Etna North side

Ready to explore the unique volcanic landscapes of Etna north? This guide includes a list of the most important paths found on the north side of the volcano, we will help you choose one of the refuges where to spend the night or if you love real outdoor adventures we will take you to one of the bivouacs immersed in the Etna forest .


The northern side of Etna is the one closest to Taormina and Giardini Naxos, the closest town at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level is Linguaglossa. The highest points where you can reach by car are Piano Provenzana at an altitude of 1850 meters and the Citelli refuge also at an altitude of 1850 metres. In Piano Provenzana there are the ski resorts surrounded by the lava of the great eruption of 2002 which destroyed this part of Etna. If you want to get away from the crowd and immerse yourself in wild nature then the northern side of Etna is the one for you.

When you explore mount Etna, you will discover that the area known as  Etna north is the side with dense forests, volcanic landscapes made of lava deserts, volcanic cones and lava tubes that tell the geological history carved by ancient and modern eruptions.

Photographic opportunities abound, especially in spring during the flowering of the astragalus and saponaria and in autumn when the foliage of the birches, aspens and beeches colors the landscape, making it an unmissable photographic set. The trekking paths that leads to the summit craters or even those at lower altitudes represent an opportunity to discover the beauty of the northern side of the volcano.


Etna north side tours

trekkers on the summit of the Sartorius craters

The northern side of Etna offers a series of excursions for all fitness levels, from family walks to more challenging treks. For those who love bicycle tours there are a series of paths that wind through lava deserts and forests, motor lovers can decide to visit Etna on a quad. Without a shadow of a doubt, the most popular excursions on the north side are those that include trekking on foot which can have different lengths, sometimes including visits to the Etna wineries, others in the afternoon visiting the Alcantara Gorges and the valley.

Before starting to talk to you about the paths available on Etna north side I must remind you that it is possible to visit Etna independently up to 2800 metres, be careful that municipal bills often change based on eruptive or explosive phenomena and the altitude limit can be lowered, make sure you have access to updated information. I recommend you read the guide on how to prepare for a tour of Etna, it takes about five minutes to read but it will help you avoid making beginner mistakes.

 trails on Mount Etna north flank

Explore the different trails of Northern Etna, including Serracozzo 731, Observatory Trail, Sartorius craters and Timpa Rossa Trail. These routes offer a unique opportunity to admire the majestic beauty of the volcano up and close. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through an enchanting landscapes.

Serracozzo trail and bove valley

The Serracozzo path 731 offers hikers a trek with few stretches of forest except in the initial part, nevertheless this path is among the most enchanting of those found on the north side. This trail displays fascinating geological formations, including the Serracozzo Cave. Along the 14 km you will be able to admire the unique lava landscapes and learn about the history of the eruptions of this imposing volcano. Furthermore, you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the Valle del Bove from an altitude of 2100 m, where the magmatic dykes contribute to creating a landscape that is sometimes mystical. The Serracozzo path can be extended by four kilometers and include the Sartorius craters buttonhole.

begining of the trail: Serracozzo

Guide: It is absolutely advisable to have a guide, the path has no indications and presents morphological problems.

Path: Circular km 14/8,5 miles.

Intensity: Medium.

Positive gain: 700 meters.

Gear: Sturdy shoes, helmet, walking poles.

the etna observatory trail

The observatory trail in the northern region of Etna offers hikers a unique vantage point to observe the volcanic landscape and crater vents, giving an unforgettable experience of Etna's geological wonders. The starting point of this path is at Piano Provenzana from the green bar that marks the path for the summit ascent up to 3340 metres.

As you walk this you will pass along the buttonhole formed during the 2002 eruption, you will be greeted by stunning views of the Observatory, showcasing the beauty and power of the area's volcanic activity. The geological formations you encounter along the way tell the story of Etna's past, while the flora and fauna add a touch of vibrant life to the rugged terrain. This path can be connected with that of Serracozzo

Inizio: The observatory trail

Guide: If you stick to the main trail you can skip the guide.

Trail:Back anf forth through the same trail 20 km/12,5 miles

Positive gain: 1100 metres

Gear: Trekking boots, walking poles, bastoncini,

sartorius craters trail

The Sartorius Craters path, located a few hundred meters from the historic Citelli Refuge of the CAI, offers a suggestive path that winds through a wonderful birch forest which represents a botanical uniqueness of the area. This trail displays a diverse array of flora, with volcanic landscapes and forested trails adding important ecological significance to this hiking experience.

Along the four kilometer route, hikers can explore a stretch of forest, and climb to the top of a series of craters formed during the 1865 eruption. With the help of a guide you can cross the 1928 lava flow before enter the forest.

The trail features six observation points, highlighting endemic species, large volcanic 'bombs' and forest formations dominated by birch trees. Don't miss the splendid view of the Mediterranean Sea and the Nebrodi mountains. This path is connected to that of Serracozzo.

beginning of the trail: sartorius craters

Guide: Not compulsory but if you hire one they can let you explore the woods.

Percorso: circular route 4-5 km

Positive gain: 100 meters

Intensity: Low ideal for families

Attrezzatura: Scarpe da ginnastica o da Trekking

Timpa Rossa trail

This path starts from the green bar from which the track that leads to the summit craters of Etna begins. You will travel the first two kilometres approximately on the same path that leads to the observatory, then look carefully for the sign that says Timpa rossa, you will have to cross the 2002 lava. This path includes crossing a large stretch of a beech forest before arriving to the Timpa Rossa refuge where you can chill out or sleep. If you study the map carefully you can include a visit to the 2002 craters, which have a splendid view of the Mediterranean Sea and Taormina.

Beginning of the trail:Timpa rossa

Guide: Not mandatory but useful, you can lose the path in the woods.

Percorso: circular route 7 km.

Positive gain: 400 meters.

Intensity: medium.

Attrezzatura: Trekking boots.

Where to sleep on Mount etna north side

Lo chalet clan dei ragazzi

When you explore the North side of Etna, you will encounter several fascinating mountain refuges and chalet. These refuges, including Rifugio Citelli, Rifugio Clan dei Ragazzi, Rifugio il Ginepro, Rifugio Ragabo and Rifugio Brunek, offer a welcoming environment for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Each refuge offers a unique experience, from breathtaking views to warm hospitality, making them essential stops during your Etna adventure.


The Citelli Refuge, part of the Northern Mount Etna Refuges, was inaugurated on 6 October 1935, under the guidance of Peppino Strano di Zafferana. This mountain lodge, operated by Strano until 1975, offers stunning summit views and serves as a base for various mountaineering activities among the breathtaking landscapes. Thanks to the efforts of the CAI and Etna Park, the refuge underwent a complete restoration in 2012, attracting lovers of outdoor activities in search of adventure. The Refuge is a popular choice for hikers.

With its rich history and strategic location, Rifugio Citelli stands as a beacon for those seeking outdoor adventures in the heart of North Etna. The environment is spartan.

Telephone: +39 3885624535

Telephone: +39 095 930000

Clan dei ragazzi

Located at 1500 meters above sea level, immersed in the lush pine forest of Ragabo, in the area of ​​Linguaglossa - Etna Nord, the Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi offers a refuge for lovers of the open air looking for relaxation and a comfortable base for exploring the activities around the volcano. This wooden structure offers chalet-style accommodation with rooms spread over two floors, including a bar, a restaurant, twelve rooms, a large multipurpose room and a welcoming chapel.

From here you can enjoy splendid views of the volcano and easily access guided excursions to the summit craters of Etna starting from Piano Provenzana. It is the perfect place for those seeking both comfort and adventure amidst the beauty of the pine forest. This refuge/chalet is a point of reference on the northern side of Etna for mountain bike excursions.

Telephone: +39 340 735 0907

Il Ginepro

Nestled among the picturesque landscapes of Etna, Rifugio il Ginepro offers nature lovers a serene retreat where they can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.The lodge boasts breathtaking mountain views and a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for relaxing after a day of outdoor adventures. The refuge, offers local cuisine, a delicious way to recharge for your next outdoor adventure. Don't miss the chance to watch breathtaking sunsets paint the sky in orange and pink hues. If you are passionate about nature photography, the surroundings offer ample subjects and, as night falls, the opportunities for stargazing are abundant, making your stay at Rifugio il Ginepro truly unforgettable.

Telephone: +39 392 392 4498 E-mail:


Strategically positioned on the Linguaglossa side of Etna, not far from the boys' clan chalet, the Ragabo alpine refuge is managed by the Mangano family, guaranteeing a welcoming and familiar atmosphere. Ragabo accommodations offer a comfortable stay with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Enjoy delicious local cuisine, showcasing the flavors of Sicily. Explore encounters with the area's diverse wildlife, from rare bird species to unique flora. Be prepared for changing weather conditions while enjoying various outdoor activities.

In the surrounding area, historical places such as ancient lava flows and volcanic caves offer an opportunity to discover the rich history of Etna. At Rifugio Ragabo you will find the perfect combination of nature, comfort and adventure.

Telephone:+39 3393440167


It is currently closed and could reopen in June 2025.


From Etna North the ascent to the summit craters takes place only by off-road vehicle, remember well that from Piano Provenzana there is no Etna cable car. The Jeeps go up to an altitude of 3000 meters and then continue on foot. The route from the Provenzana plain up to an altitude of 3000 meters is extremely suggestive and passes near the observatory of the institute of geophysics and volcanology where the lava desert seems to have emerged from an alien planet.


Il Bivacco di timpa Rossa sul lato nord dell'etna

When you explore the bivouacs of Northern Etna, you will encounter Timpa Rossa, Monte Crisimo and refuge Linguaglossa. These locations offer unique perspectives of the surrounding landscape and provide a glimpse into the area's rugged beauty. The bivouacs do not always have beds and never toilets. If you decide to spend the night in one of the bivouacs on the northern side of Etna, remember that the water is not drinkable as it is rain and the wells can often be dry, bring enough water or preparations to boil the water present and filter it.

Timpa Rossa

Immersed in the Timpa Rossa forest, this wooden refuge is picturesque and smells of adventure and true outdoor life. This bivouac is equipped with a wood stove, a stone barbecue, and a supply of firewood. The geological formations surrounding Timpa Rossa are a sight to behold, showcasing the volcanic landscapes that define this area.

Whether you are passionate about hiking, camping or simply a nature lover, Timpa Rossa offers the perfect setting for a variety of outdoor activities. So, grab your backpack and get ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and unique experiences that await you in Timpa Rossa.

Monte Crisimo

The Monte Crisimo bivouac offers hikers a rustic stone refuge with essential services for a spartan stay among the volcanic landscapes. If you are an animal enthusiast, don't miss the wildlife viewing opportunities of Mount Crisimo, where you may spot unique species in their natural habitat. Monte Crisimo has a picnic area where you can relax surrounded by breathtaking views.

Bivacco Lingualossa

To request the keys to the Linguaglossa refuge, contact the Linguaglossa CAI (Italian Alpine Club). Located 2100 meters above the Monte Conca ski lift, this refuge offers the opportunity to enjoy spectacular sunset views, spot local wildlife, take breathtaking photographs of the mountains, stargaze at night and cook outdoors.

Built in 1947 and completely renovated in 2012, the interior of the refuge does not have beds, but you can spread out your sleeping bags for the night. Inside, you will find a central room with a table and benches where you can eat meals in total relaxation.

Be sure to make the request to the CAI of Linguaglossa to obtain the keys and enjoy this unique experience on the summit of Etna.

Linguaglossa Alpine Club, CAI

Address: Piazza Municipio, 95015 Linguaglossa CT

Telephone: 349 535 4987


If you plan to face the famous challenge of the ring that connects the two slopes of Etna North and Etna South via the 'Pista Altomontana', you can plan your night stops in some of these refuges.

Alpine refuges such as: Rifugio Saletti, Rifugio Pirao, Rifugio Monte Spagnolo, Rifugio Santa Maria, Rifugio Monte Scavo and Rifugio Galvarina. All these bivouacs serve as mountain refuges for hikers.

These overnight stops are essential resting spots offering simple bivouacs with amenities such as fireplaces, firewood and a few loungers. Some even provide rainwater in cisterns.


Consider skiing on North Etna if you are looking for an exciting winter adventure. The slopes offer fresh snow, breathtaking views and well-groomed slopes for an exhilarating snow experience. Today the Piano Provenzana ski resort has 4 ski lifts, three ski lifts and a chairlift. The ski pass costs blind €40 for one day. The slopes available are Coccinelle, Anfiteatro, Monte Conca, and the chairlift slope. The highest slope is Coccinelle. For cross-country lovers, the Poiana slope that starts near the Monte conca restaurant represents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the winter landscape of northern Etna.

When to visit Etna north

The north side of Etna can be visited all year round. The months of July and August are the hottest so be prepared to bring two liters of water per person for longer treks. In spring the blooms will enchant you. While in autumn you can enjoy the colorful landscape of birches and beeches. In winter, due to the presence of snow, the trekking paths of northern Etna are not accessible, nevertheless a walk with snowshoes through the snow-covered woods will give you a fairytale experience.

Additionally, nearby attractions such as the Alcantara Gorge and the charming town of Randazzo are worth a visit to complete your northern Etna experience.


Unfortunately there is no public transport that reaches the northern side of Etna, so you need to have a car or contact one of the many tour operators in Taormina or Giardini Naxos to organize a trip to explore this volcano.



When you visit the northern side of Etna, you will find various accommodation options, including cozy hotels and bed and breakfasts. You can also delight in local cuisine, enjoy guided tours and participate in exciting adventure activities.


Yes, you can, but only if accompanied by a qualified guide.


So whether you're looking to hike, ski or simply enjoy the breathtaking views, North Etna has something for everyone. With a variety of trails, lodges and adventure opportunities, this destination is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Be sure to plan your visit carefully, considering the best time to go and how to get there. The North of Etna awaits you, don't miss this unique experience!