Soon as you arrive at Sicily’s Riserva natural dello Zingaro there is one thing you will be struck by – the tranquillity.
There are no distant car engines, no planes flying overhead, no chatter of tourists, just the flutter of leaves, the crashing of waves and perhaps the faint call of native birds. This is what makes this corner of Sicily so special and so important to the inhabitants of the island. It is the side of Italy you have always dreamt of and can be your own slice of paradise.
In May 1981, thousands of Sicilians signed a document to prevent the construction of a road connecting the towns of Scopello and San Vito Lo Capo. The move would have disrupted the natural beauty one of the island’s most beloved hidden gems so the area became the Zingaro Reserve and left untouched by the hand of man.
Follow the seven-kilometre coastal path between the two towns and discover why the residents were so keen to keep the Zingaro Reserve as it is. The views couldn’t be more dramatic. The green splashes of luscious flora and the multi-coloured wild flowers, contrasts delightfully with vivid azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the creamy white cliffs.
The only interaction you will have here is perhaps with a flock of passing seagulls, the occasional kestrel and even an eagle if you’re lucky; it is the complete retreat from the bustling cities of Palermo and Catania. Take a stop off at the inviting bays of Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, Cala Marinella or Cala Berretta and enjoy a moment just drinking in the tranquillity.
Hiking across the Zingaro Reserve is an experience unlike in any other of the part of the world. It can provide a sense of enlightenment. Each visit brings a new discovery, whether that is finding a new vantage point to watch the crashing waves, perhaps find a hidden cove or just taking a moment to fully appreciate the unique atmosphere of Bosco di Scardina or Borgo Cusenza.
Visiting the Zingaro Reserve should be your top priority when holidaying in Sicily – you will never forget it.
How to reach the Zingaro Reserve
As mentioned there is no direct route to the reserve. From the town of Scopello it is around a 10 minute drive to a drop off point where you can start your hike. If you’re arriving from San Vito Lo Capo at the north of the island, it will take about 50 minutes to reach by car.
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