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Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride

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Taormina, Italy

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon10 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

See southern Italy in style with this eye-pleasing trip around Mount Etna via a vintage mid-20th-century train on the Circumetnea Railway. The train journey includes visits to the canyons of Alcantara Gorges (admission at own expense), an amazing natural setting made up of black lava rock walls up to 160 feet (50 meters). And then explore the base of Mount Etna, Sicily's legendary volcano that is 11,000 feet (3,300 meters) tall. Optional upgrade to ascent by cable car up to 2,500 meters and continuing on board jeeps up to the authorized crater zones at approximately 3,000 meters with the assistance of licensed guides of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club); stop to admire the eventual activity of the upper craters in a safety zones according to weather conditions.  From November 1 to March 31, this tour does not include the train ride nor the optional upgrade.
  • Mount Etna day trip from Taormina
  • Explore volcanic canyons and rock pools on a walk through Alcantara Gorges
  • Loop around Mount Etna on the Circumetnea Railway, traveling by 1950s-era train (only from April to October)
  • Enjoy free time to hike around Mount Etna’s foothills at leisure
  • Optional upgrade to visit the upper craters of Mount Etna and walk around its craters in a safe area with an Alpine guide
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Air-conditioned vehicle
Tour escort/host
Professional multilingual guide
Food and drinks
Entrance fee to Alcantara Gorges
Wind jackets and boots rental

Departure Point

1: Via Luigi Pirandello, 36c, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
2: Recanati Bus Terminal, Viale Dionisio, 12, 98035 Giardini Naxos ME, Italy
3: 98037 Letojanni, Province of Messina, Italy

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
After meeting your host in Taormina, travel via comfortable coach to Alcantara Gorges, where numerous deep ravines and cliffs surround the Alcantara River. Pay the admission and then let your guide take you to see the amazing waterfalls and gorges, all created by ancient volcanic eruptions.

Later head back to the coach and ride to the town of Randazzo. After make your way to the Circumetnea Railway, a private railway in which the mid-century train is the highlight. Hop on board and get ready for some great views while cruising around on the vintage train. Marvel at the sights of majestic Mount Etna. Drink in the views of a vineyard and olive grove-clad landscape. Enjoy fields of flowers.

Spend an hour riding on the train and then hop off, riding in the coach to Etna south station, which has an altitude of 6,234 feet (1,900 meters). Take some free time here to do some exploring, strolling along the trails. If all this hiking has built up an appetite, sit down at the station's cafe and indulge in a snack. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended.

Optional upgrade to ascend by cable car up to 2,500 meters and continuing on board jeeps up to the authorized crater zones at approximately 3,000 meters with the assistance of licensed guides of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club); stop to admire the eventual activity of the upper craters in a safety zones according to weather conditions
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Gola dell'Alcantara
Reach the Alcanatara Gorges
Duration: 40 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Craters Silvestri of Mount Etna
Reach Rifugio Sapienza 1900 meters
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please contact the supplier to reconfirm the excursion at least the day before and to get more information about the closest pick-up point
  • Multilingual guide
  • The high-altitude ascents are not indicated for heart passengers, asthmatics and pregnant women.
  • This tour is operated in English, German, Italian. All 3 languages will be spoken during the tour.
  • Please note the tour does not reach the summit but with the upgrade you reach an height of approx. 3000 meters.
  • During winter minimum of 12 people . There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 79 travelers
  • OPERATED BY SAT Group

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride?
A:
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 79 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "The restaurant at the far end of the car park is much nicer, and less expensive, with clean toilets!" See review
  • "You can see two craters and it is worth the walk up there and also for the view but it is is very cold up there so chances are you will spend time in the cafes." See review

Reviews

4.0
star-4
66 Reviews
1 star
0
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 66 reviews
star-2
Tegenvaller
Diana
, Sep 2020
Total trip duration 11 hours, mainly sitting in the bus for 7 hours!! While the sights were actually not far from Taormina, where I stayed, less then half an hour by car. The trip on the old train had been canceled. We were not informed about this canceling before. After some research I noticed the train was already not driving at the moment of booking. Very bad that they offer it anyway and make you pay for it. Even now they are still offering it!! But the train does not run! Now Viator asks for a meaning about the trip: how was the train trip? So wrong this. Instead of the train, we visited a place called Bronte to taste the real pistachio. We only got 20 minutes to visit the toilet, eat ice cream, for which you first had to wait in line for 15 minutes. So taste in a hurry. The visit to Alcantara gorge was also rushed, quick some pictures and away again. Such a big pity. Why not stay there for a longer time, now we had time, because train trip was canceled? Then visit Etna. I asked to the guide the price to go up with cable car. He gave a bizarre high price, so we did not take the cable car. Later it turned out that he told is total price of cable car and jeep. So very sorry. We would have loved to go with the cable car. Guide should speak English. He spoke more Italian, every 10 words italian, he spoke 1 word in english. sentence English after every 10 sentences. Furthermore, no attention was paid to Corona. Many people only wore masks when they got on the bus, then in the bus they put it off or only half. The guide said nothing about this. Disinfection was also missing from the bus. Well, now I tried to come in contact with Viator to explain everything and to ask some cashback. But I cannot reach them at all. I still hope they answer me, otherwise I tell you, never book a trip nu Viator!!!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2020
Dear Diana, first of all we are sorry to read your review although you have been refunded of Euro 25,00 by Viator and us. It is not fair to write a bad review before being refunded. Secondly, we do believe that you would have preferred the basic tour to Etna instead of the Etna Round that is longer and much tiring since we explore the whole foot of the volcano before getting to the top. Regarding the Circumetnea train, its operativity has been suspended due to Covid-19. In normal times for our standard tour, the Circumetnea train’s ride covers only 33 km (1 hour time) and the rest is operated by coach. Since the Circumenea train company, our supplier, has communicated the stop for Covid-19, we cover the same kilometres by coach adding some stops on the way. We can assure that the tour has been accomplished and that the stop of Circumetnea train operativity for safety reason is not depending on our will. Besides that SAT Group, as per our general conditions of all tours, is allowed to change or modify the itinerary whenever it is deemed necessary or for reasons of force majeure.We are sorry if that change has been a discomfort for you. In addition, English and Italian are both spoken on board. It is well known that Italian has longer sentences compared to English. We hope you have the chance to try a different tour and enjoy it more. Regards, Customer Care Manager SAT Group
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star-4
Family trip to Etna
Road226462
, Nov 2019
We travelled late Oct on this trip and it was a great family day out. Only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is the train on the CircumEtnea part of trip was much new than expected and we were looking forward to the older train as per pics on Viator website. Guide & driver were great.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Hello, regarding the CircumEtnea train, we must specify that old and new ones are used in a random solution. Most people prefer the new ones because they are more equipped. It is really a matter of tastes and parameters. We hope next time you can enjoy a ride on the old train. Meanwhile, we send you our best regards. Guest Relations Manager SAT Group
HelpfulHelpful
star-4
etna and railway
257lizzieg
, Oct 2019
We had a double decker bus, and we felt there were too many people on this trip. That was not so important at Etna, but at the Alcantara Gorge the visit was rushed, there was a delay getting tickets and it was slow moving around the narrow paths because of the numbers. We couldn't hear the guide, either as we were too far away. The train ride was excellent- we were fortunate with the weather and the views of Etna, the countryside and the lava fields were stunning. I would have liked more detailed information on the geology of the area. The visit to Etna was interesting. We didn't go to the top however, as it's very expensive and the clouds had descended. We were disappointed with the quality at the Refugio- staff were pleasant, but the toilets were very dirty. The restaurant at the far end of the car park is much nicer, and less expensive, with clean toilets! Back to Taormina by 5.30. An enjoyable day.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hello, thank you for your feedback. You have travelled during the peak of the season and it is normal to find huge crowds during this tour. We have forwarded your note regarding the toilets to the owners of the restaurant in order to improve the quality. We send you our warmest regards. Guest Relations Manager SAT Group
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star-5
Amazing trip
thielteacher
, Oct 2019
Franco was an excellent guide. Very informative & made sure everyone who paid for extras was taken care of. Loved the train ride, the cable car/Jeep and guide at the top of the volcano. He was also excellent.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hello, we are so happy to receive your feedback. We have forwarded to our tour guide Franco who thanks you and is very grateful for the appreciation. His job is made of that: make our dear customers happy! See you again in Taormina in the future. Guest Relations Manager SAT Group
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star-5
Amazing tour
N9487APpeterm
, Jun 2019
Went on this tour with high expectations and after a slow start it really delivered. A long day out but the trip up Mt Etna on the cable car and 4x4 with a guide at the crater truly is bucket list material. Being on an active volcano in Sicily is something you will never forget and so this is the one tour you must do (and is actually great value also) Great tour and the whole family thought the same (not always easy!)
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Hi N9487, happy to have been an important part of your unforgettable experience! We send you our warmest regards from Sicily. Guest Relations Manager SAT Group
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star-4
A really enjoyable day
CathieO3
, May 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and overall good value. but the guide wasn't very good at all. He gave us about 10 seconds notice to get off the train. The 6 euro charge for Alcantara Gorge should be on the mentioned on the description and also what it includes. This seems to have suddenly gone up from 1.50. The guide made it sound as though it was just for the lift down to the gorge whereas it was actually the entrance to the beautiful gorge and the walk round the gardens. It should also be made clearer that the walk is difficult for the less able. I needed some assistance in places. It should also be made clearer that if you just choose the foothills on Etna, most of the 3 hours is spent not very productively in overpriced cafes. You can see two craters and it is worth the walk up there and also for the view but it is is very cold up there so chances are you will spend time in the cafes. It should also be made clearer that if choosing the higher altitude one, it is substantially cheaper to prebook this rather than adding it in resort (£42 v 60 euros)
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star-3
Etna Time Great - The Rest Not So Much
alexisculotta
, Jul 2018
We absolutely loved the opportunity to climb to the highest accessible point of Etna - what an experience! This tour made for an easy and enjoyable visit to the volcano with younger children, but the morning program was not really worth it. The Alacantra Gorge was moderately interesting, but the Circumetnea train is a waste of time - perhaps SAT could simply cut this portion of the tour? Particularly in the summer? It was a hot and miserable unventilated hour on a train that seemingly got us nowhere. And because of these distractions, our time at Etna was rushed unnecessarily. Long story short: everyone who takes this tour wants Etna, so please give it to them: cut out at the very minimum the train and perhaps the Gorge as well. If SAT could offer a Etna only tour with max ascent option that would be much better, but I don't believe they do.
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star-3
The time on Mt. Etna was about...
Kenalyn C
, Jun 2018
The time on Mt. Etna was about right, but we had to keep moving to get everything in and did not have lunch. The guide really didn't do much for us. The railroad was okay, but we were all confused about where to get off. The Gorges were a huge disappointment. You aren't given a map or shown one about the options of where to go to see the gorge. I ran up and down and saw at the end that there was a way to go to the bottom pool, but without directions at the beginning, there was not enough time to do it. There were too many people stuffed on the bus...then at the few gorge viewings to really see anything. if you do this, and I recommend that you look for another tour, perhaps another company...take a sack lunch to eat on the bus.
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star-4
We loved this experience but the bus...
Jacquie M
, Nov 2017
We loved this experience but the bus ride was just too long for my husband and I to sit through. We did venture up to the summit of Mount Edna and we're prepared that the temperature would drop at the top so we dressed warm. Unfortunately we were very surprised by the strong gusts of wind...I could not catch my breath at all so we had to turn around and head back down.
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star-5
I did this trip on my own as my...
Rosemary H
, Oct 2017
I did this trip on my own as my friend wasn't well . This was no problem at all - a fantastic trip really well organised . The views from mount Etna were amazing every aspect of this trip was really well organised . I'm glad I chose to do the extra trip up the cable car and in the jeeps around the cratorsv . The guides were very knowledgeable and helpful . A very early start but a wonderful day .
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Product code: 6099ALCANTARAETNA

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