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Cala dell’Uzzo: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Cala dell’Uzzo: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

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.

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.

Read our guides about Cala Capreria, Cala della Disa and Cala Marinella

Beck walks on a beach near Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo
Cala dell’Uzzo

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.

Map of Cala dell'Uzzo

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.

Dan walks towards near Grotta dell'Uzzo
Cala dell’Uzzo

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 wildlifereserve 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.

Dan walks on Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo
Cala Tonnarella 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.

Dan walks towards Grotta dell'Uzzo

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.

Beck lies on a pebble beach called Cala dell'Uzzo
Cala dell’Uzzo

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

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.
A map of Zingaro Nature Reserve, showing beaches such as Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo

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.

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.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Public Transport

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.

Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo
Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo

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.

San Vito lo Capo

Budget – Baglio del Mulino a Vento

A hotel room

If you’re looking for the most highly-rated budget stay in San Vito lo Capo, then you’ll want to stay at Baglio del Mulino a Vento.

Mid-range – Ninni e Fede

A hotel room

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.

Luxury – B&B Le Biciclette

A hotel room

B&B Le Biciclette is a fantastic accommodation option. Guests rave about the breakfast, whilst its location near the beach and modern decor are all great features to enjoy during a stay here.

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.

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Gear Essentials

You’ll want to pack swimming gear and water shoes (aqua shoes) to help protect your feet when exploring pebble beaches. Otherwise, these are some other gear essentials for visiting the Zingaro Nature Reserve.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Also, 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.

Bonus Tips

  • 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.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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