Francavilla di Sicilia, Sicily Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park

 
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The Gole Acantara is a geological phenomenon that is a huge gorge/canyon caused by the eruption of Etna Volcano nearby. The canyon is up to 50 metres in the deepest places and is now the course of a powerful river of fresh water running down from the mountains. You can follow the river through the canyon for up to 150 metres through the rocks with the dramatic canyon walls and mountain backdrop.

The Gole, despite being a natural phenomenon, has been developed into a major tourist attraction and is surrounded with a lot of commercialism. However, if you can get past this, then the sight of the huge canyon and the chance to swim in the fresh mountain water it is worth it. There is an entrance fee to enter the park and this includes access to a number of sideshows and facilities such as use of two swimming pools near the entrance (man-made), a 3D cinema show explaining the evolution of the canyon, a botanical museum, a restaurant and en elevator service to take you up and down the canyon. Body rafting is also available for an extra fee.

If you are feeling fit, you can take the steps and descend and ascend at your own pace but we warn you its pretty steep. At the top of the canyon there are a number of trails that take you around the botanical gardens from where there are a number of scenic viewpoints. If you pay to access the park with all the facilities including the lifts, then you also have free car parking.
During the month of August when all the Italians take their holidays, this place can become very overcrowded, so we advise you to avoid visiting during August if you wish to appreciate this wonderful natural sight with a bit of peace and quiet.

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