The Alcantara Gorges are one of those magnificent sceneries that Sicily offers. It is a natural canyon that leaves you breathless for its fairy-tale and at the same time terrifying features, for its legends that have been told for centuries and for those icy waters that you cannot resist.
We set off on a journey of discovery of the territory, between myth and reality, between history and beliefs, where nature remains the absolute protagonist.
The Alcantara Gorges: narrow rocks or a hospitable canyon?
Once they were known as the Gorges of Larderia, around which hovered mythical or frightening stories, made even more real by the narrow rocky walls that characterize this great canyon. Today we prefer to call them Alcantara Gorges and enhance that evocative side that makes them so unique: just a destination not to be missed! To visit them you have to go between Motta Camastra and Castiglione di Sicilia, the Sicilian hinterland, to then reach the presence of rocky walls of 50 meters! The homonymous river that crosses them, Alcantara, makes the landscape fascinating and welcomes thousands of visitors every year, especially in summer.
But it seems that only the most daring manage to immerse themselves in its waters, famous for being icy: we talk about 8 degrees! This however does not frighten the crowd of onlookers, probably ready to verify in person that he really has magical powers. The myth says that two gods were linked to this mystical place, the god Vulcan and the goddess Venus. The beautiful goddess loved to bathe in the Alcantara river and the god Vulcan soon fell in love with her, enough to give her perpetually warm waters. But it was not enough to conquer the girl. Thus the wrath of Vulcan was unleashed against the very waters that became permanently icy from very hot.
Activities to challenge nature
For centuries, popular legends have told disturbing stories about the Alcantara Gorges. Even a sea monster has even lived in its waters! But today these stories are an integral part of the past and we live with greater interest in the landscape and the activities it offers. You can do river trekking or body rafting, also in baby version, to try the adrenaline of lively waters. Obviously they are activities that do not include simple costume, but the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the risks and the temperature of the water.
But those who simply want to enjoy a relaxing day can opt for a long stop in the small beach of the Gorges. Some say that the waters are warmer there to allow themselves some longer baths: will this really be the case? Seeing is believing! Those who do not feel like risking can choose to take a walk on the nature trail of the Alcantara Gorges. It represents the ideal place to admire the landscape and make some memorable shots to take as a souvenir when you return home. The impervious rocks also allow you to go trekking, but be careful: they are very slippery and best left to go if you do not have the right experience or equipment. The territory is splendid: you just need to let yourself be enveloped by the power of nature that is released in the Alcantara Gorges.