What the Alcantara gorge is
Everybody knows Taormina, but only a few knows about the Alcantara Valley and the gorge, a magical place. When picturing Sicily with its crystal clear water, the first thing that comes to mind is its breathtaking beaches where every year millions of tourists flock, alternating between moments of relaxation, in its crystal clear seas, and cultural excursions.
Therefore its difficult for a river to spring to mind. Many, though, don’t know that only 20 km from Taormina, the most crowded tourist and beach resort of Sicily live the Gorge of the river Alcantara where, with its crystal-clear water and breath-taking natural views, myth, legend, and history have become intertwined.
In 2001 by the Sicilian region, following the norms of all regional parks has the objectives of protecting and promoting the area with its headquarters situated in Francavilla di Sicilia. In its 50 kilometers, including the stream on Mount Nebrodi in the province of Messina and the mouth of the river in the San Marco area on the Ionic sea, there are many places the Alcantara passes through.
Like-wise there are numerous places to visit, attractions, and excursions. Every one of the 15 districts covered by Alcantara has its own attractions. Among all the places to visit though, a special mention should be given to the Alcantara Gorge. A very particular natural canyon formed by overlapping lava flows, which have cooled down thanks to the action of the river and have made irregular divisions forming structures of various shapes and sizes.
At its highest point, the Gorge reaches 25 meters, while its width varies from 2 meters at its narrowest point to 5 meters at its largest. The most impressive gorge is situated at Fondaco Motta in the area of the Motta Camastra district.
Tours and activities To the Alcantara Gorge
Excursions and water sports, like canyoning and body rafting, now lie side by side with the knowledge of the valley. But across the valley, many other activities are offered together with Etna, such as wine tours, which will make you discover in addition to the gorges, the Etna vineyards, and the ancient cellars with a lot of wines tasting, or the Gran tour Etna-Alcantara in a day. But still quad-bike tours, horseback riding, etc… We strongly recommend booking these activities in advance.
How to reach the Alcantara Gorges
The easiest way to reach the valley and the gorge is the A18 Catania-Messina motorway, Giardini Naxos exit. At this point, you will have to continue in the direction of Francavilla di Sicilia from the SS185 for about 14 km. Once you reach Fondaco Motta, you will understand by yourself that you have arrived.
It can also be reached from the opposite side if you come from the mountains. Crossing the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia from the south or Novara from the north. It is always important to rejoin the SS185 in the direction of Francavilla di Sicilia. Once on-site, there will be parking spaces to leave your cars.