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Alcantara National Park

Alcantara National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Sicily: Alcantara River Park Guided Trekking Experience

1. Sicily: Alcantara River Park Guided Trekking Experience

The route includes a combination of water trekking, climbing and views of breathtaking landscapes within the Park. Your adventure will begin at the Alcantara River Valley and, accompanied by a multilingual guide, you will enjoy the enchanting beauty of the Mediterranean scrub and unspoiled landscape with rare flora and fauna. You will walk along a path of about 4 km that winds along the valley and travel upstream along the river bed, through eddies, small waterfalls, rapids and small lakes, until you reach the entrance to the Gorges. The last half will take you to Ciappa Mill, where hydroelectric power generation was pioneered in the late 1800s. This hike will make you appreciate this beautiful landscape to the fullest, with a dash of adrenaline and lots of fun.

Sicily: Mt. Etna, Wine and Alcantara Tour

2. Sicily: Mt. Etna, Wine and Alcantara Tour

Tick off two of Sicily’s must-see attractions in one day on this tour with hotel transfers from Catania. Explore volcanic caves and rock pools on a trek through Alcantara Gorges. Walk around the craters of Mt Etna with an Alpine guide. Make a stop at a local winery for a traditional lunch with wine. Start your Sicilian adventure by meeting your guide in Catania, either at your accommodation or another agreed-upon location. Take a brief, scenic drive by an air-conditioned van to either the Sartorius craters or the 2002 crater on the Northeast side of Etna. Let your guide introduce you to the fascinating world of volcanic phenomena. Walk through ancient woods, extinct craters, and old lava flows. Witness deserts of lava and ashes, peculiar formations, and traces of previous eruptions. Reach a maximum altitude of 2000 meters. Then, strap on your helmets and lamps to explore a volcanic cave like the Grotto del Ladroni or Grotta Cassone. Stop at a nice winery up along the mountain road for an authentic Sicilian lunch including appetizer, first course, water, and wine, which will be served outdoors or indoors depending on the weather. Visit the Alcantara canyons, formed thousands of years ago from the lava flow that invaded the bed of the Alcantara river. Enjoy the spectacular scenery along the Alcantara River. End your day back in Catania where you were picked up.

From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Tour

3. From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Tour

Depart from Taormina and head to the Rifugio Sapienza on Mount Etna. Learn the history of the volcano and visit the sites of its last eruptions. Choose to trek along the nature paths of the Parco dell’Etna or take the cable car to an altitude of 2,504 meters and continue by 4WD minibus to the Torre del Filosofo. Get stunning views of the scenery stretching down to the sea and admire the craters and old lava flows that characterize the landscape. Explore a lava cave with all the proper equipment. Continue down the mountain and stop at the organic farm for a delicious sampling of local products, including honey, wine, and oil. Discover the different corners of the Alcantara River. Walk down small paths, past cultivated fields, and see the natural pools and waterfalls and continue to get up close to different basalt and unexpected lava formations.

From Taormina: Full-Day Etna, Wine & Alcantara Canyons Tour

4. From Taormina: Full-Day Etna, Wine & Alcantara Canyons Tour

Travel in a small group with a guide from Taormina to Etna on this full-day tour. See craters, walk along the volcanic underground, enjoy a 3-course lunch, and visit the Alcantara Canyons. Enjoy a 2-hour hike around the perimeters of extinct craters and along lava-covered paths at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. Visit the volcanic underground, discovering one of the wonders of Etna. Stop for lunch and visit a local winery for a guided tasting of Etna wines (DOC). The 3-course lunch features typical Sicilian antipasti, a main course, and a delicious dessert. Last on the itinerary is a visit to the Alcantara Canyons, formed thousands of years ago when lava flowed into the Alcantara River, from a panoramic viewpoint.

From Taormina: Mount Etna upper craters and Alcantara Gorges

5. From Taormina: Mount Etna upper craters and Alcantara Gorges

Enjoy a full-day tour of the highest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna. Tour guests meet at the bus terminal in Taormina, Via Pirandello. The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour leader. You can enjoy exclusive information of the history of Mount Etna and the surrounding areas. An air-conditioned coach will transport you to the Alcantara Gorges (entry extra). This is an impressive natural sculpture. Thousands of years ago the riverbed was blocked by lava flow from Mount Etna, and as the lava cooled more quickly than the water it crystallized. Tall columns of lava have since stood here and as the river eroded through the lava it has created a series of impressive gorges. Don’t forget your camera. The trip continues on board the Circumetnea, a traditional train that winds around the foot of the volcano reaching up to Adrano in the south. Then. by coach, reach Rifugio Sapienza, at an altitude of 1.900 meters on the southern side. Then, ascend via cable car and jeep to the authorized crater zones, assisted by licensed guides of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club). Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in the area of security. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to Taormina where the tour ends.

From Catania: Trekking at the Alcantara Gorges

6. From Catania: Trekking at the Alcantara Gorges

You will make the pick-up at your accommodation in Catania and you will reach Francavilla di Sicilia. From here you will follow the path that will lead you to the Gurne delle Gole dell'Alcantara, along the path you will even meet the excavations of a Greek settlement, dating back to the fifth century. BC and the ruins of the ancient Norman castle of Francavilla di Sicilia. Continuing the trek to the Alcantara Gorges you will reach a footbridge that crosses the Alcantara river. From here you will enjoy the splendid landscape of the Gurne: small lakes along the river created by the erosion of water on the lava stone, surrounded by lush vegetation: poplars, downy oaks, willows and oleanders. You will end this part of the experience with the observation of the Ciappa Mill, where the production of hydroelectric energy was experimented in the late nineteenth century. During this trek you will be able to experience, in addition, the experience of Body Rafting. You will dive along the watercourse of the Alcantara River. At the end of the experience you will be taken back to your accommodation in Catania or Taormina.

Alcantara River: Body Rafting & 'Pasta Alla Norma' Lunch

7. Alcantara River: Body Rafting & 'Pasta Alla Norma' Lunch

Your guide will meet you at your hotel, or a meeting place of your choice in Taormina, and take you by comfortable private car the Alcantara river. The river is an ecological wonder, with limestone rocks that make it perfect for letting the rapids take your body on an exciting descent. When you arrive, our specialized guides will take you on your body rafting adventure. Enjoy the views of the rocks as this unique experience allows you to use your body as the raft, with the upmost confidence in your safety. At the end of the tour, your guide will accompany you to the nearby village of Giardini Naxos where you can have lunch with the traditional "pasta alla norma" with good local wine – a just reward for all of your exercise earlier.

Catania: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Guided Tour

8. Catania: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Guided Tour

Learn about the biology and geology of the Etna Volcano on this guided 8-hour tour. Wander around and explore the area's pathways surrounded by nature which has grown upon several dormant craters. The fauna and flora of Etna provides a stunning backdrop for this tour as you discover the fascinating surroundings including an exciting cave exploration. Then, relax with a wine tasting session and enjoy the flavors of the volcano as you try the region's liqueurs, honey and more. With Etna behind you, it's time to explore the beautiful Alcantara Gorges which were formed from lava and are among the most famous in the world. Next, cross the river, which is lined with basalt walls as high as 50 meters, and enter the wonderful natural setting of the Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alcantara National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Alcantara National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Alcantara National Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 452 reviews

Our guide, Ezio, was very nice and prepared, giving us a lot of information on vulcanos and the history of Sicily. We were picked up in Letojanni and drove to the winery where we could have a coffee and change shoes. We then drove further up where we started our tour. Difficluty: ar the beginning it was tough (5-10min), later on it was easier. Once we had finished the tour, we got to see a cave. Ezio explained what the cave had been used for in ancient times and explained the geology once again. After that, he drove us to the winery again where we had lunch and some good wine. The winery was very typical, the surroundings beautiful. Afterwards, we left for Alcantara where we had the possibility to have a swim or to just walk in the (very cold) water. Eventually, he brought us back where he had picked us up. Overall: can only be recommended!

This was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Our guide, Giovanni, was very knowledgeable and took every opportunity to share his knowledge and to help us understand what we were seeing. The lunch was really lovely (and the food was plentiful), and the wine was delicious. The afternoon was also very good and the gorge is well worth the visit. We were able to swim in the cool waters and see some beautiful features, plus our guide very kindly remained with our bags to keep our belongings safe. I would very highly recommend booking this, what an amazing day trip!

The excursion was well organized. Our very nice tour guide Renate was very competent and gave us a lot of information in German, English and Italian about the sights. The bus driver was great and super punctual! The guide on Mount Etna accompanied us with the jeeps and on the hikes! Overall, the trip was a real experience and is highly recommended!

Super nice trip, everything was well organized and professional. Sweet, friendly and extremely pleasant guide, with clear language. Several of the kind.

Great and worthwhile tour to experience and see Mount Etna in a day.