Etna and Alcantara from Giardini

Wonderful Etna and Alcantara Tour from Giardini Naxos, from the sea to the craters of Etna and the canyons of the Alcatara River among Etna's ancient lava flows

Etna e Alcantara da Giardini
Etna and Alcantara Gorges Excursion Dream Island

Etna and Alcantara Gorges excursion from Giardini Naxos

A wonderful day among the volcanoes of Etna and the Alcantara Gorges departing from Giardini Naxos

In this full day Etna and Alcantara Gorges excursion departing from Giardini, Dream Island will make you explore two wonderful and unique landscapes of Sicily. Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Alcantara Gorges

Among Etna and Alcantara Gorges to experience a never ending thrill

First part of the tour

This Etna and Alcantara Gorges excursion from Giardini will start in Suv or minivan and then proceed off-road. The first stop of our tour is an off-road route up to the 27/10/2002 lava front, the biggest eruption in the last twenty years that destroyed the ski facilities of Piano Provenzana and most of the Ragabo Pine Forest (Pineta Ragabo). Afterwards we will proceed up to the starting point of our the trek.

Our hike will start from elevation 1650 meters and go up to elevation 1750 meters (it is possible to request a reservation to go up to 2050 meters).

We will hike along an easy path, among birch trees and lateral craters the so-called “Bottoniera” craters, the Sartorius Craters (Monti Sartorius), on the north-eastern side of Etna. Once at the top we will reach some wonderful viewpoints, here you’ll be able to enjoy looking at: to the west Mount Frumento delle Concazze, with an elevation of 2151 meters it’s one of Etna’s largest craters; to the front you can admire the Ionian Sea, and the Nebrodi and Peloritani mountain ranges.

Before starting our descent we will visit the Cave of Thieves (Grotta dei Ladroni or also known as Grotta della Neve), a lava flow tunnel which we will explore, equipped with helmets and flashlights, and learn about its creation and history.

We will then go back to Linguaglossa to take a lunch break in a local restaurant, lunch is included in the price.

The Sartorius Craters

They are part of a well-known scenic route originated by the 1865 eruption on Etna’s northern side. They are named after the German volcanologist Wolfgang Sartorius. The eruption formed seven “bottoniera” craters, they are the main attraction of a landscape that is still mostly barren but in which nature is slowly sprouting again. It’s a trail suitable for hikers of any skill level, one of the first trails marked by the Etna Park.

The Cave of the Robbers

It’s a lava cave, easy to reach and visit, located in the “Piano delle Donne” at 1540 meters of altitude. It was excavated by hand in 1776, we can find this date carved into a rock at the entrance. In addition to the construction of steps and the enlargement of what originally was a lava flow tunnel some holes were drilled in the vault to allow snow to accumulate during winter, to be used in the warmer seasons in the ice trade market.

Second part of the tour

After lunch we will drive through Castiglione di Sicilia: it’s one of the most beautiful towns in Italy with its features similar to those of a medieval village, it’s also famous for its wineries that produce an excellent Etna DOC (if you are a wine lover you might want to check out these tours: “Etna and wine tasting” and “Etna wine tasting”).

Our Etna and Alcantara Gorges excursion from Giardini will then come to an end with the visit of the Alcantara Gorges (also known as the “Gorges of  Larderia”). Situated in the Alcantara Valley where the Peloritani mountain range ends in the municipalities of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra (one of the places where some scenes of the famous movie “The Godfather” were filmed, if you are a fan of this masterpiece you have to check out our “Godfather Tour”).

The Alcantara River and the Alcantara Gorges

It flows among the lava rock which also forms its natural riverbed. Its origin is in the Nebrodi Mountains at 1400 meters of altitude, the river is 53 Km long (3 of which are easily accessible).
Its name comes from the Arabic-derived term “Al-Qantarah” (“The Bridge”, referring to an ancient Roman bridge).
The peculiarity of the Alcantara Groges comes from the structure of its walls, created by 300.000 years old basaltic lava flows (poor in silicon but rich in iron, magnesium and calcium), they are about ten meters high and they are a sight to behold! The lava cooled very rapidly, creating pentagonal and hexagonal prismatic shapes, reminiscent of the molecular structure of its materials.

Etna & Alcantara 4×4 Excursion: What awaits you

  • You will experience an off-road adventure in a 4×4 vehicle
  • You will hike along ancient and “new” lava flows
  • You will visit, on a light trek, the “Bottoniera” crater system
  • You will explore a lava cave, equipped with helmet and flashlight
  • You will enjoy some typical Sicilian dishes for lunch (included in the price)
  • You will visit the wonderful Alcantara Gorges
  • An experienced guide will be with you at all times

The Best Experience Ever!

Etna and Alcantara Gorges excursion from Giardini Naxos
Dream Island
Tour Operator

Have fun with this excursion!


Phone: +39 3481574899
MON-FRI 09:00 - 19:00, SAT-SUN 10:00 - 14:00
The Penthouse, Carolina Court, Giuseppe Cali street, Ta' Xbiex
Tour Operator Registration N.C 79938 Malta
Vat: MT24188711

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