The Alcantara Gorges


Between Messina and Catania, you won't be able to resist the call of the world-famous "Gole" – the Gorges.

About 50 km of main river course, with unique and unusual natural features. Extremely intense geological and geothermal events have determined the structure of today's basalt layers. It seems that in prehistoric times, a river flowed over clay sediments; then huge volcanic eruptions channelled fluid magma into the river bed, which sank in the more clayey sections, creating the current basalt colonnades. The apotheosis of these spectacular sculptures of nature is located between Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra, in the Larderia district.

If you’re planning to spend a day at the gorges, it is best to arrive rather early. We recommend that you buy your ticket online. There are large lifts to descend to the gorges and places to eat. The water in the Alcantara River is very cold: you can rent rubber boots, but you can do without if you come in summer. Downstream, a small pebble beach awaits you where you can lie in the sun and cool off in the spray of the rapids. You can also trek in the upstream direction and enjoy the wonderful spectacle of the gorges. The bravest will dive in completely; the others will succumb involuntarily sooner or later!

Five minutes from the entrance, we find is a free municipal access point from which we can explore the gorges from above (remaining dry). A botanical trail takes us through the park without going down to the river.

You can also descend the Alcantara by kayak with various levels of difficulty, with the assistance of sports associations.

Find out more

Share this content!