Zingaro Reserve and San Vito Lo Capo Beach
San Vito lo Capo is a small seaside town in the north-west of Sicily surrounded by spectacular limestone cliffs. San Vito Lo Capo beach has a Caribbean flair, nestled between the rocky wall and a sea of unforgettable colours…This is just the beginning of a journey that will take you to find out how much beauty offers this corner of Sicily.
The small town of picturesque white houses was once the home of fishermen for the tuna fishing industry, but it has now disappeared.
Now the long sandy beach is the key attraction for the town. San Vito Lo Capo beach shows some interesting exotic traits: nothing to envy from the most popular summer resorts overseas! Some consider San Vito Lo Capo beach, the most beautiful beach in Italy. At one end of the beach, the Mount Monaco rises high above the village and the sea, creating an impressive backdrop.
Couscous – Among the dishes to taste during your holiday in San Vito Lo Capo you must eat the Couscous… the same of the “Cous Cous Fest” of course! Fish or meat does not matter, as long as it is “incocciato a mano” and prepared with fresh ingredients.
You just ask the recipe if you want to learn how to cook… People tell you the “ritual of the couscous”… And you will be won over by their kindness and its long history!
In addition to the Caribbean beach, caves, coves and watchtowers carve out the rest of the San Vito coastline. The seven-mile-long Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve is a highlight, with rosemary groves, olive trees and pint-sized palm trees particular to this part of Sicily.
The Zingaro Reserve is one of the most admired natural jewels in Sicily. The Reserve is a small earthly paradise loved by who want the unique experience of bathing in clear water and enjoy the warm sun on the tiny beaches in a wild coast.
This nature park links Scopello to S. Vito lo Capo through its 16km along the coast. The reserve includes several peaks that reach a maximum height of about a thousand meters: nature is gorgeous here with its postcard views of seaside slopes and breathtaking scenarios.
The Reserve of Zingaro is also famous for its deep blue sea, its quiet coves, its clear waters rich in fish and underwater caves.
The reserve can be visited only on foot: there is not one coastal road, there are no cars, no noise except the one coming from wind and waves.
The landscape that predominates is that of the low scrub, broom and thyme, almond and ash trees and carob trees.
There two main entrances to access the Reserve: North side, from San Vito Lo Capo, and south side from Scopello (Castellammare del Golfo).
From the North entrance opens the show on the enchanting Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo. You will see it when you arrive and you will have a bath in its transparent waters, reachable in ten minutes. It is no coincidence that it is the busiest during the summer season.
The North entrance can be reached starting from San Vito Lo Capo.
If you go through the paths, you will find quieter bays: Cala Uzzo, Cala Marinella, Cala Beretta, Cala della Disa, Cala del Varo and last Cala Capreria, the first you meet if you choose the South entrance.
From the South entrance, after crossing a tunnel, dug into the rock, you will reach Cala Capreria after about 20 minutes of walking. Turquoise reflections meet the white pebbles polished by the sea, this show will accompany you along the coast path.
The South entrance is located at 10 kilometres from Castellammare del Golfo. Scattered throughout the Reserve you will also find equipped areas to stop.
The paths of Lo Zingaro are rugged and often steep. However, this adds to the feeling that you are exploring the wild west of Sicily.
One thing to bear in mind on a trip to Lo Zingaro is that it is an undeveloped nature reserve. Although there are ample scenic spots to set up a picnic, it is important to bring plenty of water, snacks and sun protection should you set off far into the park.
In the heat of the summer we would recommend to tackle the trails in the early morning to escape the intensity of walking under the midday sun. Alternatively, arrange a boat trip from a nearby coastal town of Sicily and explore the beautiful coastline from up on deck, dropping anchor to visit the pristine beaches of your choice.
You will be able to reach niches accessible only by sea such as the pools of Venus, exclusive basins hidden by rocks, for very few lucky sailors. Of course, do not forget your mask and tuba… for another unforgettable experience!
Our tip: Bring with you trekking shoes or trainers and long trousers in any season. It is not unusual to encounter thorny bushes or shrubs and insects. Always bring water reserves with you and protect your head with a hat. The sun is high and warm, even in the milder seasons.
Entry prices and opening hours
Full ticket: 5 €
Reduced ticket: boys up to 14 years, 3 euro
Dogs or other pets are not allowed.
Admission hours: summer time: from hour to hour 7.00 19.30
Winter time: from hours to 8.00 16.00
For security reasons, in case of strong sirocco wind, the entrance to the public could be suspended.
Zingaro Nature Reserve Hotels – Where to Stay
Best luxury hotel: Artemide Hotel 3*, San Vito lo Capo
Great location ( only 5 min to the beach ),clean and nice room. The rooftop is beautiful and great to relax on! Breakfast on the terrace is such a treat with stunning views of the beach and the mountains. The spa on the terrace is also a lovely way to end the day.
Rooms from € 105/night
Best mid-range hotel: Tenute Plaia Agruturusmo, Scopello
A great base for trips
Excellent location for exploring Scopello and Zingaro Natural Reserve. The location is very quiet and peaceful with lovely views including from the restaurant terrace where we you will have a delicious buffet style breakfast overlooking the coast. The rooms are lovely, comfortable and quiet.
Rooms from € 80/night
Best budget hotel: Baglio di Scopello, Scopello
Baglio Di Scopello hotel is located on Sicily’s rugged north-west coast. The hotel is located one km from the Zingaro nature reserve, where you can enjoy hiking and cycling, and discover unspoilt beaches. Very clean structure and a stone’s throw from the charming village of Scopello. The staff is very competent and friendly.
Rooms from € 69/night
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