Etna, Wine and Alcantara tour from Taormina

An entire day dedicated to Etna and the Alcantara Gorges

Etna, Wine and Alcantara tourOne day to discover the beauties of the Etna and the fascinating Alcantara Gorges!

Departure 

The Etna, Wine and Alcantara tour will start with the pick-up outside/nearby your accommodation in Taormina or in its close vicinity. Depending on the accommodation’s location, we will organize a convenient meeting point. Each of our vehicles can accommodate up to 8 participants.

First Stop: Guided Trekking on the North-East side of Mount Etna (1800 m)

Our expert naturalistic guide will lead you through ancient woods, past lava flows and extinct craters, introducing you to the spectacular volcanic phenomena that occurred over time. During the walk, you will learn about the typical and unique flora of the North-Etnean area and the many facts related to the volcano. While marveling at the beauties of Mount Etna, you will also hear all about its folks, about their traditions and habits, and get to discover the link between man and nature.

The trekking part will last 1 hour and a half – 2 hours.

Second stop: Volcanic Cave

Then, equipped with helmets and torchlights that we will provide free, you will be able to explore the volcanic underground and visit one of the extraordinary volcanic caves of our volcano; during this stop, the guide will explain origins, characteristics, and uses of the of this fascinating volcanic phenomenon.

Third stop: Lunch with wine tasting

You will then stop by a winery in the Etna North area, where you will taste an authentic typical Sicilian lunch made from fresh local products. Every course will pair with a matching wine-type, each rigorously belonging to a DOC and local selection (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options available upon request).

Fourth stop: Alcantara Gorges.

As final step of the Etna, Wine, and Alcantara tour you will stop at the River Park to visit the enchanting Gorges. They originated when thick lava flows reached the icy Alcantara river and formed these geometrically perfect rocks. You will enjoy the sight of this river streaming through the high walls that form the gorge and will be able to walk along the watercourse.

Return

Finally, at the end of the tour, the guide will drop you off at the starting point.

Important Information

Recommended equipment

We remind you to wear sneakers (trainers or trekking shoes) with socks, as well as a winter jacket since the temperature at that altitude is generally lower than Taormina. In case of snow, we also recommend bringing with you a second pair of socks. We can provide snowshoes and walking sticks. If you think you are not well equipped, please let us know when booking: we will provide the proper footwear and outerwear.

We also suggest bringing a bottle of water for the trekking as well as a towel and swimwear for the stop Alcantara Gorges (summer only).

Itinerary variation

The itinerary might be subjected to variations due to factors such as weather conditions and/or if deemed necessary.

Included in the price

  • Naturalistic English-speaking guide (geologists, volcanologists, forestry-experts or agronomists);
  • Pick-up in a jeep or minibus from Taormina;
  • Lunch with wine tasting;
  • Insurance;
  • Equipment, if requested during the booking phase.

Not included in the price

  • Any extra costs not mentioned in the list above.

Suitable for

Anyone in good shape used to walking. The participation is not recommended to those who are not in a good state of health,  suffer from any cardio-respiratory pathology or have reduced mobility.

Etna and Alcantara

Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe (3340mt), classified as a shield volcano.

Its surface encompasses urban landscapes, thick woods, pine forests, and desert landscapes characterized by magmatic rocks. Besides generating a great scientific interest in geologists and vulcanologists, Etna is also recognized as a tourist destination for its natural reserves.

There are many legends about the Etna, deriving from popular beliefs aiming to explain the behavior of the volcano through myth.

One of them is about Ephestus (Volcano), god of fire and metallurgy and blacksmith of the gods; according to the legend, he set up his forge under the Etna and tamed Adranos, the devil of fire, by forcing him out of the mountain.

The Cyclops as well held a forging workshop in which they produced thunderbolts, which Zeus then used as weapons. Myth has it that the Faraglioni of Acitrezza were the rocks thrown by Polyphemus to Ulisses after he blinded him.

Moreover, fhe Greek deep abyss of the hell, the Tartaros, was supposedly located under the Etna.

A legend related to the Alcantara is the about Venus and Vulcan. The goddess loved to bathe in the warm water of the river; however, after her rejecting his love, he froze the water, which became permanently icy.

The Alcantara Gorges are located in the Alcantara Valley, between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra. In the canyon formed by the gorges flows the Alcantara River; the steep walls with the characteristic prismatic shape are made of basalt stone.

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