The trails of Etna
“I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; the mountain almost invisible in a blur of pastel grey, glowing on the top and repeating its shape, as though reflected, in a wisp of grey smoke with the whole horizon behind radiant with pink light, fading gently into a grey pastel sky. Nothing I have seen in art or nature was quite so sublime.” Paul Theroux
The park of Etna covers approximately 1,600 km2 and this vast territory is crossed by a large network of trails. This volcano is a trekking paradise because it offers a large number of trails with a variety of features, of altitude gaps, lengths and degrees of difficulty, therefore it is able to meet the needs of all nature lovers , from the most advanced trekkers to beginners and families.
Our association offers naturalistic excursions that give the opportunity to our members to get to know the beautiful areas of the volcano, far away from mass tourism, places full of harmony in which time seems to have stopped and where the park reveals its most primordial nature .
Choosing the side of Etna and the path
This volcano is more than 3300 meters high above sea level. Its size and the fact that the Etna is a very high mountain between much lower ones, gives the meteorology a marked variability .
In our work we constantly follow the weather forecast, but it’s the same morning of the excursion that is decided which side we will direct and which trail we are going to choose. We do so in order to make our walking tours in places where there seem to be better conditions and to try to choose for the group of that specific day, a path that all may tread safely and with ease, factors that contribute greatly to the success of a hike.
Landscape of the park of Etna
Following the paths you will get to know gradually the landscape of the park, but the work of the guide is also and especially to provide information during the day about the many natural features of Etna, which give the participants a chance to put together all these details, as if they were pieces of a mosaic, to be able at the end to have the “experience” of this extraordinary place .
The landscape that you see within the park is unique and extremely impressive. Etna alternate mainly two types of landscape , the areas covered by recent lava flows that have a rocky and barren landscape and vast green areas where the vegetation, after hundreds of years, has managed to regain and colonize ancient lava fields. Two faces of nature are therefore revealed that often are showed side by side in a beautiful and surrealistic contrast.
Due to the characteristics of the meteorology of the park it is always advisable to carry a rain gears and different layer of clothes. Very practical for hiking are those trousers made of synthetic fabric that can turn into shorts. Hiking shoes are ideal for trekking, providing a good grip they allow to walk safely even on steep and rocky trails. If you do not have those at least it is recommended to wear sturdy athletic shoes with a good rubber sole. Important also bring a hat, sunglasses, a bandana and a backpack of 20-30 liters that can hold water bottles , sandwiches , camera and some extra clothing that is always advisable to bring along .
Length of excursions
An excursion usually starts at 9 am and ends around 4 in the afternoon . During the first part of the day we will cross the park making stops focused on various aspects of the natural sciences. Arrived in the middle of the park, the hiking part begins. The paths we choose, give the possibility to be shortened or lengthened in order to adapt to every type of hiker. On average actual hours of walking are about 3-4 with several descriptive breaks and a more extensive lunch break, a kind of physical activity that most of the people can do with no problems.
Our main aim is to offer our members an enjoyable day in a beautiful natural environment in which we can achieve both a hiking activity and a cultural activity focused on the discover of the various natural peculiarities of this beautiful park.