This is what it looks like inside of a lava cave on Mount Etna. That is, when we are with our expert guides! Lava caves, also known as lava tubes, are formed during a volcanic eruption, simply put, when the outer part of lava flow cools faster than its center. Etna has more than 200 lava caves that we know of. These natural phenomena can be visited, but don’t do so on your own! They are pitch black and can be horizontal or vertical. So, in other words, you can fall into a lava cave that could be hundreds of feet deep, yet you can’t see where it goes. The horizontal ones, such as this one, the Grotta delle Neve (the Snow Cave), may be visited with knowledgeable guides who furnish you with proper equipment such as hard hats and flashlights.
Going deep into the earth’s surface is one of the joys of visiting Etna. In 2019, I’ll be bringing our May, July, and October groups for such an adventure. Join us!