Skiing in Mount Etna

Skiing in Mount Etna

If the skiing in Mount Etna isn’t as challenging as elsewhere, there are options for advanced skiers. It’s a good idea to hire out a local guide from Nicolosi, who can show skiers how to make the most of the unusual terrain, but in a safe and responsible manner.  While Mount Etna offers little in the way of difficult runs, the thrill factor is ever-prevalent, due to the constant reminder that skiing is happening on a volcano; lava flows, the smell of sulphur and the heat near the crater all add to the experience.

For those who know where to look, it’s possible to ski cross-country, down 1400m of descents and experience some alpine skiing too. The volcano covers a huge area of 1190 square kilometres, so there is plenty of scope to keep people occupied for a day or two. If that’s not enough, it’s also possible to try alpine skiing. Local guides will be happy to advise the best routes to make the most of the descent.

In reality, visitors probably won’t spend much more than a weekend skiing in Etna, due to its limited slopes. But the exciting cross-country skiing opportunities and the dramatic changes in scenery from the crater to the base will certainly be enough to keep interest peaked for a couple of days.

Mount Etna is an exciting prospect for beginners, too. The volcano has its own ski school to teach the basics that will serve beginners well wherever they ski. But in the meantime, it’s an exciting prospect to take the first strides on skis whilst on a live volcano in Sicily.

While the majority of winter sports enthusiasts on Etna are skiers, the area is very snowboarder friendly, and the lack of trees above 2000m makes it the best spot to try out a few moves on this unusual terrain and natural bumps – after all, an active volcano doesn’t make for the smoothest slopes.