We want the best Etna experience possible even though we are unable to hike from the jeep to the summit. If we take the funivia to the Mountain Station, is there anything more to see than at the base? Are there any easy trails at that level? Thanks.
(Disclaimer: I did not go to the top.)
At the very least, on a clear day there would be a view. Frankly, I quite enjoyed the views OF Mt Etna. We rented rooms in a villa-turned-B&B with unobstructed views from the oversized balconies off our rooms, picked up an Italian picnic and enjoyed an evening of wine and volcano gazing.
Sounds charming. Thanks
On the flip side I did go to the top, right to the crater rim. The volcano had erupted just six weeks previously but the guides were confident it was safe (although I later learned that some groups had not ventured there on safety grounds). The walk to the top I recall as being relatively easy (I was a lot younger then though) and we got quite a way up by jeep. The ground inches below our boots was still literally red hot (the surface was cool enough) but one lady in the group got the end of her walking pole melted off after an over enthusiastic thrust! Anyway, at the summit there was no view because of the clouds of smoke and steam issuing from the volcano, worsened by the strong winds blowing up there, and the atmosphere reeked of sulphur - we all had our mouths and noses covered by buffs and the like - and our stay was short as we beat a hasty retreat.
So maybe viewing from a distance has something to be said for it! The volcano doesn’t always erupt from the central crater as there are many side vents, and despite heavy seismic monitoring there is evidence of much infrastructure that has been destroyed by fresh lava flows. Indeed the hotel we stayed in was flattened by a lava flow just a couple of years after our visit.
Saw new video of yet another eruption on Etna occurring today. Don’t think many people are going to go the the summit until it calms down again. It’s been fairly active the past few years.