Gole dell'Alcantara: how to visit them, itineraries, prices and timetables

byVerónica Crocitti

How to get there, how to visit them, entrance times and prices: all the information on the Alcantara Gorges, the natural canyon of Sicily.


The Alcantara Gorges stand out in the heart of the province ofMessina, on the border between the Municipalities of Castiglione diSicilyand Motta Camastra, and represent one of the most visited attractions of the whole island. Also called Gole di Larderia, they look like a long and narrow canyon characterized by high rock walls formed by the lava flows of the last 8000 years of the Etna volcano.

Gole dell'Alcantara: information, prices, timetables, itineraries

Digging for centuries among the cooled lava, the Alcantara river has formed picturesque gorges that extend for a length of about 6 kilometers. If you are a lover of adventures, excursions, trekking and sports, the itineraries that wind through the Alcantara River Park are exactly for you.

WHERE TO SLEEP AT THE ALCANTARA GORGES: Find the offers

Beyond the largest and most famous Alcantara gorge - which I will tell you more about in the next paragraph - within the Alcantara River Park it is possible to visit the small Alcantara gorges, the Alcantara gurne, the Castello path di Calatabiano, the Le Rive dell'Alcantara path, the Vulcanetto di Mojo path and the Montagna Grande path.

THE ALCANTARA GORGES: HOW TO VISIT THEM AND HOW TO SWIM

The largest and best known Alcantara gorge is located inFondaco Motta, has a length of about 400 meters and is dug between narrow and high walls that reach up to 50 meters in height. Inside this gorge it is possible to swim and walk through the frozen waters of the river along a small stretch of canyon (as long as the waters do not become too deep and bathing is highly discouraged).

WHERE TO SLEEP AT THE ALCANTARA GORGES: Find the offers

Walking along the canyon it is possible to observe the characteristic conformations created by the river digging between the lava walls. Among these stand out those apile of wood (horizontal), adharp(arched), rosette or aorgan pipe(verticals). Among the funniest experiences to do in the Gorges we recommend that ofbody rafting complete with lunch at the final norm!

PRICES, TIMETABLES AND PARKING

The entrance to the section of Gole dell'Alcantara where it is possible to swim is located along the State Road 185, it is equipped with aample parkingfor cars and coaches and is subject to a fee. The standard ticket costs 13 euros in high season (10 euros in mid season and 7 euros in low season).

It is possible to purchase extra packages or excursions such as, for examplebody rafting, bike tours, walking tours,Etna tour by 4×4 jeep, canyoning andriver trekking. Considering that the water of the Alcantara river is remarkably cold, it is also possible to rent thermal trousers and boots.

WHERE TO SLEEP AT THE ALCANTARA GORGES: Find the offers

There are five paths within the botanical and geological park of this stretch of the Alcantara Valley: the Alcantara Gorges path, the Saja path, the Spiaggetta path, the Eleonora path and the Mediterranean Garden path.

HOW TO GET TO THE ALCANTARA GORGES

The Alcantara Gorges are located in Motta Camastra, in the province ofMessina. The most practical and fastest way to reach the town is by car:

  • From Catania: about 1 hour via the A18 (Giardini Naxos exit);
  • From Messina: about 1 hour via the A18 motorway (Giardini Naxos exit);
  • From Palermo: about 3 hours via the A19 Ct/Pa and A18 motorway (Giardini Naxos exit).

The nearest airport is Catania Fontanarossa.

WHAT TO SEE NEARBY

Numerous trekking paths wind their way inside the Alcantara River Park which allow you to visit some of the typical attractions of this long canyon such as thegurne of Alcantara(lakes), lemufflersdell'Alcantara (particular lava walls), theMojo volcano(a volcanic cone 700 meters high, now extinct), the Castle ofCalatabianand the small gorges.

Not far from the Alcantara Valley are the wonderfulTaormina, Beautiful island, the small village of Castelmola, Castiglione di Sicilia with the Castle of Lauria andSavoca, picturesque location of the film The Godfather.

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2 comments

Lety Goes on 26 May 2021 - 10:40

Veronica mi hai dato un sacco di informazioni utilissime! Proprio quest’estate voglio visitare (finalmente) la Sicilia e le Gole dell’Alcantara sono state inserite da tempo nel mio itinerario, fino ad ora però non avevo trovato molto online o quantomeno non scritto easy, fino ad oggi. Ovviamente anche i dintorni saranno inseriti, meritano parecchio!
Quindi volevo innanzitutto ringraziarti per le dritte e poi farti i complimenti per le bellissime foto che già mi fanno sognare!!!

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Veronica Crocitti 26 May 2021 - 16:10

Sono davvero molto contenta di esserti stata utile! Ti aspettiamo nella mia bella isola che, sono certa, amerai <3 Grazie a te!

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