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The Vendicari Nature Reserve, migrating ground for flamingos

AREAS OF NATURAL BEAUTY

Villas in Sicily near Vendicari Nature Reserve >>

NotoFor anyone holidaying in the southeast of Sicily, one place that really shouldn’t be missed, is the Vendicari Nature Reserve. There are many reasons for this assertion, none more convincing than the fact that its beautiful selection of beaches are amongst the least frequented in Sicily……at least by humans.

Situated on the southern-most part of Sicily’s east coast, Vendicari is a mixture of lagoons (pantano), sand dunes, rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches. It was instituted in 1984 and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The high salinity of the ground provides an ideal habitat for Mediterranean maquis, herbs such as thyme and rosemary and other prickly customers such as juniper bushes.

Thousands of migrating birds pass a few days here on their way to or from Africa. Flamingos, herons, storks and cormorants are regulars during autumn, while in the winter, ducks, mallards, pintails and terns take over. An ornithologists' paradise, there are several hides for those who bring their binoculars. For those whose interests are of a more active kind, Vendicari offers a wonderful environment for a good seaside walk with only the sound of the waves, birds and the wind for company.

Swimmers (and sunbathers!) will find it hard to choose between the numerous beaches and rocky coves that abound.

For those whose interests are of a more active kind, Vendicari offers a wonderful environment for a good seaside walk with only the sound of the waves, birds and the wind for company.

There are three entrances to the park, all off the main Noto-Pachino road. The middle entrance, signposted Torre di Vendicari, gives you the opportunity of heading north or south. Wherever you decide to enter, you will have to park you car and walk some way, though this is a greatly pleasurable experience.

Also within the reserve are a series of buildings, including a 15th Century tower built by Peter of Aragon (known as the Torre Sveva), a tonnara (tuna fishery) and several old fishermen’s houses.

Villas in Sicily near Vendicari Nature Reserve >>

Good ThinkingThere are no lidos offering sun loungers etc. or bars, so it is essential to take water and something to eat with you. A picnic in this area of great beauty, however, is an absolute treat! Stop off at a bakery in Noto and they will make up delicious sandwiches for you while you wait.

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