Travel

Syracuse in Sicily: Holidays Between Nature and Culture

Do you know Syracuse in Sicily? It is one of the less-considered tourist destinations on the island, but it is worth visiting: spending a holiday here is a unique experience. Syracuse has an ancient history and pristine nature, with dreamlike beaches and natural paths that you will love if you want to enjoy the outdoors.

Let’s discover it together!

What to do in Syracuse

Many travelers wonder how they can spend a day in Syracuse. We tell you that you can even spend an entire holiday without risking getting bored!

With its ancient roots, the city is a paradise for those who love history and nature. The city and its surroundings are rich in natural areas, including brackish and freshwater wetlands, perfect for hiking, relaxing, taking in the scenery, and enjoying the beach.

Visit the famous archaeological sites, dive into the crystal-clear waters to discover the wonderful seabed, or explore the protected areas’ land trails. For a taste of Baroque Sicily, stop in the enchanting towns of the Val di Noto and the extreme south of the island.

For a stay in Syracuse in Sicily that is still unforgettable and relaxing enough to recharge your energy, the best solution is to spend your holidays in a villa equipped with every comfort.

Ortygia, the beating heart of Syracuse

Ortygia, the historical center of Syracuse, is a fascinating place where history and the sea merge perfectly. Connected to Syracuse, Ortygia is very ancient, the ancient site that the Greek colonists occupied as soon as they landed here.

Among the main sites are the Piazza Duomo, surrounded by Baroque architecture; the ancient Cathedral, built on a Greek temple; the Arethusa Spring, a legendary freshwater spring a stone’s throw from the sea; the Maniace Castle, a 13th-century castle; and the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Bellomo, hosting various art collections.

The narrow streets, vibrant markets, and coastal views blend historic and contemporary Sicilian life. Take advantage of the Temple of Apollo, one of the oldest Doric temples in Sicily, a testament to the city’s glorious Greek past.

However, the site where Syracuse is most famous is located just outside the island of Ortygia. It is the Neapolis Archeological Park, a must-visit for archaeology lovers.

It includes essential monuments such as the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomies, and the Ear of Dionysius. A guided tour to delve into its history is recommended. It is open year-round with varying hours; the full ticket price is €13,50. If you want to buy a ticket, visit the official website.

The beaches of Syracuse: a terrestrial paradise

The beaches of Syracuse are a paradise for sea lovers. Cala Rossa and Fontane Bianche are the most famous in the city.

Cala Rossa is located right in Ortygia. It is also popular with locals for its convenience, as it is equipped and easily accessible. Despite being in the historic center, it has a beautiful sea.

Therefore, we recommend organizing a boat trip to visit Ortygia’s small beaches and caves.

About 10 km from Syracuse, Fontane Bianche Beach is famous for its white sand and fresh, warm water springs. The sea is clear and usually very calm.

If you want a more nature-immersed experience, visit the Plemmirio marine protected area. Here, you can enjoy beaches and coves surrounded by pristine nature, walk land trails exploring the surrounding environment, and engage in outdoor activities like birdwatching.

The sea offers fascinating diving trails, thanks to its rich marine biodiversity. It’s truly a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Explore the surroundings of Syracuse

Besides the city, the surroundings of Syracuse offer unique experiences. All represent an opportunity to come into contact with the island’s ancient history and the generosity of nature.

We must mention the ancient necropolis of Pantalica. Declared a UNESCO site, it is famous for its thousands of tombs carved into the rock from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period. If you love archaeological sites, this visit is also worthwhile.

Canoeing in the Ciane River nature reserve, which is also suitable for children, is a calm activity that allows you to admire the aquatic environment and the preferred habitat of papyrus.

The Vendicari Wildlife Oasis is an area of extraordinary beauty. Here is the famous Calamosche Beach, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. It’s unspoiled; the visit can be challenging if you stay on the beach for several hours. But you won’t regret it! The sea is beautiful; there are several paths to walk in the greenery, and you can even see flamingos flying with a bit of luck.

Not far from Vendicari is one of the jewels of Sicilian Baroque: the city of Noto.

After being destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, Noto was rebuilt with majestic structures like the Cathedral and the Ducezio Palace. It is also called “the Stone Garden” and is magnificent and enchanting.

Maritime and, more essential, the charming village of Marzamemi is also worth a visit. It has become almost iconic in this southern area of Sicily. It is well known for its historic Tonnara, natural harbors (La Fossa and La Balata), and the main square, which has become its symbol. The atmosphere is unique!

Finally, a few kilometers from Marzamemi, there is a truly unique place in Sicily. It is the Isola delle Correnti in Portopalo di Capo Passero. The island is connected to the mainland by a small bridge destroyed by the sea. Indeed, the currents here are powerful, although the sea near the beaches is very calm. It is the southernmost point of mainland Sicily and where the Ionian Sea opens up to the Mediterranean.

How to get to Syracuse

Syracuse is easily reachable by air. You can land at Comiso Airport in Ragusa, which is well connected to Rome Fiumicino Airport, or at Fontanarossa Catania Airport.

In both cases, we recommend renting a car. While you can visit the city center of Syracuse on foot, it’s better to be independent and explore the wonders of its surroundings.

As you can see, Syracuse is much more than a travel destination. The symbiosis of culture and nature here is perfectly achieved. The warm Mediterranean sun and the lively soul characteristic of Sicily complete the picture.

Now, all that’s left is to delight in so much beauty!

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