Ilparadisoterrestre: the most picturesque places of Sicily
“Italy without Sicily leaves only a vague image in the soul. Only here is the key to the whole ”- wrote Goethe about Sicily in the travel diary“ Italian Journey ”.
Charming bays and grape groves, volcanoes and through sea caves, sea blue and green forests – the nature of Sicily is as beautiful as it is diverse. The island’s unique natural landscape is due to the regular eruptions of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, located near Catania.
To the north of the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea, Lipari archipelago, or the Aeolian Islands, is located with the center in the commune of the same-named Lipari. The nature of the volcanic islands, despite the population of 15 thousand people, remained untouched: the whole archipelago is under the protection of UNESCO.
Thousands of tourists are attracted not only by the crystal clear purity of the sea water, the pristine nature and some intimacy of the area, but also extreme rest: daredevils climb to the active volcanoes Stromboli and Vulcano.
Less courageous people watch the fiery red lava from a safe distance from the coasts of neighboring islands or from the Naval Observatory in Punta Labrondzo.
No less interesting is the nature of Sicily itself, where high cliffs border on smooth green hills and kilometer-long olive groves.
The northeast of the island is replete with protected reserves, each is unique in its own way. For example, in the Madoni Park you can find old private castles, and in the center of the national reserve under Catania there is the volcano Etna.
The magical world of the Sicilian nature is immense, therefore, together with the Italian National Tourism Agency (ENIT), we present a selection of the most beautiful places in Sicily and its marine surroundings. We guarantee unforgettable impressions and photos that are not ashamed to put on the desktop screen saver.
1. The Pizzo Cane, Pizzo Trinja and Grotta Matsamtsamuto Reserve
Once the territory of the reserve, located in the province of Palermo, was the bottom of the ancient sea, which explains the composition of the mountain range: a mixture of limestone, silicon and volcanic rocks. Abundant forests alternate with evergreen shrubs and dwarf trees, and in the rocky nests you can see predatory peregrine falcons and golden eagles.
2. Grand Canyon “Cava Grande del Cassibile”
A canyon of nearly three thousand hectares covers the territory of three Sicilian provinces at once — Noto, Avolo, and Syracuse — and is crossed by the River Cassibile. It was established by archaeologists that the first settlers of the reserve appeared in the 10-11 century BC – settlements of sicul, the ancient people of Sicily, were reliably protected from the outside world by sheer cliffs.
Travelers recommend watching the reserve, moving towards the source of the river: the road is littered with fragrant herbs, and at the end of the path lies the purest lake.
3. Valley of the Temples and Scala dei Turca in the province of Agrigento
Valley of the Temples, located just a couple of kilometers from the city of Agrigento, the oldest cultural monument of Sicily. Its appearance and history inextricably linked the territory with the ancient Greek civilization. The complex of the Valley of the Temples unites the temples of the gods, the necropolis and the sanctuary. The best preserved temple of Concordia, built around the fifth century.
At 12 kilometers from the Valley of the Temples is located one of the most unusual natural sites in Sicily – the Ladder of the Turks, known as the Skala dei Turks. Although from a distance the rock resembles a snow-capped mountain top, in fact, the stone consists of white marl. As in the usual staircase, you can climb the Skala dei Turki, but it’s better to do it barefoot or with non-slip shoes. Physical labor is compensated by the beauty of the form, which opens to fearless climbers, as well as the feeling that you are standing on a huge marshmallow.
4. Plemrio Marine Protected Area
This secluded seaside location is located in the Plemmirio district of Syracuse. The sea zone with a length of 14 kilometers has an important biological and historical significance.