Mount Etna in Sicily is so much more than just a volcano – it is an outdoor adventure playground for families with an adventurous spirit. |
If hiking through inactive volcanic craters, jeep safaris through barren landscapes or swinging from trees high above the forest floor appeals, then you should point one of our pre-booked taxis from Catania airport in the direction of Mount Etna.
While the volcano is still active, it is a very safe area to explore. The only part of the peak that can not be visited because of the risk of eruption is the actual summit, at 3340m. This, however, does not stop the rest of this remarkable landscape being open and safe for visitors to walk in and enjoy.
Here’s my guide to some of the best outdoor family activities on the volcano.
Hiking Mount Etna
Don’t worry if you’re not hardened hikers, or that the kids won’t be able to handle the steep ascent – Mount Etna conveniently has a cable car which will soar you up the mountainside, allowing you to enjoy an easier hike back down.
But before you descend, take the time to explore the Silvestri Craters. You don’t need to be interested in geology to marvel at the two inactive craters on the side of Mount Etna at nearly 2000m. Traversing the barren landscape and massive hollowed rock with its red colouring is like walking across the face of another planet, and is sure to capture the kids’ imaginations. The view from up here is amazing too, stretching out as far as the Gulf of Catania in the distance.
Tree-Climbing at Parco Avventura Etna and Etna Avventura
There are two tree-climbing adventure parks on the slopes of the volcano, both offering the chance to try increasingly difficult trails through the tree-tops on rope bridges, ziplines, ropes and ladders.
This is a serious sport in Italy so when they say a route is ‘difficult’... believe me, they mean it. Start off with the kids on the easy trails and work your way up (and don’t be put off when the kids are actually better a clambering up and down rope ladders than you are!).
Take a Jeep Tour
Get off road and off the beaten track with a 4x4 Jeep tour of Etna’s remote terrain. Drive through the stunning forests and mountain landscape of the volcano. If you’re lucky, your tour might also include an exploration of Etna’s Cassone Cave, for which hard hats and torches will be supplied.
How to Get to Mount Etna
The closest airport to Europe’s highest active volcano is Catania Fontanarossa Airport, with its regular flights by airlines including: Lufthansa, Alitalia and Air France. It can be tricky to negotiate with some of the taxis from Catania airport, so it’s a good idea to book your airport transfer online with Shuttle Direct before you leave home.
Shuttle Direct provide private transfer taxis from Catania airport driven direct to your accommodation by a local, English-speaking driver.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for the most affordable taxis from Catania Airport, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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