Ski holidays in Italy are nothing unusual. Northern Italy, with its well-known winter sports destinations such as Livigno and Bormio, is a popular destination for winter sports fans. Yet who thinks of skiing in Sicily? As a matter of fact, Italy’s smallest ski area is located on the slopes of Mount Etna – at 3,340 m, it’s the highest active volcano in Europe.
1. Skiing with a view of the Aeolian Islands
On the southern side of Etna, the Etna South ski area is located around the municipality of Nicolosi. It is the largest ski area in Sicily. It has a total of five ski lifts and ten kilometres of pistes, the majority of which are red pistes. Although there is more snow on the northern side of Etna, it is still possible to ski here until April. The cable car is in operation all year round and takes guests up to an altitude of 2,500 metres in just 15 minutes. From there, you have a wonderful view of the Gulf of Taormina and the Aeolian Islands.
2. Snow-sure northern slope
The ski resort of Linguaglossa is located on the northern slope of Etna, where snow is guaranteed in the winter months. The nearby “Etna North” ski area has a total of four lifts and around ten kilometres of pistes. Skiers can choose between three red and one blue piste. In addition to special hotels and ski instructors, the small village of Linguaglossa also offers a rental station for ski equipment. In 2007, a snow park was even built.
3. Skiing on a bubbling volcano
Etna is an active volcano and therefore always under observation. Since the opening of Etna’s ski areas, the island has experienced several violent eruptions. Perhaps it is precisely this thrill that attracts extreme sports fans and adventurers to the bubbling volcano time and time again. Nevertheless, the protection and safety of tourists and winter sports fans is the highest priority, naturally also for the authorities. If danger looms, ski operations are suspended.
4. Fascinating landscapes
The fascinating landscapes are another reason why more and more winter sports fans and nature lovers come to Sicily to ski. After all, who can claim to have ever been skiing on a spectacular lunar landscape while the smoke of Etna was hovering above you? The best thing about it is that on a clear day, you can see as far as the sparkling sea. With a view like this, skiing is twice as much fun.
5. Diverse Sicily
For those who don’t want to ski every day, there is plenty of variety and fun in Sicily. The Teatro Greco in Taormina, for example, attracts hundreds of tourists every year who come to admire the spectacular view and the old theatre. Those who have a little more time at their disposal should not miss the limestone island of Ortygia. The small harbour, the churches and the numerous bars are a hotspot not only in summer. The three bridges connecting the two islands make it easy to get from Sicily to Ortygia. For nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, a coastal walk in the Zingaro nature reserve is just the thing. Here, you will find beautiful bays and a lot of different flora and fauna.