Not being able to drive, and not wanting to drop 150 euros each for the transfer we got the bus to the base camp at Refugio Sapienza about 1900m up Mt Etna. We got it from the bus stops outside the main train station in Catania, it leaves there at 8:15am (well its supposed to but was 15mins late) and we got to the base camp at 9:45am ish.
There are a few souvenir shops and a few overpriced restaurants down here. We bought a ticket to the ‘top’, but since 2013 you can’t actually get to the highest crater which is a shame. You get a cable car about another 500m, and then get driven a bit further in mini buses, and a guided walk around a crater by a guide. The walk only lasted about 45 mins max and the guide stopped about 4 or 5 times to point out interesting features such as snow still on the volcano.
It cost 63 euros each for this, and we were finished before 12pm. We did a tiny mini walk but the terrain is really difficult to walk on (like sand up a big hill), and it started to rain. But there was a nice view over Taomina which is the fancy beach resort area. We got the cable car back down and ate lunch and then had about 3hrs before the bus came back to pick us up, there is only one bus and it picks up at 4:30pm.
There wasn’t much to do and it costs a lot of money. It’s a shame we couldn’t have just done half a day here but the bus times really restricted us. But the bus was 6 euros each, and taxis were estimated to hundreds of euros.