Things to do in
Catania

Between Mount Etna and the sea, this vibrant and down-to-earth Sicilian city is an architectural melting pot.

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Our most recommended things to do in Catania

Mount Etna: Cable Car, Jeep, & Hiking Tour to Summit

1. Mount Etna: Cable Car, Jeep, & Hiking Tour to Summit

Ascend to the summit of the craters of Mount Etna, one of the most coveted excursions a hiker can make. Hike in full safety with an authorized alpine and volcano guide, and marvel at the beauty and wonder of the highest active volcano in Europe.   Depart from Sapienza Refuge in Nicolosi, and ascend 2,504 meters by cable car. Then, ride in a 4x4 Jeep up to 2,900 meters, to begin your hike. You’ll hike 1.5 hours uphill, passing many craters and taking long pauses to take pictures and rest. Experience the incredible feeling of being on top of the world in this rocky, beautiful landscape with the giant sky above you. After reaching the summit, descend for 2 hours back to the cable car, which will take you to your departure point.

Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

2. Mount Etna: Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour

Enjoy a cable car before walking across Europe's highest active volcano. Take in the breathtaking scenery in the company of your expert guide. After a briefing with your guide, ride the cable car to an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. Then, start your 2-hour trek to the crater summit, and take breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery and views. Walk through the lunar landscape of the lava fields as you traverse the nature trails of the highest active volcano in Europe. Take in the panoramic views from 3,000 meters, then trek back down to the upper cable car station. Return to the meeting point by cable car and get your last views of the brooding mountain. 

Catania: Mount Etna Morning or Sunset Day Trip with Tasting

3. Catania: Mount Etna Morning or Sunset Day Trip with Tasting

Enjoy an adventurous day trip to Mount Etna, including handy roundtrip transfers from Catania. Best of all, customize your tour according to your needs, choosing from either a private or small-group experience in a choice of languages. Explore the volcano’s ancient craters, a lava flow cave, and try some local products, while taking in some breathtaking panoramic views along the way. Start your day with a pick-up from your Catania accommodation in an air-conditioned 4x4 or minivan. Digest some fun facts about the volcano from your professional guide as you drive 2000 meters up. Hear about everything from the volcano’s natural resources, memorable landscapes, and flora, to lava flows that have swallowed roads and buildings in past spurts of activity. Once you reach 2000 meters up, take a guided walk around the ancient craters, recent lava flows, and other-worldly landscape. Rest easy as the trek is an easy one, suitable for both families with younger children and older family members. Try a mini-sampling of Sicilian delicacies during the trek, with some "cantucci" biscuits and "zibibbo" wine both up for tasting. After a short break, head to your next stop — a lava flow cave. Using a helmet and flashlight, you’ll discover the cave’s origins and stand-out features in ample time with your guide. Your last stop is a panoramic viewpoint at Monte Pomiciaro, granting you unforgettable views and photo opportunities over the Valle del Bove, the volcano’s most important valley. If the sunset option is selected, take in breathtaking views of Etna during 'Golden Hour'. After your volcanic adventure, head back to Catania, where your tour will conclude.

Catania: Mount Etna Sunset Jeep Tour

4. Catania: Mount Etna Sunset Jeep Tour

Take a guided tour of iconic Mount Etna. Discover the natural landmark's history, sample local produce, and watch the sun set over the outstanding landscape. Climb aboard a 4x4 Jeep and begin your half-day guided tour. Learn about the history and science behind the Etna volcano. Stop for a wine, liquor, and honey tasting to discover the flavors and smells of local products that are made in this volcanic region. Drive along roads that are framed by breathtaking views of the various dormant craters. Admire the beautiful Valle del Bove and explore an old lava flow cave with lamps. Finish your tour by enjoying the beautiful panoramas of the sun setting behind the landscape. 

Etna: Guided Trekking Tour to Summit Craters

5. Etna: Guided Trekking Tour to Summit Craters

Enjoy a physical challenge with rewarding views on this guided climb to the top of Etna. Take breaks along the way and take unique photos of the summit craters. After the initial briefing at the mobile information point, your hike will begin, up to the top of Mount Etna at 3,300 meters. Take the cable car to quickly gain altitude up to 2,500 meters and then with special 4x4 minibuses, climb up to 2,900 meters, near Torre del Filosofo. During the 2-hour ascent, take 2-3 intermediate breaks to enjoy the view. Travel through the lunar-looking lava fields that will lead you below the summit craters. With a last challenging climb, reach the top of Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Admire the peculiarities of the summit area with its craters and frequent activity Downhill for the return, visit other ancient craters, a lava flow channel, the Valle del Bove and take the cable car back to the starting point.

Catania: Mount Etna Trekking Trip off the Tourist Path

6. Catania: Mount Etna Trekking Trip off the Tourist Path

Embark on a trek of iconic Mount Etna with a naturalist guide. Take in outstanding views, learn local history from your guide, visit a lava cave, and see the southeastern crater, Etna's most active area. Enjoy included trekking poles, shoes, and warm clothing. Following your pickup, you will head in the direction of Etna. Passing off-road through Trazzere where you can see the lava flows of 1792, your guide will explain the fauna and flora of the volcano of Etna. Learn Mount Etna's history as you travel in the direction of the Bove Valley, which is an ancient caldera formed about 64,000 years ago due to the collapse of 2 major eruptive centers. You'll soon arrive at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, where your hike starts. Follow quiet trails away from the tourist paths. Pass recent lava flows and soak up views of the coastline. Throughout the trek you can stop to taste sandwiches and local products, and will visit inside a lava cave. At the conclusion of your experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

Catania: Etna Hiking Tour

7. Catania: Etna Hiking Tour

Enjoy a hike on the highest, most active volcano in Europe. Explore a fascinating landscape and take in breathtaking views on this climbing adventure. Start the tour with an early morning pickup from the meeting point chosen. On the way, there will be a stop for a coffee and to buy something to eat if you'd like (costs not included). Arrive at the starting point for your off-the-beaten-track hike. Take advantage of a helmet and all the equipment you need for your hike. As you begin to walk, admire the fascinating landscape of the Valle del Bove, the biggest depression of Mount Etna, and its moonlike deserts. From there take in the breathtaking views of the smoking summit craters and the surrounding landscape facing the Ionian Sea. Finally, in the afternoon, get dropped off back in Catania where your tour concludes.

Catania: Half-Day Buggy Tour of the Etna Volcano

8. Catania: Half-Day Buggy Tour of the Etna Volcano

Take part in a buggy adventure on Mount Etna. Take in scenic sights, walk around the top of Silvestri Craters and explore the Cassone lava cave. Explore the Etna volcano by buggy on this unique 4-hour activity. After a quick briefing on how to drive your buggy, head off with the guide to the villages of Pedara and Nicolosi. Continue along a track that passes an old lava rock quarry, and experience the buggy’s off-road abilities. Drive on a scenic road leading to Rifugio Sapienza. After a coffee break, take a walk around the top of the Silvestri Craters. Next, take the road down to the Cassone lava cave. Enjoy a quick visit inside, equipped with a helmet and a flashlight. Continue on the route, stopping to admire the immense Valle del Bove from Mount Zoccolaro on the way to Zafferana Etnea, Viagrande and San Gregorio.

Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

9. Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

See another side to Sicily as you discover the natural beauty of Catania on this walking tour. Admire the Ursino Castle, walk around the squares and plazas and discover the famous sites. Meet your guide before departing on your adventure. Stroll the city center with your local guide who will fascinate you with the city's history. See monuments built centuries ago that are still standing to this day. Many of the structures you will witness date back to the Greek colonization of the city back in the 8th-century B.C. Enjoy this tour and see the following landmarks: the piazza Duomo, Pescheria, Castello Ursino, piazza San Francesco, via Teatro Greco, piazza Dante, via Gesuiti, scalinata Alessi, piazza Università, piazza Vincenzo Bellini, and the piazza San Placido. If you are in Catania, this tour is simply a must-do.

Etna: Craters of the 2002 Eruption Trekking Experience

10. Etna: Craters of the 2002 Eruption Trekking Experience

Embark on a guided trek along Mount Etna's north side. Discover the craters at the summit, wander through the forests, stare in awe at the lava streams, and admire the eruptive fractures. Begin the trekking route along the dirt road that leads from Piano Provenzana to the summit craters of the volcano. Make a stop to see the ruins of the Hotel dell Betulle, the only visible structure that stands from the lava flow that occurred in 2002. Along the route, take the time to visit and study several volcanic morphologies, all related to a series of eruptions that have occurred overtimef on the north side of Etna. In particular, the flank eruptions have left the most evidence, especially the last one, which threatened the city of Linguaglossa. See the structures called Hornitos, which means, small over, and go up along the cinder cones. Once at the summit, look over the edge of the craters and go down inside a sandy channel to get back to the starting point.

Frequently asked questions about Catania

What top attractions are a must-see in Catania?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to Get Around in Catania

    You can take your pick of trains, buses and even boats when you're traversing Catania. Of course, its always fun to roam around on foot too, and take in more sights. The transportation network is sometimes slow but functional. Make sure to validate your bus ticket as inspectors sometimes check tickets in transit.

  • Where to stay in Catania

    Stay near the Piazza Duomo for easy access to the center city and a scenic evening stroll home. You can choose from a variety of hotels in the area, no matter what your budget.

  • What is the weather like in Catania?

    Though temperatures never go below zero in Catania, for the full experience of this charming Sicilian town, we recommend you visit between the months of May and October. The hottest months are July and August but temperatures don't exceed the mid 80s.

Good to know

  • Language
    Sicilian and Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • Best time to visit
    The best time to visit Catania is in the summer time. The warmer months are the perfect backdrop for sightseeing, tasting local cuisine, and enjoying the Sicilian landscape.

Other Sightseeing Options in Catania

Want to discover all there is to do in Catania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Catania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7,574 reviews

Our tour was excellent! A 3 hour guided tour with Agata in which we learned not only the basics of the Sicilian cuisine, but also tips and tricks about how to get around Catania/Sicilian culture. Agata is extremely friendly, she speaks great English and has traveled most of Europe. She is very passionate about her job and exactly this type of attitude made the experience of the participants unforgettable. Many thanks, will definitely create a new habit of booking food tours when traveling abroad.

Unfortunately due to the weather and the rough seas, 3 out of 4 of our party were seasick, so we asked the captain Diego if we could cut the trip short and return to land. Diego and his colleague were great and dropped us of at a small marina just outside Catania, having called ahead for a taxi to meet us and take us back to Catania.

We had a wonderful day with guide Alessio who was very knowledgeable and as a bonus is a Montalbano fan! He took us to all the most iconic places in the series, which was great fun and as the weather was glorious we were able to swim in Salvo's part of the sea.

Lovely people, nice food and very nice yacht.What more could you ask? However, remember to take a jacket as even on a hot day it can be chilly at sea.

This was an amazing experience. The only way it could have been better was if we went on a cloudless day to see the craters and scenery more.