Riserva di Vendicari

Southeastern Sicily

Butting onto the ruins of Eloro is a wonderful stretch of wild coastline encompassing three separate marshes and a number of sandy beaches. The most beautiful of these is Marianelli, known locally as a nudist and gay-friendly beach. From the main entrance (signposted off the Noto–Pachino road), it's about a 10-minute walk to the nearest waves, where you can pick up a path along the coast.

The reserve, which claims its own Swabian tower and an abandoned tuna-processing plant, is an important marine environment, providing sanctuary to resident and migratory birds. Among these is the black-winged stilt, the stork, wild goose and flamingo. Observation posts enable you to watch in relative comfort.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southeastern Sicily attractions

1. Spiaggia Marianelli

2.17 MILES

This is the most beautiful of the beaches in the Riserva Naturale di Vendicari, a protected stretch of coastline around 11km south of Noto. Located at the…

2. Villa Romana del Tellaro

2.23 MILES

Going south towards Pachino on the main SP19 brings you to this Roman villa, home to some fascinating mosaics. The villa was largely destroyed by fire in…

3. Porta Reale

5.96 MILES

Whipped up by Neapolitan architect Orazio Angelini and erected in 1838, this neoclassical arch commemorates Noto's loyalty to Bourbon king Ferdinand II…

4. Chiesa di Santa Chiara

6.01 MILES

Commissioned by the Benedictine order, the Chiesa di Santa Chiara was built by Rosario Gagliardi between 1730 and 1758. You can still see the ornate…

6. Basilica del Santissimo Salvatore

6.03 MILES

Situated towards the grand Porta Reale is the Basilica del Santissimo Salvatore. Its recently restored interior is the most impressive in Noto, crowned by…

7. Palazzo Ducezio

6.04 MILES

Inspired by French palace architecture of the 17th century, graceful, porticoed Palazzo Ducezio is one of architect Vincenzo Sinatra's finest works. The…

8. Piazza Municipio

6.06 MILES

About halfway along Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the graceful Piazza Municipio, flanked by Noto's most dramatic buildings. To the north, sitting in stately…