From the meeting between the icy waters of the river and the lava flows of the last millennia, a canyon of incredible beauty is born.

Sicily is a land where it is possible to see great works of human ingenuity, its history and its culture. But also nature has left unique places and glimpses, where to marvel at every step. From the meeting between the icy waters of a river and the volcanic flow of Etna, the Gole of Alcantara are born, a natural canyon of incredible beauty, which can be visited in Spring and Summer period. His formation dates back to even 300 thousand years ago and starts from the river bed of the Alcantara. Their current form is relatively more recent: the aspect is in fact due to the lava flows that occurred in the last 8000 years. The lava, which has come into contact with the icy waters of the river, has cooled quickly giving rise to deep irregular fractures that have intersected over time forming different types of prismatic structures: Arpa, Rosetta, stacks of wood and organ barrel. These lastes, which are the most regular, arrive at the height of almost 30 meters.

gole alcantara

Located in the Alcantara Valley, between the cities of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra, between the provinces of Catania and Messina, the gorges have a width ranging from 2 to 5 meters. The walls created by the basaltic lava flows are real works of art created by nature. A beauty that can be admired in different ways. From the municipal entrance you access a descent of about 240 steps immersed in the nature that will take you to a small beach from which you can go up the canyon for a few hundred meters and admire the majesty of the gorges. The entrance from the botanical and geological park allows a faster descent and ascent with an elevator. The route inside the Alcantara gorges requires rain boots due to the water temperature, freezing even in the middle of summer. The most rash, however, will be able to dive despite cold. With guided excursions you can admire even the most hidden corners of this wonder of nature. Among others, it is possible to carry out the one in River Trekking, in Canyoning (a descent of streams without the help of boats) and in body rafting (also for children). The latter option obviously provides for the necessary equipment, with neoprene wetsuit, helmet and rescue jacket, in order to guarantee a fun hike in total safety. Above the entrance of the gorges, which is located in Motta Camastra, you can access several paths. Among these, there is the Saje path, where there was an ancient Arab irrigation system. The path of the gorges, on the other hand, runs alongside the canyon and has several panoramic points, including the Source of Venus, the tumult of Vulcano, the balcony of Venus, the Balcone delle Muse and the Balcone delle Cascatelle. It is a path that will immerse you in classical mythology and its legends. From the Sentiero Eleonora you arrive at the Platano beach, which owes the name to the huge plane tree on the beach.

Inside the Parco Fluviale dell’Alcantara it is possible to carry out other excursions through numerous paths. Among these there is the path of the Gurne of Alcantara, a route about 1,5 km where you can see 16 small lakes (called, in fact, “Gurne”), the ruins of the Castello di Francavilla, some archaeological excavations of a Ancient Greek settlement and the Arabic Saje. The path ends with the ruins of the Mulino Ciappa. An unique naturalistic show, organised paths to satisfy everyone’s needs, uncontaminated paths to be lived immersed between history and natural beauty: the Gole of Alcantara are a breathtaking show impossible to lose for nature lovers and beyond… Amazing Gole dell’Alcantara,  Amazing Sicily!


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