A combination of sea and mountains, immense uncontaminated spaces, mild temperatures during the winter and excellent conditions during the spring. Sicily is not only rich in history and culture, but also has hundreds of places where you can run, hike and train to your full potential, without giving up the magnificent view.
We are on Mount Etna, one of the highest and most active volcanoes on the Eurasian plate. Known for its spectacular eruptions and the large number of tourists who visit every year. One of the first positive points of this place is its proximity to Catania, which makes it surprisingly convenient not only for single day tours, but also as a regular destination for many Sicilians. Etna is therefore much more than we might expect, and still has many hidden sides that few people talk about.
With a height of 3,326 m above sea level and thanks to the presence of the Natural Park, this volcano offers immense possibilities for both trekking and trail running in the middle of nature! There are also countless paths that are gradually being renewed and developed under the rains of ash and lava flows that recurrently deform the sides of this volcano. Sicily therefore appears not only as a perfect place for a summer holiday by the sea, but also as a destination with many pluses for sports enthusiasts.
We have compiled a short list of trails that might be suitable for you if you are considering a holiday near Catania.
The best known path, and one that we recommend you take if you have never visited this place, is the “Sentiero Natura – Monti Sartorius”. As well as being very suggestive, it is easy. Its starting point is also the destination point: the Citelli Refuge, located in the north-eastern part of the volcano, at 1,660 metres above sea level. On this approximately 4km route you will not only be able to admire a splendid botanical and geological variety, but also some interesting panoramic views.
For those who are more trained and ready for a challenge, we suggest the “736 Piano Dei Grilli” route, which is about 15km long and has an altitude difference of 800m, and is full of remarkable naturalistic features. The starting point is the Casermetta Piano dei Grilli, in the north-eastern part of the volcano, while the finish is located at 1900m above sea level at the Pista Almontana. Thanks to the spectacular views and some semi-technical points you will never get bored along the trail
With its 10km and 300m of altitude difference, the “717 Case Pirao – Monte Spagnolo” is a medium-easy trail, which could be suitable for runners without big changes in altitude. The route starts from Case Pirao, in the area of the Comune di Randazzo, and a small road leads to the area of Monte Spagnolo, allowing you to admire various hornitos of an ancient cast all along the way. On the way back from Monte Spagnolo, we head towards the Rifugio Saletti, where we can admire a series of tall brooms, and then continue towards the Cisternazza, located a few metres from the main path.
“With its 10km and 300m of altitude difference, the “717 Case Pirao – Monte Spagnolo” is a medium-easy trail, which could be suitable for runners without big changes in altitude. “
The last route we will propose is “Sentiero Italia – 701 Pista alto montana dell’Etna” and is for true lovers of long distances. It is a 42km path that starts from the Feliciusa Milia Regional Forestry Office, while the arrival is Caserma Pitarrone. It can be done in several days and is the best way to make a complete tour of Etna, thus not missing anything of what this volcano and its Natural Park can offer.