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“Great guide, great tour, lousy food”
Review of Excursions Etna

Excursions Etna
Ranked #3 of 24 Food & Drink in Catania
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience and passion will guide you to discover Etna and the Sicily. There are eight qualified and passionate guides Etna, Nature and Sicily. We are Naturalist Guide Excursions in Sicily, Tourist guide of the Region of Sicily, Geologist, Biologist, Art historian, MTB enthusiast, Ethnobotanical... and more. We offer tours to all the slopes of Etna and in eastern Sicily: Taormina, Catania, Siracusa, Alcantara Valley.
Reviewed 13 June 2018

Had it not been for the food, this would have been a 5-star review. Our guide, Paolo, was extraordinarily knowledgeable, patient and had a wonderful, dry sense of humor. He had a graduate degree in vulcanology and an excellent command of English, so we learned a great deal about what made Etna special and very different from our rather simplistic understanding of volcanos. While the trip was not really strenuous, it did involve walking up some rather steep inclines on uneven ground on a path that occasionally was narrow enough that it required that we walk single-file, with steep drop-offs to either side. There was no real danger, but between the incline, a slight tendency to agoraphobia by some of our party, and the thin air at about 10,000 ft, we moved at a slower pace than many. James was consistently patient, encouraging and more than gracious about accommodating us.

As noted above, the only negative was the food. After the climb, we stopped at a roadside picnic area for lunch. Paolo put out a tablecloth on the picnic table and then brought out some red wine and a large box of savory pastries. Unfortunately, the pastries were all bread and almost no filling -- very disappointing! For not a lot more expenditure on their part, Excursions Etna could have made this a lovely lunch, but as it was, we ended up digging out what little bits of sausage (that seemed very much like hot dogs), cheese and tomato sauce we could find and tossing the tasteless bread in which it was enfolded.

One other note, we were surprised to find that the "a la carte" cost of the funicular and 4-wheel drive bus -- required for all but the most hardy souls -- was about 70 €, and thus a major piece of the cost of the tour.

1  Thank sjs1776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Excursions Etna E, Manager at Excursions Etna, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2018

Hello. We think your review refers to an association different from ours. In our group we do not have Guides that are called Paul and especially in our tours or guided tours we do not carry out roadside picnics.
Can we ask you to delete this review and post it in the correct profile?
Thanks so much.
Best wishes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (170)
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"morning tour"
in 10 reviews
"lava cave"
in 16 reviews
"guide luigi"
in 2 reviews
"picked up from our hotel"
in 4 reviews
"local produce"
in 4 reviews
"great morning"
in 3 reviews
"short stop"
in 2 reviews
"lovely guide"
in 2 reviews
"at short notice"
in 2 reviews
"dropped off"
in 2 reviews
"cable car"
in 7 reviews
"olive oil"
in 3 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 3 reviews
"half day excursion"
in 2 reviews
"tour group"
in 2 reviews
"hiking boots"
in 2 reviews
"small group"
in 2 reviews
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16 - 20 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2018 via mobile

Climbing Etna was a trip highlight. The climb takes effort as you are walking through deep lava and at times snow/ice. We arranged the trip through our hotel at the last minute. If you call this company directly and arrange your own transportation to the base camp, you can save more than 100 euros. Multiple options are available, but going to the top and viewing the main crater is a must. You need to have reasonably good stamina but the guide takes good care to make sure that everyone keeps up. The company provides boots, socks, and jackets, backpacks and helmets. You will need to buy a lunch to pack at the base station as the hike up and down takes about five-six hours. I would have given five stars but the very beginning starts with confusion as to who to pay, when you leave and what comes next. Once you are hiking, everything is very professional. It is a stunning experience.

Thank Jonathan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2018

Cable car and 4x4 bus ride were great. Guide was arrogant and limited in knowledge. Only gave limited information on the mountain and was unable to answer some questions asked by group members. I would have expected that for a compulsory €9 each for a group of about 20 for 40 minutes, the skill a knowledge of the guide would ha e been better.

Thank Bruce160552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Excursions Etna E, Manager at Excursions Etna, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2018

Hi Bruce, we believe you have the wrong profile for your review.
We do not use Cable car and 4x4 bus over 2000 meters.
Our tours and excursions are different and we invite you to visit our site to check. (Excursionsetna.com)
Can we ask you to delete this review and post it in the correct profile?
Thanks so much.
Best wishes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2018

We were there a couple of days ago with my brother and my mother. The half day Etna tour was real fun and also Very informative. Luigi is doing a really good job! Very passionate about volcanoes, explains everything in detail, also has very good English. We would recommend with both hands! Boyan, Yasen, Irina from Bulgaria.

Thank Boyan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 April 2018

After comparing a number of tours to Etna we chose this company as it had such good reviews, was possible to book at short notice (after checking the weather) and provided a half day tour. Luigi was our tour guide for the trip and picked us up on time outside our B&B. Luigi was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Etna and nature, history and Catania. For the drive up to Etna he pointed out so many items and gave us the history to the area, it was totally enlightening. We managed to arrive before the crowds and had a wonderful trip around the crater, lava cavern and so much more. The time flew by and we are now so much more informed and interested in both Etna and various other volcanoes throughout the world. Excellent tour and top guide, thank you Luigi and Excursion Etna

1  Thank aplaceinumbria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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