Fancy ski­ing on a vol­cano? Here’s how!

Lonely Planet (UK) - - In This Issue... -

Si­cil­ian ski en­thu­si­asts face two chal­lenges. First, Mediter­ranean warmth, which means win­ter snow is rare apart from atop the is­land’s high­est peak. And sec­ond, the fact that the sum­mit in ques­tion – Mount Etna – likes to spew out lava every few years. As­sum­ing all is quiet though, ski­ing on snow-clad vol­canic slopes makes a novel change for peo­ple used to the Alps, with the added draw of an après-ski drink in a sea-view bar just a few miles away.

MAKE IT HAP­PEN

Etna has two small ski re­sorts, one reached from Ni­colosi in the south, the other from Lin­gua­glossa in the north (lift pass £27 per day, ski rental from £22 per day; et­nasci.it). The web­site is in Ital­ian only, but it has de­tails of equip­ment rental plus a snow re­port. Check there is good snow cover be­fore you book your trip. Sha­lai is a small ho­tel in Lin­gua­glossa with 12 rooms, some with fres­coed ceil­ings, plus a good restau­rant and a can­dle-lit spa to visit af­ter your ski­ing ex­er­tions (from £135; sha­lai.it). Cata­nia Air­port is 20 miles south of Mount Etna, with win­ter flights from Gatwick, Lu­ton and Manch­ester on easyJet (from £130; easyjet.com).

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