a summer hike on a volcano {Mt Etna}


A couple of weeks ago, we invited our friends the Arthurs to go on a hike on Mt Etna with us.  I’ve mentioned this active local volcano before; we often see her erupting out our kitchen window!  We love hiking on her slopes because the air is so much cooler and the flowers are so beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall.  In the winter this part of the trail would be covered in snow.

(Also, before I go any farther, my apologies for all the pictures… I just couldn’t resist!  I had over 200 to begin with, so you really are just getting the best of the best.  Hope you all enjoy this hike with me all over again through the images!)


Ladybugs and nose picking… when it comes to two-year-olds, they go together so well!


The coarse volcanic ash can fill up shoes quickly… and lead to gorgeous vegetation like these flowers, whose perfume filled the air.

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Showing Miss Becca a ladybug that she found.

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Pine cones are one thing you can’t find very easily in Sicily.  Tantrums, unfortunately, are easy to find everywhere.

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Lena was pleased as punch that the Arthurs had some goldfish to share with her.

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Elliott’s sister Jess took a photo like the one on the left when we hiked this trail with her last summer.  I was pregnant with Gil then, and now he’s a 6-month-old baby!


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Men dislodging and chucking lava.  Aphids on a branch.


Sweet baby Eden.

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One of the very few pictures we have together!


They were building mini Mt Etnas.

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Finally at the end of our hike!  To the right is the huge valley where the lava flows during eruptions.  The peak of Mt Etna herself is hidden in the clouds to the right.

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New family photo!


Looking down towards the Plain of Catania and the sea… mostly lost in the haze.


And a cheesy farewell to Mt Etna on the right… :-)

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12 Responses to a summer hike on a volcano {Mt Etna}

  1. Helen August 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm #


    Beautiful pictures! What a lovely day, too.
    The ‘new family picture’ is fantastic – I remember how hard it was to get everyone to smile at the same time!

    love and blessings

  2. Steph @ meet.make.laugh. August 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    This looks so much fun! And I love the cheesy photo! So cute! :)

  3. Hope August 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    What is it with boys (of any age) and rock throwing? We can’t go on a hike with a group of friends without losing the guys for a half hour due to some too-good-to-miss boulder toss. :)

  4. Meli August 16, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Becca, I’m really loving your blog! I’d love to get some hints of good places to stop and hike on Etna. Do you just drive up and stop when something looks good or are there certain places you go? Beautiful pictures!

  5. rebecca arthur August 17, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Take me back! What a wonderful day with you. :)

  6. Autumn August 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    These pictures are amazing!! I love the new family photo. Gil is too cute in it.

  7. Sarah Boschung August 20, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    Great family photos–you are all so photogenic =)

  8. Kathy August 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Great pictures. It looks like it was a wonderful day with friends and family. Please let me know where you hiked. We really need to explore the mountain and haven’t done that at all.

    • Becca August 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Kathy, the hike is great and easy to find! Just head up the mountain to the South Station (where the cable cars leave from) and keep driving through and past it. You’ll pass a hotel/cafe called Silvestri. Start going down the hill and, after a few hundred feet, you’ll come to a T intersection. Right at the intersection and to your left is a small, sandy parking lot. There will be a gate to the left of the parking lot. Park there and walk past the gate and up the path. That’s the start of the hike! Follow it for about an hour or so (30 min if you’re adults and athletic, several hours if you have multiple small children…) and the hike will eventually come to this view over the volcanic valley. You can continue past there, too, as most do. Happy hiking!

  9. Sara August 24, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Wonderful pics! Add me to the list of people who would love to have the GPS coordinates to the starting point of this hike!!!!

    • Becca August 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      Sure, Sara! Check the comment I wrote above for Kathy. Happy hiking!


  1. Our 10 Favorites in Sicily {Within 1 Hr of Sigonella} - Becca Garber - July 10, 2014

    […] These days when we hike on Mt Etna, we drive to Etna Sud (the South Station) and hike on a trail nearby. You can find the trail head by driving through the South Station, passing the Silvestri crater on your right, going down the hill, and parking at the T intersection at the bottom of that hill. There’s a little volcanic ash parking lot to your left at that intersection (here’s the location on Google Maps). A wonderful trail starts at that parking lot; just walk around the metal boom and start up the rocky path. The hike takes about 45 minutes for active adults and leads you around the side of Mt Etna to look down into the huge, black lava field. You can continue up the path from there to climb more of Etna if you’d like. Here are pictures from one of our hikes. […]

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