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Taormina to Etna on a budget!

Devon, UK
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Taormina to Etna on a budget!

I've read various postings on tours from Taormina to Etna, but still not sure whether a public bus service runs from Taormina to the cable-car at Rifugio Sapienza. We're on a bit of a budget (yeah I know, Taormina's not the best place for that!!), and we don't especially like organised coach tours (involving 'retail opportunities', for example, on the way). Can we just get a public bus to and from Rifugio Sapienza , then get the cable-car and 4x4 jeep from there to visit Etna?? There are three of us and we're going in a week's time - very excited!

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1. Re: Taormina to Etna on a budget!

There are no pubblic transportation directly to Sapienza.

I guess the most economic way for you to get there is to rent a car. The cheapest (small car) is about 80 euros a day. Divided in 3 it will be less than going on an organized bustour. There are also private guides doing this but that, ofcourse, costs a bit more.

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2. Re: Taormina to Etna on a budget!

WCL, I never saw a public bus service to Etna when I was there. However, from what I remember the coach services were not so expensive - there is a lot of competition. We didn't take one of the ones from the hotel reps but from a local travel agents. If you look in their windows you will see all the different offers. From what I remember it was about 30 euros but this included a trip to Alcantara gorge (about 20 mins from Taormina and very lovely) and a trip on the special train beteen 2 of the volcano towns I forget the name of the train but I am sure you have read about it already - it is quite an exhilarating ride! Then when you get to the first station of Mount Etna where the first craters are and the cafes and gift shops - even on the coach trip you have to pay again to go up to the next stage of the active volcano. So even if you hired a car - there would still be this extra payment - about 25 euros I think (it is a few years back so the details are a little hazy - sorry)

What I want to say is whatever the cost or the limits of your budget - make sure you do this trip. Start saving now. I will never forget it.

I am lucky enough to have been twice. The first time I did the coach trip with a friend as neither of us could drive and we chose not to go to the final stage because at the time we thought it was expensive. The second time I was in a hire car with my husband and we paid the extra to go on a mini bus to the highest part (the cable car was down at the time). Then I realised that the extra part of the trip wasn't expensive at all - it was an experience of a lifetime - so what is a few euros. I still have a treasured rock taken from the top of the volcano (hope that is not illegal! lol.)

And don't worry about being on an organised tour, when I went with my friend we had a whale of a time and it was very informative. Largely because our lovely tour guide was German? and pronounced his V's as W's, so we learned all about the wolcano and the little willages - it cracked us up. V.childhish I know.

So to sum up - get there by hook or by crook! you won't regret it.


3. Re: Taormina to Etna on a budget!

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