happy to follow you in order to suggest you some various local specialities.


In winter all excursions may vary on timetable and schedule following the weather and snow covers conditions.

Etna Excursion 3000 - Summit Base Statistics


We organise Etna daily excursions, for your comfort it is also possible to drive to our meeting point with your own vehicle and get on our 4×4 offroad vehicle. We do only make small groups of 12 partecipants at the time, all followed by expert multilanguage mountain leaders. Our excursion starts early in the morning to allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and majesty of the volcano, thanks to carefully chosen itineraries far from the usual crowds.


Etna Summit Base Trail

  • Distance : approximately 8 kilometers - 5 miles
  • Ascent : 500 m
  • Time : about 5 hours
  • Difficulty : Moderate


Lava flow channel

  • Length : 30 m
  • Visit time : about 20 minute
  • Difficulty : easy


Essential Gear and Clothing

  • Hiking boots
  • Rucksack
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood) - all cars will be equipped of light raincoats jackets
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Trekking poles - all cars will be equipped
  • General trekking trousers
  • Caving helmet - all cars will be equipped
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Spare layer e.g. fleece top
  • Food & Drink


Meeting point

  • At your hotel between Catane and Taormina - Please give us the full address and name of the Hotel/accommodation
  • 07h45 at Bar Très Joli, Via Aldo Moro, 39, 95029 Viagrande CT
  • More pick-up places: quote on demand

Volcanoes are places of particular interest, either when they are inactive, with their rough and lunar landscape, and when they are in activity, with fiery scenarios that arouse, together, fear and curiosity. Etna stand-up more than others, for its size and for its almost incessant activity, visible from land and sea, and for its long history that crossed with the ancient Mediterranean civilisations.

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