The Alcantara Gorges

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The Alcantara Gorges The Alcantara Gorges

Unique in the Italian and European natural landscape, the Alcantara Gorges are one of the must-see attractions of Sicily. The Alcantara Gorges, also known as "Gole of Larderia", are located in the Alcantara Valley in Sicily where it ends the mountain range of Peloritani between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra.

the alcantara gorges
The Alcantara Gorges

The gorges are of up to 25 meters high and wide in the narrowest 2 meters and widest points 4-5 meters. The natural canyon, contrary to popular belief, was not excavated over thousands of years by water. The most likely is related to seismic events suggested that, with a vibrating-tectonic movements made literally split in two old basaltic lakes formed by the leakage of magma from cracks, older than 300,000 years of pre-Etna stands, allowing the water of creep river inside. On the territory of Motta Camastra in Fondaco Motta is the most imposing and famous gorge, for more than 6 km long but passable so easy for the first 3.


the alcantara gorges
The Alcantara Gorges

How to get there: (coordinates 37 ° 52'46 "N 15 ° 10'20" E):

  • From Messina take the SS 114 (which goes up to Catania), divert at Giardini Naxos to the SS 185, direction Francavilla di Sicilia and after twelve kilometers you reach the dell'Alcàntara Gorges.
  • Street Highway from Messina: Take the A18 in the direction Catania and exit at Giardini Naxos.
  • From Catania: Take the A18 motorway towards Messina and exit at Giardini Naxos. From the autoroute proceed for twelve kilometers in the direction of Francavilla di Sicilia.
  • Another way is to go coming from Bronte -Randazzo in Castiglione di Sicilia and from there drive towards Naxos. 
tourist entrance alcantara gorges
tourist entrance to the Alcantara Gorges

The visit to the Gorges is recommended when the water is lower, between May and September. The river, however, tend to be quite cold. The gorges were always tourist attraction. The whole valley is part of the the Alcantara Fluvial Park, was established in 2001 for protection of the river, and to encourage its use as a relaxation area and tourist destination.

Even the most demanding tourist attraction is pleased with the location and historical attractions of the countries of the area.

The Alcantara has its source at an elevation of 1,250 metres (4,100 ft) in the municipality of Floresta. La foce takes place in the Ionian Sea and precisely at San Marco (Calatabiano).


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