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  • 1

    Start at Catania.

    Start at our hotel in Catania's city centre. If you have time in the afternoon, we recommend to visit this beautiful city, awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status in 2002 for its impressive Baroque buildings. On the New Year Eve's departure only the start point will be Mt Etna, rather than Catania.

  • 2

    Transfer to Etna South, where we start snowshoeing along the 'Pista Altomontana', a circular path around Mt Etna.

    Transfer to Etna South, where we clip into our snowshoes and walk along a section of the “Pista Altomontana” (high trail), a path that circumnavigates 3 sides of Mt Etna at an average altitude of 1,800m. We walk for approx. 14km, surrounded by lush pine forests and black lava flows, which create a striking contrast with the white snow. We then make our way back to Rifugio Sapienza, set at 1900m on Mt Etna's southern slope. (5 hours, ascent 460m, descent 460m)

  • 3

    Spectacular walk up to the impressive Valle del Bove and climb up to 2500m. Optional excursion to the summit area by cable car up to 2500m and further on foot up to 3350m escorted by a volcanologist.

    Today we enjoy a spectacular walk up to the Valle del Bove (The Ox’s Valley), an extensive depression that opened up on the eastern side of the mountain thousands of years ago as a result of a massive landslide. We then continue up to 2,500m, where we are rewarded with inspirational views of Sicily’s entire coastline and of the four craters that make up the top of Mt Etna. (5 hours hiking / ascent 500m, descent 400m). Optional excursion: depending on the weather and volcanic conditions there is a chance to climb by cable car and 4x4 jeeps up to 2900m and then further on foot to 3350m. You will be escorted by a volcano or alpine guide (6 hours hiking in total including previous walk). Price: €80 per person, payable locally in cash. You are strongly advised to take a waterproof/windproof jacket, a warm top and to wear long trousers and gaiters. Should the summit craters be closed due to the volcanic activity, there is a chance to climb by cable car and 4x4 jeeps up to 2900m and then further on foot to approx. 3000m, accompanied by a volcanologist.

  • 4

    Train to Taormina for a panoramic hike from the coast to the hilltop mediaeval village of Castelmola; free time to sightsee and transfer to Catania.

    After breakfast, we catch the panoramic train to the Isola Bella Bay. Walking on the old route we climb up to Taormina until we reach the mediaeval village of Castelmola. During the walk we'll be rewarded with spectacular open views of the sea, Mediterranean vegetation and the snow-capped Etna (4,30 hours, ascent 520 m, descent 200 m). In the afternoon we enjoy some free time to explore Taormina and perhaps take an optional visit to its amazing ancient Greek amphitheatre. We return to Catania by public transport and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner in the city centre; overnight in Catania.

  • 5

    End Catania.

    End Catania.

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