Sunset & Lava on Mount Etna
The Etna sunset tour is one of the most impressive excursions you can experience if you are in Sicily. If you want to enjoy Mount Etna and the colors the volcano takes on at sunset, you must absolutely live this experience at almost 3000 meters on Mount Etna. The highest point in Sicily allows you to watch the stars between sunset and the smoke that the active craters emit in their daily activity.
Itinerary Etna Sunset tour
The Etna sunset tour consists of a 4×4 bus tour starting from 1800 meters at Piano Provenzana. The 4×4 buses climb up to 2900 meters to the volcanological observatory.
During this off-road drive you can see several extinct craters and the spectacular buttonhole formed during the 2002 eruption. Before arriving at the observatory we make a stop at the craters of the 2002 eruption or at the 1809 crater. This depends on the weather and volcano activity.
After this stop, the 4×4 buses continue up to an altitude of about 2900 meters to take us to the volcanological observatory. Here we walk up about 30/40 meters and overlook the viewpoint where you can see the Bove valley (Valle del Bove). From this panoramic point you will also have a beautiful view of the active summit craters, and the coast from Taormina to Catania.
Right now Mount Etna is erupting. From the panoramic point we have a spectacular view of the actual lava flow flowing into the Lion Valley. We get to 2900 meters still with light, so you can see the spectacle both in sunlight and after dusk falls, in the dark. Truly an unforgettable experience!
Etna sunset tour time & availability
The start time of the excursion depends on the time of the sunset. Therefore, in the early and late season, the excursion starts earlier. The times below are the “average” times of high season. In the early and late season, the excursion is offered only with sufficient participation. This means that the excursion is often offered on a few days during the week. So the advice is to book early!
Available from april till October!
Time schedule Etna sunset tour
- Meeting: 5:40 p.m.
- Departure: 6 p.m.
- Return: about 9:30 p.m.
- Duration of excursion: about 3.5 hours
The Etna sunset tour begins daily at 6 p.m. Places are limited and the excursion is possible only by reservation. The tour takes place with a minimum of 8 people. You must always arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the hike.
You can park your car at Piano Provenzana. This is a paid parking lot. A attendant drives around here. The cost is € 3.00 per day.
Sunset excursion price
Price Etna Sunset excursion
- Adults: € 75,00 per person
- Children 4 – 12 years: € 60,00 per person
- Children 0 – 3 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. Without reservation there is no place for you! You can pay for the excursion by cash, ATM or credit card.
✓ Bus 4×4 up to 2900 meters
✓ Bus 4×4 back to Piano Provenzana
✓ Magical sunset at 2900 meters
✓ Small hike to the panoramic viewpoint at the observatory Pizzi Deneri
✓ Small hike to the craters of 2002
✓ Official volcano guide
X Drinks and food
X Tips for the guide and driver (not obligatory)
X Rental jacket and/or shoes (not obligatory)
Guides & languages
The Mount Etna up to 3000 meters tour is guided by trained volcano guides. These guides speak Italian, English & French and will tell you a lot about the volcano and craters during the hike. Please indicate your language preference when requesting the tour, so we can try to take this into account when planning the tour.
Requirements Etna sunset tour
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 4 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. Especially when the sun sets. We therefore always recommend long pants and to bring a jacket!
Rental clothes and shoes
It is also possible to rent a jacket at Piano Provenzana. If you are interested, please let me know in advance so that I can arrange it for you. The souvenir stores are often already closed around 5 p.m., so you can’t return the jacket at the end of the excursion.
- Rental jacket: € 5,00
- Rental shoes: € 5,00
Food and drinks
If you want to bring food and drinks on the tour you will need to make arrangements before you leave for Piano Provenzana. Otherwise you can buy something at one of the 2 bars at Piano Provenzana. It is recommended that you carry at least 1.5 liters of water with you at all times. Also think about a sandwich for the excursion since you will be back at the car around 9.30 p.m.
Restrictions Etna sunset tour
This tour is not recommended for:
- Pregnant woman
- Children of 0 – 1 year
- People with back problems
- people with cardiac problems
- people with severe knee/walking problems
The reason for these restrictions are the height at which you come. This is not good for small children’s ears, for example. Another reason is the ride in the bus which is off-road over solidified lava. This is hugely bumpy and this is definitely not good for the fetus. If you are pregnant and do want to go, you need a doctor’s note and you have to take full responsibility yourself.
If you have knee/walking problems, walking on the solidified lava is challenging. The height difference you have to overcome is about 20/30 meters, however this is on uneven terrain.
Lava & Etna sunset tour
When the Etna volcano is erupting, the Etna sunset tour is the best excursion that allows you to observe the lava. This is because during the day you cannot see the red color of the lava. You can only see this well in the dark.
This means that during an eruption this excursion fills up very quickly. Then, in addition to the magical sunset at 2900 meters, you will see the liquid lava running down Etna: double magic!!
It is impossible to predict when the volcano will erupt. By 2021, the volcano has erupted more than 50 times. In 2022 only 2 or 3 times, although the last activity lasted a month.
Therefore, we cannot guarantee an eruption and/or the sighting of liquid lava.
Alternative Etna sunset tour
If this excursion cannot take place due to weather or insufficient participation. Or the time schedule does not suit you, you can choose this same excursion during the day. The tour will be a little shorter and you will not see the magical sunset, but everything else is the same. Read here more about this alternative tour: Mount Etna up to 3000 meters.
Languages spoken by guides