Striking masterpiece of the nature: a canyon along the river Alcantara... with some misteries about the formation of the gorges... Alcantara is one of the most important rivers in Sicily: with a lenght of 53 km (33 mls) and a spring at 1400 meters of height on the Nebrodi mounts, it is the second one for water flow rate after the Simeto. The name Alcantara is Arabic, as many others toponyms of Sicily, (Al-Qantarah - The Bridge - with reference to a pre-existing Roman bridge over the river). The river runs along the northern boundary of Etna passing through the Gorges of Alcantara, a narrow canyon 25 meters (82 ft) high, 2-5 meters (6-16 ft) wide and 6 km (3,7 mls) long formed by a basalt lava flow platform generated during the last 8000 years by the eruptions of mount Dolce, a low height side crater of Etna 800 mt (2620 ft) high. The formation of the canyon is a possible consequence of a sismic event which splitted the basalt platform thus allowing the river to pass in between. The area is spectacular and very attractive to visit for the natural beauty, the freshness and the cleaness of the river water, the relaxing small beach surrounded by a luxuriant vegetation and, mainly, the presence of massive poligonal basalt columns with different shapes: horizontal or "woodpile", vertical or "organ pipes", descending or "folding fan".
*** Nature Photography Itinerary.
Charming town on the East Coast of Sicily in front of the Jonian sea, renowned for the high class tourism, art, history, nature, culture, cinema, cuisine and the unique natural position over the bay of Naxos and in front of Etna, Taormina is one of the most known touristic locations of Italy. The historical heritage is at the highest levels with the remains of the ancient Greeks since the VIII century b.C.; particularly the archaeological park of Naxos and the Greek-Roman theatre which is the second in Sicily for size, and one of the most important in the world of the ancient Greece. History, art and nature create in Taormina an exotic blend together with cultural events and traditions, offering an unique taste of internationality in a pure Mediterranean atmosphere. Known for the beauty of its coast and the transparency of the sea in the bays of Isola Bella, Mazzaro', Sirens and the beach of Spisone, Taormina offers the widest choice of accommodation in Sicily: from high luxury hotels to simple bread & breakfast or apartments rental. The renowned cuisine is also part of the pleasure to stay in Taormina: from high level restaurants to typical taverns and pizzerias and street food. Walking in Taormina in the day, in the night and at any hour, gives particular sensations and the pleasure to discover unique corners, different day by day, hour by hour. The charming tiny streets and alleys are a pleasure for the eyes with hundreds occasions of suggestive photo shots... and a tempation for the taste with the continuous attractions offered by restaurants, taverns, street food, wine bars, artisanal pastries, ice-cream shops. Taormina is also the starting point for interesting outdoor activities: short or full day excursions to the main natural or historical locations of Sicily and boat trips, snorkeling and diving, paragliding, rafting in the surrounding areas. Last but not least: music & wine bars and discoteques in the charming tiny alleys, and concerts & shows in the magnificent magic atmosphere of the Greek-Roman theatre.
*** Nature and Architecture Photography Itineray
Alcantara Gorges and Taormina - half day excursion
Alcantara River Gorges
- View over the Gorges
- Walking on the river beach
- City centre free walking tour (local guide available on demand)
- Belvedere terrace with panoramic view over the bay and the coast
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