Schiena dell’Asino (Back Donkey)

Routes: Valle del Bove – Lava tube – Back Donkey path road
Times: 08:30am - 3:00pm
Difficulty: Medium
Trekking time: 3h
Drop: 200 m
Pick-up from Catania or from the village of Trecastagni, price per person:
  • € 250 for 1 pax in jeep
  • € 150 for 2 pax in jeep
  • € 100 for 3 pax in jeep
  • € 80 from 4 to 15 pax, pick-up from Catania
  • € 75 from 4 a to 15 pax, prick-up from Trecastagni

    Kids under 12 years € 10 less.

    Special price for families.

    Price on demand for groups.

Snowshoes and snowsticks € 20 per person (winter only)

N.B .: The price includes the insurance for each participant.
Pick-up from the area of Taormina:

  • Not available. Only on demand.

Description

  • 1st Step: on board of our 4x4 we arrive at the village of Trecastagni and along a road, visiting the old chestnuts forest of Tarderia, we stop at the ancient lava flow of 1750 / 1792 to give you a detailed explanation of the volcanoes in particular of Mount Etna.
  • 2nd Step: again by our jeep we proceed in direction of the Lava tube. Equipped with helmets and flashlights we walk inside the Cassone Cave, a beautiful lava tube.
  • 3rd Step: We reach the trailhead “Schiena dell’Asino” (Back Donkey), a wonderful natural path that will lead us to an altitude of 2170mt asl. The first part of the trail runs uphill in a magnificent pine forest then becomes almost flat and the forest gives way to expanses of volcanic ash and Astragalus Siculus or Spino Santo, among its thorns can see and touch volcanic lapilli that sometimes only have a few hours of training vita. It is a pioneer characterized by a typical form pulvinar that settles on the volcanic sands inconsistent and permeable, is an endemic Etna that, thanks to its developed root system, stabilize the substrates inconsistent, facilitating other species orofile many of which are endemic and exclusive Etna, among them we remember the Purple Aetnensis. Once at the top of the path awaits us a wonderful show, to be our frame will in fact be the majestic and active crater of South-East and the immense valley Bove. We continue towards Rifugio Sapienza (2000 m above sea level), here becomes a lunar landscape and green forests dell 'Etna give way to black lava recent (2002). Within minutes we reach the Silvestri Craters, bottoniera consists of 5 eruptive vents born in 1892, from where you can admire the wonderful view of Catania and its bay from an altitude of 2000 m above sea level.
  • 4th Step: We finally arrive to the small refuge, made just by lava stones. Here we can taste the Sicilian picnic. Our Sicilian appetizer is perfect also for vegetarians, you could taste green and black olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes packed in 'oil, homemade bread, two Etna wines (red and white).
PS: In winter time with the presence of snow is possible to organise this trekking tour by the snowshoeing.

Useful info

People: Specialized and passionate guides (geologist and naturists).
Languages: Italian and English (on demand Spanish and French)
Requirements: Advise against they are not in good health in special way with cardio-respiratory problems
Variations: in not good weather condition or not favourable organization the guide could choice to change something on the itinerary

Required equipment

  • Trekking shoes (sneakers in Summer time)

  • Clothing according to the season and the temperature range of 15° C.