Welcome to the island where you can discover little corners of paradise. Any better description for the several nature reserves of Sicily? Flora and fauna fill these places with colors and sounds, with unique atmospheres, with scents and shades. Are you ready for a walk with Sicilian Secrets? Wear comfortable shoes…and let’s go!
Nature reserves in Sicily are uncontaminated spaces full of beauty. They have a charm that is difficult to explain in words, you have to live it. There are numerous paths that can be tackled during a trekking or the paths to be faced for a dip in the blue of the sea. Or again, for a relaxing birdwatching. Here are 5 ideas to put on the perfect bucket list to delve into the green soul of the island!
Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve
Rock, sea. Stone, water. In front of you, there are some contrasts made of wonder. Among the nature reserves in Sicily, Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve holds a place of honor. 7 kilometers between San Vito Lo Capo and Castellammare del Golfo, in the province of Trapani, it has an impetuous and wild spirit revealing breathtaking landscapes. The excursion route allows you to admire extraordinary views in addition to the various coves where you can find refreshment on summer days. Here is a curiosity: even the underwater environment can surprise you, thanks to submerged caves and tunnels such as the Grotta del Colombaccio, the Grotta della Corvina and the Grotta della Capreria…let’s enjoy snorkeling!
Wildlife Oasis of Vendicari
Let’s move now to Southern Sicily, between Noto and Pachino in the province of Syracuse. 1,512 hectares, this is the vastness of the Wildlife Oasis of Vendicari. Inside there is an entire ecosystem characterized by dense vegetation and crystalline sea. Beaches are gold and then turn into overhanging rocks hit by the waves. There are many activities that can be organized once you arrive here, from trekking to diving… activities that everyone can do, the only rule you have to respect: strong legs and light backpack. Birdwatching is a must-have, from the observation huts you can see flamingos, herons and storks that stop here before reaching their definitive migratory destinations.
Nature Reserve Cavagrande Cassibile
On the Hyblaean Mountains, between the provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse, there are a bunch of ‘fractures’ on the plateau. They are called quarries and are the distinctive feature of one of the nature reserves if Sicily. These canyons make the Nature Reserve Cavagrande Cassibile one of the most majestic and evocative on the island. It was inhabited in the Paleolithic, in fact, in the walls, 8,000 rock tombs dating back to the 10th and 9th centuries BC have been excavated. Here you can see the Mediterranean fauna, moreover the protected area incorporates a stretch of about 10 kilometers of the Cassibile, one of the most important rivers in south-eastern Sicily, that generates a ravine over 250 meters deep.
Capo Gallo Nature Reserve
Not far from Palermo you can visit Capo Gallo Nature Reserve that is unique for its flora, fauna and geological conformation as well as for its archaeological heritage. The soul of this place are the caves that represent an evidence of the geological events that have taken place over time and that help to reconstruct the history of those people who have lived there since the Paleolithic. Take note of the main ones: Grotta del Faro, Grotta del Buzzilino, and Grotta Regina.
Nature Reserve of ‘Saline di Priolo’
The last stop on the journey through the nature reserves in Sicily is the Nature Reserve of ‘Saline di Priolo’, in the province of Syracuse. As the name suggests, the territory is the one that in the past hosted the salt pans in Priolo. In 2008 this reserve won the national award ‘Most beautiful oasis in Italy’ by the birdwarching association EBN Italia. This is a nesting and wintering area for a large number of bird species: more than half of the species present in Sicily and about 40% of those that live in Italy have been observed on site.