Cala Rossa Beach (Favignana)

One of Favignana’s most beautiful beaches is certainly Cala Rossa (Red Cove). What makes it extraordinary, apart from the blue sea and the view of Levanzo on the horizon, is the magnificent landscape of calcarenite limestone quarries that surround it. The beach is, in fact, an amphitheatre-shaped bay that opens up in the area where one of Favignana’s quarries once stood. Over the years, quarrying work has created veritable rock cathedrals.

Cala Rossa Beach: How to get there

Cala Rossa beach is located about 4 kilometres from the town centre, in the north-eastern part of the island. The road to it is mostly tarmac, except for the last 700 metres which are a dirt road. This brings you to an area where you can park your car, moped or bike and then it is a 10-minute walk. The descent down to the beach is not easy, so suitable shoes are recommended. The beach is made up of large flat stones on which you can lie down, but better with an inflatable lilo. It has no facilities and there are no bars or restaurants nearby. If you decide to spend the whole day in Cala Rossa, you will need to bring a packed lunch.

Cala Rossa Beach: Origin of the name

According to legend, the origin of the name ‘Cala Rossa’ goes back to the battles of the Egadi Islands, when the colour of the waters was tinged with red by the blood of the fallen. The waters between the islands of Favignana and Levanzo provided the setting for the final battle of the First Punic War. Here, on 10 March 241 BC, was the decisive clash between the Romans and the Carthaginians. In reality, thanks to recent discoveries of anchors, rostrums and amphorae on the seabed, we know that the final battle took place in front of Capo Grosso, on Levanzo. Some of these finds, including some Roman rostrums, amphorae and other objects are on display in the former Florio factory. According to other scholars, however, the name comes from the typical rust-red colour of the calcarenite limestone rocks surrounding the bay. Indeed, residues of this material are washed into the sea during heavy rainfall, turning the water red.

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