THE GORGES OFF ALCANTARA
The “Gorges” are famous for their charm, beauty and lure. They can be found between Messina, Catania, and Catania. There are approximately 50km of river channels with unusual and unique natural features. The current structure of basalts was created by intense geological and geoothermal events. Prehistorically, the river was thought to have run over clay sediments. Then, huge volcanic eruptions channeled a liquid magmainto river bed which caused it to sink into clayish segments. This created the basalt colonnades. These spectacular natural sculptures are at their apotheosis in Motta Camastra– contrada Larderia.
Spend a day in the gorges. It’s best to not be late, and it is even better to buy your ticket online. There are large lifts that take you down to the gorges. Also, there is a food court. The Alcantara River’s water is extremely cold. While you can rent waterproof boots, if you visit in the summer, they are not required. Below you will find a small beach with pebbles where you can relax in the sun or cool off in the roaring water. You can also climb it against the current and enjoy the amazing spectacle of the gorges. Some people will drown inadvertently, while others submerge themselves fully.
The free communal entrance, located 5 minutes from the entrance, allows you to access the (dry) Gorges above. This botanical route allows you to take in the park without having to descend on the river.
You can also kayak down Alcantara River with support from sports clubs.
THE GORGES OF TIBERIUS
The Tiberius gorges stretch for more than 250m. They can be found on the Madonie Regional Natural Park’s Pollina River, Geopark site recognized by UNESCO. The gorges are located along more than 250 metres.
This is a peaceful place. You can glide on the water with small rubber boats to reach two small beaches. You can make a day trip to the charming Madonie villages in Pollina or San Mauro Castelverde.
Thing to look at: The fossils of gastropods within the rock walls to the many birds’ nests just a few centimetres away from the water. The caves of bandits, as well as legends about them, can be seen.
Follow the signs to San Mauro. Continue on the small road for about ten kilometers. It becomes a dirt road after a while. You will find the 400-step staircase in front of your car.