Summer Classic Experience – Etna & Alcantara

A whole day discovering Etna and the Alcantara River

A whole day to discover the charm of our volcano and the fabulous Alcantara Gorges!

First stop: While walking through secular woods, eccentric craters and singular lava formations, our naturalistic guide will introduce you to the fascinating volcanic phenomena (usually the Sartorius Craters or those of 2002 on the Northeast side).

Second stop : Visit an interesting lava flow cave (Cave of the Thieves or Cave Cassone) using the equipment that we will provide you (helmets and torches).

Third Stop : Lunch is provided in an Etna farmhouse and it will consist of  an appetizer, main course, wine and water.

Fourth stop : in the afternoon you will visit the enchanting Alcantara Gorges, formed thousands of years ago as a result of the clash between the incandescent lava and the freezing water of the Alcantara River; today they give us high lava rock walls of unrepeatable geometric perfection!


Important Information

Recommended equipment

We remind you to wear sneakers (sports or trekking) with socks, and wear a winter jacket since the temperature at altitude is lower than 10-15 ° C around Catania. In case of snow, we also recommend to bring with you a second pair of socks. Snowshoes and sticks will be provided by us. If you think you are not well equipped, please let us know when booking. In that case, we will give you shoes and jackets.

Also remember to bring a bottle of water with you to unwind during your trek.

Itinerary variation

The journey can endure little variations due specific needs of the group and/or weather conditions. In addition, in the case of conditions or events that are independent of our will and unpredictable, the guide may choose to make some changes to the itinerary and its judgment is imperative.

Included in the price

  • Professional naturalistic guide (geologists, volcanoes, agronomists) and especially passionate about trekking and volcanoes
  • Pick-up in a jeep or minibus in Catania, directly at the hotels or by agreeing a meeting point.
  • Lunch (pic-nic or lunch in a shelter, according to weather)
  • Insurance
  • Equipment, if requested at the time of booking.

Not included in the price

  • Extra costs not included or not expected

Suitable for

Everyone (but we do not recommend taking part in excursions to those who do not enjoy good health, especially those who suffer from cardiovascular disease.)

Classic Experience - Etna e Alcantara

Etna is an active volcano high about 3300 mt and is classified as a shield volcano.

On its surface there alternate urban landscapes, thick woods and pine forests and desert landscapes characterized by magmatic rock.

Besides generating a great scientific interest in geologists and vulcanologists, Etna is also recognized as a tourist destination for natural reserves such as the Etna Park, the Silvestri Craters and the Sartorius Craters.

There are many Greek and Roman legends about the Etna, born from popular beliefs that have tried to explain the behavior of the volcano through the various gods and giants in a mythological way.

There is a legend about Ephestus (Volcano), god of fire and metallurgy and blacksmith of gods: it is said that he had set up his forge under the Etna and had tamed Adranos, the devil of fire and had driven him out of the mountain.

Another legend concerns the Cyclops: they also held a forging workshop in which they produced thunderbolts used as weapons by Zeus. Finally, it was supposed that the Greek “the world of the dead”, the Tartar, was located under the Etna.

Another legend that mixes with Catania’s religious folklore concerns the veil of Sant’Agata: it is said that when Etna erupted in 252, one year after the martyrdom of Agata, the people of Catania took the veil of the Saint, which remained intact from the flames of her martyrdom, and put it on the lava flow to stop it. It is said that after that the eruption ended, the veil became bloody red, and for this reason devotees invoke her name against fire and lightning.

Etna also inspired several poems in the modern age; the Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea, written in 1616 by Luis de Góngora was inspired by the legend of Aci and Galatea and it is set in a Etna cave.

The Alcantara Gorges are located in the Alcantara Valley, where the Peloritani Mountains end between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra. In the canyon formed by the gorges there flows the Alcantara River and their steep walls with the characteristic prismatic shape are made of basaltic stone.

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