A girl taking part in a body rafting tour at the alcatara gorges.

5 things to do at the Alcantara Gorges

The 2024 guide to the top five tours to explore the Alcantara Gorge and The Valley. We provide for each tour the best prices, tips and advises. We have included more information about the Alcantara river Lakes the only spot to enjoy a real adventure of Body rafting and Cliff Jumping.

What to do at the Alcantara River Park the 2024 inside guide

The Canyon of the Alcantara Gorges and the whole of the Alcantara Valley is the ideal place to enjoy some beautiful nature. A series of villages that enclose the rural lifestyle of Sicily, made of friendly villagers (Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo) and ancient traditions can be visited easily. Halfway between Taormina and Mount Etna, there is one of the most fantastic Valley of Sicily, the famous Alcantara river park, and the Canyon of the Alcantara best known as "The Gorge of Alcantara".

These three locations combine together with the addition of Mount Etna account for the most extensive biodiversity of the island of Sicily in a relatively small portion of territory, easy to be explored with a day tour or through a series of excursions. Let's check out the top five and most convenient tours departing from Taormina and Catania to visit this amazing district of Sicily. To know more about the Gorges check out our  2024 Alcantara Gorge guide.

The 5 best tours at the Alcantara Gorges

Let's see the top 5 tactivities with whom to visit or explore the Alcantara river. I use visit and explore cause..... some tours will take you to the Alcantara gorges, a beautifull canyon but super busy an it will be a visit nothing more, you can swim but that will be all. If you want to discover the wild Alcantara river than you need to go for the lakes of the Alcantara river known by the local as the gurne. This place is off the beaten path and Body rafting leap over with Cliff Jumping. Having said this, let's dive into the best tours available around the Alcantara Gorges.

1 Body Rafting Alcantara

Body rafting Alcantara
A Group of excursionists to Venus Pool

Body Rafting is a fun-filled activity that has become extremely popular in the last ten years. This river activity it's the best excursion to explore the Alcantara river. I'll be honest with you, the Alcantara Gorges is not the best place where to have fun with body rafting, actually at time is boring especially when the three company operating at the gorges bring inside the canyon a group of 20/25 person each. The stunning Alcantara canyon can be visited indipendently with and easy walk, all you need is a pair of river shoes.

So where shall you head for in order to have a really adventure? No doubt to the Alcantara Gurne a series of lakes just 2 km from the gorges, and once you have finished your tour of Body Rafting and Cliff Jumping pay the €1,50 and gain access to the Alcantara Gorges. The Tour of Body rafting and Cliff Jumping at the gurne is available every day. The first tour srat at 10 a.m. while the last one at 3 p.m. Do not forget to arrive 30 minutes before, and remember that car park, showers, changing rooms and lockers are all included in the tour price.

Must know about this tour

Available from May to October 

Minimum age 12

MInumum height 150 cm

The best price is €45 for adults and kids alike.


2 Alcantara Etna Tour

This Mount Etna and Alcantara tour has been a best seller of most local tours for two decades. The reason for being so popular lies in the fact that the quality price of this tour Etna Alcantara tour is unbeatable. With a full-day excursion, people get to see Mount Etna the highest active volcano in Europe, and the Alcantara Gorge. The Excursions are done in a jeep or minivan. On the way up to the Volcano, the trip takes you to see some mountain villages on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Any honest company includes in the price pick up, a two hours hike on some craters plus the visit to an underground Cave. In the afternoon the tour takes the guests to the Alcantara Valley and the Gorge. Here you'll have the chance to go inside the Gorge of the Alcantara and enjoy a refreshing swim in the cold water of the river. The tour can be coupled up with a wine tasting experience. This tour is ideal for families or whoever wants to discover as much as possible in one day. Remember to bring a pair of flip flops or even better some river shoes, the pebbles at the bottom of the river can be painful on bare feet

Must know about this tour

Available all year around

Minimum age 5

Level easy

 Prices start at €75 for adults and €39 for kids up to 12 years old.

3 Mtb Etna and Alcantara

MTB Etna
Families enjoying an Mount Etna -Alcantara MTB ride.

Mountain biking has been growing fast in Sicily, and nowadays the Mtb excursion's offer on the market is dazzling. If you are not an Mtb fanatic who loves to sweat going uphill, but still you want to enjoy a day on two weals on the quest to explore the flanks of Mount Etna, some fantastic village, and the stunning Canyon of the botanical park of the Alcantara then this one day bike tour is what you are looking for. The tour starts on the north side of Mt. Etna and goes through a trail on an old railway that will offer some unique view of the Alcantara Valley.

After forty minutes of cycling, you stop in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia for a break a drink, and a guided visit to some churches. From here the Mountain bike tour head to the famous Alcantara Gorges that you'll reach cycling through some off-road trails crossing the beautiful Sicilian countryside. The visit to the Alcantara will allow walking inside the Canyon and go for a swim. This tour is ideal for active families or friends who want to explore the Sicilian landscape on two wheels. Bring a towel, swimwear and a pair of flip-flops, or some river shoes. This tour can be combined with a Body Rafting or River Walk.

Must know about this tour

Avaliable all year around

Minimum age 5

Level easy

The best price starts at €59

4 Walking tour in and around the Alcantara Gorges

A view of The Alcantara River Park
The beautiful Gurne, along the Alcantara River

All the advertisements about trekkings and Hikes you'll see in Taormina, Giardini Naxos or Catania are about.... her majesty Mount Etna. Do not get me wrong; the Volcano deserves at least a full-day excursion. Still, the beautiful Alcantara valley Trekking trails too often are overshadowed by the Alcantara Gorge. Holidaymakers overlook the beautiful paths that wind between the Villages of the Alcantara Valley, the Canyon of the Alcantara, and the river.

This excursion aims at travellers that want to get off the beaten path and, is an excellent way to discover some amazing small villages full of ancient history and explore some stretches of the Alcantara river away from mass tourism. The begin of this Trekking start in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia. Here your guide will take you for a walking tour around the village of Castiglione a real jewel hiding lots of history dating back to the 7th-century b.c. The second part of the trekking goes to the "Gurne " a series of natural pools along the river where you can stop to go for a swim and grab some lunch.

So technically in this tour, the Alcantara Gorge does not take centre stage. But any good company before driving you back to your hotel will stop for a sightseeing visit to the Alcantara Gorges. Remember to bring river shoes, a towel, and swimwear. The tour can be combined with a Body rafting Adventure.

Must know about this tour

Available all year around

Minimum age 10

Level medium

A tour like this one can be found for €79 

5 Alcantara Quad tour 

Even though I'm not a petrol head or nearly close to being a fan of engines, I could not avoid enlisting the quad tour across the Alcantara valley among the top five, Why? Well, lots of people out there love the trill of seating on top of a quad bike powered by a roaring engine, plus I must admit that the Quad bike excursion around the Alcantara Gorge and through the Alcantara Valley allows seeing some pretty landscapes. This one and half hour quad tour begin not far from the main entrance of the Alcantara Gorges and remember that the quad can be shared by two persons for the same price. If you choose to explore the Alcantara Valley right at the feet of the Peloritani mountain range with quad excursions be ready to drive through a dusty and muddy off-road trail that winds across the Mediterranean countryside on bumpy and uncomfortable paths. For that price, two persons can share the quads and alternate at the wheel. Remember to bring a driving license. This Alcantara Quad Tour does not go to the Gorge so be ready to pay an extra €1,50 to visit the Canyon.


1. Alcantara Valley Route

 This excursion last one hour is designed for all levels, even for beginners. The route includes 50% off-road and 50% asphalt.​

2. Alcantara Valley and Castiglione di Sicilia route

This second Quad route last 2h and 30 min and runs entirely through the Alcantara Valley. In the winter it includes a visit to Castiglione di Sicilia, while in the summer it includes a visit to the Alcantara gurne where you stop for a dip. This tour includes 60% off-road and 40% asphalt.

3. Alcantara and Etna Park route

This is the longest lasting 5 hours  This third option is recommended only for the most experienced centaurs. The tour starts from the Alcantara valley at 300 meters above sea level and reaches an altitude of 2000 metres. Throughout the 5 hours there will be time for a break, you can eat and enjoy the Etna landscape. The route is 40% off-road and the remaining 60% is asphalt.


  • To enter the Alcantara gorges you pay a ticket of €2,00 at the box office in the municipality of Motta Camastra. Kids up to 3 years old do not pay.
  • There are two car parks, both for a fee.
  • There are no toilets on the Gole dell'Alcantara beach. The Lardaria Gorges (those open to the public) are approximately 700 meters long.
  • The walls are up to 25 meters high.
  • The water temperature is around 10° centigrade.


The gorges are open from the last week of April until the first week of November. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at sunset.


If you arrive from the A18 motorway, exit at the Giardini Naxos toll booth and follow in the direction of Francavilla di Sicilia, the distance from the Taormina toll booth is approximately 20 km. If you arrive by bus from Taormina, Letojianni or Giardini Naxos, use the public transport service of the Interbus company.