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climb Mount Etna

itinerary

DAY 1

Departure Day

On arrival, we make our way to our hotel on the coast just below the town of Taormina. This afternoon we have time to walk around this lovely town where DH Lawrence wrote many of his poems. Tonight, as a welcome for the group we are treated to classic Sicilian home-grown food and wines, and meet the team who will be with us throughout the trek.

 

Meals: D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 2

Pista Alta Montana - 27 km

Our challenge starts early this morning as we transfer directly to the Ragabo refuge where we begin our trek with a long, tough day on Etna’s slopes. Our trek takes us all the way to the Maletto refuge, just above the village of Maletto on the western flanks of the volcano. These are good, fast walking paths and where we see superb contrasts between the early lava flows and the birch and pine forest that we reach towards the end of the day. Our specialist guide will give us explanations of the phenomena surrounding the volcano. After a full day trekking we transfer from just south of the refuge to the town of Randazzo to relax with a cool beer or glass of local wine.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 3

Etna Base Camp - 22 km

This morning, after a good breakfast, we transfer back to the Maletto hut and set off, heading directly south skirting the western flanks of the volcano. We soon pass above the town of Bronte and by midday we eat our packed-lunches overlooking the towns of Biancavilla and Adrano with our backs to the formidable summit of Etna. The afternoon is spent trekking up to Etna ‘base camp’, the traditional starting point for hundreds who climb the summit each day. Tonight, in our comfortable hotel, we are able to fully relax with great Sicilian food and wine before an early night in preparation of our final climb in the morning.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 4

Summit Craters 3,350 m - 15 km

Now that we have acclimatised and our legs are well prepared, we have a tough day climbing to the summit of Mt Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. We head directly north, trekking for 8km on the steep slopes of the mountain. After about 4hrs we have lunch with superb views over much of the southern part of the island. The weather here is often windy and harsh and we are almost certainly climbing over a pristine layer of snow to Etna’s Refugio Alpino at 2900 m. In 2012 Etna erupted 5 times and, from the safe areas, it is an incredible sight. From here we have a direct, steep descent back to our refuge at 2000 m. On arrival we take a transfer to our comfortable hotel in the centre of Palermo where this evening we have a great celebratory meal to mark the end of an incredible challenge.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 5

Palermo

We have a relaxing breakfast before transferring to Palermo airport in time for our return flight to London.

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