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“venicular” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Circumetnea Railway

Circumetnea Railway
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Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
Ranked #21 of 97 things to do in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

This is a cable car which serves a purpose. There is not much more to say except that it is cheap 3 euros and gets you from A to B

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Nicci354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“It is an experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

Before to go read the history of Randazzo and Bronte to know where you are going and what you want see

Visited June 2014
4 Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Excellent Excursion from Catania or Taormina”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

From Catania or Taormina in Eastern Sicily it is relatively easy to find the Circumetnea Train which is a small narrow-gauge private railway circumnavigating Mount Etna. Although attractive for tourists it is not a tourist attraction as such, but a working railway servicing the towns around Etna and used by local commuters, shoppers, school children etc. It is old-fashioned and a bit run down, but the journey itself gives you excellent views of Etna and the surrounding countryside.

From Catania you take the train from Borgo station (which can be reached by metro, or bus, or car/taxi). The eventual terminus is at Giarre-Riposto where you can either return the same way you came or take the mainline train back to Catania. NB the mainline station at Riposto is a different station a short walk from the Circumetnea terminus. En route you can hop on and hop off at any of the various stops. We got off at Randazzo and found our way to the restaurant La Bifora for a very good meal. (See separate report).

The trip around Etna (Catania to Riposto) takes about three hours, so all in all it is a day outing and well worth it. The fare itself is not expensive.

NB the timetable is online but takes a bit of finding - try www.circumetnea.it/public/FerroviaInv1213.pdf

Visited May 2014
13 Thank Lewes1940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not worth the effort”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

My wife had been talking about this railway trip before we arrived in Sicily so it was on our 'must' list. In retrospect, we needn't have bothered. Most people's description of the trip have them starting from Catania Borgo station; when I checked the timetable, I saw that it would be better if we took an ordinary train from Catania main station to Giarre (train leaves at 7:49 am, takes 20 minutes and costs 2.85 euro), disembark there then walk the hundred metres to the Circumetnea railway station in time to catch the train leaving for Randazzo at 8:53. The fare from Giarre back to Catania is 7.75 euro.

The ride from Giarre to Randazzo takes about an hour and is very interesting. At Randazzo, we disembarked and waited for about ten minutes for another train to continue the journey back to Catania.

This second part of the journey was much less interesting and fortunately the train ride finished abruptly at the Adano station, when we were told to get off the train and continue on a bus. We were quite pleased at this as the bus was air-conditioned and had comfortable seats. Unfortunately, after about half an hour on the bus, we were dropped off at another station and rejoined the train for a boring ride back into Catania. The journey from Randazzo to Catania would normally take two hours.

My recommendation: if you want to take this ride, go on a normal train to Giarre, ride from there to Randazzo then ride back to Giarre and from there to Catania.

Visited June 2014
8 Thank Noam N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester England
Level Contributor
62 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Tricky to get to from Syracuse - Take a timetable with you.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2014

We stayed in Syracuse and expected it to be easy to find out all about the Circumetna from Tourist Information. Unfortunately, the tourism office on Via Roma know very little about it. There wasn’t a leaflet with times to be had.
We took a chance and caught the train to the Giarre-Riposte end of the railway. We were fortunate that the mainline trains seemed to align with the Circumetna. You come out of the station and the station for Circumetna is directly opposite.
We got on the 12.31 and paid on the train. The journey is indeed marvellous. You do get to see this odd contrast of volcanic wasteland and fertile farming country. We got off at Randazzo. A striking town but strangely quiet mind you we were there between 1.30 and 2.30. If you take the first train to continue your journey, you get an hour to see the journey. If you are only having a little walk that is enough.
The rest of the journey is great until you get to Adorno. After this those of you who come from the post-industrial landscape of Northern England will feel at home. The railway terminates some way outside of Catania but you just walk across the road and take the metro to the mainline station. The price is included in your Circumetna fare.
All in all it was a long but worthwhile trip from Syracuse to get close to Etna but you have got have a party who are able to amuse themselves on long journeys and it is the closest you think you will get to Etna in a lifetime.
We did not realise that this was also a commuter railway. We had noisy teenagers, happy nursery children and an amorous couple at various stages on the trip. Fortunately we were able to look at the view through the window.
There is not a lot of food to be had on this journey, Randazzo is quiet at the time the train stops and there is little to eat at Catania station so take a large picnic with you.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank Davidbailey260365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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