Crater Express: Bus + Etna cable car + 4×4 bus + guide

  • Territory Expert
  • No prepayment
  • 100% Satisfied
Tour start:
09.00 hour
Tour duration:
6 hours incl. transfer (roundtrip)
€ 95,00 p.p. (Kids € 65,00)
Booking request

Crater Express: Transfer bus + Etna cable car + 4x4 bus + guide

Experience the majesty of Mount Etna like never before with our Crater Express: Transfer bus + Etna Cable Car + 4x4 Bus + guide excursion. This adventure combines the thrill of a cable car ride with the rugged journey of a 4x4 bus, taking you close to the summit craters of Europe’s highest and most active volcano.

Incl. transfer Catania - Rifugio Sapienza (Crater Express)
Incl. Etna cable car (roundway) + 4x4 bus up to 2900m
Trekking of 45 min in total at the Barbagallo Crater

➤ Available from May till the end of October

Attention: this excursion is at Etna South - Rifugio Sapienza. Not at Piano Provenzana!

Cable car Mount Etna craters

Excursion Details Crater Express: Bus + Etna Cable Car + 4x4 Bus + guide

Your Etna journey begins at Catania. Our Crater Express bus will bring you from Catania City Center (Near Piazza Duomo) to Rifugio Sapienza - Etna South. Once you arrive at Rifugio Sapienza (1920 meters), you get priority at the ticket office, so you don't have to cue up!

After getting the passes for the excursion, you will board the modern Etna cable car. In about 12 minutes the Etna cable car brings you up to an altitude of 2500 meters. From the cable car you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the volcanic landscape and the surrounding region. The cable car offers a smooth and scenic ride, providing a unique perspective of Mount Etna’s slopes.

Upon reaching 2500 meters, you will transfer to special 4x4 buses designed for off-road conditions. These buses will take you further up to the Torre del Filosofo area at approximately 2900 meters. Here, you will be surrounded by the awe-inspiring landscape of recent lava flows and craters.

One of the guides will walk you up the Barbagallo crater at almost 3000 meters. During this walk he will explain you about the fascinating geology and history of Mount Etna. You have time to take pictures during this walk and you can ask your questions to the guide. This walk takes in total around 45 minutes (roundway).


  • Etna Crater Express: Transfer service from Catania City Centre to Rifugio Sapienza - Etna South.
  • Etna Cable Car Ride: Ascend from 1920 meters to 2500 meters with spectacular panoramic views.
  • 4x4 Bus Adventure: Continue from 2500 meters to approximately 2900 meters in robust 4x4 buses.
  • Guided Exploration: Learn about the volcanic activity and history of Mount Etna from knowledgeable guides.
  • Breathtaking Landscapes: Witness the stunning vistas of lava fields, craters, and the Sicilian coastline.

Starttime and availability

The Crater Express is operating from the 1st of May till the end of October. The departure is from Piazza San Placido in Catania at 09.00 hour sharp. This means you need to arrive there at 08.30 - 08.40 hour. You will arrive around 10.30 hour at Rifugio Sapienza.

Around 13.30 hour the bus goes back to Catania. You arrive at 15.00 hour at Piazza San Placido in Catania again.

  • Meetingtime: 08.30 hour
  • Departure bus: 09.00 hour
  • Arrival Rifugio Sapienza: 10.30 hour
  • Departure Rifugio Sapienza: 13.30 hour
  • Return at Catania: 15.00 hour

The Etna excursion (Cable car + 4x4 bus + walk with the guide) takes more less 2,5 hours in total, depending on the group, de number of questions for the guide and the weather. This means you still have 30 minutes free time when you get back. This way you can eat or drink something, buy a souvenir or visit the Silvestri Craters.

Barbagallo crater Etna South 2900m
Crater Express Rifugio Sapienza Funivia dell'Etna
Mount Etna cable car Silvestri craters


  • Adults: € 95,00 per person
  • Children 5-10 years: € 65,00 per person
  • Children 0-4 years: € 10,00 per person

You can pay at the ticket office of the Crater Express bus on the day of the excursion. This can only be paid with card!! NO cash payments possible.

Crater Express bus Catania - Rifugio Sapienza (roundway)
Voucher skip the queue at the ticket office
Etna cable car from Rifugio Sapienza to 2500m (roundway)
4x4 Bus from 2500m to 2920m (roundway)
Arriving at the 'Philosopher's Tower
Official volcanological guide
45-minute trek at the Barbagallo Crater
Panoramic view of the summit craters, the South-East Crater and the Central Crater
Advice on getting there and the location
Itinerary map and tips

X Drinks and food
X Parking for your car in Catania
X Tips for the guide and driver (not obligatory)
X Rental jacket and/or shoes (not obligatory)

We do not ask for any payment, because we work on the basis of trust (we respect you, you respect us). You can pay for the transfer and excursion the morning itself, but you need to be there at 08.30 hour. If you are not there within 08.45 hour, they can give your places to other people cueing up there!

Guides & languages

The cable car and jeep tour up to 2920 meters is led by expert volcanological guides. The volcanological guides always speak Italian and English. Sometimes it is possible to find a guide who also speaks another language, such as French or German. Unfortunately it is not possible to book a language and/or guide in advance with this excursion.

Walking bus 4x4 Etna South
Cable Car Etna South Silvestri Craters
Crater Express Rifugio Sapienza Funivia dell'Etna

Requirements Crater Express: Bus + Etna cable car + 4x4 bus + guide

This tour is suitable for everybody! This tour is ideal for those who are time-constrained, who may need to leave from Catania airport in the late afternoon or early evening.

Luggage storage
Do you have luggage? We can provide luggage storage. This can be either at the office, or on the bus (depending on the bus). Ask us about the possibilities, this service is by reservation only!

This tour is not recommended for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children from 0 to 1 year
  • People with back problems
  • People with heart problems
  • People with respiratory problems
  • People with severe knee/walking problems

The reason for these limitations is the height at which they are reached. This is not good for the ears of small children, for example. Another reason is the bus trip, which takes place off-road on solidified lava. This is an extremely bumpy ride that is certainly not good for the foetus.

Some Etna advice:

  • Always book in advance
  • Book this Etna tour on the first day you can visit Etna, that way you can always reschedule your Etna visit on another day in case of bad weather!
  • Wear colourful clothes, they look better in photos!

Clothing tips
Depending on the time of year for this tour, the temperature can be very low. In May, for example, at 2900 meters, you should expect 8 degrees. Often it is the wind that makes it feel cold.

Therefore, be sure to wear layered clothing and a good windproof jacket. A hat and scarf are also helpful! If you do not have a hat, consider a hoodie, for example. It is also advisable to wear good closed shoes. For example, hiking boots or sports shoes with good grip.

Keep in mind that even in high season the temperature at the summit drops. We therefore always recommend to bring a jacket!

You want to book?

Would you like to book the Crater Express: bus + Etna Cable car + 4x4 bus + guide? Fill out the request form and we will contact you within 1 hour. Please indicate the day you would like to use the Crater Express service in the form, so we can make your booking immediately!
Please note that our e-mails (especially with Hotmail and Live addresses) sometimes end up in the spam folder. So please check your spam folder if you do not see a message from us.

Booking request

Languages spoken by guides

  • English
  • Italian
€ 95,00 p.p. (Kids € 65,00)

Booking request

We will contact you within 1 hour!

No advance payment
Pay on the day of the excursion.

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Need help? I will gladly help you choose your excursion!

Every day available from 09.00 to 21.00 (also on Sundays!)




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