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It’s parkrun, but this time, it’s on top of a volcano.
If you’re looking for a parkrun with an edge, then Etna is the one for you. This incredible Etna parkrun gives you the chance to run your usual 5km – only today, you’re running on the slopes of an active stratovolcano…
On the slopes of Monti Rossi, where the ground is black with volcanic ash and the stunning views stretch out above the clouds, every Saturday morning at 9am local runners and volunteers gather at their weekly parkrun.
The distinctive white flash of the parkrun flag marks the start of a route that weaves through the tall, straight tree trunks of a mass of majestic pines.
This shaded woodland trail is good on the knees – the path underfoot is softened with the forgiving springiness of fallen pine needles, as long as you dodge the huge Mediterranean pine cones…
Running through the trees of Monti Rossi
But between those tall straight trees, you’ll start to see glimpses of the views to follow.
Because from the twin peaks of Monti Rossi, smaller siblings to the might of the true summit, you can see Mount Etna’s proper summit rising towards the morning sun.
Often small pockets of snow still cling to the topmost reaches. To the other side, you can see the town stretched out across the landscape below. It’s an unquestionably stunning setting for a run.
Etna parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt with parkrunners
Sicily is a volcano archipelago, and the landscape here is formed out of the geology of previous eruptions.
Enjoying a scenic parkrun on these slopes is the perfect way to round off a week spent exploring the volcanic plugs and cones that make up the Aeolian Islands of Sicily – not to mention our adventure includes a post-shower wine tasting at a local vineyard for the afternoon, so you can toast your efforts in style.
Mount Etna crater
Very few runs take place on an active volcano – let alone the most active volcano in Europe. This is a truly special experience, and one you won’t forget in a hurry.