Zingaro Nature reserve, Sicily

Zingaro Reserve: Amazing Natural Paradise of Sicily

The Zingaro Nature Reserve is a protected natural area in the province of Trapani overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. 
This place is a true paradise for trekking lovers, there are in fact numerous paths that will lead you to beaches and coves where you can go for a swim and cool down after the tiring walk especially on a hot summer day. 
Trying to describe the beauty of the Zingaro reserve in Sicily is difficult and the best way is definitely to discover it for yourself, strictly on foot, through the many paths that lead to hidden beaches and coves.

Zingaro Nature Reserve

Photo by Esculapio

The Zingaro Nature Reserve stretches from the Gulf of Castellammare to San Vito Lo Capo and is a succession of dreamy beaches and coves, among the most beautiful places in Sicily.

The Zingaro coast is one of the few in Sicily without a coastal road. 

There were plans to build a road in fact works began in 1976 but following protests, environmental initiatives and citizen protest marches, the Regional State Forests Company committed itself to take over the Zingaro area and establish the first natural reserve of Sicily in 1981.

If you want to delve into unspoilt nature, living an adventure out of modernity in contact with the primary elements, water and land, this is the place for you.

Walking along the Zingaro reserve means discovering seven kilometers of sublime and extraordinary nature, a rocky coast with numerous coves, admire the sun-scorched nature, dwarf palms trees and wild thyme.

Inside the Reserve you will also find five small museums to visit, that of the Maritime Activities, of agriculture, of weaving baskets, of the Manna which is inside a small cave and the Naturalistic Museum. 

The reserve can be visited either on foot or by boat. 

See also: 7 Most beautiful sites in Erice

Zingaro Most Beautiful Beaches

What are the most beautiful beaches of the Zingaro Nature Reserve? Here they are:

Cala Capreria

Photo by Tato Grasso

Cala Capreria is the first cove that can be reached from the entrance on the South, on the Scopello – Castellammare del Golfo side. To get there you will need to follow a path of 1.4 km. However Near the beach you will find the Naturalistic Museum. 

Cala della Disa

Cala della Disa-Zingaro-Sicily
Photo by Daniele Pugliesi

It is located about 3.5 km from the two North and South entrances and is characterized by white pebbles that slope down towards the turquoise waters. The beach is formed by two small coves divided by rocky walls. 

See also: The Alcantara Gorge in Sicily

Cala del Varo

Cala del Varo-Sicily

This one can be accessed only by sea from the two North and South entrances. 

Cala Berretta

cala berretta-Zingaro-Sicily
Photo by Sikeliakali

Cala Berretta can be reached from the North and the South entrances. A deserted and uncontaminated beach awaits you after the long walk that will repay you for the effort. 

Cala Marinella

Cala Marinella-Zingaro-Sicily
Photo by Esculapio

Cala Marinella is located about 3.5 km from the northern entrance of San Vito lo Capo. Here you will find rocks making the water clearer than elsewhere, which is why it is a paradise for snorkeling.

Cala dell’Uzzo

Cala dell’Uzzo is a delightful cove 2 km from the Northern entrance of the Reserve. Characterized by white gravel and is very close to the Uzzo cave which gives it its name. Nearby do not miss a visit to the Museum of Rural Civilization. The beach is easy to reach and well signposted. 

Cala Tonnarello dell’Uzzo

Cala Tonnarello dell’Uzzo, the first beach entering from San Vito lo Capo, to the north side of the Reserve. The cove is beautiful and easy to reach, stormed during the summer season. Tonnarella dell’Uzzo is the largest beach of the Reserve located 700 meters from the entrance, near the Marine Activities Museum.

Trekking the Zingaro

The Riserva dello zingaro is a paradise for those who enjoy long walks and trails. There are three routes that will allow you to discover beaches, caves and museums:

Path near Cala Marinella

The most challenging 17 km long path that can take up to seven hours to walk it, from north to south passes through Monte Passo del Lupo, Monte Speziale and Monte Scardina. 

Coastal Path 

It is the simplest and is 7 km long passable in about two hours of walking immersed in a postcard landscape. 

Half-coast path

It is of medium difficulty and is 8.5 km long which you can cover in 4 and a half hours. It is the most panoramic road that will let you know the heterogeneity of the territory. You can also reach Borgo Cusenza and Contrada Sughero where you will find shelters. 

How To Get There

The entrance to the Riserva dello Zingaro has a cost of 5 euros. To get to the Scopello Reserve, you will need to take the A29 Palermo – Mazara del Vallo motorway, take the exit for Castellammare del Golfo, then continue along State Road 187 towards Trapani. 

Follow the directions for Scopello, until you reach the coast. 

To access the Reserve from the North, you must take State Road 187 to the junction for San Vito Lo Capo. Continue towards Villaggio Calampiso and then Riserva Zingaro. 

What to see near the Zingaro nature reserve:

San Vito Lo Capo Beach 

At only 50 minutes drive from the Zingaro, the San Vito beach is definitely worth a visit or even better stay overnight. This is one of the top rated places in Sicily with its white fine sand and the lovely turquoise pristine sea that many have compared it to the Caribbean.

Castellammare del Golfo

Castellammare del golfo is a seaside town in the Trapani Province. The name translated means Sea Castle of the Gulf. 

If you are travelling from Palermo you would drive past Castellammare del Golfo. Is up to you to visit it before or on the way back from the Zingaro Reserve. I would recommend you stop on your way back and maybe have dinner at one of the lovely restaurants in the marina, where they mainly serve fresh fish of the day. On the way to the Zingaro you can have a pit stop at the Belvedere, a high viewpoint where you can admire Castellammare from high above and miles of the beautiful Sicilian coastline. 

Segesta archeological park

Only a 35 minutes drive from the nature reserve you don’ t want to miss the archeological park of Segesta. Perched on top of a hill and after a few steps you can admire the splendid Temple built in the fifth century BC. There is also a Greek open Theatre built in the fourth century BC.

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