Cala Rossa (AKA Scogliera di Cala Rossa and Spiaggia di Cala Rossa) is a majestic beach on Favignana Island (Isola di Favignana) in Italy. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about visiting Favignana and exploring the stellar beach at Cala Rossa.
We hope you find this guide helpful. To find out everything you need to know about visiting Favignana, then please read our Favignana Guide.
Table of Contents
About Cala Rossa, Favignana
Cala Rossa is a spectacular beach on Favignana Island. Certainly, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. For most visitors, Cala Rossa is one of the first beaches to visit, given its relative closeness to the Favignana ferry terminal. In this guide, we’ll talk about how to visit the glorious beach at Cala Rossa. But, first, a little history!
FYI – Cala Rossa is also known as Scogliera di Cala Rossa and Spiaggia di Cala Rossa. Basically, same same – the names are used interchangeably. To keep things simple, we won’t use the terms Scogliera di Cala Rossa and Spiaggia di Cala Rossa throughout this guide. We’ll stick to Cala Rossa!
Cala Rossa History: Origin of the Name
The origin of the name of the beach, Cala Rossa, is very interesting. Long story short, during the Battle of the Egadi Islands in 241BC, a war fought between the Roman and Carthaginian fleets, there was a particularly bloody battle. Legend has it, that a strong wind blew the crimson-tinged blood-swept sea waters into Cala Rossa, which translates in English to the ‘red cove‘. Thankfully, today, the waters at Cala Rossa are no longer red. Instead, you’ll find translucent turquoise-coloured water!
Where Is Cala Rossa in Favignana?
Cala Rossa is located on the east coast of Favignana. So, where is Favignana? Well, it’s one of the Egadi Islands (Aegadian Islands) located near the west coast of Sicily. To help you get your bearings, feel free to press on the image below to access an interactive map on Google Maps.
Now you know exactly where Cala Rossa is located, let’s look at how to visit this spectacular beach.
How to Get to Cala Rossa in Favignana
Most visitors to Favignana will get around the island by bike. Personally, that’s what Beck and I did and we highly recommend it. Getting around the island by bike is fun, adventurous and convenient. Indeed, some of the roads leading to Cala Rossa are bumpy, unpaved and narrow. So, we don’t recommend hiring a car to reach Cala Rossa in Favignana. Basically, from the Favignana ferry terminal to Cala Rossa, it’s around a 5km cycle, which takes around 15–20 minutes.
FYI – in terms of hiring a bike, we recommend going to Noleggio Bici e Motorini Isidoro. The small local store is only a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal. It’s only €5 to hire a bike for a full day. The bikes are in excellent shape, have gears, and a basket and come with a lock.
Cala Rossa, Favignana: A Spectacular Beach
Following a bumpy road, you’ll soon see a sign for Cala Rossa. Personally, we locked our bikes near the entrance sign. We then followed another bumpy trail, quickly arriving at the breathtaking beach at Cala Rossa. You’ll find a trail that immediately descends towards the beach. Don’t expect a sand or pebble beach. Rather, it’s a cove. So, expect rugged rock formations surrounding the crystal clear waters.
Other than going for a swim and relaxing, it’s worth exploring more of the coastline. You’ll find another trail, that runs parallel to the water. The trail leads to spectacular cliff walls, sea caves and even an abandoned quarry site.
FYI – given the size, remoteness and terrain at Cala Rossa, you won’t find any beach clubs or lidos. So, access is completely free and unrestricted.
Other Beaches in Favignana
Other than Cala Rossa, Favignana is home to many stunning beaches. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of the other beaches worth exploring in Favignana.
- Bue Marino: one of the most intriguing beaches to explore, featuring epic hidden caves and tunnels of an abandoned quarry.
- Cala Azzurra: a splendid white sand beach with a conveniently placed bar by the beach.
- Lido Burrone: the biggest beach on the island, which features a lido in the peak season.
- Spiaggia di Marasolo: a lesser-known beach, located near the island’s tunnel.
- Cala Rotonda: a less-explored pebble beach, which has gorgeous rugged coastal surroundings.
- Cala Grande: when we visited in the off-season, unfortunately, the beach was mostly polluted. We’re sure it’s seen better days, and, hopefully, it gets a good clean in preparation for the peak season.
- Spiaggia Praia: located in the town centre, the beach itself is nothing to write home about as it’s filled with lots of docked boats. Certainly, there are better beaches to be spending your time at during a trip to Favignana.
Other Things to Do in Favignana
Other than cycling to Cala Rossa and other beaches, there are other fun things to do in Favignana. Personally, after exploring all of the beaches by bike, we spent the rest of our day in and around the town centre, sampling that yummy Italian cuisine. Seafood street food at Pescheria Florio to start. Granita and gelato at #ICECREAM for dessert. And, an Aperol spritz as well (we went to the quaint Monique Concept) – yes, please!
Additionally, it’s worth visiting the beautiful neogothic Palazzo Florio. It’s surrounded by a small park which is a great place to sit, relax and hide from the sun under the shade of the trees.
From the town centre, and from many places in Favignana, you’ll see the dominating Castello di Santa Caterina, perched high on a hill in the middle of the island. If you’re up for a walk, it’s possible to hike to the castle ruins.
Otherwise, simply get lost, wandering the charming streets surrounding the town centre.
How to Get to Favignana
To get to Favignana, you’ll need to catch a ferry from Trapani. Liberty Lines is the main ferry company (ticket office and terminal located here) running the service between Trapani and Favignana. The journey time is around 30 minutes. The other company running this service is called Siremar. But, the service takes twice as long and is the same price. So, it doesn’t make sense to use Siremar.
During the peak season, you can expect long queues of people wanting to buy ferry tickets. Instead, we recommend buying your tickets in advance. That way, you can skip the queue for tickets and just join the boarding queue. You can buy tickets online, directly with Liberty Lines or the more user-friendly Direct Ferries.
A return ferry ticket is around €24–27 per person. In the peak season, you can expect a higher departure frequency, with around two services departing per hour beginning from around 7–8am. Keep in mind, that most bike rental stores open between 8–9am. So, it doesn’t make sense to arrive much earlier than 8 or 8:30am. There are usually ferry departures from Favignana as late as 8pm. But, make sure to double-check as you don’t want to be left stranded on the island!
Getting to Trapani
To get to Cala Rossa in Favignana, you’ll first need to get to Trapani. The easiest and quickest way to get to Trapani, and to get around Sicily in general, is to drive yourself. 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 super 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 fully aware of the rules and conditions of the car hire. That way, you won’t get hit with any unexpected fees from the car hire companies, which are usually all too eager to unsuspectingly charge you for something or other.
It’s also possible to get to Trapani using public transport. From Trapani International Airport, you can get an AST bus to the Trapani town centre, which takes around 45 minutes and costs around €4–5.
From Palermo International Airport, you’d first need to get to the Palermo town centre, by taking the bus or train. Both options take around an hour and cost around €6. Then, you’d need to get a Segesta or Salemi bus from Palermo to Trapani, which takes around 75–90 minutes and costs around €11–12 per person. It’s easy to buy these bus tickets in advance using Busbud – we often use Busbud for reliably booking bus tickets online.
Where to Stay in Favignana
Although most people will simply just do a day trip to Favignana to see beaches such as Cala Rossa, it’s also a popular option to stay on the island overnight. As expected, you won’t find much in the way of budget accommodation options.
Most of the accommodation properties in Favignana are villas, hotel resorts and apartments. For your convenience, we’ve handpicked the most highly-rated and best value-for-money accommodation options in Favignana.
- Il Gelsomino: this apartment hotel is perhaps one of the best value-for-money stays on Favignana Island. Equipped with a kitchenette and dining area, you’ll be able to cook your own meals so you can stick to your budget.
- L’Oasi Villaggio Albergo: this eco-friendly resort is one of the most popular accommodation options on the island. When it comes to value for money, we recommend the Economy Double Room, which is much cheaper than the other rooms on offer. That way, you’ll still experience all the great amenities and facilities, but at a much lower price.
- Resort Il Mulino: this hotel resort comes out on top in terms of ratings and reviews. It’s certainly one of the most highly-rated accommodation options on the island. Featuring a swimming pool, hot tub, restaurant and snack bar, there’s much to enjoy at the hotel after a day exploring the island.
Favignana Boat Tours
Most visitors to Favignana will explore independently by bike. But, there are also amazing Favignana boat tours worth considering. The main advantage of doing an organised boat tour is that you’ll also get to explore the neighbouring island of Levanzo. Indeed, the combined Favignana and Levanzo boat tours are a fantastic way to explore more of the Egadi Islands in a shorter amount of time.
GetYourGuide offers many outstanding boat tours to Favignana. The most popular boat tour is currently the Favignana and Levanzo Mini-Cruise. By doing this tour, you don’t have to worry about booking ferry tickets. You can simply arrive at the designated meeting point and have someone else take care of the logistics, so you can just focus on exploring Favignana and Levanzo.
What to Wear and Pack
These are our gear essentials for visiting Cala Rossa and Favignana.
- Swimming gear
- Water shoes (aqua shoes): to help protect your feet when exploring the pebble beaches.
- Quick-dry towel
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for adventurers, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof jacket that will serve you well if you’re exploring the island during the off-season.
Particularly, in summer, make sure to have plenty of water on you. Also, you’ll want to be sun smart – if you’re not, you’ll get absolutely roasted out there! So, apply plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat and cover your skin.
- Visit in the off-season: the beaches are much quieter and the weather is much milder for cycling. Although, it may still be too cold for swimming.
- Family-friendly beaches: some of the best beaches in Sicily for families aren’t necessarily found at Favignana. Although, Lido Burrone is a genuine family-friendly beach.
- Other things to do in Sicily: if you’re interested in other excellent beaches in Sicily, then check out Spiaggia San Vito lo Capo in San Vito lo Capo, Caletta del Bue Marino and Mondello Beach. Otherwise, why not also explore the Aeolian Islands?
Do you have any questions about visiting Cala Rossa (AKA Scogliera di Cala Rossa and Spiaggia di Cala Rossa)? Leave us a comment below.