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by Orient-Express
Villa Sant`Andrea Hotel, Sicily, Italy

Alcantara Gorges

Often visited from Taormina en route to Mount Etna, the Alcantara lava gorge is remarkable in that its waters are ice-cold even when Sicilian temperatures soar between May and September.

The cavernous gorge was carved out of rock-hard basalt by an ancient volcanic eruption. Its beautiful rock formations and swirling waters make the area a delight for photographers, while the unusual plant life is fascinating to anyone interested in botany.

But for most people it’s a place to play and be a child again: you can rent thigh-length boots to wade into the chilly waters, but many prefer to take the plunge in a bathing suit. There's nothing quite like splashing around in cooling waters and waterfalls to feel like a five-year-old all over again.

 

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