TRANSFEERO: Reliable airport transfers worldwide
Book a private transfer at over 1500 airports, stations and ports worldwide

If you are a well-informed and passionate tourists, you will now know everything about Mount Etna, the highest and most famous active volcano in Europe. This gigantic mountain, which dominates the eastern coast of Sicily, is a universe of natural and historical beauty that contains urbanized landscapes, centuries-old woods, examples of Mediterranean but also Nordic bush. And typically volcanic, “lunar” elements, such as the large expanses of lava or the black sand gullies. If you visit Etna with a good local guide you will have no problem moving from one environment to another. You can also explore the volcano on your own, if you are well prepared and well organized. What matters is to never make mistakes that could ruin the moment… or even an entire holiday. Here are five things you should never do if you find yourself on Mount Etna.

Do not underestimate the wind (in case of an eruption)

The wind in the mountains is always an important factor, but if that mountain is an active volcano too, it becomes fundamental. Knowing where the wind is blowing and how it might change during the day, especially in case of an eruption, can also make the difference between life and death on Etna! When lava fountains are in progress, often kilometers high, depending on where the wind blows the volcanic material may or may not fall on you. So if there is an eruption and the wind blows from north to south, go admire the show from the north, or the east or west. If, on the other hand, it blows from south to north, you will stay to the south or to the east or west.

Do not leave without saying where you are going

When you travel alone on Etna, even if you follow easy and tourist paths, always say where you are going and when you plan to return. Leave a note at the hotel, to the owner of the B&B, to a friend… . A volcano is treacherous terrain, even the most experienced hikers can find themselves in difficulty. So, knowing where you are headed could help in the event of an accident or if you get lost. Remember that in many areas of Etna cell phones do not have reception – or a very bad one. Also evaluate this risk factor.

etna 5 mistakes twoDo not underestimate the distances

At first glance, Mount Etna appears to be a simple mountain with well-defined limits and dimensions. But it is actually a volcano with dozens of overlapping different territories. You could find yourself walking for hours without ever reaching that destination that seemed so close. This is why it is important to study the maps and paths carefully, perhaps together with expert locals.

Do not venture out at night

If you are not familiar with Etna’s paths, we recommend that you always plan your trips and excursions in the morning. Leaving in the afternoon – even in summer – is not a good idea. As already mentioned, the volcano’s territory is treacherous. If you go off track for a few kilometers or lose your way for a few minutes you might find yourself already shrouded in the darkness of the evening and with an increasingly confusing map in your head! Especially in winter, with the possibility of frost and snow at night, avoid going out hiking after sunset. If you absolutely want to enjoy the volcano at night, at least do it with a guide.

Never ignore the warnings

Download all the weather apps and the – very precious – apps from the INGV, the volcanology institute, onto your mobile phone. You should always stay up to date on news, alerts, changes and notices. An eruption could be announced well in advance or occur within a few minutes. If you receive an alert or are advised against going to high altitude on a certain day, DO NOT ignore the news and never do things your way! (PHOTOS BY G MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

Airport Transfers