Tip: Make sure to wear proper shoes as sandals are not allowed.

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Looking for the perfect adventure beach day in Sicily? Zingaro Nature Reserve is the spot for you!

Zingaro Nature Reserve is a nature reserve, and the very first nature reserve in Sicily at that! Today you’ll find 70+ reserves across Sicily that have followed in its path, but it was the creation of the Zingaro Nature Reserve in 1981 that paved the way.

The reserve was founded as the result of a petition signed by thousands of locals against the construction of a coastal road connecting the two villages of Scopello and San Vito lo Capo. 

So it’s thanks to them that today we have this incredible, and car-free, seaside nature reserve to visit!

Let’s dive into everything you need to know about visiting the beautiful Zingaro Nature Reserve along the coastline of the Gulf of Castellammare.

Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily
Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily

Before we dive in, here are a few of the most popular tours in Sicily: 

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Where is Zingaro Nature Reserve located?

Zingaro Nature Reserve is located just a kilometer from the charming village of Scopello. The park was two entrances, in the north and south, located by Scopello and San Vito lo Capo.

The south entrance, near Scopello, is more popular, with more parking and facilities available.

The reserve stretches 7 kilometers from Scopello to the tourist destination of San Vito lo Capo.

Scopello entrance of Zingaro Nature Reserve
Scopello entrance of Zingaro Nature Reserve
Beautiful coastline stretching the length of the reserve
Beautiful coastline stretching the length of the reserve

The basics

  • Location: Scopello, Sicily
  • Length: 7 km from Scopello to San Vito lo Capo
  • Cost: 5 EUR, reduced for under 14. Cash or card.
  • What to pack: snacks, water, proper footwear, sunscreen, swimsuit, towel]
  • Hours: The park is open daily from 7am to 7pm during the warmer months, with shorten afternoon hours during the winter months.

Hiking trails in Zingaro Nature Reserve

There are three different trails that can be hiked in Zingaro Nature Reserve. The coastal trail, the mid-trail, and the high trail.

Not surprisingly, the coastal trail is the most popular, as this is the trail with beach access. The coastal trail relatively flat and simple, with short stretches of incline. The path breaks off at various points leading to the many beach coves dotting the shoreline. 

While the mid-trail and the coastal trail don’t offer beach access, they are great trails with gorgeous views for hikers looking for a bit more of a challenge.

Trails in Zingaro (Scopello, Sicily)
Trails in Zingaro (Scopello, Sicily)

Beaches in Zingaro Nature Reserve

Here are a list of the beaches you can visit within the park:

  • Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo
  • Cala Marinella
  • Cala Berretta
  • Cala della Disa
  • Cala del Varo
  • Cala Capreria

We spent the day at Cala Berretta and absolutely loved it. Located almost smack in the middle of the two park entrances, it’s a bit less popular than the closer beaches. 

Parking lots on Scopello side of Zingaro
Parking lots on Scopello side of Zingaro
Map of Zingaro - make sure to grab one at the entrance
Map of Zingaro – make sure to grab one at the entrance

Parking at Zingaro Nature Reserve

If you’re willing to park further away and hike along the main road, you can find parking lots for 4-5 EUR per day. Otherwise, once you reach the entrance to Zingaro all of the lots cost 9+. We visited on a Thursday in May, before the peak season, and the main parking lot was already full when we arrived around 11am. If you’re planning to visit during the summer months, you’ll definitely want to arrive early. 

Otherwise, if you’re not staying in the area you could also visit as a day trip from Palermo since it is only about an hour drive. 

Here is a great boat tour that combines a visit with the reserve and San Vito lo Capo as well.

Sicily's blue blue water
Sicily’s blue blue water
Trail signs in Zingaro
Trail signs in Zingaro

What to pack

There are no facilities in the park to buy food or drinks, so make sure to pack in anything you’ll need for your beach day. 

The sun is strong pretty year-round in Sicily, and the trail offers little to no shade. Make sure to hike with sun protection including sunscreen, a hat, and additional protection for your shoulders and chest if you burn easily .

While hiking boots are not required, or necessary, proper footwear is still a must. It is prohibited to enter the park in flip flops or unsecured sandals. Although you might want to pack a pair in your bag for the rocky beaches. 

Where to stay near Zingaro Nature Reserve

If you’re planning to visit Zingaro Nature Reserve, then I recommend staying near either Scopello or San Vito lo Capo.

Here are two incredible properties that we stayed at – one in Scopello and one in Castelluzzo. Both are fantastic!

Poggio di Mare

A beautiful B&B in Castelluzzo, near San Vito lo Capo. The rooms are cozy, the breakfast buffet is delicious, and the shared terrace offers seaside views. Rooms start at $50/night.

Check rates and availability

Photo credit: Booking.com

Casolare la Torre

Located just up the road from Scopello town center, Casolare la Torre is a perfect basic apartment near Zingaro Nature Reserve. Walking distance from the town, quiet with mountain views, and the host owns the best bakery town.

Check rates and availability

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