Nestled in the heart of Sicily, the Alcantara Gorges are a must-see for any tourist visiting the island. The gorges are formed by the Alcantara River and are characterized by their steep cliffs and curious shapes. The walls of the gorges are mostly either vertical or fan-shaped curved with a rare and beautiful vegetation, growing out of the lava fissures. Not to be missed, a visit to the castle of Calatabiano or to the charming village of Castiglione, in the surrounding countryside.
The History of the Alcantara Gorges
The Alcantara River has its origins on the slopes of Mount Etna and is one of Sicily’s longest rivers. The river runs for approximately 76 kilometers before emptying into the Ionian Sea. The gorges were created over time as a result of erosion from the river.
The gorge’s unique shape is due to its composition of two types of lava: basaltic lava and dacitic lava. The basaltic lava is more resistant to erosion and forms the steep walls of the gorge while the dacitic lava is more susceptible to erosion and forms the fan-shaped curves. The vegetation growing out of the fissures is also rare and beautiful, adding to the gorge’s appeal.
What to See and Do in the Alcantara Gorges
There are many things to see and do in and around the Alcantara Gorges. One popular activity is hiking along one of the trails that wind through the gorge. There are also several ancient ruins located nearby, such as the castle of Calatabiano or the village of Castiglione. For those interested in Sicilian history, culture, and tradition, a visit to these gorges is a must!
The Alcantara Gorges are one of Sicily’s most beloved tourist attractions. With their steep cliffs, curious shapes, rare vegetation, and picturesque location, it’s easy to see why! There is something for everyone in and around these gorges, from hiking and exploring ancient ruins to simply taking in their natural beauty. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Sicily, be sure to add a visit to these gorges to your travel itinerary!