A short distance from Siracusa and Noto you will find a canyon which has been declared a nature reserve since 1990. It is the little-known but impressive Cava Grande del Cassibile. There is a large parking lot here and a small bar near the entrance to the canyon. It is best to arrive here in the morning to make the most of the canyon and there is a small entrance fee to pay.
The terrain is rugged here so be sure to have good walking shoes on and drinks and a snacks before you set of. The trail starts with a path that leads down to Cassibile river for about 300 metres before you reach the bottom. Although the path is not difficult as such, it is not suitable for the disabled. When you get down to the bottom of the canyon, there is a paradise waiting to be discovered. The 10 km long canyon offers several small natural pools with small and large waterfalls, where it is great to swim and sunbathe.
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400 different species of plants grow in the many small ponds and on the steep slopes. The presence of animals is rather limited but there are several kinds of reptiles and birds, including falcons.
Traces of a primitive civilization were found along the river in caves some time ago. There were two communities in-fact dating back to the 13th Century BC. They had everything they needed here, food and water. You can get an idea of how such a community might have evolved by visiting Modica a short distance from here.
No matter how much time you spend here, most people find that it is annoying to have to leave the canyon, not least because they have to drag themselves out of it again ...! Allow up to one hour to get back up again (it depends on your fitness), and try to avoid the trip during the hottest hours of the day.