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Mount Etna is not just a very interesting volcano. It is mainly a mountain, a large one, with different natural environments. On the mountain, nature shows so many aspects that  in the 1980s they founded the Regional Park of Etna, in order to protect it. But the Park itself is not enough to grant a clean and non polluted environment.

Unfortunately, as it also happens in other protected parks,  at the Park of Etna some people leave  garbage or dangerous waste in isolated places and you must always clean up. But also tourists often  pollute the places they say they love. Time has come to educate to a “green friendly” tourism, so to change everyone’s way of thinking.

When tourism is a problem

Mass tourism, that is wild, ruleless tourism, is a problem. It can bring trouble more than benefit to the territory. On Mt Etna, after the long Covid stop and the many (56) eruptions, tourism increased. In order to satisfy visitors, tour operators sometimes break those “sacred” rules of the mountain. Which they should not!

You should not lead crowds of tourists into the glacier caves  of Etna. These are very delicate environments that are completely devastated by the carbon dioxide carried by humans. Aggressive motor vehicles (motocross bikes, quads) should not be used on certain paths or inside certain lava caves. Even if they seem very resistant, the lava environments host very delicate micro-systems of life.  Certain animals (alpacas, sheep, donkeys) should not be accustomed to invading the woods, to prevent them from becoming part of wild places that do not belong to them.

This is why a “green” education is necessary even in the moment of the happy Sunday excursion. This is why guides have to procure eco-sustainable means and adapt to eco-sustainable routes. Maybe less “amazing” but respectful of the naturalness of an environment like Etna.

respect nature of Mt Etna

A green tour? You can do it with us

The many tours we offer on Etna and its surroundings often need large vehicles, such as jeeps or mini vans. Usually they are low-polluting fuels, but recently we have equipped ourselves in an eco-sustainable way, so to go to certain areas of the Park. The vehicles are always four-wheel drive, but they are electrically powered. The electric charge of a mountain vehicle lasts long enough to allow you to make complete excursions without problems.

Thanks to the absolutely non-polluting engine, these vehicles – large or small – can drive into areas of the reserve that would normally be off-limits. In some case they can also enter caves or lava tunnels. Of course they can travel on the sciaras (old lava rocks) or wood trails without fear of poisoning plants with exhaust fumes.

With our green tours you can explore ancient lava flows and get closer to the most recent ones. Going up to admire a live eruption will be more beautiful, knowing that the vehicles do not release pollution in the air.

How to take a green tour

The eco-sustainable “green tours” (click here) that we offer are available in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. “EXCLUSIVE” private tours are also available with an exclusive vehicle and guide.

We will come and pick you up at your accommodation in  Catania or Taormina area with one of our electric vehicles . Then we will head towards the volcano through extraordinary environments, without ever polluting.

If you want more information, click on the appropriate page indicated above or go directly to the contact form. The first totally green tours will start in April 2022 but can be booked right now. (photo G Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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