Visiting Etna even with small children is possible and does not constitute any risk following our advice. Etna is an active volcano, but remaining at lower altitudes, on the marked roads and on the official paths of the park there is no danger. Short useful guide for families with small children.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. The answer is: absolutely yes! There are several activities that can be organized with children to visit Mount Etna.
Visit the volcano with your family
Depending on the time you plan to devote to the visit to the volcano you can safely follow the advice already reported in What to see on Etna in one day? or What to see on Etna in half a day? (FAQ section).
We take it for granted that in this case the needs of the little ones will dictate the times. In any case, as we explain in the articles to which we refer, Etna offers several possibilities to visit places of great landscape and naturalistic interest. If you have your own car you can easily reach the maximum altitude of 2000 meters (see paragraph below on advice in relation to age). The tourist resorts of Nicolosi – Rifugio Sapienza (South) or Linguaglossa – Piano Provenzana (North) have a bar and refuge for stops and shelter for a break. From Rifugio Sapienza also starts the Etna cable car that without any effort allows you to ascend to the highest altitudes, but pay attention to the altitude for younger children. For families who love to walk with their children in nature, there are several paths that can be tackled safely, here are some:
- The Silvestri Craters, Rifugio Sapienza (South) – 15/20 minutes. Easy, even with children
- The Sartorius Craters, Citelli Refuge (North East) – ring about 1 hour, easy.
- Monte Nero degli Zappini, Piano Vetore (South) – complete ring about 2 hours, easy.You can consult our hiking map to view these and other itineraries.
Other fun and leisure activities
The visit to Etna can be associated with some leisure and fun activities. Here are some examples of activities for families on Etna.
Visit to an adventure park – today on the volcano there are 3 adventure parks. Two on the south side, at Piano Vetore at about 1700 meters and at the Red Mountains of Nicolosi. The other in the village of Milos on the east side. Tibetan bridges, pulleys, activities for all difficulties and ages, adults included.
Walks with donkeys, horses, alpacas – there are some associations that offer rides on the back of these docile animals. Just do a search to find the references.
Visit beekeeping farms – Zafferana etnea is the country of honey. Many companies offer both tastings and visits suitable for children, a sweet and educational experience.
Tour of Etna by train – The Circumetnea Railway could be another interesting activity with families especially on weekends, when there is no commuter traffic. We recommend taking it into consideration with children aged 4/5 and over if you plan to do the complete tour, because it is quite long, about 4 hours with some stopovers.
Guided tours & excursions
Contacting an organization of guided excursions on Etna can be the perfect solution for families with children. In fact, you will not have to worry about anything and activities suitable for the presence of children will be proposed. The recommended activities are usually half-day jeep excursions or easy trekking with children over 6 years of age already accustomed to nature walks. Organizations like ours specialize in tours with families and car seats are also available on request (free of charge). We also offer huge offers for children: as a rule, children under 3 pay only a flat rate of € 15 and children up to about 13 years old pay discounted fees of up to 50% depending on the tours.
Here are some of the most advantageous proposals recommended for families:
Advice in relation to age and altitude
For reasons related to atmospheric pressure for children under a couple of years it is not recommended to exceed 2000 meters of altitude. Within 3/4 years it is advisable not to exceed 2500/3000 meters (arrival station of the Etna cable car).