1. Scenic Tour of Etna Round and Alcantara Gorges
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, standing 3,329m - the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. Volcanic activity first took place at Etna about half a million years ago. Due to its history of much more recent activity and its nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. The power and romance of Mount Etna have attracted the attention of travellers, artists, poets and philosophers for centuries. Hiking on Etna represents an utterly unique experience. The Alcantara Gorges represent an impressive natural work of art. Several thousand years ago the riverbed was blocked by a lava flow from Mount Etna. As a consequence of the lava cooling much more quickly by the water, it crystallized in the form of columns. Over the next millennia, the river naturally eroded a channel through these columns, resulting in impressive gorges. Our tour will take you first to the intriguing formations of the Alcantara Gorges for a short stop and afterwards to the medieval town of Randazzo. From here we will then take a special train called the "Circumetnea" which goes to the ancient city of Adrano, right at the foot of Mount Etna. Finally we proceed comfortably by bus up to Rifugio Sapienza on the south side of Mount Etna at 1900 meters. A possible ascent to the main crater area (dependent on weather conditions), trekking and lunch are optional.