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Rifugio Sapienza

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Rifugio Sapienza: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Nicolosi: Mount Etna Sunset Hike

1. From Nicolosi: Mount Etna Sunset Hike

You will be surprised by the beauty of the Etnean views, the recent lava flows, and the lush coniferous and deciduous forests that surround Mount Etna-a perfect place from which to enjoy the beautiful Sicilian sunset. Your tour will start from the square of Rifugio Sapienza where you will meet the multilingual guide who will lead you to discover the curiosities and facts about this unique volcano. The tour will be about 5 km long, during which you will be able to admire the typical shelters of Etna, specifically one located near a vertical lava flow cave, used in the past as a neviera, storage for winter snow, then used in the summer to cool food and drinks. Only after watching a wonderful sunset from a picturesque location will you return to Rifugio Sapienza.

From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

2. From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

Jump in the shuttle bus and head out into the lunar landscape of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna. At over 6,500 ft (1,981 meters), this majestic mountain dominates the coastline, concealing plenty of treasures within its lair. No trip to Sicily would be complete without a visit to the tempestuous territories of Mount Etna. Starting at Rifugio Sapienza, follow the line of the old Silvestri craters down into a cave of lava formed during the eruption of 1792. From here, head to the province of Zafferana, where you'll visit a local organic farm and sample honey and wine, cultivated in the fertile soils of the region. En route to Taormina, look at the spectacular wildlife reserve of Isola Bella from above. Upon arrival, spend lunch at your leisure, then re-group to check out the highlights of this unique historical town. From the old-world charm of the ancient Greek theater to the breathtaking views of the Bay of Nexus and the striking architecture of Palazza Corvaja, this town steals the heart of every visitor.

Catania: Half-Day Buggy Tour of the Etna Volcano

3. Catania: Half-Day Buggy Tour of the Etna Volcano

Take part in a buggy adventure on Mount Etna. Take in scenic sights, walk around the top of Silvestri Craters and explore the Cassone lava cave. Explore the Etna volcano by buggy on this unique 4-hour activity. After a quick briefing on how to drive your buggy, head off with the guide to the villages of Pedara and Nicolosi. Continue along a track that passes an old lava rock quarry, and experience the buggy’s off-road abilities. Drive on a scenic road leading to Rifugio Sapienza. After a coffee break, take a walk around the top of the Silvestri Craters. Next, take the road down to the Cassone lava cave. Enjoy a quick visit inside, equipped with a helmet and a flashlight. Continue on the route, stopping to admire the immense Valle del Bove from Mount Zoccolaro on the way to Zafferana Etnea, Viagrande and San Gregorio.

From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Tour

4. From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Tour

Depart from Taormina and head to the Rifugio Sapienza on Mount Etna. Learn the history of the volcano and visit the sites of its last eruptions. Choose to trek along the nature paths of the Parco dell’Etna or take the cable car to an altitude of 2,504 meters and continue by 4WD minibus to the Torre del Filosofo. Get stunning views of the scenery stretching down to the sea and admire the craters and old lava flows that characterize the landscape. Explore a lava cave with all the proper equipment. Continue down the mountain and stop at the organic farm for a delicious sampling of local products, including honey, wine, and oil. Discover the different corners of the Alcantara River. Walk down small paths, past cultivated fields, and see the natural pools and waterfalls and continue to get up close to different basalt and unexpected lava formations.

Catania: Mount Etna Trekking and Summit Craters

5. Catania: Mount Etna Trekking and Summit Craters

From the meeting point at Funivia dell'Etna, you’ll start the day by catching the cable car and bus to the trailhead. After trekking for about 2 kilometers, you will reach the western portion of the summit crater terrace where it is possible to admire the stateliness of the Central Crater. The trekking will continue along the crater wall before starting downhill on the steep path constituted by ash and volcanic scoria along the southern portion of the summit. Complete the extraordinary journey back to Rifugio Sapienza by cable car.

Catania: Guided Tour of Etna with Wine Tasting & Appetizers

6. Catania: Guided Tour of Etna with Wine Tasting & Appetizers

Come with us to discover the highest volcano in Europe: Mount Etna! You'll visit ancient craters and you'll reach an altitude of up to 2000 meters, ending this experience with a tasting of typical products of the place, at one of the best wineries of our volcano.  After meeting with the guide, you will climb up to the Sapienza Refuge, allowing yourself short stops from time to time, so you can fully enjoy the beauty of the Etnean landscape.  You will know the history of the volcano and its territory, thanks to our guide who will tell you about the ancient and recent lava flows that have involved the slopes of Etna and the Crateri Silvestri. Once you reach Rifugio Sapienza, at an altitude of 1920 meters, you will have the possibility to choose whether to continue on a hiking trail without exceeding 2000 meters of altitude, together with our guide, or opt for the option "Etna alta quota" that, thanks to special means and a local mountain guide, will allow you to reach the summit of the volcano (about 3000 meters), where you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of a beautiful landscape surrounded by the sea. Back to Rifugio Sapienza, with helmet and flashlight, you can continue with the visit of a cave of lava flow: a unique and distinctive conformation of volcanoes, and then conclude this experience with a tasting of five local wines, accompanied by a platter of cold cuts, cheeses, fried food, pate and extra virgin olive oil of our own production.

Catania: Guided Tour of Etna with Farm Visit & Food Tasting

7. Catania: Guided Tour of Etna with Farm Visit & Food Tasting

Come with us to discover the highest volcano in Europe: Mount Etna! You will visit ancient craters, ending this experience with a tasting of typical products of the place, at an organic farm. After meeting with the guide, you will climb up to the Rifugio Sapienza, allowing yourself short stops from time to time, so you can fully enjoy the beauty of the Etnean landscape.  You will know the history of the volcano and its territory, thanks to our guide who will tell you about the ancient and recent lava flows that have involved the slopes of Etna and the Crateri Silvestri.   Once you reach Rifugio Sapienza, at an altitude of 1920 meters, you will continue on a hiking trail, together with our guide, where you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of a beautiful landscape.   Back to Rifugio Sapienza, with helmet and flashlight, you will continue with the observation of a cave of lava flow: a unique and distinctive conformation of volcanoes, and then conclude with a visit to an organic farm, where you can taste honeys, wines, oils and other local products.

From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

8. From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

After being picked up from your accommodation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, set off in the direction of Mount Etna. Embark on an adventurous drive up to the volcano, passing by the small towns of Pedara, Nicolosi, and Zafferana Etnea and cold lava fields. Reach the Rifugio Sapienza Etna starting point where the next portion of the tour begins. Your English-speaking guide will explain to you the most interesting phenomena of the active volcano and about the plants and animals of the region. Climb into a cable car and soar up to an altitude of 2500 m. Next, continue upwards to 2900m in a special jeep. Explore the area at the foot of the main crater known as Torre del Filosofo. Marvel at the stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea if it is a clear day. During a 40-minute tour of the area, your expert alpine/volcanology guide will explain all about the geology of the area and how the hot smoking craters were formed after the 2002-2003 eruption.  After this, return to the Rifugio Sapienza to enjoy a traditional Sicilian lunch at a chalet. Once you've filled your belly, get kitted up with helmets and flashlights and begin on an unforgettable adventure inside a real lava cave. At the end of the tour,  you will be driven back to your accommodation in Catania or Taormina.

From Catania: Etna, Taormina, Isola Bella Audio-Guided Tour

9. From Catania: Etna, Taormina, Isola Bella Audio-Guided Tour

Explore three beautiful places in Sicily on a full-day self-guided tour starting in the center of Catania. Travel to Mount Etna, known as the highest active volcano in Europe. Experience the natural beauty of Isola Bella and visit the medieval hill town of Taormina. Reach 2000 meters and walk on the old craters while admiring citrus groves, vineyards, and birch woods. Take the cable car, easily accessible from the stop point to get a unique perspective of the site (cable car tickets are not included). Move on to Isola Bella, a nature reserve with enchanting shades of color on the seabed that is a favorite destination for many travelers before heading to Taormina. From the Greek Theatre in Taormina, experience the spectacular view of the turquoise sea from the coast of Calabria, the city of Syracuse, and the steaming summit of Etna. Have free time to wander and explore Taormina before returning to Catania.

From Catania: Etna Downhill Mountain Biking Experience

10. From Catania: Etna Downhill Mountain Biking Experience

After meeting the group in front of Rifugio Sapienza hotel at 10:30AM, you'll be in good company with a qualified mountain bike guide who will share with you a deep passion for this land and sport. Once you reach the top of the mountain, admire an extraordinary panorama: the summit craters of Etna, the Ionian Sea, and the Valle del Bove. Begin the downhill trail from 2,800 meters by e-bike, with a single trail descent around old and new lava flows on the highest active volcano in Europe.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rifugio Sapienza

Want to discover all there is to do in Rifugio Sapienza? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rifugio Sapienza

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 52 reviews

The day was perfectly planned, the tour was amazing and interesting. We were picked up from our staying address, drove in a small bus to Etna, the guide told us interesting facts in meanwhile. I suggest taking the full tour to the top of Etna too. After tour in Etna we visited lava cave and small local bee keepers shop, where we had a degustations of Sicilian goods and we could purchase them too. After this we were taken to Taormina, where we had free time to explore. Suggest visiting the amphitheater while there. Very nice day!!!

This was an amazing experience with knowledgeable hosts. It’s not for the faint hearted as the tracks are rough but so much fun. There was time to walk around the crators and take in the breathtaking views. Also a couple of stops in the way back to visit a lava cave and impressive lava flows! Thank you!

Daria was an excellent guide. She is very knowledgeable and being with a local is a privilege. She does not hesitate to go extra mile to please her guests. Etna tour was one of a life time event. Taormina is a beautiful town. Will need to go back again as 2 hours was not enough.

great experience - perfect organisation, very friendly guide, fantastic places visited

Unique experience on the edge of the volcano, the guides were very kind and caring.