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“A real gem combining hiking with swimming”

Ranked #7 of 148 things to do in Syracuse
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 22 June 2014

We found a small note about the Riserva Naturale Cavagrande del Cassibile in our guidebook (also known as Laghetti Di Cavagrande- sometimes it is just signed Cavagrande) and were so glad that we checked it out. If you'd like to combine a short hike with a refreshing swim, it is a real gem. It is free but you have to sign in with the park attendant. The walk down to the gorge takes about 30 mins and is all steep steps and turns on rocky terrain. Have water with you (or take down a whole picnic lunch). I walked with hiking sandals and was fine. At the bottom there are the principal pools - a series of 3 or 4 (depending on how you count) fresh water pools after a brief hike going right, or other pools, going left. We didn't visit these other pools but get a sense that they were more shallow (but probably more private as well).

At the principal pools there is a bit of shade, flat areas on stones to spread towels, and cascading water falls leading to pools, some quite deep. The water is on the cool side but not cold, and deep enough is some places to dive in. There were lots of tadpoles in the shallower sections (June). It seems popular with tourists in the know (during the week there were a fair number of people but it wasn't crowded) and local twenty somethings (we went again on a Sunday and there were lots and lots of them).

With a picnic lunch, some towels and a few hours ahead of you, it is pure heaven.

The walk up is about 45 mins to an hour, depending on how many breaks you take. There is a bar/cafe up top (for ice cream or some other treat) and a vendor selling fruit.

A certain level of fitness helps but I saw someone walk down in a leg brace! Where there is a will there is a way.

7  Thank NMMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"casa grande"
in 15 reviews
"hiking shoes"
in 4 reviews
"fresh water pools"
in 2 reviews
"reasonable level of fitness"
in 2 reviews
"path leading"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 3 reviews
"lots of water"
in 2 reviews
"wear good shoes"
in 2 reviews
"great walk"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful area"
in 2 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 2 reviews
"few hours"
in 2 reviews
in 23 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 10 reviews
in 5 reviews

74 - 78 of 664 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2014

Truly stunning. Nature at it's most beautiful. I can't recommend a visit enough. However, it is a very testing walk (especially in high temperatures). It's a long way down, and it feels like a much longer way back up! Speaking as a 57 year old bloke who's body is not a temple, all I can say is that if I can, then you can! - And it'll be well worth it. Make sure you bring your swimming gear.

5  Thank matthewshreeve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014

A bit of a crazy mountain drive but a wonderful view once you get there. Plus a FREE sight for once in Sicily!

2  Thank katiebugstars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

It's a different kind of attraction in the town of Avola
One of the most important rivers of the southeast, is considered the Canyon of Sicily. It is the spring of one of the most famous Sicilian water brands, Cavagrande.

1  Thank gipsyqueen419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 November 2013 via mobile

Without a map or anything to go off my husband & I set out to find this place .... Bad start. Make sure you know where you're going. Amateur error on our part.
After driving around in circles for some time & then up an unsigned dirt road for a long time, we ended up stumbling upon (by pure chance) a small sign for some swimming holes. We could see the main walking tracks on the other side of where we were but decided to head down anyway. It was magical. Being the start of winter there was no one else around so we had the entire place to ourselves. We packed a picnic lunch which was lovely. The water took our breath away, so cold but very refreshing after the walk down. Very recommended!

1  Thank TashyR39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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