Away from the chaos, in this place of absolute harmony, the dazzling sunlight enhances the colours of nature. The turquoise blue of the sky on the horizon blends with the blue of the sea, while the golden sand blends with the shades of the vegetation: rushes, dwarf palms, large bushes of lentisk and myrtle. The scent of thyme is seductive.
The Vendicari Reserve, in the province of Syracuse, lies between the area south of Noto and the areas of Pachino and Marzamemi, and the paths along the sea are easy and interconnected. Each path leading to the beaches requires at least one day to enjoy these wonderful landscapes, so take your time. Don’t forget plenty of water and pack plenty of snacks, as there are no bars or restaurants; you should also bring your water shoes, sun cream and a hat to protect you during the hottest hours.
The coastline alternates between beautiful beaches of fine, light sand, rocky shores and stretches of salt water where migratory birds stop to rest.
Travelling along the provincial road 19, the first beach is that of Eloro.
Past the mouth of the river Tellaro, amidst Mediterranean vegetation, is the wild and unspoilt beach of Marianelli, where warm African winds ripple the waves of crystal-clear water.
Moving further south, Calamosche is the best known beach, set among the rocks and Mediterranean scrub.
The path leading to the Vendicari beach is marked by a wooden footbridge that crosses a fragrant pine forest and leads to this long sandy gulf.
On the promontory to the right, overlooking the sea, stand the 15th-century Sveva Tower and the Tuna Fishery, built in the 18th century to process canned tuna.
In this coastal and humid area, the Pantano Piccolo is the ideal place for birdwatching. Migratory birds from Africa and Northern Europe, such as pink flamingos, storks and herons, stop over here.
The Vendicari Reserve, as well as being a natural and wildlife oasis, also has an important archaeological, anthropological and cultural heritage. The southernmost route in the reserve starts from the entrance to the Cittadella Maccari, a Byzantine village dating back to the 6th century AD. Here the remains of several Byzantine catacombs make up the Necropolis. The next stop is the Trigona, a Byzantine cube with three apses. The old stone dome has an opening to the east which, it is said, was used to let in the light of the full moon to herald Easter.