Visit Etna Volcano With Our Guided Jeep Tour
# 3 – Etna Jeep and Wine Tasting Tour (Full Day)
This tour combines the best of the largest active volcano in Europe with a pleasant guided wine tasting in a beautiful example of high-altitude of Etna vineyards. Reserved jeep and private guide are included.
Pick-up at your accommodation in Catania / Taormina / Giardini Naxos / Letojanni / Acireale / Giarre at 9.00am. Departure to reach the Northern side of Etna. Drive up an old lava flow by 4wd jeep. Stop to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the “Bove Valley” (the most important geological site of Mt. Etna). Visit cave originated by prehistoric lava flows (10.000 years old) with helmets, lamps and rope. Trekking around old craters dating back from 1865. Visit the lava flow originated from Piano Provenzana in 2002 (the last important eruption of the Etna volcano) and the old road. Visit of a typical Etna Estate with cellar and wineyards. Tasting of 4 different Etna wine and Sicilian starters: Dried Tomatoes, Mushrooms, olives, salame, and 4 different cheese: Dry and Fresh Pepato, Provola, Ricotta. In the afternoon tour continues through off-road paths to reach the two little towns of Linguaglossa and Castiglione di Sicilia to the Alcantara River Park. Walk down to the Alcantara Gorges (the most beautiful gorges of Sicily) to admire basalt columns formation. Return to the hotel around 4.30pm.
Some of the places you will visit:
CALDERA BOVE VALLEY
Bove Valley is one of the most important naturalistic areas of the Etna Park. It is an enormous basin situated on the eastern slope of the volcano, which is the result of the collapse of the original crater complex. The basin is 7 km long and 5 km wide, with walls which reach the 1,000 meters of height. The valley is covered of ancient and recent lava flows (1991-93, 1971, 1956, 1950).
Amongst the most fascinating attractions of the volcano Etna there are the many lava flow caves (more than 200). This kind of tunnel is formed by the lava during an eruption: the external part of the lava river cools down and solidifies before the rest, because it is in contact with the atmosphere, while la lava in the inside continues flowing like in a gallery until it is alimented, remaining hot. Once the lava starts diminishing the gallery starts emptying itself, and the lava flow cave is formed. Each cave has a roof and a floor (or bed); from the vault can often hang stalactites that take the name of “denti di cane” or “dog teeth” for their sharp shape.
Sartorius Mountains, formed by a lava flow in 1865, are characterized by seven small, aligned eruptive cones called “bottoniera” ( or “buttonholes”). This area is important for geological and botanical reasons. During our walk along the paths you can admire large volcanic “bombs” and woodlands dominated by birch trees (Betula Aetnensis). From the top of the craters, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Ionian coast, from Catania to Taormina, and the Etna main crater, the North-East with its 3350 meters above sea level.
One of Sicily’s most spectacular natural sights are the Alcantara river and its gorges. Originating in the Nebrodi Mountains, the Alcantara River runs for over 50km passing through several towns until it reaches the Ionian Sea at Giardini-Naxos. Located just 20m from Taormina, between Catania and Messina, the black lava walls of the Alcantara gorges are a magnificent example of erosion of volcanic rock. The Alcantara River Park offers an unspoiled landscape of flora and fauna, and breathtaking views from a series of paths and trails.