Recent Searches
Clear
Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)
Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)

Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)

star-4
66 Reviews
Via Caronda 352/A, Catania, Taormina, Sicily

The Basics

As its name suggests, the Circumetnea Railway circumnavigates the base of Mt. Etna from Catania Borgo to Riposto, just south of Taormina on Sicily’s eastern coast. The main line stretches over 68 miles (109 kilometers) with 30 stops—the largest stations are Paternò, Adrano, Bronte, Randazzo, and Giarre—and the complete trip from one end to the other takes more than three hours one way, assuming there are no delays. Along the way, enjoy lovely views over Sicily’s rural scenery, including the lunar landscapes of the lava fields, pistachio plantations, citrus groves, prickly pear cacti loaded with fruit, and the railway line’s picturesque abandoned stations.

Show all

Recent reviews from experiences in Taormina

star-4
Family trip to Etna
Road226462, Nov 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
We travelled late Oct on this trip and it was a great family day out. Only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is the train on the CircumEtnea part of trip was much new than expected and we were looking forward to the older train as per pics on Viator website. Guide & driver were great.
star-5
Amazing trip
thielteacher, Oct 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
Franco was an excellent guide. Very informative & made sure everyone who paid for extras was taken care of. Loved the train ride, the cable car/Jeep and guide at the top of the volcano. He was also excellent.
star-5
Amazing tour
N9487APpeterm, Jun 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
Went on this tour with high expectations and after a slow start it really delivered. A long day out but the trip up Mt Etna on the cable car and 4x4 with a guide at the crater truly is bucket list material. Being on an active volcano in Sicily is something you will never forget and so this is the one tour you must do (and is actually great value also) Great tour and the whole family thought the same (not always easy!)
star-4
etna and railway
257lizzieg, Oct 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
We had a double decker bus, and we felt there were too many people on this trip. That was not so important at Etna, but at the Alcantara Gorge the visit was rushed, there was a delay getting tickets and it was slow moving around the narrow paths because of the numbers. We couldn't hear the guide, either as we were too far away. The train ride was excellent- we were fortunate with the weather and the views of Etna, the countryside and the lava fields were stunning. I would have liked more detailed information on the geology of the area. The visit to Etna was interesting. We didn't go to the top however, as it's very expensive and the clouds had descended. We were disappointed with the quality at the Refugio- staff were pleasant, but the toilets were very dirty. The restaurant at the far end of the car park is much nicer, and less expensive, with clean toilets! Back to Taormina by 5.30. An enjoyable day.
star-4
A really enjoyable day
CathieO3, May 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and overall good value. but the guide wasn't very good at all. He gave us about 10 seconds notice to get off the train. The 6 euro charge for Alcantara Gorge should be on the mentioned on the description and also what it includes. This seems to have suddenly gone up from 1.50. The guide made it sound as though it was just for the lift down to the gorge whereas it was actually the entrance to the beautiful gorge and the walk round the gardens. It should also be made clearer that the walk is difficult for the less able. I needed some assistance in places. It should also be made clearer that if you just choose the foothills on Etna, most of the 3 hours is spent not very productively in overpriced cafes. You can see two craters and it is worth the walk up there and also for the view but it is is very cold up there so chances are you will spend time in the cafes. It should also be made clearer that if choosing the higher altitude one, it is substantially cheaper to prebook this rather than adding it in resort (£42 v 60 euros)

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Circumetnea Railway is a must for railroad fans and those looking for a different way to experience the Mt. Etna countryside.

  • Not every train serves every station along the route, so make sure the train you’re taking will get you where you want to go.

  • The historic cars are not air conditioned, so they can be uncomfortably hot when it’s warm outside.

  • The vintage train cars are not easy to navigate with wheelchairs, though by law station personnel must guarantee wheelchair users access, as it is a public transport line.

Show all

How to Get There

From Catania, take the metro to Catania Borgo, from where the Circumetnea departs. The Riposto station is located in the center of town.

Show all


When to Get There

The Circumetnea is primarily a commuter train transporting locals from town to town, so trains run from early morning to late at night every day except Sundays and holidays. Opt for a ride departing in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid midday heat. The schedule varies depending on the season, so check at the Circumetnea station for the current timetable.

Show all

Visiting the Alcantara Gorges

You can combine a ride on the Circumetnea around Mount Etna with a visit to the spectacular Alcantara Gorges. Simply get off at the Randazzo stop and catch a bus to the gorges park, or book a combined tour of both to avoid the hassle of public transportation.

Show all