Etna, easy routes for elderly people



A particular mountain like Etna is a continuous challenge that certainly fascinates those who love trekking, or young people who like to bring their skills to the extreme limits. But it is still a relaxing landscape, rich in woods and fascinating ravines that can please even those who do not really feel like adventure, but still love nature.

Many groups of tourists arriving on Mt.Etna are elderly people. Mainly foreigners but also Italians or Sicilians. The problem of people over 60 is that they have handicaps and needs that limit their space of action. So it is good to know where you can go, if you are no longer youngsters but if you do not want to give up exploring the great volcano in any case.

Brunek Refuge

This refuge, on the northern flank of Etna, is located on the edge of the beautiful Linguaglossa pine forest. A large and dense pine forest with very high trunks, even more than 15 meters, almost always protected by the shade, which guarantees not only the cool but also the possibility of moving along the path without too much effort.

For those who are afraid of getting tired, the problem does not arise. You can very well stay near the tourist facility and enjoy a short walk in the woods around it, then return to enjoy a good coffee, an ice cream or a sandwich just a few meters from your parked car.

Sartorius Craters

The path of the Sartorius Craters starts from the Citelli Refuge, still on the north side but more moved towards the east. Comfort is guaranteed by the refuge, which offers refreshment and shelter, with a nice picnic area in the shade of the birches. You can try to follow the path for a few meters, but even if you decide to go all the way – to the Sartorius craters – you will face a 4 km flat route, under the trees that will shelter you from the heat. Once you reach the Sartorius you can decide to climb them or just admire them from the base, without any effort.

Trofa du Camperi

Along the road that goes up to the Citelli you will find a path that is blocked but still accessible on foot. If you follow it – on flat ground – for about one kilometer you will find one of the most beautiful centuries-old trees of Etna. The Trofa (trunk) du Camperi, 21 meters high and about 400 years of age. The show of this plant is more beautiful in autumn, when the leaves are all red, but also in summer it is ideal for resting in the green.

Monte Nero degli Zappini

etna for elderly2It starts from Etna Sud, from Mt Vetore, and winds for 4 km through woods and panoramic points. This route has a drop of 200 meters so maybe you can only try it if you are still in good physical shape. However, it is not complicated and any untrained walker can manage to complete it.

Silvestri Craters

These “buttonhole” old craters that open onto the southern flank of Mt.Etna are different and each has a particular elevation and steepness. Not all of them are suitable for elderly people, but with the due caution the lowest of the three – close to restaurants and souvenir shops – can be easily visited.

You just need to go up a few meters along a simple path to find yourself on the edge of the crater , with a spectacular view at your feet. And if you get too tired, in less than five minutes you can reach the nearby bar-restaurant and sit quietly at one of its tables.  (photos by Grazia Musumeci)


The author: Grazia Musumeci