For those people who, like us, love nature, the Alcantara Gorges are a perfect destination.
Seeing the Gorges, one is immediately led to think that these incredible gorges are the result of the incessant flow of the river, instead they were originated by the cooling of basaltic lava flows. The lava, cooling rapidly, has created these particular shapes, so strange that you will feel like you have landed on another planet.
The gorges are real canyons, up to 25 meters high and five to two meters wide.
Alcantara Gorges are located in the province of Messina, within the river park of the same name, in Motta Camastra,
Unfortunately, the entrance to the gorges is subject to a fee, there is an “economy” version and a “business” version.
The first entrance you will encounter is relative to the private botanical and geological private park and you will recognize it thanks to the big sign“Gole Alcantara”. Here you will find a large free parking area with a “mandatory” tip.
Inside this park, in addition to the entrance to the gorges, various activities are offered and the ascent and descent to the gorges by lift.
Among the proposed activites there are:
- Canyoning: you go up the path of the Gorges on foot, the return is carried out by letting yourself be carried away by the waters of the river between waterfalls, rapids, …
- Body rafting: you go upstream the river against the current. The return takes place by letting yourself be transported by the waters of the river wearing a life jacket. Cost about 40 euros, duration 2 hours.
- River trekking: wearing waterproof dungarees you go up the river. Cost approximately 30 euros, duration approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The second entrance is municipal, it is located about 100 meters after the private one. On the main road you will find the ticket office on the right (1.5 euros per person) and the entrance on the left. It is possible to park the car in the parking of the private park. This entrance includes the descent to the gorges, and the relative ascent, via a staircase of about two hundred steps. The path is not particularly hard: I have also seen small children go up and down without difficulty. If once you get off you do not feel like climbing, you can use the lift of the private park by purchasing the ticket near the lift.
Both by accessing the private entrance and the municipal one, you will arrive at more or less the same point, you can lie in the sun on the stones or explore the river.
The water is freezing, you will not be able to resist lot of time. Fortunately, there are small beaches that will allow you to catch your breath and warm your feet during your exploration. You look like you are in fairyland, in a fantastic world.
During the summer, inside the gorges, very suggestive evening shows are organized, For all the information take a look to this link.
Alcantara Gorges - General Information
To visit Etna, we stayed in Fiumefreddo at Veda Elegant Rooms, a nice B&B with swimming pool to relax. We had two bedrooms with bathroom, in the structure there is a comfortable common kitchen if you want to have dinner at home. The rooms are clean and equipped with mosquito nets, there is a private parking, nearby you will find shops and supermarkets. It is conveniently located both to reach Etna and to reach the Gole di Alcantara and to reach Catania.
Where to eat
On the advice of the owner of the B&B, we always dined at the “Tana dell’orso” restaurant in Calatabiano, a small village a few kilometers from Fiumefreddo. The tables are outdoors across the street, all the dishes we tried were excellent, especially the pizza. I advise you to book in advance, the tables are few and always full.
How to dress
In order to enjoy, wear comfortable shoes, we have worn sneakers, the best would be trekking shoes, they are essential for climbing the top of the volcano. Bring a sweatshirt, kway and long trousers, remember that we are at 1900 meters and even in good weather it could be cold.
What to bring
In addition to your camera, remember to bring sunscreen and a hat.
There are no refreshment points inside the gorges, make sure you have water and something to eat before heading down the gorges.