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The Alcantara Gorges, a visit to icy water

A complete Etna experience!

All the people who took part in our Etna tour “Summer Classic Experience” had the opportunity to visit the Alcantara Gorges, the natural canyon near Francavilla di Sicilia, in the territory of Motta Camastra.

The Alcantara Gorges and its river
Alcantara Gorges

Al-qantara

These famous gorges are about 25 meters high, between 2 and 5 meters wide and 6 kilometers long; the first 3 kilometers are also praticable.
The name “Alcantara” comes from the Arabic “Al-qantara” that means “the bridge”. Probably a bridge built by the Romans to allow the passage of the legions of the empire despite the floods of the river. The canyon was formed as a result of a seismic event that with its oscillatory movements has divided an old lava flow allowing the waters of the river Alcantara to infiltrate inside.

The legend

There are also legends about the Alcantara Gorges and their icy waters: it narrates the myth that the god Vulcano, to show his love for Venus, had warmed the waters of the river where the goddess loved to bathe. But despite this gesture, love was not exchanged and so Vulcano, to punish Venus, made the waters icy. Since then it is also said that men who bathed in these waters find virility, women the virginity.

In fact the waters of the gorges are really cold (about 8°) so often those who dive, do so with appropriate equipment. If you will take part in our Etna tours you may be able to to wet your feet and experience this sensation for yourself!
To find out more about the tour that will allow you to visit the Gorges and its prices click here.

If you wish to book a private transfer to go there by your own contact Sicily Day By Day!