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Ski Touring and Free Ride on Etna Skiing on Fire…

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Etna has always been the scene of myths and legends: Homer in the Odyssey speaks of it as the forge of Hephaestus, the giant Cyclops, whose eye in the middle of his forehead could perhaps have symbolized the tremendous volcano's crater. Etna, at 3340m, is the highest active volcano in Europe, with an arid lunar landscape in the summer and heavy snowfalls in winter. The rough lava flows become a paradise for ski mountaineers and free riders: skiing on Mount Etna is an indescribable experience, from the rim of the active craters where you can almost feeling the volcano breathing to the birch woods, where the white of the snow mixes with the black lava and yellow sulphur. The views offer sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the nearby coast of Calabria to the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands. It will be a unique experience of skiing surrounded by the sea and lunar landscapes. Cosy Bed and Breakfasts and mountain huts will be our "base camp" for trips to different sides of the volcano. The expert local guides and the inhabitants of "villages of Etna" are waiting for us to share their knowledge, excellent cuisine and the famous wines of Etna. This is a ski touring adventure to experience at least once in your lifetime. Catania, the city of lava, will keep an eye on us from down below and will offer, during the day of rest, its architectural beauty and folklore, unique in Italy.

Highlights:
- Ski touring on the highest active volcano in Europe, across lunar landscapes and the Mediterranean
- Excellent quality of the snow and local expert Volcanic Guides
- The welcoming "villages of Etna" and their cuisine and Catania, the city of lava...

Daily Itinerary

1 EtnaSkialp Marco TommaselloDay 1: Arrival in Sicily
Arrival at Catania Airport. Welcome and private transfer to Ragalna (1hr), one of the "Villages of Etna", at the foot of the great volcano. Visit the old town of Ragalna, a small and quiet village on the western slopes of Etna, surrounded by forests. This is the perfect place to unwind at the end of a day on the snow. Dinner at local restaurant and overnight in B & B in Ragalna. (Meals: D)

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2 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 2: Freeride across the South Side of Etna, Canaloni degli svizzeri and Montagnola (+200m – 1500m, 5hrs, MS)
Private transfer to the south side of Mount Etna (20min). The whole day will be dedicated to Freeride, between the wide canyons of the spectacular southern slope of the volcano. Thanks to the lifts and short ascents with skins, we will leave our tracks in the virgin snow along the legendary "Canaloni degli svizzeri" and the "Montagnola". The steaming craters look at us from above while the long coast of Catania appears in all its glory. Warm-up day for the legs and assessment of the level of the group. Private transfer to Ragalna (20min). Dinner at local restaurant and overnight in B & B in Ragalna.
Meals (B, D)structure-separateur-horizontal-dot
3 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 3: Valle del Bove, the Large Crater (+500m – 1200m, 4hrs, BS)
Private transfer to the south side of Mount Etna (20min) Ascent and descent by cable car in Valle del Bove, a large volcanic amphitheatre offering a multiplicity of small channels with slopes of around 30 ° surrounded by old and recent lava flows. This is one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world to ski - indelible in the memory of every skier! Early afternoon private transfer to Aci Trezza (50min) and visit with the fishermen to the marine reserve of Lachea Island, the geological point where Mount Etna was born - from the volcano to the Mediterranean! A fish dinner in Aci Trezza. Private transfer to Ragalna (50min) Overnight in B & B in Ragalna. Meals (B, D)
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4 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 4: Torre del Filosofo and Monte Palestra: the West Side of the Volcano (+400m – 1100m, 4hrs, MS)
Private transfer to Refuge Sapienza (20min) and a cable car to the start of the excursion. We go up the gentle slopes to the volcanic formation of the Philosopher's Tower, at an altitude of 2900 metres. The name of this formation is based on a legend that the Greek philosopher, Empedocles, had the desire to become one with nature, and once he had managed to get to the top of Etna was swallowed by a crater found in the area around 2000 years ago. The descent will take place along the western side of Etna among ancient lava to the clearing of Monte Palestra. Private transfer to Ragalna (35min). Dinner at local restaurant and overnight in B & B in Ragalna. Meals (B, D)
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5 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 5: Free day - Catania, the city of lava
Free day to rest your legs before the big crossing and the summit of the volcano, planned for the next day. And it is 'strongly recommended to visit the town of Catania: from the morning folk fish markets to the beautiful Baroque architecture of the Duomo and the testimony of steps contained in the ancient Greek Theatre and the Roman Theatre. Savour the Sicilian cakes along the elegant Via Etnea or the gardens of Villa Bellini, which are a 100% Sicilian experience. Free dinner. Overnight stay in a B & B in Ragalna. Meals (B)
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6 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 6: Crossing Etna: On top of the Volcano (+800m – 1500m, 6hrs, BS)
Private transfer to the south side of Mount Etna (20min) and a cable car to an altitude of 2500m. Today we climb up to the spectacular summit craters (if the conditions of the volcano allow) of the highest volcano in Europe, where, facing the edge of the craters, we can admire and listen to the turbulent activity of the pulsating volcano! From the summit the view extends from the Aeolian Islands to the Gulf of Syracuse. Descend through the spectacular "Canaloni dei Quarantore" and arrive in the ski resort of Piano Provenzana on North Etna. Private transfer to the Rifugio Citelli (15min). Dinner and overnight in the cosy refuge in the birch forest. Meals (B, D)structure-separateur-horizontal-dot

7 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 7: The North Side of the Volcano: Punta Lucia and Pizzi Deneri (+1500m – 2000m, 7hrs, BS)
Private transfer to the North side of Etna (20min). Short ascent by lift to a height of 2400m and then climb to an altitude of 3000m. From here begins the magnificent descent to Punta Lucia (1900m), one of the most exciting descents of our week. The environment is made wild by ancient lava flows and the presence of the majestic specimens of the native "Pino Ragabo". We will climb with skins from the west side and then ski from the spectacular Pizzi Deneri (2800m) until the birch forest that surrounds our Lodge. Dinner and overnight in the cosy refuge. Meals (B, D)
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8 Etna Skialp Marco TommaselloDay 8: Departure
After breakfast, private transfer to the Catania airport (1hr 10min) and end of services. Meals (B)

Note: B (Breakfast); L(Lunch); D (Dinner)
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IMPORTANT: all routes in the itinerary are subject to change due to weather and the volcanic Mount Etna. The Guide will decide to make the routes safer depending on the weather, volcanic and snow conditions..

Grade: Moderate, 2 to 4 hours walking each day, hilly-to-steep terrain. A prior hiking experience is recommended. On the Amalfi coast there are plenty of steps along our hike down to the villages. We advise to use the trekking poles

Accommodation:
5 nights in a comfortable B&B in Ragalna, in double or triple rooms with share bathroom facilities
2 nights in the comfortable Refuge on the North side of Etna, in multi-bedded rooms with shared bathroom facilities

Equipment:
Skis, boots, poles, skins, crampons, transceiver, shovel, probe, technical clothing layered winter, woollen hat and gloves, sunglasses, sun cream, 25lt backpack for day trips, water bottle.

Getting there: The destination airport for this trip Catania. From Catania airport you'll be transferred to Ragalna (about 1h) by private transfer. Our driver will be waiting for you at the arrival terminal.
Departures 2017
13/02/2017 - 20/02/2017
27/02/2017 - 05/03/2017
06/03/2017 - 13/03/2017
Price: per person from €1470 (based on 8 participants)
Supplements Price per person
Single room Not available
Extra night in Hotel*** in Catania in single/double room with breakfast €55 / €40
Included:
- 7 nights with breakfast in B & B and Refuge in multi-bedded rooms with shared bathroom facilities
- 6 dinners with local cuisine
- All private transfers as indicated in the itinerary
- Boat to Lachea on day 3
- Volcanologist Guide/Skiing teacher and expert of the area

Not included:
- All lunches (approx €5 per picnic)
- 1 dinner on day 5 (approx €20)
- All ski passes as indicated in the itinerary (approx €80 euro)
- All drinks
- Ski hire, boots, skins, transceiver, shovel and probe. Available on request.
- Return flights to Sicily
- Anything not listed in "Included"Incluso"


Mount Etna: Facts About Volcano's EruptionsMixed element/text selection

Programma Giornaliero

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Location Sicily

italia Sicilia

Trips note: MOTSICC5TG

Destination: Sicily
Travel Style: snow trip
Interest: Ski Touring / Alpine Landscape
Comfort: Standard
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Departures: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Group Size: from 4 to 8 people
Airport: Catania