Sicily has many beautiful natural reserves and nature oasis, such as the enchanting Vendicari Natural Reserve, between Noto and Pachino, in the southeast of the island.
Visiting Vendicari: what you need to know
Vendicari Natural Reserve is a paradise for nature lovers! Its territory is over 1512 hectares and it is home to many different species of flora and fauna. Its unique landscape with stunning wild beaches, archaeological finds, deep blue sea and dense vegetation made it officially preserved by the Sicilian Region since 1984.
Vendicari Location and how to get there
Vendicari Reserve is located is the south east of Sicily and belongs to the Province of Syracuse. The easiest way to reach Vendicari is by car following the SP19 provincial road Pachino-Noto and then directions to Torre Vendicari. Bear in mind that there are five entrances to the Reserve – Cittadella, Vendicari, Calamosche, Marianelli, Eloro – and depending on where you enter, your itinerary inside the reserve changes.
If you are visiting Vendicari for the first time, my suggestion is to enter from the main entrance “Vendicari” from which, after a short distance, you will be able to get to the Tonnara and the Swabian Tower.
Entrance and timetable at Vendicari Natural Reserve
The entrance ticket is 3,50€ (7€ for families) and it is the same for every entrance in the oasis. It is easy to park at each entrance as they are all provided with parking area. Vendicari Reserve is open everyday and the opening time changes according to the season (usually roughly 07h00-19h30 in summer season and 09h30-16h00 in winter season).
WHAT TO SEE AND DO in VENDICARI NATURAL RESERVE
Thanks to its strategic location in the southernmost part of Sicily’s east coast, Vendicari is a real place to be in Sicily. No matter if you are an archaeology lover, a trekking explorer, a beach person or an ornithologist: in Vendicari you can experience it all!
Hiking in Vendicari
Vendicari represents one of the best trekking sites in Sicily thanks to its three hiking trails: 1. Blu Trail from Eloro beach to Calamosche beach, passing by Marianelli beach; 2. Orange trail from Vendicari main entrance to Calamosche beach passing by the Tonnara and the Salt pans; 3. Green trail from Cittadella entrance to the Tonnara, passing by the byzantine settlement and necropolis.
Each of these itineraries are of medium difficulty and generally suitable for families and amateurs. Bear in mind that there is a lack of shadow almost in the whole reserve, so my advice is to avoid walking during the hottest hours.
Vendicari Sveva Tower and Tonnara
Vendicari wildlife Oasis still preserves inside it some ruines which date back to the Greek era (5th century BC) when it used to be Eloro ancient city and its Necropolis.
Walking inside the reserve you can come across ruines of the Byzantine area, such as the Trigona,a Byzantine Cuba.
The most popular historic building inside Vendicari is by far the Sveva Tower, constructed between 1406 and 1438, it was used as a fortification against Saracen pirates and Barbary.
Belonging to the 18th century, the Tonnara di Vendicari, the Sicilian Tuna fishing building was used until 1943 and then got dismissed.
The historical heritage represented by these ruines is of unastimated value and contributes to the uniqueness of this place.
Birdwatching in Vendicari
One of the most interesting attractions when you visit the reserve is by far the wide variety of birds and the local fauna. The African migratory birds stop here every year thanks to the pleasant ecosystem they find in Vendicari. The Reserve is a real paradise for ornithologists that can easily observe the resting pink flamingoes and many others aquatic birds.
Along the marked paths and by the quagmires – such as Pantano Grande or Pantano Piccolo – there are some observation points with binocular lenses to watch the migrating birds.
Snorkeling in Vendicari
Vendicari offers to the visitors some of the most beautiful beaches of Sicily. With its cristallyne sea, rocky coves or fine sand coastline, you have plenty of choice to experience swimming and diving in this natural pool.
There are five beaches inside Vendicari Natural Reserve:
Vendicari Beach is a wide sandy beach with view over the Tonnara; it is ideal for families with kids.
Eloro beach is in the northern side of the Oasis, it has a parking and after a short walk you will enjoy a fabolous landscape with clear water and sand dunes.
Marianelli Beach is the wildest and more isolated, it has a rocky coastline and pure water. It is particularly appreciated by naturists for its privacy and wild atmophere.
Calamosche Beach is the most famous beach of this area and after a short walk (roughly one kilometer) you reach this particular beach among two rocky promontory whcih makes it a natural paradise for its shape and clean sea.
San Lorenzo Beach is in the southest side of Vendicari and its turquoise water will win you over.
Day excursion in Vendicari and surroundings
With so many spots to visit and activities to experience, you cannot miss a day excursion to Vendicari during your Sicilian holidays! Moreover, the reserve is situated very close to many enchanting places of Sicily, such as the lovely fishing village of Marzamemi, Noto baroque town, the archaelogical area of Cava d’Ispica, Modica and so on..
If you are planning to visit this place and want some advice do not hesitate to write me in the comments below.
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