Mount Etna Route
This Challenge first circumnavigates and then traverses the incredible stratovolcano that is Mount Etna. Beginning on the southern slopes, we'll be trekking along volcanic paths and beautiful forested trails while making our way to the smoky crater of Mount Etna. On the second day, we will have lunch close to the summit and descend on black volcanic scree.
Saturday 22 Sept: Day 2 - 0-36km
Stage 1: Serra Le Neve to Monte La Nave ~ 20km
After an early breakfast we have a short 30 minute transfer from Nicolosi to the starting point at Serra La Neve (1700m). This is on the southern part of Etna and marks the start of our challenge! We begin on volcanic paths which take us north to the town of Bronte and then into beautiful forested trails. A climb to 1938m leads to our first rest stop at 11km. From here we trek downhill 10km to lunch at Monte La Nave.
Stage 2: Monte La Nave to Camp ~ 16km
After lunch, full and rested, we are ready to start the challenging 5km climb to the afternoon rest stop at Rifugio Timparossa. With this out of the way, we can enjoy the magnificent views over the next 7km on our descent to camp in the Clan Dei Ragazzi at 1480m, north of Etna.
Meals included: B, L, D
Sunday 23 Sept: Day 3 - 36-67km
Stage 3: Camp to Etna Observatory ~ 14km
No transfer today as we continue the challenge directly from camp. The path winds through pine & oak forests of Ragabo Park before a gentle climb to the morning rest stop at Piano Provenzano. Next is a tough 1000m climb, passing volcanic peaks of Monte Tanaurpi and Monte Nero, before lunch by Etna Ovservatory.
Stage 4: Etna Observatory to Clan Dei Ragazzi ~ 17km
Be sure to refuel at lunch as from here we take on the climb to Etna's summit craters at 3296m - the highest point of the Challenge! There is often volcanic activity we can see from the smoky summit before descending to Pizzi Denari for a rest at 2090m. Next the trail changes to black volcanic scree leading past the craters at Mone Frumento, Zapinazzo and Conconi. The final 3km is along easy, flat trails which lead straight to the finish line where your well deserved medal and glass of local prosseco will be waiting!
Meals included; B, L, D