The Natural Reserve of Zingaro: from Scopello to San Vito lo Capo
Small paths drawn on the precipices, ending in the sea or climbing up mountains, let you explore the Zingaro Nature Reserve. This is one of the wildest environments in the whole Mediterranean area (it is actually one of the very few areas of Sicily’s seashore that doesn’t even have a coastal road), as well as one of the most enchanting strips in Italy: a rocky coast with a lot of little bays and sheers cliffs that will take you to a crystal sea, in an environment with a lot of endemic, rare plants that make the Reserve an actual oasis of biodiversity between the Gulf of Castellammare and San Vito Lo Capo
The Zingaro Natural Reserve overlooks the Tirrenian sea; during summer, its seashore is the main destination for all those who are looking for a little piece of heaven lying deep in the Mediterranean shrub. Thanks to a very clean and pure water, the sea is perfect for scuba-diving lovers: very rare algae and sponges, red coral and sea turtles.
Every single visitor is fascinated by the fauna that the Zingaro Nature Reserve offers: a lot of protected animals such as the Bonelli eagle, as well as a wide range of birds (buzzards, owls, nightingales), mammals and reptiles. The flora is quite impressive as well: more than 650 plant species – some are very rare, like the Limonium todaroanum, that grows at 750 mt. above the sea level on the rocks of Mount Passo del Lupo. The Zingaro Reserve also houses more than 25 orchid species: if you are fond of these wonderful flowers, you may want to visit this area from March to June, when most of them blossom.
You can enjoy the wild beauty of the Zingaro Nature Reserve walking through three different routes. The coastal path is the main one, and it stretches from the Southern entrance in Scopello to the Northern entrance in San Vito Lo Capo (a two-hours walk). Along the path you will find picnic areas and a little naturalistic Museum, close to two enchanting little rocky bays; moving on, in Cala del Varo, a little refuge house is open during Summer. After you pass Cala del Varo you’ll find yourself deep into the heart of the Reserve, the Zingaro district, with wonderful bays, the Uzzo cave, a Museum that tells the story of Sicilian country life and, right before the Northern entrance, the Museum of Seafaring activities
The “half-coast” path of the Zingaro Nature Reserve is the one that will give you astonishing scenarios: it’s the most panoramic route, stretching for 8,5 kilometers (about 4:30 hours walk) from the South to the North. Blocks of houses that now welcome visitors during summers and water supplies can be found along the road, and during spring the breath-taking panoramic view is enriched by the blossoming of orchids. The high path is the most difficult: 17,5 km for a seven-hours walk. Nevertheless, for its flora, its landscape and its panoramas, it’s really worth a try. Aleppo pines forests, rural blocks of houses, and of course stunning views of the whole area surrounded by the Tirrenian sea.
The beauty of the unspoilt, wild and rich Zingaro Natural Reserve makes this place one of the most wonderful of the whole island. During your stay in Scopello villas, don’t forget to plan a visit to this stunning destination: its sea, its bays and cliffs, its flora and fauna will leave you completely speechless and will give you a truly unforgettable holiday!