Visit Mt. Etna in autumn



If you missed the chance to come to Sicily this summer, do not give up. Perhaps the best is yet to come. Have you ever tried to enjoy this island in autumn (in the fall)? Have you ever tried to imagine what does it mean to admire Mount Etna during this season? Maybe it’s the right time to do it. And for more than a good reason.

In Sicily, autumn begins later. The temperatures remain high until October and sometimes you find yourself in short sleeves and sandals even on November 2nd! In autumn the prices of flights and hotels are lowered and everything becomes cheap. And then there are the colours … the smells … so different from the summer ones but just as unique.

Etna in autumn, the colours of the leaves

There is a specific period between October and November of each year, in which the woods of Etna almost simultaneously take on the most beautiful colours of autumn. There are no specific dates, it depends on the rains and temperatures. But if you are so good or lucky to seize that time on the fly you will enjoy a magnificent show.

The woods of Ragabo, Piano Provenzana, Timparossa (Northern Etna), those of Piano del Vescovo (Southern Etna) and the Ilice’s, to the east, are filled with red, yellow, orange and brown leaves. And when the wind makes them fall, these colours decorate paths, roads and clearings.

Walking in this scenario, with the scents of the damp earth, the mushrooms and the foliage carried by the wind, while maybe a few kilometers away from you someone still takes another swim in the sea, is an experience to live and to remember.

Etna in autumn, the festivals

etna autunno (2)Visiting Mt.Etna in  autumn is special also because of the many village festivals that dot the volcano all around. In this season, every small centre shows the goodness of its fields and the work of its citizens.

We start with the grape harvests, with the festivals dedicated to wine and grapes (Vinimilo, Festa della Vendarmia in Piedimonte, Cantine dell’Etna …) to then continue with those dedicated to mushrooms, chestnuts and so on.

A beautiful synthesis of all this is the Ottobrata in Zafferana Etnea. Every weekend in October you can go up to the small mountain town to taste fruit, wine and seasonal sweets. And of course the excellent local honey. Do not miss – on the other side of Mt.Etna – the pistachio festival in Bronte. Pistachios are only harvested every two years, but this feast of flavour is repeated every autumn.

Recommended excursions in autumn

In autumn we suggest all those excursions that in summer are penalized by too much heat and dust. The ascent to the central craters, for example, or the exploration of the caves. It is important to always follow your guide, who knows exactly when to go and when to avoid certain places, also based on weather conditions, which in autumn in Sicily are subject to sudden changes.

In this season you can visit all the piedmont villages quietly and you can walk among the cold lava streams, going to discover the mountain shelters. Of course, every hike in the woods is a great idea, due to the conditions we described above. If you want to discover the Alcantara Gorges in a time when the river changes its colour and flow, do it, always entrusting yourself to the experience of your guides in leading you. (photo by Grazia Musumeci)


The author: Grazia Musumeci