Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro

Top choice in Western Sicily

Yellow wild flowers at dawn in Sicily

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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, while hidden rocky coves with pretty pebble beaches provide tranquil swimming spots. Buy admission tickets and pick up a free trail map at the park’s southern entrance, 2km north of Scopello, or northern entrance in San Vito Lo Capo.

A stunning 7km walking 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, crafts and heritage. The reserve's northern (San Vito) entrance is 12km from the town of San Vito Lo Capo and is not served by public transport, making backtracking south to Scopello 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, detailed on park maps.

Various organisations around the park organise guided walks – check the park's enormously useful website for the monthly schedule.