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Calabria, located in the southernmost point of mainland Italy, is a hidden gem that has much to offer to visitors who are willing to discover it. Known for its crystal clear waters, beautiful beaches and rugged mountains, Calabria is a perfect destination for those who love the sea and outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking. The region's rich culture, history, and delicious local cuisine will delight visitors as well. A road trip through the region is the best way to explore and experience Calabria, as it allows visitors to travel at their own pace and discover the hidden gems of the region.
Here are some of the must-see and underrated places to visit in Calabria, when road tripping and focusing on seaside and hiking tourism:
The seaside town of Tropea, known as the "pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea", is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and charming historic center. The town is built on a promontory that offers great views of the sea and the surrounding area, and the historic center is home to several churches, palaces and a beautiful old town with narrow streets that are perfect for a stroll.
The coastal town of Pizzo, is home to the famous Pizzo Beach, as well as the medieval Pizzo Castle and the Church of Maria SS. dell'Isola. Pizzo also offers a lively nightlife, with plenty of bars and restaurants where you can sample the delicious local cuisine.
The Aspromonte National Park, located in the southern part of the region, is a beautiful natural reserve with a variety of landscapes from lush green forests to rugged mountain ranges. The park is an ideal destination for hikers and trekkers, with many paths and trails to explore the natural beauty of the area, and offers visitors the opportunity to spot the local wildlife such as the Aspromonte wolf, the wildcat and the golden eagle.
The Sila National Park, located in the central part of the region, is another natural reserve with a picturesque landscape of forests and alpine lakes. The park is home to many species of wildlife, including the brown bear, the deer and the wildcat. It also offers visitors the opportunity to practice a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and skiing in the winter.
The Aeolian Islands of Stromboli and Vulcano: These volcanic islands can be reached by ferry and offer breathtaking views of the active volcanoes, as well as the opportunity to hike and explore the islands' volcanic landscapes. Visitors can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, or relax on the black sandy beaches. The islands offer a unique and unforgettable experience with their natural beauty, history, and culture.
The historic center of Cosenza, a charming town located in the heart of Calabria. Known for its ancient castle, the Norman-Hohenstaufen Castle, and the beautiful Piazza XV Marzo, which is home to a variety of historical and architectural monuments. The town also has a rich cultural heritage, with many churches, palaces, and museums to explore.
The town of Reggio Calabria, home to the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Grecia, which houses many artifacts from the ancient Greek colonies of southern Italy, such as the famous Riace Bronzes. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful seafront promenade, with its many shops, bars, and restaurants, and take a stroll through the historic center of the town.
Scilla, a small town located on the Tyrrhenian coast, is famous for its picturesque fishing village and the beach of Marina Grande, with clear waters and picturesque views of the town and the sea. Visitors can also take a hike to the Chianalea district, a traditional village located on the sea, characterized by colorful houses and a small harbor.
The Catanzaro's Cathedral, is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, with its ornate decoration, frescoes, and sculptures. The Cathedral is the main religious building of the city and it offers the visitors a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.
Some underrated places to visit include also the town of Palmi, located on the Ionian Sea. It offers beautiful beaches and a historic center with the Church of Santa Maria della Catena, a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture. The town is also home to the famous 'Palio dei Normanni', a medieval reenactment festival that takes place every August.
The town of Ciro Marina, a small town located on the Ionian Sea, known for its long sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and beautiful sunsets ; is yet another underrated town you can pass by. Visitors can also take a stroll through the historic center of the town and visit the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, a fine example of Baroque architecture.
For history lovers, the village of Bivongi, a charming medieval village located in the Aspromonte mountains, offers a rich cultural heritage, a beautiful historic center, and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking in the nearby natural parks. The village is also known for its delicious local cuisine and traditional festivals.
These are just a few examples of the many great places to visit in Calabria when road tripping and focusing on seaside and hiking tourism with HomeCamper. The region offers visitors a rich mix of culture, history, and natural beauty, making it a perfect destination for those looking for a unique travel experience. You can combine all of these elements into a comprehensive and exciting itinerary, sure to delight even the most discerning traveler.