top of page
Logo Great Sicily
  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

Vendicari Nature Reserve: Natural Beauty and Millennia-Old History in Sicily

vendicari nature reserve

The Vendicari Nature Reserve is a marvelous protected area located on the southeastern coast of Sicily, in the province of Syracuse. This incredible sanctuary of nature spans over 1,500 hectares and represents one of the few remaining untouched places in the region.

Established in 1984, the Vendicari Nature Reserve has since attracted visitors from all around the world. Here, nature remains unspoiled, and the flora and fauna are extremely diverse. The reserve is an important habitat for many animal species, including numerous species of migratory birds that stop here during their journey to Africa.

The Vendicari Nature Reserve is also renowned for its breathtaking beaches. Here, the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean meet golden sands, creating an incredible panoramic view. The most famous beaches include Vendicari Beach, Calamosche Beach, and Marianelli Beach.

Yet, the Vendicari Nature Reserve is not just a place of natural beauty. This site has also been the stage for significant historical events. Over the centuries, many peoples have passed through here, from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations to Normans, Bourbons, and Garibaldian forces. The presence of these peoples has left an indelible mark on the history of Vendicari, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological remains present in the reserve.

The Vendicari Nature Reserve is one of Sicily's gems. Its unspoiled nature, stunning beaches, millennia-old history, and diverse flora and fauna are just some of the reasons why it's worth visiting. Once here, you will truly feel immersed in the beauty of nature and history, and you'll be able to fully appreciate everything that Sicily has to offer.


Flora and Fauna and the Beaches

The Vendicari Nature Reserve hosts a wide range of flora and fauna that make it unique and precious. The reserve comprises various diverse natural habitats, including lagoons, dunes, beaches, Mediterranean scrubland, and pine woods. These different habitats support a great variety of plant and animal species.

The reserve's flora consists of plants typical of Mediterranean scrubland, such as rockrose, broom, lavender, rosemary, and everlasting flower. Moreover, there are also some rare species, like Limonium humile, a plant endemic to Sicily.

The fauna of the reserve is equally rich and varied. The coastal wetlands of the reserve provide an important habitat for numerous species of migratory birds, including flamingos, herons, egrets, and teal ducks. The reserve is also a nesting site for many bird species, such as the little tern, Kentish plover, and stonechat.

Within the reserve's territory, mammals like foxes, hedgehogs, hares, badgers, and weasels inhabit as well. Additionally, the reserve is also home to numerous reptile species, including the Sicilian wall lizard, common wall lizard, and viper.

The beaches of the Vendicari Nature Reserve are undoubtedly some of its most captivating features. Vendicari Beach is one of the most famous and spectacular, with its fine white sand and crystal-clear sea. Calamosche Beach, located within the reserve, is a small bay sheltered by high dunes and surrounded by crystalline waters. Finally, Marianelli Beach, characterized by a wide bay, is ideal for those who wish to take long walks along the shore and admire the surrounding panorama.

In conclusion, the Vendicari Nature Reserve is a protected natural area that houses diverse and precious flora and fauna. Its breathtaking beaches, coastal wetlands, and Mediterranean vegetation make this place unique and spectacular, a must-visit when traveling in Sicily.


There are several ways to reach the Vendicari Nature Reserve, and different entrances depending on where you want to access.

By car, you can reach the reserve by taking the A18 Messina-Catania highway and exiting at Noto. From there, you can follow the SP19 provincial road to the entrance of the reserve. You can park your car at the reserve entrance and then continue on foot to explore it.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from Syracuse or Noto to the reserve entrance. However, using a car is the most practical and convenient way to visit the reserve and its beaches.

There are several entrances to the Vendicari Nature Reserve. The main entrance is located along the SP19 road, a few kilometers from the city of Noto. There are also other access points to the reserve, such as the Calamosche entrance, which provides direct access to the beach, or the Marianelli entrance, located on the provincial road that connects Noto to Pachino.

Entry to the reserve is free, and visitors can explore it on foot or by bike along marked trails. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and hiking shoes to walk along the reserve's paths.

Reaching the Vendicari Nature Reserve is easy and convenient, whether by car or bus. There are different entrances depending on where you want to access, and entry to the reserve is free. It's recommended to wear comfortable clothing and to explore the reserve on foot or by bike.

vendicari beach

The Vendicari Nature Reserve is a wonderful place to spend a day outdoors, but it's important to know what to bring and what not to bring to fully enjoy the experience.

Here's a list of things to bring:

  • Hiking or comfortable walking shoes for the reserve's trails.

  • Lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for Sicily's summer temperatures.

  • Hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

  • High SPF sunscreen.

  • Reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during your walk.

  • Light snacks and fruits for a snack during your visit.

  • Camera to capture photos of the stunning nature and wildlife in the reserve.

Here's a list of things not to bring:

  • Pets, as they are not allowed inside the reserve.

  • Alcoholic beverages and drugs, as they are prohibited within the reserve.

  • Camping or barbecue equipment, as open fires are not allowed within the reserve.

  • Inappropriate attire, such as swimwear, as swimming is not permitted in all areas of the reserve.

  • Single-use plastic items like cups, plates, and utensils, as the reserve encourages the use of reusable products to reduce environmental impact.

When visiting the Vendicari Nature Reserve, it's important to bring only what is necessary and to respect the reserve's rules to ensure the conservation of the natural environment.


What to See Nearby:

The Vendicari Nature Reserve is located in the stunning region of Sicily, a land rich in history, culture, natural beauty, and gastronomy. Here are some of the most interesting attractions and places to visit near the Vendicari Nature Reserve:

  • The Baroque town of Noto: Just a 15-minute drive from the reserve, Noto is famous for its Baroque architecture and millennia-old history. The city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited attractions in the area.

  • The city of Syracuse: Located about 30 km from the reserve, Syracuse is one of the oldest cities in Sicily and one of the island's most famous tourist destinations. You can visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, the island of Ortigia, the Maniace Castle, and much more.

  • The village of Marzamemi: Situated on the southeastern coast of Sicily, Marzamemi is a small fishing village with picturesque alleys, colorful houses, and a charming beach. The village is known for its tradition of tuna fishing and its delicious seafood restaurants.

  • The city of Modica: Located about 30 km from the reserve, Modica is famous for its cultural, architectural, and culinary heritage. You can visit the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Palazzo dei Conti di Modica, and taste the renowned Modica chocolate.

  • The city of Ragusa: Located about 40 km from the reserve, Ragusa is another UNESCO-listed Baroque city. Here, you can visit the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, the Iblean Garden, and the Donnafugata Castle.

These nearby attractions offer a diverse range of experiences, from historical and architectural wonders to picturesque villages and beautiful coastal areas. Exploring these places will enrich your visit to the Vendicari Nature Reserve and provide you with a deeper understanding of the rich cultural and natural heritage of Sicily.


The area around the Vendicari Nature Reserve is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine, based on fresh and local ingredients such as fish, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil. Here are some of the best dining options nearby the reserve:

  • La Cialoma - Located in Marzamemi, this restaurant offers fresh seafood specialties and delicious pasta and rice dishes. The restaurant is situated in a panoramic location with breathtaking views of the coast.

  • Trattoria del Pescatore - Just a short walk from the sea in Marzamemi, this restaurant specializes in fresh seafood and traditional Sicilian dishes. It's the perfect place to enjoy a meal with a view of the sea.

  • Ristorante Crocifisso - Situated in the historic center of Noto, this restaurant is known for its traditional Sicilian cuisine prepared with local ingredients. Here, you can savor delicacies like pasta alla norma and fish couscous.

  • Antica Osteria da Mariano - Located in Pachino, this restaurant offers typical Sicilian dishes such as arancini, pasta with sardines, and grilled fresh fish. The restaurant is known for its rustic and welcoming atmosphere.

  • La Gazza Ladra - Situated in Modica, this restaurant offers modern reinterpretations of Sicilian cuisine. Here, you can enjoy delicacies like red tuna, sea bass carpaccio, and tuna tartare.

The area around the Vendicari Nature Reserve offers plenty of restaurant and trattoria options that serve delicious Mediterranean and Sicilian cuisine. There's no shortage of opportunities to savor local specialties and delicacies made from fresh fish and vegetables.



Stay up to Date!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news and exclusive offers reserved only for our subscribers. You will have access to special promotions, exclusive content, and advantageous offers.

An exceptional post today as well!

bottom of page