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The biggest volcano in Europe – by campervan and foot – with video

It can’t be that difficult to walk to the top of Mt. Etna. That’s what I thought. I was wrong.

In this post I’ll show you my day exploring Mt. Etna in Sicily, by campervan and by foot – plus where to park and camp in your van.

Oh yeah: this post is from March (this year) but I forgot to post it!

Scroll to the bottom if you just want to watch the video.

Where is Mount Etna ?

3 quick facts about Etna

  • One of the most active volcanos in the world
  • 3350m tall and covers 460 square miles
  • Scientists tested space robots here because the atmospheric and geological conditions are similar to Mars

First I parked here

I arrived here at night and saw this strange red smear of light in the sky. I was totally puzzled. In the morning I realised Mt. Etna had erupted. It was molten rock!

Every surrounding village has this amazing backdrop…

I started to drive up the mountain

I stopped at the Rifugio Sapienza – this is the furthest you can drive and a good starting point for walking, climbing, skiing or sledging. You can also camp here in your van. Google map link

I started walking up here

But I never made it to the centre of the volcano

A big storm came and it made it impossible to continue to the very top. I didn’t know about the warning that day of abnormal weather conditions. Watch the video below and you’ll see ?

But I saw a good sunset

Here’s the video


I realised as I got caught (alone) in that storm that it could be pretty easy for things to go wrong.

And if you want to get to the very top of Etna, do everything I didn’t:

  1. Wear shoes with grip
  2. Maybe get a guide
  3. Check the weather before you set off
  4. Tell someone where you’re going

Any other tips or Etna stories please share in the comments 🙂

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