Italy is a destination that makes it on many bucket lists, and it’s certainly on mine. There are many regions that I would love to visit, but Sicily is one that, if possible, deserves a trip all to itself. One of the major draws is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and active volcano, Mount Etna. I love to see sites on holiday that I couldn’t see anywhere else and Mount Etna definitely fits the bill! It reaches 3,350 metres and is both the most active and tallest volcano in all of Europe. The volcano formed 35,000 years ago and back under the control of the ancient Greeks, it was believed to be home to the legendary monster, the Cyclops.
With a site so unique, staying in the area is a must! The Mount Etna area is different than any other area on the island. The volcano is located on the Eastern coast of the island and people can visit it year round. My dream is to immerse myself in the area where I can take in the views of both caters and vineyards, a particularly unique combination. Unsurprisingly, it is quite common to choose to stay in one of the many villas in Sicily available for rent on platforms like Wishsicily. This way you can enjoy flexible hours and independence to explore the area when you like, without worrying of waking up nearby guests or being stuck to a certain schedule for meals.
Once at the base of the Etna National Park and ready to trek up Mount Etna, there are a lot of options! There are small tour operators that use jeeps, the cableway that can take you up 8200 feet (perfect with children!), and you can hike your way up as far up as you’d like to go. While I love exploring, taking a cable car halfway up and bringing along fresh food from a market to enjoy over a picnic sounds like a dream day. It is said you can get some of the best views of Sicily from Mount Etna, and I would love to just relax and take it all in. During a winter visit, there is also skiing, although I have a feeling my first trip to Sicily will be during the warmer months! If upon arrival, the weather conditions are not optimal to make your way up the volcano, there is the train ferrovia Circumetnea that links the villages at the base to sites with panoramic views.
I’m sure this trip is also great if you have children, as they will very much enjoy the adventurous nature of the trip. Being at an active volcano means you could even work in a mini science lesson as you explore and have fun!