Zingaro Nature Reserve

Zingaro Nature Reserve

Reserve of Zingaro- The ancient Cetaria

The road from San Vito Lo Capo brings in a few minutes in one of the most interesting natural sites of Italy : the Natural Reserve Zingaro.
The breathtaking scenery you can see from the top of the switchbacksis just a taste of what you will see.
This Reserve is the most important of Sicily (since 1981), its name origins are a mystery and it makes it even more fascinating.

Seven miles of unspoiled nature.

The Greeks and the Latins called it Cetaria for the abundance of tuna in its sea; to the east and west side of the Reserve there are two ancient Tonnare, the one of Secco and the other of Scopello.

The Zingaro Natural Reserve surprises the visitor. While you walk , you can meet many small bays with white pebbles, cliffs that plunge into the sea, a rich variety of colorful flora, paths that climb the mountain up to one thousand meters and caves where man lived since past times.
Even if it is famous firstly for the sea, the reserve protects many species of animals, which find here their ideal habitat. Dozens of species of birds nest in this Reserve, including the Peregrine Falcon and the famous Bonelli’s Eagle .

The flora is composed of olive trees, ash trees, carob trees, cork trees and plants typical of this area like the Euphorbia , but the undisputed symbol of this place is the Palma nana (dwarf palm).


The best time to visite the Reserve is spring, even if it is open all year.
The best way to enjoy the nature is to walk along its paths (2/3 hours).
It is very hard to describe the emotions that accompany the visitor in this magical place , the colors and smells of the herbs, the cobalt blue sea will accompany you along the way. One of the two entrances of the Zingaro is on the side of San Vito Lo Capo.
There are several paths that you can follow and they difference from the level of difficulty; the first runs along the coast and it is the most popular, but also the less challenging. The second path proceeds in a zig zag pattern on the territory, crossing the coast and the mountains (so more challenging).
The third path is reserved to more sportive people and from this is possible to visit all the reserve until the Cusenza Village.
You will meet seven coves where you can also swim, some of these are accessible only by sea, an absolutely amazing experience .
For the lazier lovers of the sea, they could reach the coast of the Reserve by boats; there are many daily trips up to the stacks of Scopello .

The Reserve extends only on the mainland but boats must stay 300 meters far from the shoreline, if the engine is still running.


In the Reserve there are 5 small Museum, one of these is the Museum of Nature.
It is well told through photography this rural world, where they used the wild plants of the reserve for natural medicine.

The photographs are mixed in texts taken from the book “The peopling of the Natural Reserve of the Zingaro”, already published by the same company under the scientific coordination of the Department of Botany of the University of Palermo.

Another project that the Reserve is pursuing is the recovery of Baglio Cusenza , 600 meters high, to save the testimony of the social and economical reality of the past.


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