It is commonplace to represent volcanoes with a single summit crater. The summit craters of Etna instead are in total four: The Voragine, the North East, the Central and the South East. They are all very recent craters and the highest among these is the North East crater, with a height of 3329 m (variable!). The South East crater is the most active in recent decades with very intense and short activities, even for just an hour. The landscape, due to the altitude, is almost devoid of vegetation and “lunar”, but the panorama offered is exciting thanks also to its proximity to the sea (14 km as the crow flies).
In the past it was thought that inside the “mouths” of the volcano there were gods or that it was access to the underworld, perhaps also for the immensity of the panorama offered by the craters which have a diameter of over 500 meters and a considerable depth, also it is always variable due to the instability and changeability of the places. For many months of the year at the summit craters it is possible to find snow deposited during the winter, another fascinating element of our territory. Reaching the top of the volcano is for many the most popular destination.
HIKING NOTES: It is possible to reach the summit craters during the summer months in trekking and during the winter months on skis. Depending on volcanic activity, in recent years, there may be prohibitions imposed by civil protection on the basis of a regulation of use. The ascent is almost always imposed accompanied by qualified personnel. The summit craters can be reached with our SUMMIT CRATERS excursion.