Pampaleone Glamping Sicilia - Gole dell'Alcantara

The Alcantara Gorges

Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, has shaped the territory in a unique and surprising way: the Alcantara Gorges are an amazing sight!

Mt Etna’s presence, the highest active volcano in Europe, has shaped the territory of Eastern Sicily in unexpected and surprising ways. In the Valley of the Alcantara River, between the municipalities of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Canastra, you can marvel at one of the shows that nature offers us: the Alcantara Gorges, more rarely known as the Gorges of Larderia.

The Alcantara Gorges are a canyon up to 30 metres high and 4 metres wide on average, although in some parts it narrows down to just 2 metres. According to the latest hypothesis, these gorges were formed in the last 8000 years as a result of three different lava flows. The water of the Alcantara River, meeting the lava, cooled it quickly, forming deep irregular fractures in the stone. In the millennia to come the water flow has then relentlessly continued to erode the rock, bringing the lava body to light. Today, walking through the canyon, we can admire the pentagonal and hexagonal prismatic shapes of the high black walls, so scenic that over the years several filmmakers have decided to immortalize them in their movies. For the lucky ones, some theatre companies occasionally perform shows framed by this beautiful canyon during the summer evenings.

During the sunny days you can relax on one of the beaches along the river. Alternatively, if you feel adventurous you can ask a certified guide to accompany you and try the so-called river trekking. When the level of the river rises, it is also possible to try the descent of the canyon by rafting.

From the Pampaleone you can easily reach the Alcantara Gorges by car in 40 minutes, just take the A18 highway following directions to Messina. Take the exit at Giardini-Naxos and follow the signs for Francavilla di Sicilia for another 12km.