The Vendicari Nature Reserve in Sicily

Home » The Vendicari Nature Reserve in Sicily

Are you planning your holidays for this year? Whatever period you choose, spring, summer or autumn, you can not miss this wonderful spot of paradise on earth.

The Vendicari Nature Reserve Wildlife Qasis, located between Noto and Marzamemi, is a fantastic combination of sea and nature. On one hand, it offers some of the most beautiful beaches on the southeastern coast of Sicily. Characterized by crystal clear, pristine waters, these beaches have been awarded the 4 blue sails of the Legambiente. On the other hand, it offers the possibility to visit archaeological sites in a fascinating context and observe incredible wildlife.


The Beaches

Let’s start with the reserve’s beaches and the sea, a popular destination for those who want to relax, enjoy the sun, and get away from city noise and the daily routine. The area of Vendicari boasts over 13 km of sandy and rocky coast with various paths leading between vegetation and cliffs.
Starting from the north, the beaches of the reserve are Eloro, characterized by crystal clear water and fine sand; Marianelli, an isolated, wild and uncontaminated beach; Calamosche, a beautiful sandy cove with a calm sea; Vendicari, the central part of the reserve, whose coastline is dominated by the Tonnara and the Sveva Tower; and Citadel of the Maccari (San Lorenzo), with its turquoise sea and its light, almost white sand.

San Lorenzo

Each beach has its own entry point, but they all connect making it easy to see them all. There are three hiking paths within the reserve marked with blue, orange, or green.

Vendicari’s beaches are perfect at just about any time of the year for a pleasant stroll, to watch the sunset, or for taking a dip in the crystal clear sea.

Archaeological Sites

In addition to the sea, the sun and relaxation,  you will also find various archeological sites. Beginning with the excavations of the ancient Greek city of Eloro and continuing with the Tonnara, the Sveva Tower and the salt mines of Vendicari, and ending with the Citadel of San Lorenzo with its Byzantine village. There are remains of some Byzantine catacombs, one of which is underground, and the Trigona, a Byzantine structure with a square plan and three apses.

Wildlife and Nature

Surely, however, one of the main attractions of Vendicari is birdwatching, practiced especially in the spring and autumn months. Its geographical position and the presence of the marshes (the small quagmire and the great swamp), make it the ideal resting place for bird migration. Therefore, Vendicari represents a true naturalistic jewel, a paradise for birds that find a first landing after the spring migration along the Mediterranean and, on the contrary, the last refreshment point before the winter. Depending on the season and temperature, the presence of various species varies from month to month.

The most highly-awaited species are the flamingos, which can be admired both in spring and in autumn. They stop at Vendicari en route from the north of France before reaching the breeding areas in Africa. In addition to flamingos, gray herons can be spotted, black and white storks, or ducks in summer; trampolieri and seagulls in autumn; saffron seagulls in winter; knights of Italy, marsh harriers and fishermen, or red herons in spring. These are just some of the wonderful species that can be appreciated in the Reserve thanks to the numerous observation huts present, which every year attract fans from all over Europe.

Sea Turtles

In addition to birds, the Vendicari wildlife oasis also welcomes amphibians, reptiles and mammals. For example, there are numerous loggerhead sea turtles that lay their eggs here and testify to the fact that this territory is protected from man.


In any case, experts or not of the subject, one can not help but be fascinated by the extraordinary variety of colors and shapes that nature has given to this reserve. If you want to appreciate what nature has to offer and at the same time enjoy a crystal clear sea, do not forget to make the Vendicari Reserve part of your next holiday! You will not regret it!

Article by: Salvatore Spada

photo copyrights:,,