Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro

Top choice park in Golfo di Castellammare

Image by Serbek Getty Images

This coastal nature reserve is a hiker's paradise and a haven for wildlife, including the rare Bonelli’s eagle and 40 other bird species. Wild carob and bright yellow euphorbia dust the hillsides, along with 700 other species of Mediterranean flora – some unique to this stretch of coast – while hidden coves such as Marinella Bay provide tranquil swimming spots. Pick up a free trail map at the park’s main entrance, 2km north of Scopello, or download it from the reserve’s website.

The 7km trail north along the coast from the reserve's main (Scopello) entrance passes by the visitor centre and a series of museums focusing on local culture and history. Note that the reserve's northern (San Vito) entrance is 12km from the town of San Vito Lo Capo and is not served by public transport, so backtracking south to Scopello is the most practical option for hikers. The main coastal walk takes about two hours each way, not counting stops. There are also several trails inland, which are detailed on park maps.

Various organisations around the park organise guided walks – see the park's visitor centre for a list.