The Vendicari nature reserve offers 7 km of coastline between fine sand and rocky coves, with clear water for snorkeling.
The Vendicari Nature reserve is a big and beautiful oasis with wild nature. You can easily spend a few hours hiking around there, visiting the beaches, having lunch and maybe watch the flamingos.
If you take the entrance in the north-west called Calamosche and follow the dirt road you can park at the parking area belonging to Agriturismo Calamosche (Around 3 euros).
From the agriturismo, it’s about a 20 min. walk to reach the beautiful sandy bay of Calamosche beach. We had a backpack to carry Sixten in, as the little hike to the beach is not really stroller friendly. It’s a beautiful quiet walk through the dry landscape with olive trees and wild herbs, next to huge lemon groves. The beach is located down a long staircase on the cliff, in a little cove between two rocky points. There is great snorkeling around the rocks and it’s a perfect family beach, as the sand is soft and the water calm, clean and clear turquoise. We stayed for hours, while our son Sixten played with some other foreign kids.
Lunch at Agriturismo Calamosche
The Agriturismo Calamosche has a restaurant which is also open for guests visiting the reserve. While being the only place for lunch close to the beach, we were doubtful, about the standard of the restaurant.
It turned out that the family running it, take their kitchen serious. They serve tasty – and generous – portions of fresh seafood for about 12-15 euro pr. person.
We have been there for lunch twice, enjoying a great meal with a cold beer. We have tried: Pasta with sea urchin (Ricci di mare). A combined seafood and mussels dish, which was nicely prepared with white wine and local tomatoes! A fresh swordfish with lots a warm spices and lemon. Also, we tried the spaghetti allo scoglio, which was good although not as nice as the one we had at Restaurant Scala in Porto Palo di Capo Passero. This place is a perfect, relaxed spot whether for lunch, coffee or a granita.
In the backyard of the restaurant, you can even find a little playground for the kids, next to hens walking around searching for food in the grass.
Catch a glimpse of Flamingoes in Vendicari
From the middle entrance to the Vendicari reserve, you will get to the sandy beach stretch at Tonnara di Vendicari. When walking towards the beach – depending on the season – you will be able to see the big group of migrating flamingoes. The middle entrance, just called Vendicari, is the route most people choose because it’s also the fastest route to the beach. We preferred the beach of Calamosche as it was super beautiful and less windy.
Find silence and good snorkeling at Marianelli beach
If you want a peaceful beach, you should take the north entrance, and search for the isolated beach of Marianelli.
The beach is off the beaten track, to be found between almond and lemon trees.
Marianelli offers a sandy stretch with rocky sections, which are good for snorkeling. It has almost empty sand dunes as the beach is hard to reach and the ones visiting are mostly people valuing privacy and wild nature.
Vendicari tips shortlist
- Take the Calamosche entry to get to the super nice – but popular Calamosche beach. Have lunch at Agriturismo Calamosche, where you can also park your car (3 euro/ day).
- Take the Vendicari entry if you want to watch the flamingos and visit Tonnara di Vendicari
- Take the north entry to get to the quietest beach Marianelli where there’s good snorkeling.