Alcantara Gorge tour, in Sicily: winding ravines and underground passages across the volcanic rock.

Following the path of a past.

5 Jul 2019

Gruppo UNA

The emerging Alcantara Gorges are part of the Alcantara River Park, a tourist favourite with beautiful rock formations and fresh river water.

The perfect Alcantara tour would be in Summer. A visit to the Alcantara Gorges may include a simple walk across the park or a challenging hike down the canyons, including one over 200 feet deep that's perfect for river trekking.

This article will look at the different ways to experience this impressive natural landmark.

Getting to Alcantara Gorge.

The easiest way to get to the Alcantara Gorges from the Sicilian cities of Messina, Catania and Taormina is to join a group tour that includes hotel drop-off and pickup. The tour should also include round-trip carriage to the Alcantara River Park as well as an expert guide.

There is a bus terminal in Taormina for those staying here or close by. The bus stop at Alcantara Gorge is directly at the park's entrance, so there is no additional walking or guesswork needed. Travellers can also reach Alcantara Gorge by train or car from different locations. 

When to visit Alcantara Gorge.

If you are planning to visit the park, then consider visiting during summer – even then, the weather is cool during the early morning and late afternoons. However, the park can get crowded during August when the locals are on summer vacation, so it is also a great idea to avoid visiting during this period if you want to admire the park in a more peaceful context.

Interesting things to do.

There are plenty of trails to choose from in and around the Gorge. Visitors can even take the stairs or the elevator right down to the river. The beach area is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and picnicking.  And from here, you can enjoy an impressive view into the centre of the Gorge.

Some activities visitors can try here are:

Alcantara Gorge Trail.

This trail is quite ambitious and run between Saje Beach and Gorge beach. The trail is fun, but you need to come prepared with wading boots or water shoes because it might take you into the river. A guide is required in order to explore the gorge on this trail.

Eleonor Trail.

This trail takes hikers downstream through the top of the gorge in the reverse direction that the Alacantra Gorge Trail takes you. While on the Eleonor Trail, you will see the boulders of lava that were carved out by the river creating small caves.

Venus Trail and body rafting.

The Venus Trail is rated difficult and hence requires you to wear a wetsuit and helmet. You should also be at least a reasonably strong swimmer since you will spend most of your time in water and will be body rafting.

Aside from trails.

Besides the trails, there are many other activities offered at the Alcantara Gorge. Visitors can take different kinds of guided walks across the Alcantara Valley to tour the beautiful surrounding landscape. Visitors can also join Sicilian cooking classes or take part in local food tasting. For those wanting something a bit rustic, olive and citrus harvesting takes place in the fields and gardens of the Alcantara Valley.

What to know before touring Alcantara Gorge.

If you are planning to hike in the gorge, make sure to come prepared with sturdy hiking footwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, a sun hat and water. Also, the terrain is rough, and not all trails will be suitable for children. However, at the top of the ravines, you can find easier trails suitable for the whole family. Also, be aware that the Alcantara River Park entrance charge is not always included in the price of a group tours.

Alcantara River Park Facilities.

Visitors can access changing facilities on the establishment, a gift shop, and two restaurants: La Macina and L’Antico Refettorio. Those who wish to bring their own food can picnic on the beach. 

The Alcantara River Park entrance payment gives tourists access to two swimming pools, a restaurant, a botanical museum,  a 3D film presentation describing the evolution of the canyon and an elevator down the canyon.

Stay in Sicily with Gruppo UNA hotels.

Gruppo UNA offers luxury hotels which would be the perfect base from which to visit the beautiful  Alcantara Gorge such as the UNAHOTELS Naxos Beach Sicilia and UNAHOTELS Capotaormina.

Take a look at our website for more information about our range of Italian hotels as well as more articles about travel in Italy.