Zingaro and Scopello Nature Reserve

Zingaro nature reserve

Saved from building exploitation and the project to build a coastal road thanks to the firm stand of the local population, the tranquil Zingaro Nature Reserve is today the pearl of the gulf .

The first protected area located in Sicily , the reserve was born following a campaign promoted by ecological associations and the local population. Now its wild coastline is the refuge of the rare Bonelli eagle, as well as 40 other species of birds and 700 varieties of Mediterranean plants. Carob trees and patches of yellow-flowered euphorbia cover the hillsides, while the hidden bays , like that of Marinella, offer the opportunity for pleasant swims. This wonderful reserve offers the possibility of guided dives and raft excursions , diving courses with international patent release .


Coastal path

It is the main path of the Reserve, the most trodden by visitors .
It winds for about 7 km and connects the entrance of Scopello (South Entrance) to that of San Vito Lo Capo (North Entrance). Duration: about 2 hours (one way).
Immediately after the entrance you cross the tunnel, the result of the ancient project of building a coastal road, and after a hundred meters you will meet a first detour that leads to an area equipped for picnics. After a short walk you will find the Visitor Center, home to a small Naturalistic Museum , immediately after which a detour leads to the coves of Punta Capreria , two enchanting pebble beaches set among the rocks.

Continuing on the main path, you cross a stretch of about 2 km of coastal garrigue and reach Cala del Varo , where there is a small refuge, open only in the summer months. After a further short stretch of walking you reach the Zingaro district , the heart of the Reserve, dominated by the dwarf palm scrub. The district is home to some rural buildings. From here you can easily reach Cala della Disa and Cala Berretta . Proceeding even further you reach first the Marinella district (and the charming cove of the same name) and then the Uzzo district (and yet another splendid cove). From here a short uphill detour allows you to reach the Uzzo cave , of archaeological interest. Less than 300 m from the cave is the Museum of Rural Life , which houses evidence of the cycle of wheat and examples of weaving techniques of native vegetable fibers. Shortly before reaching the north entrance, you will come across the Tonnarella dell'Uzzo building , home to the Museum of Marine Activities .

Water supplies are available in Cala del Varo (only in the summer months) and at the Museum of Rural Life in the Uzzo district.

Half-coast path

It is the most scenic trail.
It has a distance of 8.5 km. Duration 4h 30m.
From the South entrance of the Reserve you can reach the Visitor Center; from here a steep uphill path, softened by some hairpin bends, leads to the beginning of the mid-slope path (290 m), which runs through the Reserve from south to north, parallel to the coastal path. Leaving a detour on the left that leads to Bosco di Scardina (high paths), continue straight until you reach Pizzo del Corvo . From here the path continues almost flat up to the Sughero district (367 m), offering a splendid view from the top of the coastline. In the district of Sughero there are several rural buildings, some of which are used as shelters . The path continues for another 2 km, slightly uphill, up to Borgo Cusenza . It is a small rural village, once inhabited by shepherds and peasants, perfectly preserved. From here a path allows you to reach the circuit of the high paths while going down the Canalone delle Grotte di Mastro Peppe Siino you arrive at the coastal path and from here towards the exit.

In the spring months, the halfway path is the scene of the flowering of numerous species of orchids.
Water supplies are available in the Sughero district and in Borgo Cusenza.

High path

It is undoubtedly the most challenging path.
Length: 17.5 km. Duration: 7 hours.
From the South entrance of the Reserve you can reach the Visitor Center; from here a steep uphill path, softened by some hairpin bends, leads to the beginning of the half-hill path (290 m). Following the path along the coast, after a few hundred meters on the left you will find a path that climbs through a steep gully on the sides of which patches of fragrant broom alternate with areas of prairie with ampelodesma. At the end of the path you arrive at a plateau (533 m) located at the foot of the Bosco di Scardina , a reforestation area occupied by a pine forest of Aleppo pines. Continue along a slightly uphill path that runs alongside the rural buildings of Marcato della Mennola and Marcato della Sterna and after about 15 minutes of walking you reach Pianello , an area where flat stretches of Mediterranean steppe alternate with limestone reliefs and small karst depressions. and where, in the rainy season, a small outcropping whirlpool forms. In this section, the high path allows a detour to reach the half-hill path (detour for Sughero - detour for Borgo Cusenza ). From Pianello the path proceeds in a straight line along the border of the reserve for about 3 km through the locality Salta le Viti, meeting the peaks of Monte Speziale (914 m) and Pizzo dell'Aquila (759 m). Continuing on you arrive at Portella Mandra Nuova (717 m), a plateau that hosts a dense holm oak forest, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view. - Monte Passo del Lupo (Limonium todaroanum) - Marcato Puntina , Monte Acci (drinking trough - Potamon fluviatile) descent to Borgo Cusenza.


Scopello is a very suggestive small village of incomparable charm . Built around a baglio (Sicilian rural construction surrounded by walls and formed by buildings that open onto a large internal courtyard) overlooking the trap on the beach below, it looks like an agglomeration of white houses and paved streets that recall the Italian comedies in black and white from the 1950s.

Purely holiday resort , it offers the opportunity to swim in one of the most idyllic bays in Sicily. It is a very beautiful point, an abandoned trap surrounded by rows of rusty anchors and a raised stone platform full of bathers, lapped by waters of an incredible blue. The bay is protected by stacks that emerge from the sea and is a 20-minute walk from the town.

If you prefer a quieter beach, go to the Zingaro Nature Reserve, located just 2 km away and reachable either on foot or by bus.