Every outdoor lover should consider Sicily as a destination. If you are among the lucky ones soon going to Sicily, a hike in Zingaro should surely be part of your itinerary. The nature reserve in the northwest of the island has three hiking treks with different difficulties. Now, it’s up to you! Beaches, mountains or a mixture of both? Let’s go hiking in Sicily – together!
Simply put, for us, the nature reserve is paradise! Grey, brownish cliffs, tumbling greens and wonderful views on turquoise water. The whole 4,000 acres of nature got protected from a group of Sicilians that made sure it stays a protected area without roads. Since March 1980, exactly that’s the case. Now, tourists are lucky enough to explore this beauty of a landscape while hiking in Sicily.
How to get to Zingaro
Zingaro (ital.: Riserva Naturale orientata dello Zingaro) is situated on the northwest coast of Sicily and has two entrances. The north entrance (incresso nord) and the south entrance (incresso sud).
The north entrance is located closer to the beaches. If you want to take a dip in that dreamy water as soon as possible, park here! If you want to pick the 7 km coastal trail, park your ride at the south entrance. The two more challenging treks also start at the north entrance.
Generally speaking, when hiking in Sicily you will need a car to get around in this area. Public transport does exist but getting around by busses would most likely eat up the time you have. Luckily rental cars are cheap in Italy. Gas, in contrast, is quite expensive. So, get a small car and drive fuel-saving along the beautiful, winding streets.
From Palermo > Zingaro 1h 20min
Trapani > Zingaro 55min
Castellmare del Golfo > Zingaro 25min
Which routes can I take?
In short, there are three options. The first option is the Sentiero Costiero, a 7 km (each way) comparatively easy trek that winds along the coastline. Most visitors, including us, choose this one.
Another option for more ambitious travelers is a 7.5 km path (Sentiero di Mezza Costa) that will take you to the upper part of Lo Zingaro. This hike will take you about 5 hours.
If you would consider yourself a serious hiker, there’s also a third option for you. The high path, also known as the Sentiero Alto. This 13 km trail (each way) is supposed to be really hard and especially during the summer heat not advised for people that are not very experienced and fit.
Hiking in Sicily – what you need to bring!
Secondary of the route you chose, you will need water. Especially during the summer days a lot of that! We drank 2 liters per person and started at 8 am to avoid the midday heat for one way.
Tipp: During the hike, you will have a few options to stock up on water, but better don’t rely on them and bring your own. A few kilometers before the parking area you’ll find a little supermarket for last-minute supplies. Also, think of snacks for your little breaks! Being typically German, we need to have lunch at midday and therefore prepared bread with fresh cheese and rocket at our B&B in the morning. Let’s talk about a few other things, that would be great to bring.
At a glance what you’ll also need:
- Swimming trunk / Bikini
You won’t believe how nice that water is! After two more intense hours of hiking than we initially thought, we jumped in the clearest water we’ve ever seen. Wow, what a treat!
- Snorkel / Diving Mask
Speaking of crystal clear! The beaches you’ll pass by are among the better ones for snorkeling. If you brought your mask to Italy, definitely pack it! You’ll enjoy!
- Did we already say that you’ll need water?
No? Then we did exactly that now! You will be thirsty. Bloody thirsty.
- A towel
You’ll sweat and you’ll definitely want to hang out at one of the beaches! That’s why a towel might also be wise to bring.
When you choose the easiest of the three hikes, there’s no need for hiking shoes. Trainers are completely fine, just don’t go with your flip flops. However, we’ve seen many locals doing exactly that, haha.
- Hat, sunglasses & sunscreen
Protect yourself! There is more or less zero shade on the entire trial. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to be on the safe side. If you are sensitive to the sun, consider a sun blocker!
- The second set of clothes
Depending on your plans afterward, bring stuff to change. You can leave this backup in the car but you won’t want to wear the same shirt you wore for the hike for a relaxed dinner somewhere close by. Filthy you!
- Your camera!
If you like to take pictures, think about your camera! The contrast of sharp cliffs and the incredible blue of the water is a dream for photographers.
Hikers also need a place to stay! We found a great, calm place between Trapani and Zingaro National Park – Angelina’s B&B*. Lovely owner, great rooms and a pool that allows you to go for a swim before breakfast. Julian forgot 230€ in cash in our room and we called Angelina. She sent the money right away! Mille grazie again, Angelina. 🙂
Hiking in Sicily – beaches in Zingaro
Along the way, you will see many signs that lead you to different beaches. We don’t want to share too much upfront but encourage you to take time and explore the ones you find most tempting.
For us, it was Cala Dell’Uzzo where we chilled for a bit and enjoyed the incredible (!) water.
Certainly one of the things with the highest value for money on our trip! At the entrance, you need to leave only 5€. There are no hidden costs. Also, parking, as well as entrance to a couple tiny museums on the way, are included. To get a perspective of your surroundings, you’ll find many signs, explaining the history and fauna. Take your time and read them. This makes everything even more interesting and rises the appreciation for this heavenly place.
On top of that, you will receive a helpful map of the Nature Reserve at the entrance, giving you an overview of the area, with all landmarks and its beaches.
Cool thing: The map allows you to leave your mobile in the backpack #digitaldetox!
✐ Adresse: Via Salvo D’Acquisto, 1 – 91014 Castellammare del Golfo (TP), Italy
$ Entrance fee: 5 EUR
☼ Opening hours: every day from 7am – 7:30pm
Summing things up, there are a few things you need on this hike. But only a few! Water, sun protection, 5€ per person and swimming gear. With these things, you will have a beautiful day.
Along the way, you will find a couple of water fountains to stock up on drinking water. These are also marked on the map provided. However, don’t rely on them, see them as a nice to have, as we didn’t see all of them.
While hiking in Sicily, please do us and travelers after you as well as beautiful mother nature the favorite and don’t leave anything but your footsteps! Use the options to refill your bottles, take some water home with you!
Happy hiking, fellow traveler!
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