Alcantara Valley by MTB
An excursion of medium difficulty that will lead you to discover the natural beauties and the villages of the Alcantara River valley.
Starting from the cable car station of Taormina you begin riding along the Ionian coast, immediately the view of “Isola Bella” will brighten your itinerary. Continue south and, past Cape Taormina, reaching Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony of Sicily, now famous for its beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. From here you proceed towards Calatabiano, dominated by its Arab-Norman castle; after the town, you enter the valley and go up the Alcantara River until you reach the famous gorges, a natural canyon consisting of walls up to 50 meters high and 2 to 5 meters wide, where you can admire the impressive basalt formations.
Once you leave the gorges you take back the bikes to continue along the valley, you reach the village of Francavilla di Sicilia, where we recommend a stop to enjoy a delicious granita. Then you continue upriver until you reach the “Cuba” of Santa Domenica, a rural chapel built between the tenth and eleventh centuries. From here you start the climb to Castiglione di Sicilia, the city of wine until you reach the castle of Lauria built in the twelfth century, from which you can admire the beautiful views of the valley and the volcano Etna. After visiting the village you go down again towards the sea following the course of the river until you get back to Taormina.