How to Hike the Valley of the Oxen, Sicily, Italy

Sicily Oxen Hike

This is another day hike with the Catania Alpine Club. This time into the Valley of the Oxen. I provide details that include maps, costs, logistical requirements and facts as well as links to additional details, photos and videos. This is a self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.

cost range

Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $

Valley of the Oxen Map

Click to watch Video

Valley of the Oxen Details

In this video I will outline how to hike the Valley of the Oxen to the east of Etna Volcano. This was a Catainia Alpine Club excursion.

The trail head is a car park a short walk east of the Etna South tourist village.
It starts up a groomed trail. Our CAI guide stopped often to point out lots of interesting facts.

In the distance we see the city of Catania that was once inundated with lava from these small extinct volcanic mounds.

Above the forest we enter a strange pastoral area. The ridge in the distance is our objective. We started a long descent into the valley. Some took it slow, some took it fast.

The strange skinny rock walls are called dykes. They were formed when lava came to the surface through cracks. Over the years the soil eroded, leaving the magma exposed.

We where joined by some canine friends. Volcano dogs.

Once down in the valley we hugged the edge of the lava fields. Even in early July, there was still plenty of ice left from the winter.

At this stage we started the long angled traverse of the eastern side of the volcano. The lava stone areas were very difficult to cross.

Some people are having trouble crossing the rocks. The lava sand on the slope is hard packed and has a frozen layer just below the surface.

After lunch we start the long descent and return. Some preferred the kamikaze descent method while others took their time. Did I mention that lava sand is sharp?

At the bottom we crossed the lava field and then started the long ascent.

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