A Travel Guide to Calabria, Italy
Calabria is one of the most southern regions of Italy. It lies below its northern neighbours of Basilicata. Its south west tip almost scuffs the island of Sicily but for the narrow gap of the Strait of Messina. Alike its northern neighbours it also occupies the coastlines of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Sea. However, Calabria’s coastal dominance is much bigger with the Tyrrhenian Sea stretching its western shoreline to the south where it meets the Ionian Sea. The Ionian coastline then bends round anti-clockwise to cover its eastern shore. The capital city of the Calabria region is Catanzaro.
There is up to half a thousand miles of coastline in Calabria with temperatures that hit the thirties in the warmest months of July and August which seldom drop below 12°C in the coldest – making it very popular for tourism all the year round.
The stretches of beaches on the western shore - the Tyrrhenian Sea - vary as they travel southwards. The Citron Coast offers beautiful dark sanded beaches with islands such as Dino Island laced with intriguing grottos and the WWF protected Blue Oasis. The Coast of the Gods has the picture postcard village of Pizzo Calabro whose freshly caught fish and seafood helps accentuate the fine dining of ambrosia-like gourmet and it also boasts its Capo Vaticano is one of the world’s finest beaches. Then we have the colourful Violet Coast with its rich golden sands with waters that illuminate periodically throughout the day. It also has some quaint fishing villages and cliff views that leave visitors breathless.
The Ionian Coast is rich in history with the presence of early man known in Calabria seven hundred millennia before the birth of Christ. Alike its neighbour Basilicata is has also been influenced by the culture of Magna Graecia with early Greek remains still in existence. There are also traces of medieval history strongholds overlooking the coastline. Their fine sanded beaches have been heavily endowed with the Blue Flag – the European award for eco-friendly beaches with high levels of cleanliness. These are six of their beaches which have been decorated with the Blue Flag: Amendolara, Cariati , Torrenova Feudo, Marina di Gioiosa Jonica, Melissa and Roccella Jonica.
Besides the warmth of the sizzling sun whilst relaxing on the beautiful beaches there are more adventurous activities such as the amount of mountain side that surpasses the generous coastline. Calabria has four mountain ranges that contain some of the highest peaks in Italy. Lush forests, crystal clear lakes and the slow passage of streams to the roar of waterfalls, provide a natural backdrop to some of the best hiking, biking and horseback riding. Not forgetting the challenge of the ascents that provides great rock climbing. The outdoor seasonal change also provides great skiing opportunities at the resorts that sit towards the summits.
There is a wide variety of self catering holiday accommodation in Calabria ranging from beach front apartments to luxury villas with private swimming pools.