5 activities to explore the Alcantara Gorges
At the foot of the tallest and most active volcano in Europe lies the Alcantara Gorges. Due to its volcanic origins, this fascinating canyon stands out for its steep black walls in contrast with the river’s cold water flowing in between. What activities in the Alcantara Gorges are the best way to explore this incredible scenery?
Thanks to their vicinity to Mount Etna and the sea, the Alcantara Gorges offer breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing hike through the forest or an adrenaline-pumping paragliding flight, the Alcantara Gorges will leave you breathless. Discover our selection of 5 must-try activities to explore this captivating scenery. Pack your swimsuit and best hiking shoes: you’ll head off on incredible outdoor adventures!
1- Canyoning down the Alcantara River
Canyoning in the Alcantara Gorges is one of the most popular activities in the area. Thanks to its cold waters and the volcanic scenery, the Alcantara River is known as one of Sicily’s most captivating rivers. What better way to explore the Alcantara Gorges than canyoning down the river? After a short hike, you’ll descend to the heart of the gorge, where you’ll safely start your canyoning journey. Go through the 25-metre-high basaltic walls, face descents and abseils and get the time to swim in the refreshing transparent water of the Alcantara River. Slide on the natural waterfalls, discover tiny lakes and admire the hidden gems of the gorge!
This canyoning journey is quite sporty but open to explorers of all ages and levels. Make sure you bring a swimsuit and a towel - you’ll need them at the end of this amazing adventure to enjoy a rewarding swim in the Alcantara River.
2- Quad Biking in the Alcantara Gorges
If you are looking for a thrilling experience and love speeding off-road, you can’t miss this quad safari through the Alcantara Gorges. Quad biking is the perfect way to explore the wild side of Sicily and appreciate its most authentic beauty. Hop on a 450cc quad bike, cruise through countryside routes and explore the Alcantara Valley with a local guide.
Every adventurous explorer holding a driving license can drive a quad bike, with no previous experience required. If you don’t feel like driving, you can still join the tour with a friend and be their passenger! During this quad safari, you’ll explore lovely towns like Castiglione di Sicilia and Francavilla di Sicilia, cross countryside paths and pass through the Alcantara Gorges where you’ll ride across the Alcantara River multiple times!
3- Tandem Paragliding flight from Taormina
Third on the list is an outstanding tandem paragliding flight over the Alcantara Gorges and Etna Park from Taormina. Soar high in the sky with a professional pilot and get the most incredible view over the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Alcantara Gorges on the other. With the majestic Mount Etna in the background, this tandem paragliding flight will leave you speechless.
Tandem paragliding is an adrenaline-fueled activity suitable for every adventurer: all you have to do is take a few steps and let your instructor do the rest. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be gliding in the air, over incredible views. Enjoy 15 minutes of pure freedom in the dreamy location of the Alcantara Gorges, surrounded by turquoise waters and the most active volcano in Europe.
4- Body Rafting in the Alcantara Gorges
The Alcantara River flows over 52 km and crosses the Alcantara Gorges for almost 1 km. Its dramatic charm is hard to resist. There, into the 25-metre-high basalt walls, the river reaches its most fascinating peak. Body rafting is a fun-filled activity everyone should try at least once in their life and the Alcantara River is the perfect place to start.
During this body rafting adventure in the Alcantara Gorges, you’ll explore 800 meters of this natural canyon and come across the captivating waterfall of Venus and a series of natural pools named “Gurne” by the locals. Join a local guide on this exciting exploration and discover the beauty of the Alcantara Gorges by crossing the river, adequately geared up.
5- Hiking Tour around the Alcantara River
If you think the Alcantara Valley cannot get better than this, you’ll be surprised by how much more it has to offer. The Alcantara River is the perfect destination for hiking tours. If you love immersing yourself in nature and exploring the area at your own pace, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of hiking trails along the Alcantara River.
Follow one of the tracks and get the opportunity to admire the black basalt rocks, the transparent waters of the river and the forest surrounding the gorge by yourself. Get in touch with nature and enjoy the outstanding beauty of the Alcantara Gorges. Wear your best hiking shoes and carry a big water bottle and a snack to enjoy the hiking tour. And don’t forget your camera: there are plenty of waterfalls, small lakes, and incredible scenery you'll want to capture!
The best time of the year to visit this Sicilian paradise is from April to June and from September to October when the temperature reaches 30°. Choose the adventure that suits you best, going from fun body rafting to a breathtaking tandem paragliding flight. Follow a local guide through the hidden gems of the Alcantara Valley or dive into its hiking trails on your own and trek at your own pace. Make the most of your time at the Alcantara Gorges!
Right next to the Alcantara Gorges, there’s the Etna National Park. Check out our best outdoor activities on Mount Etna and explore Europe's tallest and most active volcano!