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And you? Are you part of the trekking team or the jeep team? By now the battle is open and the discussions are almost everywhere. The only point of agreement seems to be to refuse, however, both quads and motocross bikes. But otherwise each faction remains convinced of its own way of exploring a volcano as big as Etna. But beyond the stadium cheering … is it better to get to know our volcano on foot or with an equipped car like a jeep?

Trekking Team: better on foot because …

Those who love walking, climbing and getting tired on mountain paths will never want to explore it on board a motor vehicle. It is the legs that carry, and the human body is the only ideal means to explore this environment. The reasons?

The trekking team will tell you that only by walking can you truly respect Etna. And you can enjoy its unique landscape better. Walking along the paths and old lavas, you certainly get tired but you can stop from time to time so to contemplate a beauty that otherwise, in the car, you would miss. Could you ever admire certain types of trunks, mushrooms, certain forms of roped lava while running with a motorized vehicle? And then, needless to say, going on foot does not pollute and does not disturb the ecosystem.

etna trekking or jeep_ (2)Jeep Team: better by car because …

Those who, on the other hand, love to go by jeep respond with equally valid reasons. First of all, choosing the jeep does not mean being lazier but only wanting to see more places in less time, therefore allowing yourself to enjoy an almost complete tour and the possibility of doing it in one day.

The jeep also allows those who are not trained walkers, the elderly, the disabled to get to places they would never be able to see. And … who said that the jeep pollutes? There are ecological tours planned and done with eco-friendly means, which do not release any harmful residues into the environment. Finally, even with the jeep you can stop to admire the details up close.

Ideal trails on foot or by jeep

You can explore Mount Etna on foot without any problem. Certainly, however, a walking excursion requires a very long time. The paths are all passable by trekking lovers. Among the most beautiful routes to do on foot we certainly recommend: Schiena dell’Asino which leads to overlook the Valle del Bove; Ragabo pine forest which extends into a forest of very tall secular pines; Piano Vetore, which allows you to reach refuges and woods through a large flat land that is also suitable for families; Sartorius Craters, which allows you to climb even on the now extinguished vents; Piano dei Grilli for walking in the shade of tall brooms.

Instead, those who prefer to travel by jeep can arrive along the main roads and some dirt roads and visit: the lava of 1992, just above the town of Zafferana Etnea; the balcony of Monte Pomiciaro, not far from the entrance to the path to Monte Zoccolaro; the caves Dei Ladroni and Dei Tre Leveli; the summit areas of the volcano. By jeep you can also travel along the banks of the rivers that flow on the sides of Etna, such as the Alcantara (in some points) or the Simeto.

What is the best way in the end?

In the end, who is right? Who wants to visit the volcano always and only on foot or who prefers the jeep? Both are, depending on the time available and the places they wish to visit. But also depending on athletic training.
Whether it’s on foot or by car, if you have the opportunity to explore a wonderful volcano like Etna, don’t miss it. Alternatively, if you really can’t decide, there is also the possibility of going on the trails by mountain bike or … on the back of a donkey or a horse! (photos by G Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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