[well]Mount Etna Quick Facts
Mount Etna is a stratovolcano located on the island of Sicily. Statistically speaking, it is the tallest active volcano across the entire continent of Europe. It reaches a height of 10,990 feet (3,350 m) and is ranked 59th globally based on prominence.
The volcano expands across an area of 459 square miles (1,190 sq km), making it more than twice as large as Mount Vesuvius which is the second largest. Mount Etna is recognized as one of the most active volcanoes around the globe. Furthermore, it is in a consistent state of activity.
It has the distinction of being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Etna is located on the island of Sicily. Sicily is located at the toe of the boot, which looking at a map of Italy. It is near the eastern coastline on the more northern side of the island. The coordinates are 37o45.3’N, and 14o59.7’E.
There are a number of ways to see and experience Mount Etna. It is one of the island’s main attractions with thousands of travelers exploring the volcano every year. The most popular experience is driving the road that takes visitors to the Sapienza Refuge ski area. This provides a number of views of the mountain.
Once visitors reach the ski area, they can take a cable car towards the top. Visitors can take a hike to where the crater is located. Another engaging experience is the Ferrovia Circumetnea, which is a narrow gauge railway that travels around the perimeter of the volcano. This provides travelers with various views and perspectives of Mount Etna, Italy’s active wonder of nature.
Winter buffs can enjoy the volcano by leveraging one of the two ski resorts. Each is small with one chairlift and three ski lifts. It still gives visitors a chance to engage a natural wonder during the winter months.
The summer months of June through August are the best times to visit the the volcano. Temperatures are warmer making it more comfortable for viewing and hiking around the area. Visits can happen in May, September and October, but there is a greater chance of cold interfering with the experience. The winter months can be rather uncomfortable with cold wet winds blowing off the sea across the island.
Located on the island of Sicily, the volcano can be a challenge to get to. The easiest way is to fly into Palermo, Sicily and drive around the coast of the island.