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Alcantara River

Alcantara River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Alcantara River Park: Hiking and Body Rafting Half-Day Trip

1. Alcantara River Park: Hiking and Body Rafting Half-Day Trip

Explore Sicily's beautiful Alcantara River Park and its famous gorges. Relax with a stunning view before ending your tour with an exhilarating experience of body rafting down the rapids of the Alcantara river. Begin your adventure at the Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park with a short briefing about your adventure course. While hiking through stunning gorges and eye-catching visits in Alcantara River Park, catch a glimpse of the ruins of a castle, an ancient Greek settlement, and local flora. Marvel at old stone walls, ancient mills, and sacred buildings. Pass through the Saje, ancient irrigation pipes that allowed Sicilian agriculture to flourish. At the Gorges of the Alcantara River Park, take a rest and enjoy the view. Don a wetsuit, helmet, and river jacket, and get ready to body raft. Enjoy the adventure of a free body descent down the river's rapids. End your nature adventure with an adrenaline rush.

Sicily: Alcantara River Park Guided Trekking Experience

2. 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.

Catania: Mount Etna Volcano and Alcantara Park Tour

3. Catania: Mount Etna Volcano and Alcantara Park Tour

With an expert guide by your side, discover the Mount Etna volcano, sitting at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. Explore ancient craters, lava flow caves, and admire the breathtaking landscape of the Ionian coast. Explore Alcantara Park in your free time. Dissected by the Alcantara river, Alcantara Park is a location brimming with unique vegetation, lava rock formations, and columnar basalts formed by the icy waters of the Alcantara. During the warm season, cool yourself off by taking a refreshing dip in these pristine waters or just stroll alongside the river.

Sicily: Mt. Etna, Wine and Alcantara Tour

4. 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.

Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

5. Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

2002 Lava frontThe first visit is the 2002 lava flow, reachable by jeep through a winding dirt road surrounded by chestnut and oak forests. The 2002 eruption lasted from October 27th to January 29th, 2003 and it is considered one of the most explosive eruptions of the past one hundred years Corruccio Cave’sContinuing our excursion you'll reach the Ragabo pine forest where hidden among pines and brooms, you'll discover the cave of Corruccio (1350 meters above sea level) a cave formed by flowing lava. Piano ProvenzanaLater, drive along the Mareneve road to reach Piano Provenzana (1800 meters above sea level), a ski resort, and theater of the great eruption of 2002. Enjoy an espresso, then take a short walk to visit the ruins of the hotel Le Betulle destroyed by a molten lava flow. Monti SartoriusYour tour continues with a short walk to some of the side craters, the Sartorius Mountains (1700 meters above sea level), formed in the year 1865 and characterized by seven small, aligned eruptive cones (or "buttonholes").  This area holds great geological and botanical treasures, and your tour winds along clearings rich in endemic species, large volcanic “bombs” and woodlands dominated by birch trees (Betula Aetnensis).  Halfway down from the top of one of the craters, marvel at breathtaking views of the Ionian coast, from Riposto to Taormina, the Calabrian coast, the North-East Crater (3350 meters above sea level), the lava formations from 2002, and the eruptive mouths near the tourist resort of Piano Provenzana. Traveling through one of the wine roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.), arrive at a local restaurant. This is the ideal place to enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature while sampling local cuisine and excellent wines. (Lunch not included) Alcantara RiverIn the afternoon discover a unique canyon comprised of basaltic lava (the “Alcantara” Gorges) and shaped by the waters of the Alcantara river. The Alcantara's vertical cliffs reach 30 meters in height and its structures have been forged by high-intensity geological and geothermal events. In prehistoric times, a river flowed here over clay sediments until a massive volcanic eruption channeled magma into the river bed forming the current canyons. After this stop, end your memorable day and return to town.

From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara River Tour

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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 Taormina: Etna Summit Area, Lunch & Alcantara Tour

9. From Taormina: Etna Summit Area, Lunch & Alcantara Tour

Reach the summit area of Etna, ascending 2750 meters by either cableway or off-road vehicle on this tour from Taormina. Hike the base of the active craters with a naturalistic guide, experience the lunar landscapes, and savor a typical Sicilian lunch with local wine and drinks. Begin your tour with a pickup from your accommodation (or close vicinity in Taormina and the surrounding area). You'll travel in a small group of no more than 8 people for a more intimate and personalized experience. Drive to Mount Etna where you'll start the ascent to the summit area (2750-2800 meters of altitude). Depending on the availability and the circumstances, in order to guarantee an optimal service, the ascent can be carried out either by cableway or off-road vehicles only. Once at the summit area, enjoy light trekking with a volcanological guide and a naturalistic guide. Walk through a desert of black ashes and extinct craters, while admiring the lunar landscape and the spectacular view of the active craters from a close distance. Back at 2000 meters, you'll be given the proper equipment, such as helmets and torches, to visit one of the striking lava caves of the volcano. Then, enjoy a typical Sicilian light lunch with local wine and drinks during the midday break. Finally, you'll admire the Alcantara Gorges created when thick lava flows invaded the bed of the icy river Alcantara, giving rise to geometrically perfect rocks.

Scenic Tour of Etna Round and Alcantara Gorges

10. Scenic Tour of Etna Round and Alcantara Gorges

Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, standing 3,329m - the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. Volcanic activity first took place at Etna about half a million years ago. Due to its history of much more recent activity and its nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. The power and romance of Mount Etna have attracted the attention of travellers, artists, poets and philosophers for centuries. Hiking on Etna represents an utterly unique experience. The Alcantara Gorges represent an impressive natural work of art. Several thousand years ago the riverbed was blocked by a lava flow from Mount Etna. As a consequence of the lava cooling much more quickly by the water, it crystallized in the form of columns. Over the next millennia, the river naturally eroded a channel through these columns, resulting in impressive gorges. Our tour will take you first to the intriguing formations of the Alcantara Gorges for a short stop and afterwards to the medieval town of Randazzo. From here we will then take a special train called the "Circumetnea" which goes to the ancient city of Adrano, right at the foot of Mount Etna. Finally we proceed comfortably by bus up to Rifugio Sapienza on the south side of Mount Etna at 1900 meters. A possible ascent to the main crater area (dependent on weather conditions), trekking and lunch are optional.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alcantara River

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What people are saying about Alcantara River

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 479 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!

Weather not entirely on our side but guide was really excellent. We all felt we knew Mount Etna personally by the end. Definitely worth paying a little more for a small group experience.

It was great - the driver Giovanni was great and the guide Jutta was great too - everything was just right. We had a great day - THANK YOU :-)

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