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Near Etna - Alcantara's Gurne: the ponds carved into the lava rock

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US$ 62.40
2 travellers
What to Expect
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Alcantara River Park, Castiglione di Sicilia, Sicily Italy

The route is of exceptional interest both from a geological and botanical point of view. Along the Le Gurne Alcantara path you can take a walk through nature, history and traditions, to discover the most beautiful places in the Park: the ruins of the castle of Francavilla, the archaeological excavations, the saje and the gurne.

Nine observation points along the path for about 1,500 m., To admire the vegetation but also the nearby towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra.

The path, created by the Ente Parco Fluviale dell'Alcantara, starts from the heart of the town of Francavilla di Sicilia.

Characteristics of this path are the accessibility and variety of landscapes. The path is in fact visited every year by numerous school groups. Along it you can observe, facilitated by the appropriate signs, numerous historical and cultural evidence: the archaeological excavations of a Greek settlement of the fifth century BC, the ruins of the castle of Francavilla di Sicilia, built by the Normans, the Saje, small pipelines that constitute a irrigation system introduced by the Arabs and innovative for the times.

After crossing cultivated areas, we come under the immense head of a superb specimen of oak: its shadow has allowed the growth on the rocky part of several lichens. A few meters later, through a branch you reach a footbridge, close to the Enel's work, which crosses the Alcantara river. From here you can enjoy the splendid landscape of the Gurne: small lakes along the river created by the erosion of the water on the lava rock, surrounded by a luxuriant flora: poplars, oaks, willows and oleanders. In the stretch of river below the footbridge there are numerous frogs and toads, while the warm ones are warmed on the hot lava rock. It is very likely to spot some gray heron which, disturbed, rises in flight.

Towards the end of the path you can see the Ciappa Mill where already at the end of the nineteenth century the production of hydroelectric energy was experimented: Francavilla and Castiglione were in fact among the first inhabited in Italy to possess electricity. From this point the route is divided, with the possibility of reaching the state road or climbing along the side of the mountain on which stands the castle of Francavilla and return to the village. Along the ascent to the castle, in the spring months you can observe a superb blooming of orchids along the slope; then you reach a belvedere from which you can see the confluence of the Zavianni river and the Alcantara, the village of Francavilla and the sixteenth century Capuchin convent.

Duration: 3 hours

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Important Information
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
Zafferana Etnea

Return Details
Returns to original departure point
  • Entry/Admission - Alcantara River Park
  • Lunch
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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Key Details
  • Duration: 4h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Languages Offered: English, Italian
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