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The 5 Best Mount Etna Tours From Catania [2020 Reviews]

Mount Etna, Italy is the tallest active volcano in Europe and a fantastic destination for anyone interested in geology, history, or hiking across surreal volcanic landscapes. Its frequent eruptions have shaped the east of Sicily and provided fertile volcanic soil for grapes used in local wine production.

This volcano is the most popular natural attraction in Sicily, and no vacation on this island is complete without visiting Mount Etna. There are many Etna tours available from Catania. Some simply visit the craters while other Etna excursions also take in volcanic caves and local farms or historic towns.

I’ve selected 5 of the top-rated Mount Etna Trips to review. If you’re planning to go Etna touring, I believe one of these Mount Etna tours will be perfect for you.

Best Mount Etna Tours From Catania

 From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina TourEtna in the Morning: Half Day Excursion from CataniaMount Etna Summit and Crater Trek
editors choice
Departure PointHotel pick-up from CataniaHotel pick-up from CataniaInformation Desk, Crateri Silvestri Restaurant, Nicolosi
Departure Time 8:30 AM9:00 AM9:30 AM
Duration9 hours5 hours6 hours
Includes Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna & Taormina, trekking tour, visit to a cave, helmet with a flashlight, and a taste of local produce Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna, trekking tour, visit to a cave, and helmet with flashlightExperienced tour guide, a cable car ride to Mount Etna, and trekking tour

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Mount Etna Tours From Catania

  1. From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour
  2. Etna in the Morning: Half Day Excursion from Catania
  3. Mount Etna Summit and Crater Trek
  4. From Catania: Etna Nature and Flavors Half-Day Tour
  5. Catania: Mount Etna Morning Jeep Tour

Best Mount Etna Tours From Catania Reviewed

#1 From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up from Catania
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna & Taormina, trekking tour, visit to a cave, helmet with a flashlight, and a taste of local produce
This Catania Etna excursion is perfect for anyone who loves ancient history and culture. Learn all about the risks of living on the edge of death and how the ancients rationalized the events they witnessed living beside the tallest active volcano in Europe.

On this Etna tour, an expert guide will lead you across the lunar landscape of an active volcano so you can see the craters and explore a lava cave formed during an eruption. You’ll also visit an organic farm that makes use of the fertile volcanic soil beneath the volcano to grow grapes for wine and flowers for honey production. Sample the local produce and taste the difference.

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In the wildlife reserve of Isola Bella, you’ll visit a spectacular sea cave famous for its crystal-clear blue waters and abundant marine life. Then, following a lunch break, you’ll be taken on a guided tour around the historic town of Taormina.

The Ancient Greek amphitheater in Taormina is still used for performances today. And you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Bay of Nexus as well as the stunning architecture in the Palazzo Corvaja. This is the most comprehensive Etna visit you’ll find from Catania.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#2 Etna in the Morning: Half Day Excursion from Catania

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

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  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up from Catania
  • Departure Time: 9:00 AM
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Includes: Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna, trekking tour, visit to a cave, and helmet with flashlight
If you want to learn all about volcanoes and volcanic eruptions, this is the best Catania Etna tour for you. You’ll explore all the volcanic features of Europe’s tallest active volcano when you visit Etna on this exciting excursion.

Enjoy a guided trek across a surreal landscape of recent lava flows and ancient craters.

Your knowledgeable guide will explain all the volcanic features you experience and answer any queries you may have regarding local geology and history as you tour Etna.

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Your guide will also lead you into an amazing lava flow tunnel formed during one of the eruptions. Learn all about how it was formed and the fascinating features inside. Outside of the cave, you’ll stop at a viewpoint with panoramic views of the Valley of the Ox. This valley is an important barrier between flowing rivers of lava and the thriving city of Catania below.

This is one of the most informative Mt Etna tours you’ll find. Make sure you take along your camera for the stunning photographs you can take while you’re creating memories.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#3 Mount Etna Summit and Crater Trek

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Information Desk, Crateri Silvestri Restaurant, Nicolosi
  • Departure Time: 9:30 AM
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Experienced tour guide, a cable car ride to Mount Etna, and trekking tour
This is one of the best value Mount Etna tours from Catania you’ll ever find. You’ll see the main highlights of Europe’s highest active volcano for an affordable price.

After a safety briefing, you’ll ascend 8,000 feet up the slopes of Mount Etna in a cable car before transferring into a 4×4 bus. You’ll cover the final 2-hour trek to the summit on foot with regular breaks to admire the stunning scenery from the heights.

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Atop the volcano, you’ll walk across the lava fields created by the 2017 eruption and follow the nature trails across a lunar landscape. Your knowledgeable guide will explain about the surrounding geological features and answer any questions you wish to raise about the volcano. If an active volcano crater is what you want to see, this is a perfect excursion to Etna for you.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#4 From Catania: Etna Nature and Flavors Half-Day Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up from Catania
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna, nature trekking tour, visit to a cave, helmet with a flashlight, and a taste of local produce
If you want to explore Mount Etna Sicily, this is a great tour from Catania for you. Take your time to admire the fantastic scenery from high up on the mountain and see the Silvestri craters.

Your professional guide will take you on a trek through the Sapienza Refuge 6,500 feet up the slopes of Mount Etna. There you can see the craters created during the 1892 eruption and evidence of the latest eruptions. You’ll also see a stunning vista of the Valley of the Ox.

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One of the highlights of the tour is exploring a lava tunnel created by flowing lava. Equipped with a headlamp and helmet, your guide will take you into this volcanic cave and teach you how lava flows are formed.

Your excursion includes a visit to the town of Zafferana on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna. In an organic farm there, you’ll discover how much better the local agricultural products grow in the fertile volcanic soil found on the slopes of this volcano.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#5 Catania: Mount Etna Morning Jeep Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up from Catania
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Experienced tour guide, transportation to Mount Etna, 6-hour nature trekking tour, visit to a cave, helmet with a flashlight, and a taste of local produce
This excursion from Catania is a fantastic way to visit Mount Etna. While you ascend to 6,500 feet above sea level, your guide will entertain you with information about the volcano’s history and geology. Then you’ll embark on a walking tour to get close to the unique fauna and flora found in this volcanic landscape.

From a viewing point, you can admire panoramic views of the Valle del Bove. Your guide will also lead you into a lava tunnel—a cave created by a lave flow. Using the provided safety equipment, you’ll be perfectly safe. And your guide will help you to understand all the unique features of the cave.

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Your Etna excursion will conclude with an opportunity to sample some of the wonderful local agricultural products that have benefited from the fertile volcanic soil around the slopes of Mt Etna Sicily, including honey, wines, and liqueurs.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



Catania, Sicily Travel Guide

Sicily will shock you. While your first choice for a vacation in Italy might be Rome or Venice, Sicily actually offers more. Successive waves of invaders have built some of their finest architectural masterpieces on the island, but somehow later generations left them alone.

mount etna tours from catania

You’ll find better medieval Norman buildings than anywhere in Normandy, the best-preserved Roman villa in the world, and Ancient Greek temples larger and in better condition than anything found in the Acropolis in Athens.

What’s more, Sicily boasts some amazing scenery, including one of the world’s most active volcanoes. And there are plenty of great beaches to take your family to for fun in the sun. Read this brief guide to find out more.

Airports & Entry

Sicily has two international airports: Catania-Fontanarossa Airport and Palermo Falcone-Borsellino International Airport. Palermo handles around 7 million passengers a year but most flights arrive at Catania, which handles 10 million passengers a year and is one of the busiest airports in Italy. Visitors can also reach the island by sea.

Catania

Catania has a small terminal with a good selection of food outlets and shops, including a post office and duty-free. The shops and food outlets all close by midnight. It’s difficult to find power outlets to charge mobile devices and Wi-Fi is only available inside the two airport lounges, which you must pay to enter.

There’s an Information Desk in the Arrivals area and a Tourist Office nearby. Both offices open at 8 am, the tourist office closing at 10 pm and the information office at midnight. You can also find a currency exchange desk and ATMs in the Arrivals area.

The easiest way to get into the city center of Catania is to take the AMT Alibus or a public bus. The AMT Alibus runs services every 25 minutes from 5 am to midnight and takes around 20 minutes to the center and railway station. You purchase €4 tickets from the Bus Ticket Office in the Arrivals area before boarding the bus. Local Bus No. 457 runs the same route every 40 minutes but only costs €1! However, you must buy your ticket from the Newspaper Stand (Tabacchi) in Arrivals.

If you prefer, you can take a taxi into town. These should take around 15 minutes and cost between €25 and €40. The difference in price relates to the number of passengers carried and the time of day. Taxis are more expensive at night. They can be identified by an illuminated TAXI sign atop a yellow or white vehicle.

For greater freedom, you can rent a car at the airport. There are 8 car rental companies at the airport, including Hertz Italiana and Sixt.

Palermo

The airport near Palermo is a little better. It also has a small terminal, and the shops and eating outlets are on the expensive side. But it does offer free WiFi in the Departure lounge, and there are plenty of mobile device charging outlets.

You’ll find the Information Desk in Arrivals, and it’s open from 6 am to midnight. In a medical emergency, there’s a First Aid Station in the Check-In area and a Pharmacy in Departures. The foreign exchange desk is also in the Check-In area.

The easiest way to get into town is on the train service that links the airport to central Palermo from 5 am to 8 pm. The train takes about an hour and costs €5.50. However, the airport bus is quicker. It takes around 50 minutes and costs €6.50. Bus services run from 4 am to 10:30 pm and you can buy your ticket on the bus.

Taking a taxi from the rank outside the Arrivals area is a little quicker. They generally take 40 minutes to the city center and cost around €45. Or you can rent a car for greater freedom. Car rentals are provided by 12 different agencies including Avis, Europcar, and Hertz.

Ferry

Since Sicily is less than 2 miles away from mainland Italy, it’s also easy to get there by taking a short ferry crossing which costs around €13. You can cross from Reggio di Calabria or Villa San Giovanni on the mainland to Messina on the northeastern point of Sicily.

Long-distance ferries also link Sicily to more distant places, including Malta and Tunisia as well as major Italian seaports like Genoa and Naples. You’ll need your passport ready if you’re traveling from Tunisia or Malta. Technically, you shouldn’t need your passport traveling from other Italian ports, but you may be asked to show a photo ID to land in Sicily.

Planning Tips

There are a lot of great things to see and do in Sicily. You’ll really enjoy your visit. Here are 5 tips to help you plan your stay.

Tip #1: Decide what you want to do before planning your visit to Sicily

There’s a lot to do around the island, but when you go and where you stay depends upon what you want to do when you get there. If you want to hike up and down mountains or to the many wonderful ruins, avoid the midsummer heat and go in spring or the fall. If you want to ski, go in winter. If you want to snorkel and enjoy the water, summer is great. It takes time to move around the island, so research where you want to spend your time and base yourself nearby or in a central location.

Tip #2: Buy unique art and crafts

Sicily boasts many unique products that make excellent gifts for your friends back home or souvenirs for you. For example, you can buy jewelry made from the local coral, ornaments made from volcanic rock from Mount Etna, and traditional marionette puppets as used in the traditional Opera dei Pupi (Sicilian puppet theater). The puppets from Catania and Palermo are the best known.

Tip #3: Be prepared for arduous hikes

Many of Sicily’s most iconic landmarks are best viewed by ascending steep slopes to a lofty height in hot weather with bright sunshine. So, be prepared. Before your visit, do a few practice hikes up and down hills near home to prepare your muscles. When packing, take a hat for shade, plenty of sunscreen, and well broken-in shoes. On actual hikes, carry plenty of bottled water and stay hydrated.

Tip #4: Book in advance, especially during summer

Sicily is the place Italians come to enjoy the beach in summer, so be ready for huge crowds. Popular activities and the best hotels can be fully booked months in advance. To ensure you don’t miss out, book in advance. Reputable tour companies will agree to refunds for tours tickets canceled with reasonable notice.

Tip #5: Be prepared for the challenge of Sicily

Sicily offers some of the most amazing cultural sites you’ve ever seen. However, it’s not like the rest of Italy. When you get there, you’ll find it’s more like Mexico than Rome…more roadside garbage and graffiti that you’re expecting, run-down structures and infrastructure, and some wild locals. This is all changing very rapidly, with new roads being built and tourism going through the roof as more and more people realize what a prime cultural site the island is. Get there before the tourist crowds and global corporations ruin it and turn it into Rome Mark #2.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Sicilian cuisine is distinctly Italian and Mediterranean but of a distinct local variety shaped by the island’s rich history and the locally available food ingredients. So, you’ll see plenty of pasta, seafood, all cooked with lashings of olive oil. But you’ll also see elements of cooking influenced by the Moors and the Greeks who occupied the island in the past.

Perhaps the most famous dish in Sicily is pasta alla Norma. It’s made using aubergine, locally grown tomatoes, salted ricotta, and garlic served with short pasta. If you’re wondering “who” Norma was, it’s actually the name of an opera written by Bellini. Pasta con le sarde is the equivalent seafood dish, with sardines, anchovy fillets, raisin, pine nuts, and saffron made into a sauce and poured onto a kind of spaghetti called bucantini. You can find tasty Sicilian pasta dishes in Ristorante Bellotero in Palermo.

Like elsewhere in Italy, pizza is a popular dish on the streets. However, Sicilian sfincione pizza has an unusually thick base. You’ll typically find it with a thick topping of cheese, onions, and anchovies. Sarde a beccafico is one of the signature dishes of the island. Sardines are one of the most common fish in the sea around Sicily, and a popular way of cooking them is stuffed with breadcrumbs, raisins, and pine nuts.

A popular vegetarian dish originating in Sicily is caponata. This antipasto is made using fried aubergine mixed with tomatoes, onion, and celery and turned into a stew. The exact recipe changes from restaurant to restaurant, but caponata is seen on menus throughout Italy.

Wandering around the island, you’ll see arancini balls sold in many food stalls and cafés. These are balls of creamy risotto rice breaded and deep-fried. They make a great snack while you’re walking around the picturesque streets of Palermo or Catania.

Granita con brioche is an interesting traditional breakfast. Granita is a frozen sorbet made from ice and sugar with fruit or coffee, and at breakfast, it is typically served with a warm brioche roll. This dish has a long history, and before refrigeration was invented was made using ice brought down from the high mountains on the island. Now it’s a popular morning meal on hot summer days. Every morning, you can see people sitting outside cafés like The Bam Bar in Taormina enjoying granita con brioche.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, you’ll love the vast variety of desserts found around Sicily. A great place to sample traditional Sicilian sweets is Pasticceria Cappello in Palermo.

Torta Setteveli is a delicious, seven-layered chocolate and hazelnut cake. Cassata is a sponge cake flavored with citrus fruits, chocolate, marzipan, and sweet ricotta cream. Cannoli is made from deep-fried pastry tubes filled with creamy ricotta. And Semifreddo alle mandorle is a molded frozen almond parfait that is soft and similar in texture to ice cream.

Nightlife & Entertainment

You’ll find a broad variety of nightlife in Sicily from quiet bars with soft piano music to wild beach bars and nightclubs. Most of the nightlife is found in the two largest cities of Catania and Palermo. Taormina is another popular tourist resort where you’ll find a lively nightlife, though it’s tiny compared to the two cities. In the town center of Taormina, you’ll find some great bars with outside seating areas, like Caffe Wunderbar.

Catania is a student city and a focal point for Sicily’s nightlife. The bars and dance clubs are clustered together making it a great place to tumble from bar to bar. If you want to begin the evening with a snack, the Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant is a great place to enjoy a drink with stunning views of Mount Etna and a delicious evening buffet. But if you prefer a livelier venue, Afrobar is a bar with a dance floor on the beach. Here you’ll often see bonfires and fire dancers.

The most well-known club in Catania is located in the Contrada Jungetto area south of the city. Mercanti Generali is spread over three rooms and a palm-shaded courtyard and terrace area. The music is eclectic, from hip hop and R&B to house, dubstep, and drum and bass.

Palermo is much more spread out than Catania, so you’d be better staying in one nightclub otherwise you’ll need transport. The nightclubs tend to draw a younger crowd, many of them students. There are 4 main areas for nightlife in Palermo: Old Town, La Cala Marina, Downtown and the beaches.

The historic center is where you’ll find the less formal bars and clubs. While the bars and clubs in other parts of the city are closed by 3 am, some of the venues around Vucciria in Old Town stay open until dawn. Check out the Cantavespri Art Café where you’ll often find live bands on Wednesdays and Fridays. The horseshoe-shaped La Cala Marina is found close to the Old Town, and you can find a selection of trendy bars overlooking the water.

The Politeama and Liberta Downtown area are where you’ll find the quieter crowd of more mature drinkers and the more sophisticated cocktail bars. Along the coastline and beaches, the Addaura, Mondello, and Sferracavallo coasts are where you’ll find the locals drinking and dancing. In summer, it’s cooler on the beaches and a great place for dancing.

Getting Around

Sicily has a well-developed public transport system, so it’s easy to get around by train or bus. In the past four decades, the roads have been upgraded so getting around by rental car is also a good option.

The trains are a fast option and provide great views of Sicily’s landscape. The Inter City Express trains are the fastest and most comfortable, but they’re more expensive than the local trains that stop at every station. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll be happy to hear that kids between 4 and 11 get half-price tickets.

The services are operated by Trenitalia. Before boarding your train, you must stamp your ticket in one of the orange ticket machines in the station to validate it.

When planning connections or booking events at your destination, be aware that Sicilian trains are notorious for running late. Allow extra time between arrival at the railway station and the start of your activity or connecting service.

Buses are usually cheaper but slower than trains, but there are exceptions like the connection between Palermo Airport and the city center where the buses are both quicker and more expensive than the local train connection. Research the particular journey you want to take to compare time and cost.

Orange-colored buses run services around a specific town or city, and you can use them to reach attractions around that city. Blue-colored buses provide connections between cities. Tickets can be purchased in advance from newsagents and other small stores. Note that Sunday services are very diminished.

Renting your own vehicle is a great option if you want the freedom to explore at your own pace, especially on a Sunday. However, the cities do experience the usual problems of traffic jams, one-way systems, and a lack of parking places near the major attractions. Also, note that you may find the pace of traffic much slower than you’re used to. Even on the freeway, people sometimes drive quite slowly.

On the smaller, rural roads, watch out for potholes and landslides. Mount Etna is an active volcano, so the ground around the island isn’t as stable as most other places.

The new freeways are wonderful but note that the A18 from Messina to Catania and the A20 from Messina to Palermo are toll roads. Because most vehicles enter Sicily on ferries from the mainland at Messina and Catania and Palermo are the two main cities, these are the two most important routes. Using the A18 costs €3.70 and the A20 €10.10.

Taxis are generally fast and safe, but they are also expensive. If a bus journey costs €1, expect to pay around €25 for a taxi ride to the same destination. You may find it difficult to hail a taxi in the street or find one at a taxi rank, but hotels can arrange one in advance if you ask at reception.

Accommodations

There are lots of fascinating attractions spread around Sicily, and if you want to visit them all then you might want to consider staying in several locations during your visit rather than settling in just one. Otherwise, where you stay depends upon whether your main interest is soaking up the sun and swimming in the Mediterranean or visiting some of the many cultural and historic sites.

If you want to explore the Ancient Greek temples, consider staying near Syracuse in the southeast or Agrigento in the southwest. For beautiful Baroque architecture, base yourself in the southeast near Val di Noto. To explore the Norman historic sites of Monreale and Palermo, find a hotel in the northwest. If you intend to take a lot of boat tours and visit other islands, you’ll find Messina the most convenient location. And if Mount Etna’s volcanic landscapes appeal to you, then stay somewhere around Catania.

Palermo is the largest city and where you’ll find the most hotels. The city is divided into 25 districts, but only 3 areas are really tourist-friendly: the Old Town, the Politeama and Liberta districts, and Mondello. Generally, the Downtown area of Liberta and Politeama is the best place to base yourself as it’s considered the safest area, and it is still convenient for the tourist sites around the Old Town. The Old Town is also great, but it’s the main party and nightlife area…so it can be wild and the streets full of drunk people in the wee hours of the night.

If you want to do your bit for the environment, check out the Bio Hotel in the Politeama area. They aim to leave a minimal carbon footprint. But if you want to enjoy sumptuous luxury, consider the Grand Hotel Wagner.

Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily and offers a wide range of options for tourists. If you like roof terrace gardens and classic rooms, check out the Hotel Villa Roma. But if you’re traveling with your family, you can get great value family rooms in the Hotel Etnea 316, which is centrally located close to St Agatha’s Cathedral and within sight of Mount Etna.

But if you want to live out in the beautiful countryside of Sicily, consider renting a villa for the duration of your stay. There are a wide range of modern and historic buildings to choose from in lots of different locations around the island.

Weather

Sicily has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Because of African currents reaching the southern coast and high-altitude areas inland, different areas of the island can experience very different weather conditions.

The winter temperatures are coldest in January, with an average daily high of 590F and a low of 500F. Areas above 3,000 feet see enough regular snow for skiing. By April, the fields are green, though the snow yet lingers atop Mount Etna. The temperatures range from a high of 640F to a low of 550F.

In the summer, Sicily occasionally sees scorching sirocco wind from the Sahara and rainfall is rare. Water shortages are common on the island. The hottest month is August, with an average high of 860F and low of 750F. The local harvests begin in August, with crops such as figs and watermelons providing wonderful treats and the wine grape harvest begins.

The main harvests are during September and October, when the pistachios, almonds, and olives are ready to reap. November sees rapid cooling. You can see snow atop Mount Etna again, but the fields remain green. The average daily high drops to 660F and the low 570F.

Attractions

Sicily is a treasure house of world-class cultural and natural attractions. You’d need years to explore them all completely. Here’s a selection of some of the best.

Ragusa and Modica

With an active volcano and its position on the edge of a tectonic plate, Sicily sees a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. An earthquake in 1693 destroyed most of the buildings around the southern tip of the island.

This provided a blank canvas for rebuilding on a grand scale in a fashionable style we now call the Baroque. Because of this, the towns of Ragusa and Modica are one of the best places in the world to view fine Baroque buildings.

Monreale Cathedral

Almost a thousand years ago, the Normans spread out across Europe and occupied many areas of coastland or islands, including Sicily. During this time, they built a grand cathedral in Monreale.

The most remarkable thing about this structure today is that, unlike many other cathedrals across Europe, it has remained largely unaltered since its first construction making it the best-preserved Norman building in Europe. Monreale Cathedral features 12th-century mosaics in vibrant colors and rows of grand double columns around a courtyard fountain.

Villa Romana del Casale in Enna

Sicily is home to one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Europe. 50 rooms have been excavated by archaeologists to reveal over 38,000 square feet of mosaic floors and lots of fine features, such as a thermal bathhouse with a colonnaded courtyard and fountain. The detailed mosaics paint a picture of everyday life in the Roman Empire along with scenes from history and mythology.

Ancient Greek temples

In Selinunte, you can see 8 Ancient Greek temples, the oldest dating back to the 5th century BCE. Nearby is a large Acropolis with surrounding walls from the 7th century BCE. One of these temples, known as Temple G, was one of the largest Greek temples ever built.

But it is the large complex of tombs and temples in Agrigento that most visitors want to see, including the famous Tempio di Concordia—one of the best-preserved Doric temples in existence. The group also includes the circular Tempio di Heracles, the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, and the Tempio di Juno Lacinia.

Mount Etna

The tallest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna dominates the eastern end of Sicily and fascinates millions of visitors every year. It stands 10,912 feet tall as I am writing but may be shorter or taller when you read this because frequent eruptions change its height. In winter, snow tops its peak providing fun for skiers and a beautiful skyline.

Visitors are often treated to views of a smoking cone, bubbling hot springs, volcanic vents, and occasional lava flows. But be careful and only go on organized tours run by experienced locals. The volcano is very active!

Aeolian Islands

Sicily also makes a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding Mediterranean islands. The Aeolian Islands are 7 islands of volcanic origin off the north coast of Sicily. Stromboli boasts the most active volcano, and its pyrotechnics frequently light the night sky. Visitors love to engage in water sports around the islands and admire their unique volcanic landscape.

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