The Vendicari Reserve Beaches Ultimate Guide

    The beaches of Vendicari are one of the many reasons to visit this fantastic natural reserve. Crystal clear and uncontaminated sea, golden sand beaches, everything for those who love the sea. Thanks to Sicily’s mild climate, they can be visited at times other than summer, when the crowds are at their greatest. You will really feel like you have arrived in a little paradise on earth.

    What are the beaches of the Vendicari Reserve?

    The Vendicari Nature Reserve covers an area of about 1512 hectares. Along the nearly 8 kilometers of coastline there are five different beaches. Eloro Beach to the north and Cittadella dei Maccari Beach to the south form the natural boundary of the reserve.

    Eloro Beach

    Eloro Beach in the Vendicari Reserve
    Eloro Beach

    Starting from the north, the first beach of the Vendicari Reserve is Eloro Beach. It takes its name from the nearby ruins of the ancient Greek city of Eloro. Some of them can be seen on the way to the beach. The area is made even more beautiful by the presence of a small lake and the mouth of the Tellaro River. Both help to create an ideal microclimate for the many migratory birds that visit this area. The beach has very fine sand and the sea is crystal clear with a gently sloping bottom. If you are lucky, you may even see the opening of the eggs of the Caretta Caretta turtle.

    Spiaggia di Marianelli

    Marianelli Beach, the naturist and gay friendly beach in the Vendicari Reserve
    Marianelli Beach

    A little further south is the second beach of Vendicari, Marianelli Beach. It is a long sandy stretch with a shallow seabed at the beginning. It can be reached on foot from Eloro Beach. Especially in summer, it is possible to cross the mouth of the Eloro River and, after passing a small headland, to reach the beach. Marianelli Beach is also one of the most popular beaches for naturists in Sicily, who have been visiting it for several years, and it is also recognized as a gay friendly beach. During the summer, when the number of visitors increases significantly, the naturists are usually concentrated on the left part of the beach, while in the middle there are costumed swimmers and the right part is predominantly gay friendly. Of course, everyone is free to choose which part of the beach they prefer, with full respect for others.

    Calamosche Beach

    The beach of Calamosche in the Vendicari Reserve
    Calamosche Beach

    Among the beaches of Vendicari, Calamosche is probably the most famous. Funni Musca, as the locals call it, is a small sandy stretch of only 200 meters squeezed between two rocky headlands. This ensures that the sea is almost always calm and crystal clear. The beach is sandy and the seabed is shallow at the beginning. Near the rocks there are several caves and natural hollows where snorkelers can observe a wide variety of marine life. It is probably the most difficult to reach, especially in the summer when the temperatures exceed 30 degrees. However, the rewards are well worth the effort.

    Vendicari Beach

    Vendicari beach in the Vendicari Nature Reserve
    Vendicari Beach

    The penultimate beach of the Vendicari Reserve is actually called Vendicari Beach. It is a very long sandy coastline with a gently sloping seabed. The characteristic of this beach is the presence of a Posidonia bank in the first part of the sea. Of course, it is absolutely harmless, but rather fundamental for the ecosystem of the reserve. Once past it, the sea becomes crystal clear, a true paradise for snorkelers. From the beach of Vendicari you can also visit some places of historical and archaeological interest. One of them is the Torre Sveva, a 15th century tower used to avenge pirate attacks. Not far away, you can see ancient tanks from the Hellenistic period, dug into the rock and used for the processing of tuna and the production of garum. The most famous monument, however, is the ancient Tonnara di Vendicari, now abandoned but of undeniable charm.

    Cittadella dei Maccari Beach

    The beach of Cittadella dei Maccari in the Vendicari Reserve
    Cittadella dei Maccari Beach

    Cittadelle dei Maccari Beach is the most southern beach of Vendicari. The name comes from the remains of a settlement dating back to the 6th century A.D. present nearby. It is possible to visit a necropolis, a trigona, that is a Byzantine style church and an old wine mill. The beach is sandy and the sea is crystal clear. Three accesses with stone steps lead to different environments: either to caves in the sand, or to small cliffs, or to a long strip of white sand that leads to the Tonnara di Vendicari.

    How to reach the beaches of the Vendicari Reserve

    The Vendicari Reserve can be reached through five entrances: Eloro, Marianelli, Calamosche, Vendicari and Cittadella. Each one corresponds to one of the five beaches of Vendicari and each one has at least one parking lot. The walk from the parking lot to the beach is more or less easy, depending on the case, and usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. However, the lack of shade does not make the walk easy, especially in the summer. It is therefore important to try to avoid too hot times of the day and to be equipped with water supplies. The beaches of Vendicari do not have lids, bathrooms or refreshment stations. It is therefore necessary to bring everything you need during the day.

    How to get from one beach to another

    If you decide to go from one beach of the Vendicari Reserve to another, the best way is definitely by car. In fact, it is not possible to go from the northern beach (Eloro Beach) to the southern beach (Cittadella dei Maccari Beach) just by walking. From Eloro Beach, however, it is possible to reach the nearby Marianelli Beach by walking along the seashore. The two beaches are separated by the mouth of the river Tellaro, which can be easily crossed when the water level is low. There is also a path, called the Orange Route, that connects the beaches of Vendicari and Calamosche. However, it is a walk of about an hour, so it is not recommended during the summer period. The beach of Vendicari and the beach of Cittadella dei Maccari form a long stretch of sand, so it is easy to go from one to the other.

    Vendicari beaches: costs, rules and useful information

    To enter the Vendicari Reserve, you must pay an entrance fee of €3.50, plus the cost of parking. From April 1 to October 31, the reserve is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with last admission at 6:00 p.m. From November 1 to March 31, the reserve is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with last admission at 2:30 p.m. All of Vendicari’s beaches are part of a natural reserve. This means that it is an area of great environmental value and that there are specific prohibitions. Inside the reserve you will not find any lids, chemical toilets or garbage bins. This means that you are responsible for taking any waste you produce with you. Any behavior that could alter the environmental balance of Vendicari is prohibited. For example, you are not allowed to bring beach balls, play beach games or listen to loud music. Bathing is also forbidden in some areas because they are nesting sites for the Caretta caretta sea turtle.

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