Mount Etna is the tallest volcano in Europe and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. A lot of tourists go to Sicily every year to catch a glimpse of Mount Etna. Sicily is a big island and it can be hard to squeeze in a hiking trip to Mount Etna if your schedule is full.
Luckily, you can admire the beauty of Mount Etna from cities and communes like Messina and Taormina. Mount Etna can be seen on the horizon from Messina as Mount Etna stands at 3,357 meters (11,014 ft.).
If you want to see Mount Etna up close, this article will tell you which city you can depart from to go to Mount Etna. We will also talk about Mount Etna guided tours from Messina that you can do to hike the active volcano. Get your hiking gear ready and read until the end!
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and it is also the highest volcano in Europe. The current height of Mount Etna volcano is currently measured at 3,357 meters (11,014 ft) with a base circumference of about 93 miles (150 km).
Mount Etna is located on the island of Sicily which is also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated between Messina and Catania on the east coast of Sicily.
Mount Etna is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sicily despite it being an active volcano. Its volcanic features, such as its craters and hardened lava flows, have made Mount Etna not only a tourist destination but also a site for education and research. The volcano’s fertile volcanic soil can support extensive agriculture which is why a lot of people live near and around the base of the volcano. Mount Etna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013 and its active volcano status means it is being monitored regularly.
Can You See Mount Etna From Messina?
The distance from Messina to Mount Etna is about 61 miles (97.6 km) and the travel time is about an hour and 25 minutes if you are traveling by car. The distance might seem far but, you can definitely see Mount Etna from Messina on the horizon as Mount Etna stands tall at 3,357 meters (11,014 ft.).
How To Get To Mount Etna From Messina
If you are planning on visiting Mount Etna from Messina, the best way to go is by car, private transfer, or joining a guided tour. If you do not have a car and will be relying on public transportation, you will have to go to Catania to get to Rifugio Sapienza. This is the point of interest if you want to hike Mount Etna.
There are direct trains from Messina to Catania that operate daily and the travel time is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. But, faster trains can take about an hour and 15 minutes of travel time.
The only direct bus that goes to Mount Etna is in Catania. The AST bus departs from Catania Centrale Station at 8:15 AM going to Rifugio Sapienza. The bus goes back to Catania at 4:30 PM.
The travel time to Mount Etna will take about 2 hours as the bus will stop at Nicolosi for 30 minutes. You can buy snacks, food, or coffee in Nicolosi for the rest of your trip. The bus going back to Catania is non-stop so the travel time will only take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
If you are coming from Taormina, you will also need to go to Catania to catch the AST bus going to Mount Etna.
Guided Tours To Etna From Messina
As we said earlier, one of the ways to go to Mount Etna from Messina is by booking a guided tour. Most Mount Etna guided tours already include transportation and equipment rental in their package. However, most companies that offer Mount Etna tours do not provide hotel pick-ups, and the cable car fare, which is charged per person, on Mount Etna is also not included. You will still need to go to the pick-up point on your own.
The pick-up and drop-off point for Mount Etna guided tours from Messina is usually at the entrance of the Messina port. If you are on a cruise ship that stops by Messina, you can also book a Mount Etna Excursion. There are also companies that offer an Etna jeep tour where you will explore Mount Etna in a 4×4 vehicle.
There are definitely a lot of options for you if you opt to do a guided tour rather than hike Mount Etna without a guide.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Is The Best Time To Visit Mount Etna?
You can visit Mount Etna year-round but if you want to avoid the summer crowd, the best months to visit are May, late September, and October.
What To Wear In Mount Etna Hike?
Wearing the appropriate clothing is essential when hiking in Mount Etna. Make sure to wear hiking boots, hiking trousers, and a moisture-wicking top. You can also bring a windbreaker or a jacket as it gets cold in Mount Etna. Sunscreen and brimmed hats are also essential to protect you from the sun.
Mount Etna’s highest peak is at 3,357 meters (11,014 ft.) and it can definitely be seen from Messina. Mount Etna is a popular tourist destination in Sicily and many tourists hike the very top each year to see the beauty of Etna. If you also want to hike Mount Etna, you can join guided tours, especially if you are coming from Messina.
This article talked about several options for guided tours to Mount Etna. If you have any other questions, let us know! Happy hiking!