The highest active volcano in Europe and all around a unique environment that offers breathtaking landscapes at every glance: today we take you to discover the greenest side of Sicily and its volcano, Mount Etna.
With its 3300 meters in height, it is certainly one of the great symbols of the region, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And one of those places you must see at least once in a lifetime. Its unique landscape of smoking craters, lava flows, and lunar settings can only leave you breathless: you find yourself in front of a unique and different landscape every time, allowing you to reconnect with nature and discover its wildest side.
For those seeking an authentic and environmentally respectful travel experience, exploring Etna is definitely a perfect option. There are indeed more than one way to discover the volcano in an ecological and sustainable manner.
Trekking on Mount Etna
You need to be fit and specially prepared to face a strong temperature excursion and a long route without shelter from the sun. But with the most suitable clothing for the season, you can have a truly unforgettable experience. Reaching the summit craters on foot means immersing yourself completely in nature, savoring those slow rhythms that perfectly suit the contemplation of the landscape. For a complete hike, it takes about 4 hours, but in Etna Park, you will find a vast network of trails, suitable even for the less trained but always able to provide emotions and extraordinary views. And if you decide to visit Etna in winter, be prepared for another unique and unusual experience: skiing with a sea view, observing the entire Ionian coast from above!
A volcano tour by train
We get on board and begin to ascend through the lava rocks. The black and lunar landscape alternates with fields colored by the flowers of Bronte’s pistachios and prickly pears. Etna accompanies us throughout the journey. Along the way, we encounter picturesque villages like Paternò and Adrano. This, and much more, is what awaits you on the Circumetnea, a truly original and green way to experience all the beauty of Etna. On board a vintage train, you can see the volcano from a new perspective.
An eco-friendly stay on the slopes of Etna
Is there perhaps a more authentic and sustainable way to discover the volcano than staying on its slopes, in an eco-friendly facility? Our first recommendation is Bagol’Area, a permaculture-inspired farm overlooking the Ionian coast, but also a hospitality that makes sustainability and relationships its strength. The accommodations, spread over terraces, are independent and carefully finished with attention to detail and materials. They also have a terrace or garden for exclusive use, with a breathtaking panorama.
A second option is the Velardi B&B, nestled between the sea and Mount Etna. Housed inside a typical Etna dwelling built with lava stone at the end of the 1800s, this accommodation is a small gem. The host is a naturalist biologist specializing in environmental education, and her passion for nature is evident in every corner of the house. The garden is her pride and joy, maintained according to the principles of sustainable agriculture, with a special dedication to butterflies. For breakfast, you can expect traditional products such as bread and sweets made from ancient grains, jams, fruits, and other organic and locally sourced items.
Here you can find other possibilities for a green stay near Mount Etna.
A journey through the flavors of the volcano
Etna is also its flavors. To fully experience it, we cannot miss tasting what this volcano gives us. In its 1300 km², diversified microclimates follow one another, which, together with the volcanic soil rich in minerals, give rise to a wide range of products and flavors. Among the renowned products of Etna is first of all the famous Pistachio of Bronte, known as the Green Gold. Maletto, in the same area, is famous for its strawberries, especially the precious “fragolina,” smaller in size and sweeter in taste. Zafferana Etnea, in the southeast, is renowned for its honey. In Santa Venerina, the production of liqueurs, including Limoncello and Cinnamon Cannellino, is a centuries-old tradition. Throughout the Etna area, they cultivate cherries, apples, chestnuts, and grapes, from which they make the delicious Etna DOC wine. In every sip, you’ll find the extraordinary biodiversity of Etna.
Hiking trails through unique landscapes, train rides, tastings, and authentic cultural experiences make a journey on Etna the perfect combination of connection with nature, adventure, and sustainability.