Hike Mount Etna in Winter

Head to Sicily for a one-of-a-kind weekend, hiking on the snow-clad slopes of Europe's largest active volcano


Trip Ref #10638

Hike Mount Etna in Winter

Head to Sicily for a one-of-a-kind weekend, hiking on the snow-clad slopes of Europe's largest active volcano


3 nights




2 days off work




Up to 12 people


Catania International Airport






This trip is brand new


No snowshoeing experience is needed, but bring a good level of fitness and a warm jacket!

Snowshoe over untouched powder on Mount Etna’s wild northern flank, with majestic views of awe-inspiring craters

Stomp through snow-blanketed forest to explore unique lava formations on one the world’s most iconic volcanoes

Warm up with delicious Sicilian meals and volcanic local wines at your cosy chalet nestled among the forest

Day 1

To Etna Nord: the volcano's wild side


2hrs · 5km · 100m up · 100m down

At Catania Airport, jump in the transfer bus and get whisked off towards Etna Nord to begin your adventure. This wild and quiet side of the volcano is the perfect spot to avoid the crowds. Your home for the weekend is a cosy, locally-run chalet, located in the endemic Ragabo pine forest at 1500m above sea level – get comfy and enjoy a hot drink, followed by a briefing with your guide. Time allowing, you'll head out on a short hike or snowshoe excursion around the chalet, immersed in the ancient pine forest and a wonderful landscape of snow, extinct craters and ancient lava flows. Tonight you'll enjoy your first Sicilian feast, tasting local seasonal products and typical mountain dishes that will warm your heart and soul. Buon appetito!

Day 2

Lava caves, craters and snow


4hrs · 9km · 500m up · 400m down

Kickstart your winter hiking and snowshoeing experience on the eastern flank of Etna. Take a short transfer to Rifugio Citelli at 1740m, then set off on a trail through birch forest. Past the forest belt, the path opens up to a small valley where you can observe an interesting lava-formed phenomenon known as the Grotto del Serracozzo, an impressive tunnel formed by lava flow following the 1971 eruption. The route then takes a steep ascent to reach the panoramic viewpoint of the Valle del Bove, at an altitude of 2095m. In the distance it is possible to spot a series of magmatic dykes: lava walls which formed during the ascent of the magma towards the craters. Continue along the ridge of the valley in the direction of the Pizzi Deneri and take in the majestic vista of Monte Frumento delle Concazze, one of the largest secondary craters on Etna. Tuck into a deserved picnic lunch while admiring the breathtaking volcanic landscape, then descend back to Rifugio Citelli for a transfer back to your warm chalet.

Day 3

Pista Altomontana: the ring that embraces Etna


5hrs · 14km · 685m up · 376m down

Continue your exploration of Europe's largest volcano with a snowshoe or hike along the 'Pista Altomontana' – a circular path that goes around Mount Etna, at an average altitude of 1800m. On today's route you'll cross a dramatic landscape of lava flows and old eruptive fractures, and you'll get a glimpse of old volcanic cones as you approach the Timparossa Refuge. Snow conditions permitting, venture into one of the longest underground lava tunnels on Etna: the 'Grotto of Raspberries'. Continue on until reaching Ragabo Hut and then back to Piano Provenzana, where your transfer awaits. Back at the chalet, enjoy an evening of Sicilian wine tasting and tuck into a final tasty dinner with your group.

Day 4

Arrivederci, Sicily!

You adventure on Etna comes to an end this morning (after some optional final time on the powder). If you were lucky, you may have even had the unique chance to observe a live volcanic eruption from a safe distance – a once in a lifetime opportunity! Your transfer will take you back to Catania Airport around noon for your flight home. Alternatively, you can also opt to extend your winter adventure in Sicily with some extra days in Catania or Taormina – it's the perfect time of year to explore these cities without the crowds.



Expert, English-speaking local guide


3 nights in a cosy mountain chalet on Etna


All breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches and 3 dinners


To and from the airport, and everything in between


Snowshoes and poles

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Chalet · Twin share




Day 2 – Day 3

Chalet · Twin share




Day 4




What is the food like?

You'll eat delicious food made with local ingredients that respect Sicilian traditions. Lunches are picnic boxes prepared by your chalet's hosts. Dinners are a combination of first courses (usually including pasta, ravioli and soups), second courses (generally meat-based and accompanied by mushrooms and seasonal vegetables), as well as a range of local cured meats and dairy products. Dinners usually finish with homemade desserts and cakes.

Most dietary requirements can be accommodated – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Etna Nord

Spend three nights at the comfortable mountain chalet Clan dei Ragazzi. Near the town of Linguaglossa in Etna Nord, this is the lesser-visited and wilder side of Etna. The wooden chalet is surrounded by the Ragabo pine forest, a magical setting for a winter adventure on Europe's largest volcano.

The chalet has a cosy lounge bar, a restaurant, a large multi-purpose room and a small welcoming hall. Accommodation is on twin-share basis, either in the main structure or in one of the small forest cabins. All rooms are equipped with heating, en-suite toilets and showers. Please note that no TV or Wi-Fi is available, to give guests the chance to disconnect from the internet and reconnect with nature.


For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area




Catania Airport

14:30 on Day 1


Catania Airport

12:00 on Day 4


A group airport transfer is included on Day 1, which will depart Catania Airport around 14:30. It will take just over one hour to reach the mountain chalet, located on Etna Nord. Your return transfer will arrive at Catania Airport at around 12:30 on Day 7, so you'll need to book flights departing from 14:30 onwards.

It will be difficult to use public transport to reach the start point of the trek independently if you chose to travel at different times, so we strongly recommend taking advantage of the set group transfers from/to Catania. If you happen to be already in the city prior to the trip, or if you wish to extend your time in Catania after the tour, there is a frequent bus service connecting the airport to the city centre and vice versa.

Private transfers to and from Etna Nord can also be arranged on request – see Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are regular direct and indirect flights to Catania Fontanarossa Airport from across the UK and Europe. During the winter, direct flights from the UK are operated exclusively from London with Wizz Air or Easyjet.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Snowshoes and poles, if required

What do I need to bring?


  • Soft overnight duffel bag or luggage
  • Daypack (30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag/rucksack, or drybags


  • Rain/windproof (Gore-Tex) jacket with hood
  • Rain/windproof (Gore-Tex) trousers (we recommend either a combination of a thermal layer and a waterproof hard shell trouser, or insulated waterproof skiing pants)
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (merino best)
  • One functional shirt for the hike (we recommend merino or synthetic)
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Trekking trousers/shorts/skirts
  • Underwear and one or two layers of socks (merino or synthetic)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleepwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Head torch with batteries
  • Gaiters


  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle (or two) x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks

Extra night in Catania (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Catania (Single)

Per Night

Extra night in Catania (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Catania (Twin/Double)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Private Arrival Transfer Catania Airport - Etna Nord (1-4pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Arrival Transfer Catania Airport - Etna Nord (1-4pax)

Private Departure Transfer Etna Nord - Catania Airport (1-4pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Departure Transfer Etna Nord - Catania Airport (1-4pax)

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 105kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

No special skills are required, just a good fitness level and the ability to handle two to five hours of hiking or snowshoeing. There will be some some short, steep sections to climb, but overall no significant elevation gain. Prior hiking experience is recommended as it will make your experience more enjoyable.

This will very much depend on the snow conditions at time of travel. Between January and March, Mount Etna is usually covered in snow, especially at altitudes above 1500m where this itinerary runs. If snow is present, all hikes will take place using snowshoes and poles (these are included in the trip price and provided locally).

Snowshoes are a special type of footwear that enables you to spread your weight over a larger area, allowing you to move easily across powdery snow-covered terrain. If you have never tried this activity before, don't worry! Snowshoeing is incredibly easy, comfortable and safe. You simply clip your snowshoe to the outside of your hiking boot and off you go. You'll be in the hands of experienced and trained local guides who know the area intimately, who will guide you safely throughout the hike. You'll also have the opportunity to test the snowshoes on Day 1, before you head out on longer excursions on Days 2 and 3.

No, this itinerary does not include Etna summit as climbing to the top craters (3350m) in winter would require mountaineering skills and technical equipment such as crampons, which is not easily available to hire locally. The chance of reaching the summit is also more likely to be impacted adversely by snow, wind or ice conditions as well as volcanic activity. In fact, the area of ​​the summit craters of Etna is very often off limits, due to the risk of eruption.

Hiking on the north side is the best choice for visiting Etna safely and the best alternative to climbing the summit in terms of off the beaten-track experience and highlights. You'll be exploring more accessible, lower routes which still showcase the majestic volcanic landscape of Etna in all its beauty, crossing a diverse environment made of lava caves, extinct craters, birch forests and mesmerising moonscapes.

Due to the the rapid and unpredictable activity of the volcano, the civil authorities can impose altitude restrictions and limit routes at any time. However, given that this itinerary takes place below an altitude of 2800m, the chance of these routes being off limits is very slim. Overall, the choice of the route, the hiking distance and elevation is always decided by your local guide taking into consideration group's fitness and weather conditions, so small alterations can always take place with your safety in mind.

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, alternating periods of rest and periods of eruption. Eruptions can occur from the summit craters and also (more rarely) as lateral eruptions. Whilst Etna's eruptions can destroy homes and roads they are generally not dangerous for people, especially when observing them from lower altitudes far away from the most active craters. Your local guide will monitor the volcanic activity throughout the trip and rely on the official information and bulletins released by the local civil authorities.

Should you be lucky enough to be on a trip at the time of an eruption, your guide can arrange an optional night time excursion (payable locally) to admire the explosions and fresh lava streams from a safe distance – a show of a lifetime!

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We suggest the below as a guideline per person:

15 Euro

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Snow and sub-zero temperatures on Etna are very common between the months of January and March. During this period, temperatures drop significantly and snow is likely even at lower altitudes below 1600m. The best you can do is to be prepared for anything: come equipped with warm layers of clothing and windproofs (see the Kit List for more information). Your host will be monitoring the weather conditions during the course of the trip and will suggest alternative, safer hiking routes should the weather get really bad.

Please note that snow is never 100% guaranteed on every departure, however recent reports show a very high chance of snow between the months of December and March. Winter hiking without snow will be equally spectacular and enjoyable, and the contrasts and colours of the volcanic landscape even more evident.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The tap water in Sicily is safe to drink. Please bring along your own reusable water bottle to fill up at the chalet to avoid buying single use plastic bottles.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Your main luggage will be left at the chalet, so you'll just need a 30L daypack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.


Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

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