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Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)
Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)

Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)

star-5
229 Reviews
via Nazionale, Ss 185, Alcantra, Sicily

The Basics

A visit to the Alcantara Gorges can include a simple walk through the park, or a more challenging hike down into the canyons—including some more than 200 feet (61 meters) deep—for river trekking. By far the simplest way to manage the logistics of getting to and from the Alcantara Gorges from the Sicilian cities of Taormina, Messina, and Catania is to join a small-group tour that includes hotel pickup and drop-off, round-trip transportation to the Alcantara River Park, and an expert guide. Many full-day tours of Mt. Etna and Alcantara also offer wine tastings at the nearby vineyards, hikes up to the active volcano crater, and a ride on the historic Circumetnea Railway.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Taormina

star-4
Family trip to Etna
Road226462, Nov 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
We travelled late Oct on this trip and it was a great family day out. Only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is the train on the CircumEtnea part of trip was much new than expected and we were looking forward to the older train as per pics on Viator website. Guide & driver were great.
star-5
Amazing trip
thielteacher, Oct 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
Franco was an excellent guide. Very informative & made sure everyone who paid for extras was taken care of. Loved the train ride, the cable car/Jeep and guide at the top of the volcano. He was also excellent.
star-5
Awesome
guligos, Jun 2019
Etna and Alcantara Full-Day Tour from Catania
Our experience with this guided tour was amazing! We were part of group of 6 people together with guide Danilo. We got picked up at our hotel in Catania first, drove to one of caves, then to Etna with enough time to reach 2900 meters mark, enjoyed local delicacies and then had a nice chill at Alcantara valley. All of that throughout the day was accompanied by great stories about Sicily, Catania, Etna and surrounding towns. It was great value for the price we paid, because in exchange we got day full of new impressions and unbelievable natural sightseeings. Also chance to spend a day with knowledgeable local person can’t be appreciated enough, because you get lot of information and hints about Catania. Me and my girlfriend really enjoyed this tour and highly advise it to everyone wishing to hike Etna and explore surrounding areas.
star-5
Amazing tour
N9487APpeterm, Jun 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
Went on this tour with high expectations and after a slow start it really delivered. A long day out but the trip up Mt Etna on the cable car and 4x4 with a guide at the crater truly is bucket list material. Being on an active volcano in Sicily is something you will never forget and so this is the one tour you must do (and is actually great value also) Great tour and the whole family thought the same (not always easy!)
star-4
etna and railway
257lizzieg, Oct 2019
Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges Day Trip with Circumetnea Railway Ride
We had a double decker bus, and we felt there were too many people on this trip. That was not so important at Etna, but at the Alcantara Gorge the visit was rushed, there was a delay getting tickets and it was slow moving around the narrow paths because of the numbers. We couldn't hear the guide, either as we were too far away. The train ride was excellent- we were fortunate with the weather and the views of Etna, the countryside and the lava fields were stunning. I would have liked more detailed information on the geology of the area. The visit to Etna was interesting. We didn't go to the top however, as it's very expensive and the clouds had descended. We were disappointed with the quality at the Refugio- staff were pleasant, but the toilets were very dirty. The restaurant at the far end of the car park is much nicer, and less expensive, with clean toilets! Back to Taormina by 5.30. An enjoyable day.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bring sturdy footwear, a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and water, especially if you plan to hike down into the gorges.

  • The Alcantara River Park entrance fee is not included in many group tours.

  • Because of the rough terrain, hiking the gorges is not recommended for young children or those who are not in good physical condition.

  • Along the top of the ravines, there are easy trails, suitable for all ages and physical conditions, that take you through the park’s botanical gardens and past a number of scenic viewpoints.

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How to Get There

The main entrance to the Alcantara River Park is about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Taormina. You can reach it easily by car, tour bus, or public bus.

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When to Get There

The park is lovely to visit year-round due to Sicily’s mild climate, though is most pleasant in summer’s cooler early morning or late afternoon hours. The park can be very crowded in August, when Italians traditionally go on summer vacation, so it’s best to avoid visiting during this time if you want to appreciate the park in relative peace and quiet.

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Alcantara River Park Facilities

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

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