Cala dell’Uzzo is a sensational beach located in the Zingaro Nature Reserve in Sicily, Italy. On your way to reaching the magnificent Cala del’Uzzo, it’s also possible to explore another stellar beach called Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo. Additionally, there’s an incredible cave near Cala dell’Uzzo, called Grotta dell’Uzzo, that’s also worth visiting. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting Cala del’Uzzo as well as Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo.
We hope you find this guide useful. If you want more in-depth information about other beaches at the Zingaro Nature Reserve, then you should read our guides about Cala Capreria, Cala della Disa and Cala Marinella.
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About Cala dell’Uzzo
Cala dell’Uzzo (AKA Cala Torre dell’Uzzo and Cala Uzzo) is one of the most charming beaches in the Zingaro Nature Reserve. It’s a small pebble beach, surrounded by large rocks and tropical trees. Given its remoteness, Cala dell’Uzzo is a scenic and naturally wondrous beach to visit.
Thankfully, there are equally impressive beaches and attractions to explore en route to reaching Cala dell’Uzzo. Indeed, visiting Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo are just as much part of the experience as visiting Cala dell’Uzzo. So, in this guide, we’ll talk about these other natural attractions with the end goal of reaching Cala dell’Uzzo.
Anyway, exactly where in the Zingaro Nature Reserve is Cala dell’Uzzo located? Let’s check out a map below!
FYI – Zingaro Nature Reserve (translates in Italian to Riserva dello Zingaro) goes by many names. These include Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, La Riserva dello Zingaro, Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve, Zingaro Reserve and Zingaro National Park. Basically, all of these names are used interchangeably.
Cala dell’Uzzo Map
To help you get your bearings, feel free to click on the image below to access an interactive map of Cala dell’Uzzo on Google Maps. By accessing this map, you can also scope out exactly where Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo are located too.
Now you’ve got your bearings, let’s look at how to visit Cala dell’Uzzo.
How to Visit Cala dell’Uzzo in the Zingaro Nature Reserve
To visit Cala dell’Uzzo, and Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo for that matter, you’ll need to enter the Zingaro Nature Reserve. The nature reserve has a north and south entrance. From the northern entrance, Cala dell’Uzzo is around 2km away. From the southern entrance, the beach is around 6km away. So, most people will visit Cala dell’Uzzo from the northern entrance. But, the ideal starting location may also depend on where you’re travelling from and what else you have planned for the day!
Personally, Beck and I explored Cala dell’Uzzo as well as Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo as part of doing Sentiero Costiero (Coastal Walk). This walk is Zingaro Nature Reserve’s most popular hiking trail. Because we were completing the entire coastal walk, were travelling from Trapani and were visiting Tonnara di Scopello afterwards, it made sense for us to start at the southern entrance. But, if you’re not planning on doing the entire coastal walk and just want to simply visit the beach, then starting from the northern entrance makes sense.
Entrance Fee and Opening Hours For the Zingaro Nature Reserve
It isn’t possible to access Cala dell’Uzzo, Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo or Grotta dell’Uzzo for free. The entrance fee for the Zingaro Nature Reserve is €5 per person.
Between October and March, the nature reserve is open from 8am to 4pm. From April to September, the opening hours are extended from 7am to 7pm.
The Northern Entrance to Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo
Before reaching Cala dell’Uzzo, it’s possible to visit both Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta del’Uzzo beforehand. That way, you’ll explore epic nearby natural attractions. Then, once you get to Cala dell’Uzzo, you can set up for the day – chilling, relaxing and swimming.
From the northern entrance, you’ll soon arrive at a fork in the trail. We recommend going left to follow the trail down to Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo. It’s the largest beach at the Zingaro Nature Reserve, which makes it one of the most popular to visit and easiest to swim at in the reserve. Surrounded by imposing cliff walls on either side, this beach feels secluded and hidden. Given its closeness to the northern entrance, Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo can get busier than Cala dell’Uzzo.
Anyway, once you’ve finished exploring Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, we recommend retracing your steps to the fork in the trail. You’ll then follow the official Sentiero Costiero route to Grotta dell’Uzzo.
Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo to Grotta dell’Uzzo
Between Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the green-carpeted mountains of the Zingaro Nature Reserve. Indeed, the section of trail between Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo and Grotta dell’Uzzo is one of the best along Sentiero Costiero.
After following an undulating and meandering trail, you’ll soon catch a glimpse of Grotta dell’Uzzo. It’s a truly gigantic cave and catching sight of it is a definite highlight of visiting the Zingaro Nature Reserve. But, there’s more to Grotta dell’Uzzo than just its grandeur and awe-inspiring natural presence.
Grotta dell’Uzzo is one of the most impressive prehistoric sites in Sicily. At this site, archaeologists have found remains and tools dating back 10,000 years! So, by exploring Grotta dell’Uzzo, you would have seen one of the most incredible historical attractions in Sicily, before heading to the nearby Cala dell’Uzzo.
Grotta dell’Uzzo to Cala dell’Uzzo
From Grotta dell’Uzzo, it’s only a short walk to Cala dell’Uzzo. Compared with Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, Cala dell’Uzzo isn’t instantly surrounded or protected by high cliff walls. In fact, it’s surrounded by white and orange rocks as well as tropical plants and trees. This beach has a real deserted tropical island feel to it, particularly if you are lucky enough to have the beach to yourselves!
Although Cala dell’Uzzo isn’t as big as Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, there’s still a decent stretch of pebbles for you to set up your towel and chill. You won’t find much in the way of sand at this beach. But, set against the turquoise waters, the white pebble beach still looks and feels extraordinary.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Cala dell’Uzzo in Sicily. If you’re keen to continue along Sentiero Costiero, there are many other spectacular beaches to visit that are south of Cala dell’Uzzo. Let’s look at these other awesome beaches below.
Other Beaches at the Zingaro Nature Reserve
In terms of the other beaches at Zingaro Nature Reserve, we’ll list them below, in order of the ones you’ll see if you continue Sentiero Costeiro in a southward direction.
- Cala Marinella: after setting foot on Cala dell’Uzzo, the next beach south of it is Cala Marinella. It’s an exquisite bay with crystal-clear water. You’ll find steps carved into the rock platforms that lead you down to the water.
- Cala Berretta: this is one of the smallest beaches at Zingaro Nature Reserve. Admittedly, Beck and I didn’t stop at this beach for very long as it wasn’t quite as impressive as the other beaches on offer.
- Cala della Disa: this pebble beach is one of the best beaches in Zingaro. It’s a gorgeous beach that’s surrounded by orange-coloured cliff walls and sea caves.
- Cala del Varo: this beach is so small that it isn’t found on the official Zingaro Nature Reserve map. So, we simply passed by this beach.
- Cala Capreria: this beach is located near the southern entrance, which makes it one of the easiest beaches to visit at the Zingaro Nature Reserve. So, this beach tends to be one of the most popular at the reserve. Despite usually being busy, it’s still definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Zingaro.
How to Get to the Zingaro Nature Reserve
The easiest and quickest way to get to the northern entrance of the Zingaro Nature Reserve is to drive there yourself. You’ll find a free car park at the northern entrance. Keep in mind that it does fill quickly, particularly in summer during the peak season. So, make sure to arrive early to guarantee a spot.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are easy to book online.
Personally, Beck and I picked up our car hire from Catania International Airport. For an automatic car, we only paid around €7 ($7USD) per day! Of course, with all car hire companies in Sicily, and Italy, make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions of the car hire. That way, you won’t get stitched up with an unforeseen fee when you return the car.
As far as we’re aware, you won’t find any public transport options for getting to the northern entrance of the Zingaro Nature Reserve. There are private shuttle services running to the northern entrance from San Vito lo Capo. But, these only run during the peak season in summer.
Otherwise, it’s possible to reach the southern entrance of the Zingaro Nature Reserve by using public transport. During the peak season, there is a bus service running to the southern entrance from both Scopello and Castellammare del Golfo. Although, in the off-season, there are no public transport options running to either the northern or southern entrance. So, during the off-season, you’ll have to drive to either entrance yourself unless you want to pay for a taxi.
If you don’t have a car, are visiting during peak season and want the cheapest way to get to Zingaro to access Cala dell’Uzzo, then your best option is to go to the southern entrance. This just means a longer walk to reach Cala dell’Uzzo (approx. 6km instead of 2km). But, the coastal walk is absolutely sensational. It certainly isn’t a bad thing to explore more of the Zingaro coast!
- Scopello: from the village centre, the bus takes 15–20 minutes and usually costs €1.90 per person one-way. During the peak season, there are usually half a dozen departures per day, starting at around 7:55am.
- Castellammare del Golfo: from the bus stop at Piazza della Repubblica, the bus takes approx. 45 minutes and costs around €3.20 per person one-way. On average, during peak season, there are usually three to four departures a day, ranging from roughly 7:30am to 6pm.
For more information regarding departure times, frequency and pricing as well as booking tickets in advance, click here.
Where to Stay Near Cala dell’Uzzo
Most people visiting the Zingaro Nature Reserve will do so from the two nearest biggest cities – Palermo or Trapani. But, there are quieter and more charming towns located near Zingaro, such as Scopello, Castellammare del Golfo and San Vito lo Capo.
If you’re visiting Zingaro via the southern entrance, it makes sense to stay at either Scopello or Castellammare del Golfo. But, if you’re visiting Zingaro via the northern entrance, it’s easier to visit from San Vito lo Capo.
Because it’s most convenient to reach Cala dell’Uzzo from the northern entrance, basing yourself at San Vito lo Capo is a good option. With that said, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options in San Vito lo Capo.
San Vito lo Capo Accommodation
San Vito lo Capo is a beautiful coastal town in the northwest of Sicily. From San Vito lo Capo, it’s an approx. 30 minute drive to the northern entrance of the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
- Budget – Baglio del Mulino a Vento: if you’re looking for the most highly-renowned budget stay in San Vito lo Capo, then Baglio del Mulino a Vento has you covered. This hotel has fantastic amenities and lovely hosts.
- Mid-range – Ninni e Fede: this is one of the best mid-range accommodation options in San Vito lo Capo. Ninni e Fede is a modernly decorated guesthouse, featuring a lovely garden, terrace and shared kitchen. If you’re looking for a slightly more luxurious mid-range hotel option, then you could stay at Hotel Sikania.
- Luxury – B&B Le Biciclette: this bed and breakfast is a great option for a more luxurious stay in San Vito lo Capo. Guests rave about the breakfast, whilst its location near the beach and modern decor are all great features to enjoy during a stay at B&B Le Biciclette.
Zingaro Nature Reserve Boat Tours
Other than exploring the coast on foot, it’s possible to visit the Zingaro Nature Reserve by boat. Seeing the Zingaro coastline and mountains from the water is a superb way to explore the nature reserve. GetYourGuide offers very affordable Zingaro boat tours. These include the Zingaro Nature Reserve and Scopello Cruise From San Vito lo Capo and San Vito Lo Capo and Zingaro Reserve Tour From Castellammare. On both tours, you’ll explore Zingaro’s coastline, stopping at some of the best beaches along the way.
These are our gear essentials for visiting the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
- Swimming gear
- Water shoes (aqua shoes): to help protect your feet when exploring pebble beaches.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for adventurers, which has plenty of space to store your hiking and swimming gear.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof jacket that is great if you’re exploring the coast during the off-season.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: if you’re doing Sentiero Costiero, a decent pair of footwear is recommended.
Particularly, in summer, you’ll need to pack plenty of water for your trip to the Zingaro Nature Reserve. If you’re walking Sentiero Costiero, you’ll want to pack 3L of water. You won’t find shops in the nature reserve. So, make sure to have supplies such as water, food and sunscreen.
- Take cash: there are card machines at the Zingaro Nature Reserve entrances. From personal experience, the card machine didn’t work. So, take cash just in case.
- Visit the nearby Spiaggia San Vito lo Capo and Caletta Bue Marino: if you’re staying in San Vito lo Capo, then, undoubtedly, you’ll want to visit these awesome nearby beaches.
- Hike the nearby Monte Monaco: you’ll find Monte Monaco north of Zingaro, next to San Vito lo Capo. We think the hike to the summit of Monte Monaco is one of the best walks in Sicily.
For information about all of the best hikes in Sicily, you’ll want to read our big Sicily hiking guide.