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

What to do at the Alcantara Gorges?

The 2021 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.

What to do at the Alcantara River Park.

The Canyon of the Alcantara Gorges and the whole of the 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  2021 Alcantara Gorge guide.

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. Body Rafting it's the best excursion to explore the deep part of Alcantara Gorge Canyon. After wearing the technical equipment (A wetsuit, helmet, river shoes, and a life jacket). You will enjoy a river walk along the Alcantara river that flows funnelled inside the Canyon. The 30 meters high walls made of lava rocks are a geological wonder and the biggest attraction of the Alcantara river park. The upstream trekking will see you climbing over rocks, swimming against the current, and overcoming some spectacular rapids. The adrenaline kicks in on the way back when you are going to use your body as a raft to slide along the rapids to get back to the starting point. Remember that the minimum height to join the tour is 140 cm. Even if you cannot swim, you can take part in the body rafting excursion since the life jacket will keep you afloat. The guides are always ready to help the participants. This tour can be coupled up with the half-day visit to Mount Etna.

The best price guarantee is €39 for adults and €29 for kids up to twelve years old.

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

Best prices start at €69 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.

The best price starts at €59, and it must include pick up from your hotel and the ticket to enter the Alcantara River Park.

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 Mountain villages, 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.

A tour like this one can be found for €59 including transport and ticket to enter the botanical and Geological Park of the Alcantara.

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.

The best price that you can find with some good ATV quads bike is €49.