How beautiful is discover the Zingaro Reserve by boat!
Having read about the Zingaro Reserve, I knew it was an area of particular beauty so when I had the opportunity in July to spend a long weekend in San Vito Lo Capo I was determined to visit the area for myself.
I had also read that the walk through the reserve, although not particularly demanding, was tiring when loaded down with coolbox, beach umbrella and towels. I was also “loaded down” with my two teenage children whose idea of walking consisted in going from the car to the entrance of the local shopping centre.
At this point a boat trip was the only option even though the kids complained about the early start.
The sailing time from the marina of San Vito Lo Capo to the northern entrance of the reserve is about 45 minutes, but the time passes quickly as you have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular coastline before actually entering the reserve itself.
The first beach of the reserve is the Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and when I saw the number of people crowded onto the relatively small but beautiful beach, I was glad I had opted for the boat trip. Just a few minutes later the boat put down anchor in another beautiful cove, Cala dell’Uzzo, and we were free to go swimming or just relax on the boat.
I was suprised that even my usually less-than-enthusiastic teenagers were mesmerised by the crystal-clear water and were among the first to jump in. The colours were incredible with the turquoise sea contrasting with the green drawf palms that grow right beside the shore and the orangey-red of the rocks.
The houses near the cove, no longer inhabited, seem to evoke the “good life” even though you can imagine it was not easy making a living from the rocky terrain of the area. Trees are a rarity in the reserve but the abandoned olive and almond trees around the cove add a splash of green to the otherwise quite stark landscape.
To add magic to the moment we also saw the mule that is used to collect the rubbish: very picturesque! Back on board, it was time to lie in the sun, relax and continue south towards Scopello while passing in front of the other coves of the reserve.
There are seven coves in all, but only four of them can really be considered beaches. About halfway through the reserve is Cala della Disa and our guide told us that it was about an hour’s walk to this beach from either of the entrances.
I couldn’t resist telling my kids how lucky they were being on a boat rather than walking under the burning hot sun. Cala del Varo is particularly beautiful and is the only cove that is not possible to reach on foot due to the steep cliffs covered in lush vegetation that plunge directly into the sea.
Finally, Cala Capreria, the last beach before leaving the reserve. Once again a rather crowded beach but nevertheless a real gem and you can understand why so many people come here to enjoy the spectacular beauty of this part of the coast.
After leaving the reserve, the landscape is equally magnificent and the view of the faraglioni rocks and the Tonnara of Scopello is absolutely breathtaking.
Anchors down again and another swim among hundreds of fish and then back on board for the return trip. On the way back to San Vito Lo Capo we sailed further away from the coast and this gave us a more panoramic view of the Zingaro and we could better appreciate the almost “mountainous” landscape so close to the sea.
A delightful trip enjoyed by all the family and the Zingaro Reserve is certainly somewhere I intend to return to, maybe in the spring or autumn, and explore more fully on foot.
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