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Warm seasons are the best for booking your excursion to Vendicari. Sicily offers good weather conditions for a walk in the nature till mid November, but we suggest to go and discover this part of territory between May and September anyway. The beauty of Vendicari’s Natural Park is not only in its colours but also in the animals that live over there.

The Natural Park Wildlife Oasis of Vendicari (Siracusa) was founded in 1984 though it only opened to the public in 1989. The good idea of Region Sicily Board, back then, was to protect the wild natural places set between Noto and Marzamemi coast. And not just the typical local flora but also the charming birds you can admire here, and many other surprises we shall discover together.

Flora and Fauna in Vendicari

Among the groves and marshes that characterize Vendicari grow juniper, tamerice, salicornia and other marsh plants that are well suited to the saline soil. In the rocky part of the reserve you will find thorny vegetation, dwarf palms, mandrakes. There are also orchids, the small and wild ones that only expert eyes recognize; you should never pick them – since it takes three years for them to grow again! In Vendicari you will also find myrtle, oleander, maritime ruppia, canes and papyrus.

The animals that animate this protected park are toads, frogs, Sicilian turtles, snakes like the Zamenis Situlas often (wrongly) confused with the dangerous viper. You will see foxes, porcupines, wild rabbits but above all myriads of incredible birds. Among these, don’t miss the chance to watch the beautiful pink flamingos that come here every year directly from Africa, but also the elegant storks.

Archaeological sites

vendicari escursione (2)If you are not interested in animals at all, in Vendicari you can also look for some ancient traces of the human life:  archaeological sites have also been discovered here. The Greek pools where they used to prepare fresh fish before selling it, the Byzantine village of Cittadella dei Macari where, next to the Cuba Trigona church you can esplore early christian catacombs. More recent is of course the Swabian Tower, or the great Tonnara, the factory where they prepared the tuna fish’s meat. The Tonnara and the nearby Salt Ponds date back to the 18th century.

Location for films and TV shows

The beauty of this land made many artists fall in love. Cinema directors also came here to look for some nice location as a set. Vendicari is famous because some episodes of the  TV series “Montalbano” were set at the Tonnara and at the Swabian Tower.

Tourist Information

In order to get to the Natural Park Wildlife Oasis of Vendicari drive along highway A18 from Messina to Catania and then find the connection to the other branch of the same way to Siracusa. Take the exit to Cassibile and then drive along the Provincial Street 19 towards Torre Vendicari. Same directions if you come from the highway A19 Palermo-Catania. The airports are: Comiso and Fontanarossa (Catania).

What can you do in Vendicari? Trekking, snorkeling and birdwatching for sure. Be patient and silent for a long time if you choose the latter, you will have incredible experiences in return. If you love the beach, Vendicari offers its own corner of Paradise in Marianelli, Calamosche, Vendicari itself or the nearby Marzamemi. Not far from here there is Noto, the “golden baroque town”.

You can enter the Oasis of Vendicari from Eloro,  Calamosche, from the Swabian Tower and  Cittadella dei Maccari. NO TICKET IS REQUIRED, but you will have to pay for the guarded parking (from 8 am to 7:30 pm).

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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