How to get the Bus from Catania to Etna

How to get the Bus from Catania to Etna is not as straight forward as it seems. Italy is famous for its food and wine but infamous for its public transport! Here is where to get the tickets, where to get the bus and the departure times too! Indeed, all the maps are clickable and take you to Google maps.

Bus from Catania to Etna

Bus from Catania to Etna

Ok, the short version is,

  • The bus leaves at 8.15am and there is only 1 per day!
  • Get your ticket at the AST Ticket office Catania, shown on the map below.
  • The cost is €6.60 return
  • To be sure of getting a seat, get the ticket 30 minutes early or even the previous day.
  • Then it’s a short walk to the AST bus stop in the centre of the roundabout.
  • Get to the AST Catania Etna Bus Stop at least 30 minutes early.
  • You are looking for bus stop number 5.
  • The bus returns from Etna at 4.30pm but get to the pick-up point at least 30 mins early

 

ticket office for etna bus
ticket office to Etna bus stop route
Bus Stop Number 5
Route to Ticket Office

The Long Version

The Etna bus schedule from Catania? There is only 1 Catania to Etna bus each day. Hey, because that is what you would do for one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, right?

ticket office road - Bus from Catania to Etna

Ticket Office, down that road between the tall buildings – Bus from Catania to Etna

Of course, it involves the usual chaos of Italian public transport.  You have to buy your ticket to Etna in the AST ticket office Catania across the road from the bus stop for Etna, see the map for details. Then, the bus station is on the roundabout thing, see map picture.

Bust stop - Bus from Catania to Etna

Bust stop – Bus from Catania to Etna

The bus from Catania to Etna went from bus stop number 5. Do check what the front of the bus says just in case. When I was there, there also seemed to be somebody taking an organised tour onto the bus, which added to the chaos. Upon reflection, I’m not sure if it was an organised tour or just some enterprising local!

Top tip

Get to the AST bus stop half an hour early with your ticket.

The bus filled up quickly and few people were told it was full and there would be another in a while. I don’t know whether there really was another bus but hey, it’s best not to take the risk!

on the bus - Bus from Catania to Etna

On the bus – Bus from Catania to Etna

A Short Stop En-route for no particular reason!

An hour through the journey there was a stop at a small town called Nicolosi where you could get out and stretch your legs. I couldn’t see another reason for the stop, though.

stop at nicolosi - bus from Catania to Etna

Stop at Nicolosi – Bus from Catania to Etna

Then, it’s up the mountain to the Etna Sud car park.

Silvestri Craters Eccentricenglishman

Silvestri Craters – Bus from Catania to Etna

The driver will tell you that where he drops you off is the pick-up point for the return. It’s true, but as I say, get there early. The bus had filled up and we were on our way back by 4.10pm! The others were to get the mythical second bus.

Weather conditions are variable on the mountain, so wrap up warm. When I was there in May, there was still snow at the top of the cable car, at 2500 metres, about 8,000 feet. Indeed, there are many shops and guides to take you to sights around the mountain. But I’ll deal with all that in a separate blog.

The distance from Catania to Etna is 40km, and the time taken from Catania to Etna by bus is about 2 hours there in total. However, it’s only about 1.30 hours on the way back as there is no stop.

Conclusions – Bus from Catania to Etna

Once you take out the uncertainty of where to get your ticket and where to wait for the bus from Catania to Etna, it’s a fairly straight forward proposition. Aside from the chaotic Italian Transport System, of course!

 

Bus from Catania to Etna route

Bus from Catania to Etna route

All prices correct at time of writing – May 2019

Bus from Catania to Etna

Bus from Catania to Etna

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