Mount Etna cable car and 4×4 bus to 2900 meters

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  • Territory Expert
  • No prepayment
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Tour start:
Every day from 8.30 am
Tour duration:
2,5 hours
Cost:
€ 78,00 p.p. (children € 50,00)
Booking request

Mount Etna cable car and 4x4 bus from 1900 m up to 2900 m

Do you want to visit the Etna volcano and get as high as possible, but is the tough hike to the top not for you? Then this excursion with the Etna cable car and 4x4 bus is made for you! You'll reach an altitude of 2920 meters from where you'll walk along a crater mouth before heading back down.

By cable car and 4x4 bus up to an altitude of 2920 metres
Trekking around Crater Barbagallo
Departure from Etna Sud - Rifugio Sapienza

➤ Available all year round, every day (with snow, the excursion is only possible with the Etna snowcat)

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

Cable car Etna Sud Silvestri crater
Bus 4x4 cable car Etna Sud eruption lava
Barbagallo crater Etna South 2900m

Itinerary Mount Etna cable car and 4x4 bus to 2900 meters

This excursion starts from Rifugio Sapienza - Etna Sud. By booking, you will receive clear explanations from us on how to get there, where to park, and many other tips for a unique experience.

From Rifugio Sapienza, take the cable car up to an altitude of 2,500 meters. The cable car ride takes about 12-15 minutes. Along the way, you will enjoy splendid views of old craters, such as the Silvestri craters, and of the various lava flows that headed towards the coast and the city of Catania.

When you get to 2500 meters, get off the cable car and follow the path outside. Here you will transfer to a special offroad 4x4 bus (these used to be jeep buses, but now they are modern off-road 4x4 buses).

This 4x4 bus will take you from 2500 meters to an altitude of about 2900 meters, once known as the Philosopher's Tower (Torre del Filosofo). Here you will meet the volcanological guide who will accompany you on a walk of about 45 minutes. During this hike you will walk around the Barbagallo crater. From here you will also have a panoramic view of the super active South-Eastern summit crater and the Central Crater of the volcano Etna. After the hike, you will return to the 4x4 bus that will take you back to an altitude of 2500 meters.

Here you can enjoy a snack or a drink at the bar, walk a little more or descend directly by cable car.

In total, the cable car and jeep excursion up to 2920 meters takes about 2 / 2,5 hours. But you can extend the hike to your satisfaction by staying longer at 2500 meters.

Mount Etna cable car 4x4 bus 3000m Etna South Barbagallo crater
Barbagallo crater 2920m summit craters
Etna South Barbagallo crater hike trekking

Starttime and availability

The cable car is open every day of the year. However, in the event of strong winds and/or heavy rain and/or risk of thunderstorms, the cable car may close. These are the opening times of the Etna cable car.

Winter hours Etna Cable Car

  • Open: 08.30 hours
  • Closed: 16.00 hours
  • Last descent: 15.50 hours
  • Last complete excursion (cable car + 4x4 bus): 13.30 - 14.00 hours

Summer hours Etna cable car (high season)

  • Open: 08.30 hours
  • Closed: 17.45 hours
  • Last descent: 17.30 hours
  • Last departure of complete excursion (cable car + 4x4 bus): 3.00 - 3.30 p.m. approx.

In high season, 4x4 buses leave every 5 minutes or when full. In low season, 4x4 buses leave every 30/40 minutes or earlier when full.

Timeschedule

We advice you to arrive 30 minutes before you want to go up with the Etna cable car. This way you have enough time to park your car (paid parking!), to go to a bathroom if you need, to take some pictures and to walk in direction of the cable car. But most important of all: get used to the altitude.

The tour takes more less 2,5 hours in total, depending on the group, de number of questions for the guide and the weather.

Silvestri craters Mount Etna Cable car
Queue ticket office cable car Etna Sud
Walking bus 4x4 Etna South
Etna Cable Car winter snow blue sky

Price mount Etna cable car and 4x4 bus to 2900 m

It is not possible to buy a cable car ticket online. You can only book in advance so that you do not have to queue at the ticket office. In other words, a 'skip the line' ticket. Did you know that this will quickly save you 30 minutes of your time?! (See the picture to see part of the queue at the ticket office).

Price from March 1, 2024

  • Adults: € 78,00 per person (€ 69,00 for the cable car and the bus + € 9,00 for the guide)
  • Children 5-10 years: € 50,00 per person (€ 41,00 for cable car and bus + € 9,00 for the guide)*
  • Children 0-4 years: free, when they sit on the laps of their parents/caregivers

You can pay at the ticket office on the day of the excursion by presenting your reservation (the voucher we send you). We do not ask for any payment in advance, because we work on the basis of trust. You can pay for the excursion on the day itself, directly at the ticket office, skipping the queue, in cash, with pin or credit card.

Includes
Voucher skip the queue at the ticket office
Etna cable car from Rifugio Sapienza to 2500m a/r
4x4 Bus from 2500m to 2920m a/r
Arriving at the 'Philosopher's Tower
Official volcanological guide
45-minute trek around Barbagallo Crater
Panoramic view of the summit craters, the South-East Crater and the Central Crater
Advice on getting there and parking
Itinerary map and tips

Excludes
X Drinks and food
X Parking
X Tips for the guide and driver (not obligatory)
X Rental jacket and/or shoes (not obligatory)

Etna crater 2001 Mount Etna
Etna cable car winter snow
Mount Etna cable car excursion 3000m Barbagallo

Guides & languages

The cable car and jeep tour up to 2920 metres 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.

Requirements Mount Etna cable car + 4x4 bus excursion

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!

FAQ Cable car and jeep up to 2920 metres

1. How should we dress for this excursion?
In general, we always recommend dressing in layers. Wear good sports shoes or hiking boots. Also, always take a hoodie or jacket with you, even in the middle of summer. It is really cooler high up on the volcano.

In winter, we recommend that you wear winter or ski clothing. Even if there is no snow, it is colder on the volcano. It is often the wind that makes the weather cold. So remember to wear a hat and/or scarf. Don't have a hat with you? Then think about a sweater with a hood or a jacket with a hood. For children, gloves are recommended.

In summer, it is sometimes possible to do the Etna excursion in shorts. However, you will never meet a volcano guide in shorts. This is because long trousers offer protection from the heat of the sun, which is also reflected in the black lava.

It can also get cold in the summer because of the wind. This is why we always recommend taking a jacket or hoodie with you at an altitude of 2920 metres! Do you have a windbreaker? Always a good idea!

2. What shoes should I wear?
We recommend good sports shoes or hiking shoes. If you choose good sports shoes, it is important that they have good grip. With hiking boots, your feet and ankles will be better protected.
However, most people wear their own (good) sports shoes during this hike. With flip-flops, sandals or heels, you just can't do it! (Yes, seriously, sometimes people climb Mount Etna in heels).

3. Is there a best time to go up?
We often recommend choosing the morning. This is because there is often a higher probability of cloud cover during the day, which means (somewhat) reduced visibility.

Long hikes often start between 08.30 and 09.00 in the morning. At that time you will often find guides with their groups queuing up. For this reason, we consider the best time to be between 09.00 and 10.00 am.

Bus 4x4 cable car Etna Sud eruption lava
Mount Etna cable car Silvestri craters

4. What happens if the volcano Etna erupts or activity increases?
If the volcano erupts and is close to the cable car area, it is very likely that the cable car will be closed. The safety of everyone is crucial.

If you are already at the top at that moment, the official guides are informed in real time and ensure that you get down safely without any risk as quickly as possible. To this end, 4x4 buses are used.

Please note that the volcano's vibrations are monitored daily by the Institute of Volcanology. Should the state of activity increase, the maximum number of visits permitted may be changed. In this case, you will be offered an alternative excursion. You can read about this alternative excursion below.

5. What would the alternative excursion by cable car be like?
When the volcano is active or there are signs of danger, special rules are given to be safe. These rules may restrict access to the highest parts of the volcano. But don't worry, if this happens, there is still a way to do an Etna excursion in total safety! Here is the alternative hike:
Take the Etna cable car up to an altitude of 2500 meters. Then the 4x4 bus takes you up to an altitude of about 2750 meters, to a place called Belvedere. You will take an easy walk of about half an hour with your guide, near the craters of the volcano, with a beautiful view of the Valle del Bove. After this stop, the 4x4 bus will take you to the 2001 Crater. Here, with another guide, you will take another walk of about half an hour on the rim of the crater. You will then return to the starting point of the cable car at an altitude of 2500 metres.
This alternative excursion also takes about 2.5 hours. It will still be an exciting and safe adventure, with lots to see and learn!

Crater 2001 Etna Sud
Crater 2001 Etna volcano Sud

6. Can clothes and shoes be hired?
Yes, you can rent a jacket or hiking boots. You can rent them in one of the souvenir shops around the cable car or even at the arrival point at 2,500 meters.

  • Jacket rental: € 5.00 per jacket
  • Shoe rental: € 5.00 per pair
  • Socks: only on sale: € 3.50 per pair

7. Is the cable car and jeep hike up to 2920 metres suitable for children?
Yes, the cable car and jeep hike up to 2920 metres is also suitable for children. The cable car is often the first attraction for children. And then the sturdy 4x4 all-terrain bus. The hike up to 2920 metres can be a little tough, as you have to walk a little uphill. But with mum and dad's help it should work. It is and always will be a unique experience!

A minimum age of 3 years is recommended for children. Of course, children aged 1 and 2 can also climb. However, the height difference can be uncomfortable for their ears. If you still want to climb, take this advice into consideration:

  • Climb in stages. Acclimatise for 15 minutes at each altitude before climbing further. (So 15 minutes in the car park, 15 minutes at 2,500 metres before taking the 4x4 bus and so on). Do the same on the way back.
  • Protect your ears. Think of a hat or scarf for children. The wind is very annoying for the ears!
  • Bring drinks for them. Drinking helps to 'free' the ears. Another option is something to suck on (dummy or candy).
Cable car child Etna Volcano

8. On the day I booked, the weather is bad, and now?
The weather is the only thing we cannot control for you. In case of bad weather on the day you wish to climb Mount Etna, please send us an e-mail or message with your name and voucher number. We will change your booking free of charge! Can't or don't want to change the date? No problem, cancellation is always free of charge.

Be careful though! Did you know that sometimes at the starting point, at 1900 meters, it can be cloudy, while at 2500 meters the sky is blue? In this case you climb above the clouds. And honestly? That makes the experience even more unique!!! Want to know what the weather is like on the day of your hike? Then check the Etna cable car webcam. They have a webcam at 2500 meters (the cable car arrival point) and one at 2900 meters, the 4x4 bus stop point.

9. Do I have to make a reservation or can I also go without a reservation?
We always recommend booking. Not only do you have the advantage of being able to beat the queue at the ticket office, but you will also receive lots of extra tips and information with your booking to ensure that your excursion starts worry-free. What's more, you pay nothing for booking online!

We receive a fee from the cable car for each 'customer' we bring. You pay nothing extra for this (kind of affiliate construction). So, by booking with us, you help us to continue to offer a lot of free information such as these you have just read! =)

So why book through us?

  • 100% honest and up-to-date information
  • No hidden extra costs
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Skip-the-line ticket
  • Lots of free extra tips and explanations

10. Where can I get something to eat or drink?
At 1900 meters, the starting point of the cable car, you will find many restaurants where you can have something to eat. Another option is to eat something at the bar at 2500 meters, where you arrive by cable car. Here you can find, for example, a pizza by the slice, an arancino or a sandwich. You can sit in this bar inside or on the small terrace outside with a view of the cable car.
In addition, we always recommend taking something to eat and drink with you. Make sure you always take water with you and something sweet and savoury to eat.

You want to book?

Would you like to book the cable car and jeep excursion up to 2920 meters? Fill out the request form and we will contact you within 1 hour. Please indicate approximately what time you would like to take the cable car 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.

Alternative

Looking for a cheaper excursion? You can also choose to only take the cable car to 2500 meters. From here you can go for a short walk by yourself to the crater of 2001 for example. Here you find more information about taking only the Mount Etna cable car to 2500 meter.


Booking request

Language

  • English
  • French
  • Italian

Reviews

Average rating
4,7 / 5
Rating
Excursion
4,6 / 5
Service Pianoprovenzana.com
4,9 / 5
Price/quality
4,5 / 5
“Fabulous excursion”

Anniek’s website cuts through what you can expect and what to wear and makes the trip to Etna so much smoother. Allow about 2.5 hours in total, the cable car and 4x4 journey up to 3000 metres is something we’ll cherish forever. The guides for the walk anroind the craters are excellent. All in all a 5* experience and great value!

15 March 2024 – Peter Ward, United Kingdom
“Excellent???”

This was a once in a lifetime experience, absolutely amazing ?? This kind of a trip suits our family perfect with 5 kids between the age of 2-14. We got many great tips from Anniek and we were very satisfied with her information?. We would absolutely recommend her Anniek and Piano Provenzana? Anniek answered all our questions! This was a perfect day?

3 October 2023 – Henning and Cecilie Røisland, Norway
“Fabulous Experience ”

The help we received while planning our expedition at Mt Etna was invaluable. All my questions were answered efficiently by Anniek Bakker. And when we arrived /no line!!! Just could avoid the chaos and walk right up. Trust me, you need to use this site to make this exciting day even more memorable!

21 September 2023 – Donna Holmes, United States
“I recommend the trip for families”

I highly recommend the trip - we felt safe with our children. Everything went smooth, there were no delays, the trip was comfortable. Everywhere there are toilettes and bars with food.

10 August 2023 – GZ, Poland
“Hey Anniek, thanks for your great guidance!”

On Sunday evening we were puzzled on how to plan and book our Etna trip for the next day. After visiting various websites, we landed at Piano Provenzana and we submitted our booking request via a simple contact form. That same evening all our questions got answered by Anniek via WhatsApp and we received our vouchers, without any prepayment. The next day we took the 'skip the line' and we immediately received our tickets upon mentioning our names. The small promised reduction by Piano Provenzana was honoured as well. How simple can it be! For sure we enjoyed the fantastic Etna scenery, but it was mainly the guidance of Anniek that wowed us! So, thank you, Anniek!

24 July 2023 – Family Yudhira-Goris, Belgium
“Mt. Etna (June 2023)--Loved it!!”

We are SO glad we did this with Pianoprovenzana. This is the way to do it if you have young children (less than 14). The skip the line, cable car and the buses make this an easy trip. The walk around is rather short but then you have the option of walking around more by yourself if you really want to. There is NO additional charge for this service anymore than you would have paid for by yourself. It is just that you get to skip the line for free. It sounded odd but that is the way it is. Anniek Bakker was extremely helpful and explained everything via email. The information was very clear and the process was explained step by step. I give this service full points.

18 June 2023 – Ashay , United States
“Fantastic experience”

The cable car experience was really good. It was comforting to travel by cable car in such a windy day like today. However, it would have been nice to have some discount offered for pre-reservation.

16 April 2023 – Lakshmi V. , India
“Well organized but part by foot is a joke”

Very nice contact and well organized. Reservation worked well. Cable car and 4x4 transport as well. Walking part was rather a joke. If you have time and the guts to explore the area additionally by yourself, don't hesitate to do so.

13 April 2023 – Enrico, Switzerland
€ 78,00 p.p. (children € 50,00)

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

Anniek:

+31623370594
anniek@pianoprovenzana.com

ANVR

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