Alcantara Gorges

A true spectacle of nature

A unique spectacle in the world.The reserve of the Alcantara Gorges is an unmissable and marvellous place, where you can find gorges up to 25 metres high, a real canyon originated by ancient lava flows, furrowed in the middle by the icy waters of the Alcantara River.

The Alcantara Gorges are a must-see for nature lovers and nature trail passionates.
This enchanting place is located in the province of Messina, near Francavilla di Sicilia, in the Alcantara Valley where the homonym river flows. The gorges, looking like a non-terrestrial landscape, were created by the Alcantara River, which has relentlessly eroded the rocks along its course, creating a geological landscape that is absolutely unique in the world.

What are the Alcantara Gorges?

The Alcantara Gorges are vertiginous natural gorges up to 25 metres high and crossed by the waters of the icy Alcantara River. The gorges are characterised by bizarrely shaped asymmetrical rock formations. All this has been achieved over thousands of years by the cooling of incandescent lava in contact with water, which has formed walls of basaltic prisms. The formation of the Alcantara riverbed dates back some 300,000 years, but the current appearance of the river in the Gorge section is due to the lava flows that have occurred over the last 8,000 years. The rock formations are truly spectacular and it’s worthy of a visit.

Today, the Gorges are part of the Alcantara Gorges Botanical and Geological Park, included in the Alcantara River Park, a regional park. Due to the risk of flooding, the site is inaccessible between November and March, but is open the rest of the year.