Where sea and untamed nature meet — and in Sicily this happens a lot — the result is always extraordinary. If you then add a sunset you'll never forget, the scent of Mediterranean scrub, crystal-clear water with colours ranging from emerald green to shades of cobalt blue, then you know that you're somewhere really special.
The Riserva dello Zingaro is one of Sicily's most admired natural pearls. The relationship with the sea in this nature reserve is the same now as it was centuries, if not millennia, ago; there are nearly no human works, with the exception of a few rural buildings.
There's no coast road, no cars and no noise except that of the wind and waves.
The reserve was actually created because thousands of citizens signed a petition which prevented the construction of a road connecting Scopello directly with San Vito Lo Capo. Thanks to them, there’s nothing between visitors and the broom, olive trees or holly oaks, between hikers and the curious gazes of the foxes or seagulls they happen across on their walks.
As you walk the coastal path, a seven-kilometre-long route unfolds before you, from Scopello to San Vito Lo Capo, with a continuous, exceptional variety of wonders to discover, as your eyes wander over the many utterly enchanting blue coves, Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, Cala Marinella, Cala Berretta, Cala della Disa, Cala del Varo and Cala Capreria, where the delicate colours of the smooth white pebbles alternate with the uneven rock. There are many routes and they’re all full of surprises.
Visiting the Riserva dello Zingaro year after year, means discovering new views and details which previously escaped you. The views from the reserve’s central trail are not to be missed: it has a view you simply won’t find anywhere else in the world. There’s also the timeless atmosphere of the Bosco di Scardina or the Borgo Cusenza, still intact, so much so that you half expect to see a shepherd or peasant farmer appear at any moment, bent double with the weight of their years. Put yourself to the test with the high path, between Aleppo pines and Mediterranean scrub.
The Riserva dello Zingaro is a small earthy paradise and will please the most dogged hikers. It will equally please those who simply don’t want to miss the unique experience of swimming in these perfect-temperature, crystal-clear waters, perhaps exploring the seabed with a mask, or enjoying the warm sun on tiny beaches, on an untamed coast, where humans seem almost superfluous.
Yet here, among the rich flora and fauna of places gently caressed by the elements, amid the dusty paths and the foaming sea, you’ll feel at home
Find out about other routes: Scopello, San Vito Lo Capo, Marsala and their surroundings.