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Yes, You Can Go Skiing in Sicily

Etna Sud - Nicolosi ski map

Not only can you ski in Sicily, but you might be surprised to hear that there are three ski resorts on this lovely island in the south Mediterranean. You may be a little less surprised, and possibly slightly concerned, to hear that two of Sicily’s ski resorts lie on the slopes of the Mount Etna volcano.

Seeing as Etna is a rather active volcano, eruptions may interfere with ski trips, so checking whether Etna’s pistes are open before you book a ski trip there is probably wise. Snow levels in the area can also be a problem, so if you go during a poor year, there may not be enough snow to allow skiing. Well, this is the south Mediterranean. However, there’s the possibility that one could pass a white Christmas in Sicily – though I’d advise you to check the snow situation before booking anything.

From what I’ve read, while there’s a chance that there will be some snow around Christmas time in these ski areas, there may not be enough snow for you to actually go skiing in Sicily.

Who Could go Skiing in Sicily?

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Well, it’s probably not the best of ski areas for consummate experts – although there are some areas of the Etna slopes which do offer more extreme skiing experiences. Sicily is probably not a bad place to go for a week to learn to ski. Alternatively, one could mix a little skiing in with a trip to Sicily. The weather in the rest of Sicily is likely to be mild and visits to the beaches will be possible. It is not unheard of for Sicilians to be sunbathing in late February, and sometimes even earlier.  If there’s no snow in Italy ski areas, you can head for a beach or go explore the rest of Sicily. You won’t be short of things to do, or eat, or drink!

Note that learners will need to check whether the ski schools are open or else whether they can find private instructors. While there are ski schools in the area they appear to have been having some problems finding pupils.

Here’s information on Sicily’s three ski resorts along with links to where you can find out more. The website information is generally in Italian. I’ve added ski pass prices for two of Sicily’s ski resorts, though they refer to 2013. Prices may go up this year. Ski equipment can be hired.

  • Etna Nord – Linguaglossa –  altitude from 1804 to 2400 metres. 4 red pistes, and 2 blue pistes. Ski pass cost: One day – €20.
  • Etna Sud – Nicolosi – altitude from 1900 to 2600 metres. 4 red pistes and 1 blue piste. Ski pass cost: One day – €28 – Morning or Afternoon – €20.
Etna Sud - Nicolosi ski map
Etna Sud – Nicolosi ski map
  • Piano Battaglia – altitude 1600 metres. 3 pistes. Quite close to Palermo and not far from Cefalù.

There you go, a little something extra to add to a trip to Sicily – skiing! You’d probably be surprised to learn that the Etna area offers a wide range of winter sports activities including cross country skiing.

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