Not everybody knows that besides the traditional tracking tours Etna suggests skiing as well. The highest volcano in Europe is nowadays a popular and wonderful resort for those, who like active holidays and extreme kinds of sport.
Skiing at the foot of Etna is a special kind of entertainment, which needs expenditures. Everybody understands that servicing skiing route at the volcano needs modern equipment and a lot of money. Since their opening the local resorts have experienced the dangerous power of the volcano many times. The regular eruptions and the flows of hot lava have destroyed elevators and routes many times. The last serious eruption happened in 2002. The skiing school building and the electricity transmission line were ruined.
But the Sicilians consider violence of Etna a part of their everyday life and they have managed to get accustomed to their dangerous neighborhood. That is why in extreme situations all the measures concerning evacuation of tourists from dangerous territories and restoration of infrastructure are taken promptly and drastically. The scheme of “eruption-evacuation-restoration” has been completely perfected for the last five centuries.
The tourists who went skiing to Etna describe their feelings as magnificent. Imagine the super exotic picture: you are skiing and enjoying the beauty of the sea from the slopes of Etna and at the same time the streams of jet and gas are breaking up from the entrails of the volcano.
There are two main skiing resorts near Etna. On its southern slope there is a small village of Rifugio Sapienza. On its northern slope there is a small town of Linguaglossa. There are specialized hotels, a staff of skiing instructors and stations of hiring skiing equipment in both the resorts. You can go skiing and snowboarding there.
Etna is situated in the south of the country but it does not influence the quality of snow very much. In winter tourists go skiing starting from the height of 1800-2000m. The total height of the volcano is more than 3300m but visiting the crater is prohibited.