Admire the view from the top of Castello Aragonese
Castello Argonese is an interesting reminder of the long and tumultuous past of the region. If you can be there just before sunset, you will have the opportunity to witness a magnificent sunset with castles as a back drop. Make sure you go all the way to the top for the great views!
Explore the best views in Calabria
Tropea beach has classic Calabrian white sands, with views out to the smoldering volcano, Stromboli. It’s a well-equipped beach, with umbrellas and loungers to hire as well as pedaled and watersports. A little south of Tropea is Capo Vaticano, a cape hugging the coast known as Costa degli Dei – the Coast of the Gods. Scilla’s beautiful little beach is crowned with a castle, Castello Ruffo and its ancient fortifications are well worth exploring after a spell of sunbathing. The beach is populated with a crop of restaurants frequented by locals, so it’s ideal for experiencing Calabria’s traditional side.
Travel to Messina
Messina is just a few kilometers away from the Italian mainland. It’s the home of one of the finest Sicilian cathedrals, an engaging art museum and local swordfish celebrated by gourmets across the island, so make sure you take a visit to this lovely place.
Walk along the Falcomatà promenade
Another thing on our list is to take a nice walk along the sea. The Falcomatà promenade has nice views across to Sicily, including Mt. Etna. There is also beautiful magnolia and palm trees. Also, of course, it’s excellent for admiring the stylish Italian people, especially in the evening.
Explore the Pollino National Park
Italy’s largest national park, the Pollino National Park, straddles Basilicata and Calabria. It acts like a rocky curtain separating the region from the rest of Italy and has the richest repository of flora and fauna in the south, covering 1960 sq km.
Museo Nazionale di Reggio Calabria
Partly closed during years of renovation from 2009, southern Italy’s finest museum is now fully reopened. Over several floors you’ll descend through millennia of local history, from Neolithic and Palaeolithic times, through Hellenistic, Roman and beyond. The undoubted crown jewels are, probably, the world’s finest examples of ancient Greek sculpture: the Bronzi di Riace, two extraordinary bronze statues discovered on the seabed near Riace in 1972 by a snorkeling chemist from Rome.
An imposing fortress surmounting the headland commanding Scilla, this castle has at times been a lighthouse and a monastery. The view from the top is breathtaking. Entrance is also very cheap and it’s worth a visit!
Explore San Nicola
The small village of San Nicola Arcella is located on the Tyrrhenian Coast near Scalea, in the province of Cosenza. Make sure you visit Arco Magno beach – famous for its unique position in a rocky cove and surrounded on all sides by spectacular cliffs. Take the road which descends to the beach just north of the village and you will find a lovely shore with many boats and a view to the castle on the rocky promontory to the left.
Enjoy the Calabrian Sun
Calabria is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Spots such as Tropea and Capo Vaticano often feature in top lists, and there are also other hidden gems waiting for you to discover.
Calabria is known for its variety of beaches – from long sandy stretches to pebbly coves. It has about 500 miles of coastline, which takes in all the geographical variations of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.
Further up the Tyrrhenian coast, towards the border with the Basilicata region, is an almost unbroken stretch of beach resorts covering more than 60 miles. Amantea is old-fashioned seaside fun, with fine sand and play areas for children. The train from Naples to Reggio Calabria stops here, which makes for a good day trip if you’re staying in Tropea or Pizzo.
The Ionian side is just as bewildering a choice. Caminia shelters beneath the cliffs of the Pietra Grande, with fine gravel sand and an abrupt dip into deeper water. Another five miles south is larger and livelier Soverato, where colorful fishing boats break up the neat lines of sun loungers.
AcquaPark Odissea 2000, Rossano
If you are on vacation with your family and children, AcquaPark Odissea is the perfect choice. Go down slides or enjoy the slow-moving river in a tube. You can take part in games, or hang out in one of the relaxation areas. There are also restaurants and coffee bars for food, coffee and ice cream. Make sure to bring sunscreen, as you’ll be spending many hours exposed to the sun.
Festivals and Events in Calabria
Gran Festa del Pane (the great bread Festival)
When: May; Where: Altomonte, province of Cosenza
After only a few years, it has become one of the most characteristic events due to the rich cultural and touristic offering of Altomonte. The event takes place in the old part of town, which has for many years been rated as among the “Most beautiful villages in Italy”.
Gran gala ‘del pesce spada
(the great swordfish gala)
When: end of July; Where: Bagnara Calabria, province of Reggio Calabria
The event, sponsored by the Region of Calabria and upheld by territorial political institutions, aims to promote one of the most ancient traditions in the territory: Swordfish hunting. The period chosen for the event is the first week of July, when the swordfish, in search of a mate for reproduction, inhabit the tranquil waters of the Strait of Messina.
Tropea, 1st week in July: “Red onion festival”
Every year, during the first week in July, Tropea hosts the festival of the red onion, the queen of Tropea cuisine. The festival further envisages the setting up of stands where companies that work with traditional handmade methods, scrupulously adhering to the ancient recipes of peasant tradition, exhibit their specialties. The event ends with games and musical shows.
Calabria enchants you with its sea, its unique villages, its forests, its culture and the mountains. It is a region that encompasses stunning landscapes, historic sites and many ecosystems to explore. You’ll find that the south of Italy is less developed than northern regions and is less built up. The turbulent past of the south has allowed it to remain virtually untouched and undeveloped for tourism and industry. In Calabria you will find quaint towns and wide areas of undiscovered hills.
Make sure you book your vacation to the Calabria region and explore the authentic Italy. We hope you will have a good time. Enjoy!