Skiing on Mount Etna, God's Own Mountain in Sicily, Italy


Villas in Sicily near or on Mount Etna >>

Read Huw's account of his most recent Etna skiing experience >>

The God in question is Hephaestus and the mountain is, of course, Mount Etna.

The bright white of the glistening snow fizzing and swooshing under your skis, the cloudless blue sky above, the warming winter sun on your back, and the breezy thrill of effortless speed - all sounds like a fairly normal skiing experience.

However, two elements are missing from this most Sicilian of skiing scenarios: the first is way down below you where the crystalline Ionian Sea stretches out as far as the eye can see. The second is way up behind you where the main crater of the highest active volcano in Europe sends undecipherable smoke signals into the skies.

Sicily might not seem like much of a place for skiing but, thanks to Mount Etna's 3,323 metres, good skiing is possible from November to the end of March and sometimes into April too.

Skiing has long been a popular pursuit and there are two main ski centres, one on the south side (Rifiugio Sapienza - Nicolosi), with about 5 pistes, and one on the north (Piano Provenzana - Linguaglossa) with 1 piste. Day ski passes cost between €15 and €25 equipment can be hired at Nicolosi, Linguaglossa or at Piano Provenzana.

Mount Etna may not offer as much variety as many Alpine resorts, but the altitude of the pistes generally guarantees snow and crowds are rare during the week.

For those who don't wish to ski every day, there is an enormous range of alternative activities in the area, including visits to towns such as Taormina, Catania and Syracuse or going to the beach for a little sun, sea and sand.

Villas in Sicily near or on Mount Etna >>

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