Wild and uncontaminated nature, rugged hill landscapes, limestone ravines, the white beaches and the deep blue Ionian Sea. This is the Coast of Angels, a place where you can rediscover the essence of the territory, where you can appreciate the perfume of bergamot and the fire red chili peppers. Where the rivers and the brooks turn into waterfalls and the highlands slowly slide towards the sea. We are in the perfect destination for those looking for a genuine contact with nature, with countryside and coastal landscapes.
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Scenting the sea and the hills It sounds incredible, but our destination has both. The villages of the angels rise at the foot of the highlands, protected sites, where our ancestors settled down in order to escape for enemy invasions coming from the sea. An environmental frame, where the wild fields take over the cultivated fields and those for grazing; long stretches of olive trees grow next to orchards, where the deep colour of the oranges and of the clementines stand out. Those who like breathing clean air while walking in the woods have chosen the right destination: nearby there is the Parco delle Serre, a fascinating natural protected area, located between Aspromonte and Sila. Chestnuts, pine trees, beech trees, mastic trees and strawberry trees are just a part of the plants in the Park, which also contains a rich wildlife: those who walk along these paths may encounter hares, skunks, wild cats, and even noble stags, roe deers and fallow deers, if you walk into the Reserve of Villa Vittoria. The skies are full of different types of birds, such as the eagle owl, the peregrine falcon or the nice redhead woodpecker. As mentioned, this corner of Calabria has so much to offer even to those who love water, both fresh water and seawater. Natural attractions, belonging to the first type, are the Waterfalls of Bivongi, located in the upper course of the Stilaro torrent. You can reach them by following a hiking path, on a jeep or on a mountain bike and they represent a natural asset of inestimable charm. The waters of the Marmarico fall extremely rapidly in a small body of water, where you can refresh yourself by taking a bath in it.
The other side of the coin is represented by the sea, the deep Ionian Sea, with its multitude of blue colours. The white thin sand beaches stretch out for many kilometres and the areas, dedicated to beach services, leave the place to sites, where no human contamination has yet been seen and where wild plants bear the smell of Mediterranean scrub.
Unusual experiences and fun facts
The beaches of the Riviera degli Angeli are sought-after sites for the caretta “caretta sea turtles” for their nestling. Here, the sea turtles, once exiting from their natural element, lay hundreds of eggs, which hatch after 45-50 days, heated by the warmth of the summer sun. Small turtles come into the world and instinctively move towards the sea. If you are lucky, you may attend the hatching event, a really exciting moment, which national associations and research centres try to protect and preserve.
A special feature of Ionian Calabria is the presence of torrents, rivers or streams with a wide and pebbly bed, which, except for the winter season, are dry during the rest of the year. Our region boasts the longest and most important torrents of the whole peninsula, which can be followed upstream by means of the hiking paths, of quads or mountain bikes. The most important ones are the Assi torrent and the Stilaro torrent, which define the borders of the village of Monasterace Superiore, Stilo and Guardavalle.
The best period
It is useless to say that owing to the variety of environments, surrounding Ionian Calabria, every period of the year offers a travelling opportunity.
The in-between seasons are the best moments to wear comfortable outfits and take deep walks into the woods: in spring, nature wakes up and offers a triumph of colours and sounds, while in autumn the leaves of the trees create some colour effects, ranging from yellow to orange, taking on the attributes of a painting by Gauguin.
The latter seems to be the perfect season for those who love countryside life, where the centuries-old olive trees, the vineyards and the citrus gardens are definitely the main characters. The result can be appreciated during meals: an excellent extra virgin olive oil is used to season traditional specialties, accompanied by homemade wine with an intense and authentic taste. Not to mention the well-known IGT clementines of Santa Caterina dello Ionio or the juicy oranges, which are used to flavour many of our desserts.
Summer is the time to go to the beach. The long beaches of the coast fill up with beach lovers, who bathe in the Ionian Sea and relax on the towels laid on the long stretches of white sand, drinking an ice-cold drink. Here, the sea is blue, deep and full of life.
La Calabria da visitare tutto l’anno
Naviga la mappa e scopri il nostro territorio
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