Home World TRAVEL 12 Most Beautiful Places in Calabria (Italy) to Visit

12 Most Beautiful Places in Calabria (Italy) to Visit

12 Most Beautiful Places in Calabria (Italy) to Visit


Are you thinking about visiting Calabria this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Calabria. These pretty sights and destinations will blow your mind.

Italy is a land of endless romance, mouthwatering cuisine, and unparalleled history. But let’s skip the usual suspects like Rome and Venice for a moment. Have you ever heard of Calabria? Tucked away in the southernmost tip of Italy’s boot, this hidden gem is a paradise waiting to be discovered. Imagine azure waters kissing golden sands, ancient ruins whispering tales of yore, and cliffside villages offering panoramic views that’ll make your Instagram followers green with envy.

You might wonder, “Why Calabria?” Well, let me tell you, this region is Italy’s best-kept secret for a reason. It’s where the mountains and the sea dance in a harmonious ballet, creating a landscape so diverse it’ll make your head spin. From the rugged beauty of the Aspromonte National Park to the ethereal beaches of Tropea, Calabria is a symphony of natural wonders. And the best part? It’s still relatively untouched by the tourist hordes, making it the perfect escape for those yearning for an authentic Italian experience.

So, are you ready to explore the most beautiful places in Calabria? Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on an unforgettable journey through Italy’s most underrated region. From hidden beaches to mountainous trails, from ancient ruins to mouthwatering cuisine—Calabria has it all, and it’s high time you discovered it for yourself.

This article on the most beautiful places in Calabria to visit contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Calabria      

Eager to explore the most stunning spots in Calabria? Nestled in southern Italy, Calabria offers a diverse tapestry of experiences for every type of traveler. Continue reading to unveil the breathtaking landscapes that this captivating region has in store for you.

Fascinated by picturesque cities and cultural landmarks? Or perhaps you’re in search of a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature? Whatever your travel inclinations, Calabria has a destination that will speak to your soul. Here are the must-visit locations in Calabria you won’t want to miss:

1. Arco Magno

Arco Magno is a sight to behold. This natural arch, sculpted by the relentless power of the sea, is one of the most beautiful places in Calabria. As you approach by boat or on foot, the arch reveals itself like a gateway to another world. The turquoise waters beneath it offer a mesmerizing contrast to the rugged cliffs.

The area around Arco Magno is a haven for adventure seekers. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities, offering a chance to explore the colorful marine life that calls this place home. The arch itself is accessible by a steep trail, which might be a bit challenging but is worth every step. The view from the top? Absolutely breathtaking.

Around Arco Magno, adventure seekers find a haven.

Local legends add an extra layer of allure to this stunning location. Some say the arch was a secret meeting spot for lovers in ancient times. Others believe it’s a portal to an undiscovered world. Regardless of the myths, one thing is certain: Arco Magno is a must-see in Calabria.

So, when you’re visiting Calabria, make sure Arco Magno is on your itinerary. It’s not just a natural wonder; it’s a symbol of Calabria’s untamed beauty.

2. Aspromonte National Park

Get ready for an outdoor adventure like no other at Aspromonte National Park. This sprawling natural reserve is one of the best places to visit in Calabria for nature enthusiasts. Picture yourself hiking through dense forests, crossing babbling streams, and stumbling upon hidden waterfalls. The park is a living, breathing spectacle of biodiversity.

Birdwatchers, this is your paradise. The park is home to rare species like the peregrine falcon and the golden eagle. Photographers, you’ll want to keep your camera at the ready. The vistas here are nothing short of awe-inspiring. From the towering peaks to the deep valleys, every angle is a postcard in the making.

For your Italian adventure, Aspromonte National Park is a must-visit destination in Calabria that you shouldn’t overlook

Discussing the local culture is our next focus. The park is dotted with small villages where time seems to have stood still. Traditional crafts, ancient rituals, and local folklore are the soul of these communities. Visiting them is like stepping into a bygone era, making it one of the most scenic places in Calabria.

So, if you’re planning a trip to this Italian gem, Aspromonte National Park is a Calabria destination you won’t want to miss. It’s a feast for the senses and a journey through the rich tapestry of Calabria’s natural and cultural heritage.

3. Dino Island

Ah, Dino Island, a slice of paradise off the Calabrian coast. This island is a treasure trove of natural wonders, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Calabria. Picture this: crystal-clear waters, intriguing caves, and an underwater world that’s a diver’s dream. The Blue Grotto is a must-see, with its waters glowing an ethereal blue.

Adventure calls on land as well. The island is a haven for hikers, with trails leading to viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The flora and fauna are equally captivating. From aromatic herbs to the chirping of cicadas, nature is always in concert here.

Dino Island in Calabria is not just about scenic views; it’s a lesson in Earth’s history and natural wonders.

What sets Dino Island apart? Its geological formations. The island is a living lab for geology enthusiasts. The cliffs and caves tell a story millions of years in the making. It’s a Calabria destination that offers more than just pretty views; it’s a lesson in Earth’s history.

Dino Island isn’t just another spot on the map; it’s one of the prettiest places in Calabria. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or a history buff, this island has something for everyone.

4. Gambarie

Elevate your Calabrian adventure—literally—at Gambarie. Nestled in the heart of Aspromonte National Park, this mountain village is a cool spot in Calabria for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Picture yourself skiing down pristine slopes in the winter or hiking through lush forests in the warmer months. The air is fresher up here, and the views? Simply out of this world.

This part will discuss the activities you can do. Gambarie is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From mountain biking to horseback riding, the options are endless. And for those who prefer a slower pace, the village offers tranquil spots perfect for picnics or simply soaking in the natural beauty. It’s one of those places to visit in Calabria where each season offers a unique experience.

Gambarie, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offers endless options from mountain biking to horseback riding.

Foodies, take note. The local cuisine is a highlight you won’t want to miss. Think hearty mountain fare like polenta, wild mushrooms, and delicious cheeses. It’s comfort food that perfectly complements the alpine setting.

In summary, Gambarie is more than just a mountain retreat; it’s one of the most beautiful places of Calabria. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a peace seeker, this village offers a slice of heaven for everyone.

5. Le Castella

Step into a world where history meets natural beauty at Le Castella. This seaside village is a Calabria destination that captures the imagination. Dominating the landscape is a 16th-century fortress, standing tall on a small islet connected to the mainland. It’s like a scene straight out of a fairy tale, complete with crystal-clear waters surrounding the castle.

Water activities here are top-notch. Snorkeling, diving, and boating tours are popular ways to explore marine life and underwater ruins. The Ionian Sea serves as a vibrant backdrop, making Le Castella one of the top sights in Calabria for water enthusiasts.

Le Castella not only captivates the eyes but immerses you in a sensory experience, showcasing the beauty of Calabria.

You also need to know about Le Castella local culture. The village is a hive of activity, especially during the summer months. Festivals, live music, and traditional dances fill the air with a sense of celebration. It’s a place where community spirit shines, adding a unique charm to your visit.

Le Castella isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a Calabria beauty that engages all your senses. From the historic fortress to the lively local culture, this destination offers a well-rounded experience that’s hard to match.

6. Maratea

Discover Maratea, where the mountains meet the sea in a dramatic display of nature’s artistry. This coastal town is a Calabria beauty, offering a blend of sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and lush hillsides. Picture yourself lounging on a beach one moment and hiking up a mountain trail the next. It’s a destination that keeps you on your toes.

Beaches are the star attraction here. From Fiumicello to Macarro, each beach has its own unique charm. Crystal-clear waters and golden sands make these some of the most beautiful places in Calabria for sun-worshippers and water sports enthusiasts alike.

Maratea provides a varied array of experiences, solidifying its status as one of the premier destinations in Calabria.

Now let’s shift gears and discuss the town itself. Maratea is a labyrinth of narrow streets, charming squares, and historic churches. The Basilica of San Biagio, perched on a mountain overlooking the town, is a must-visit. The panoramic views from here are nothing short of breathtaking.

In essence, Maratea offers a diverse range of experiences, making it one of the best parts of Calabria. Whether you’re a beach bum, a history buff, or an outdoor adventurer, this coastal town has something for everyone.

7. Pentedattilo

Welcome to Pentedattilo, a ghost town that’s anything but lifeless. Perched on a rocky hilltop, this abandoned village is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Calabria. The name Pentedattilo comes from the Greek “penta” and “daktylos,” meaning five fingers, inspired by the mountain’s hand-like shape. It’s a sight that captures the imagination and the camera lens.

Let’s discuss history first. Pentedattilo, established in the seventh century BC, has experienced its share of ups and downs. From invasions to earthquakes, the town has a rich, albeit turbulent, past. Today, it stands as a hauntingly beautiful testament to resilience. It’s one of those stunning locations in Calabria that tells a story without saying a word.

Pentedattilo is a space for contemplation, where you can absorb the Calabrian scenery and reflect on the passage of time.

Now, onto the experience. Walking through the empty streets feels like stepping into another era. The silence is profound, broken only by the occasional chirping of birds or the rustle of leaves. It’s a place for reflection, for soaking in the Calabria scenery and pondering the passage of time.

Pentedattilo offers a particular kind of beauty in an area that is populated with busy beaches and vibrant towns. It’s a destination that invites you to pause, to look closer, and to feel the weight of history in every stone.

8. Piedigrotta Church

Unveil the mystery and allure of Piedigrotta Church, a sacred space carved entirely out of tufa rock. Situated near the town of Pizzo, this unique church is one of the most beautiful spots in Calabria that defies conventional definitions of a religious sanctuary. Intricately sculpted statues and altars adorn the interior, each a masterpiece in its own right.

Let’s delve into the artistry. Local legend has it that shipwreck survivors carved this church as a tribute to the divine. The craftsmanship is extraordinary, with details so fine they seem almost lifelike. It’s a Calabria destination that speaks to both art enthusiasts and spiritual seekers.

Piedigrotta Church, situated in a locale celebrated for its scenic beauty and rich history, is a fusion of both elements

The church’s setting, on the other hand, lends a further dimension of attractiveness. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the views from here are awe-inspiring. It’s one of those places to see in Calabria where natural beauty enhances man-made marvels.

Piedigrotta Church is a fusion of both in a location renowned for its beautiful landscapes and extensive history. It’s a place that captivates the senses and elevates the spirit, making it a must-visit on any Calabrian itinerary.

9. Pizzo

Welcome to Pizzo, a charming fishing village that’s a feast for the senses. With its pastel-colored houses, bustling piazzas, and stunning sea views, Pizzo is one of the pretty places in Calabria that you’ll instantly fall in love with. The village is perched on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Saint Euphemia, offering panoramic vistas at every turn.

Starting with the meal. Pizzo is well known for its Tartufo, an irresistible ice cream delicacy. The culinary scene here is a blend of fresh seafood, local produce, and traditional Calabrian flavors. It’s one of those Calabria destinations where every meal is a celebration.

Pizzo is among Calabria’s charming spots that will captivate you instantly with its beauty.

Now, let’s talk about the beaches. Below the cliff, you’ll find a string of inviting beaches, each with its own unique charm. Whether it’s the golden sands of La Seggiola or the pebbly shores of Marinella, these are where to go in Calabria for a day of sun and surf.

Pizzo is a laid-back option in an area renowned for its spectacular views and extensive history. It’s a destination that invites you to slow down, to savor the simple pleasures, and to soak in the beauty of Calabria.

10. Scilla

Step into the world of mythology and natural beauty in Scilla, a coastal town steeped in legends and lore. Known for its mythical association with the sea monster Scylla from Homer’s Odyssey, this town is a Calabria destination that captivates both the mind and the eye. The azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea serve as a stunning backdrop, making Scilla among the top sights in Calabria.

Let’s explore the beach. Chianalea Beach is a local favorite, a stretch of sand that offers a perfect setting for relaxation and water activities. The nearby Ruffo Castle adds a historical touch to the scenic coastline. It’s one of those places to see in Calabria where history and nature coexist beautifully.

Scilla seamlessly melds natural and historical beauty in a region abundant with both

Turning to the town itself, it is a maze of winding lanes, quaint squares, and ancient structures. The local cuisine, primarily seafood, is a highlight you won’t want to miss. Every meal is a culinary adventure, from freshly caught swordfish to traditional pasta dishes.

Scilla offers a distinctive synthesis of both natural and historical beauties in a region abound in both. It’s a place that invites you to delve into myths, to explore its scenic beauty, and to savor its culinary delights.

11. Sila National Park

Embark on an adventure in Sila National Park, a natural wonder that spans over 73,000 hectares. This expansive park is one of the best places to visit in Calabria for nature enthusiasts. Imagine hiking through dense forests, crossing crystal-clear streams, and encountering diverse wildlife. It’s a paradise for outdoor lovers.

Starting with the activities. Whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, or bird-watching, Sila offers a plethora of options. The park has several well-marked trails catering to all skill levels. It’s one of those must-see places in Calabria where each path leads to a new discovery.

Discover Sila National Park is a must-visit destination in Calabria for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

Switching gears, let’s talk about the flora and fauna. The park is a biodiversity hotspot, home to species like the Calabrian black squirrel and the Italian wolf. It’s a Calabria destination that offers more than just scenic views; it’s a living, breathing ecosystem.

Sila National Park offers a welcome change of pace in an area famed for its breathtaking coasts and ancient cities. It’s a destination that invites you to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and discover the untamed beauty of Calabria.

12. Tropea

Discover the jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Tropea, a coastal town that’s a feast for the eyes and the soul. With its dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and historic architecture, Tropea is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Calabria. Imagine strolling through cobbled streets past centuries-old buildings, all while the sea breeze gently caresses your face.

Let’s start with beaches. Tropea’s coastline is a patchwork of sandy stretches and hidden coves. The iconic Santa Maria dell’Isola monastery, perched on a rocky promontory, adds a mystical touch to the seascape. It’s one of those Calabria destinations where every snapshot is postcard-worthy.

Tropea, with dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters, is among Calabria’s most beautiful destinations, boasting historic architecture.

In a different vein, do not overlook the local food scene. Known for its red onions, Tropea offers a unique twist on Italian cuisine. Every meal is a gastronomic delight, from pasta dishes featuring the famous onion to fresh seafood platters. It’s one of those places to visit in Calabria, where food is integral to the experience.

In a region known for its diverse landscapes and rich history, Tropea stands out for its breathtaking beauty and culinary excellence. It’s a destination that offers a well-rounded, unforgettable Calabrian experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in Calabria        

Looking to expand your knowledge about the most scenic spots in Calabria? Here are some common questions I get a lot about the best Calabria attractions.

What is the most beautiful part of Calabria?

The beauty of Calabria is diverse and spread across the region, making it hard to pinpoint just one “most beautiful” part. However, many travelers are particularly enchanted by the coastal town of Tropea, known for its stunning cliffs and turquoise waters. The Aspromonte National Park offers a different kind of beauty, with its lush forests and mountainous terrain. Scilla and Pentedattilo also offer unique landscapes that captivate visitors. Ultimately, the most beautiful part of Calabria may depend on what you’re looking to experience.

What is Calabria famous for?

Calabria is famous for its diverse landscapes that range from rugged mountains to pristine beaches. It’s a region rich in history and culture, with numerous historic towns, ancient ruins, and traditional festivals. The area is also known for its unique cuisine, featuring local products like Tropea onions and Nduja, a spicy pork spread. Water sports and outdoor activities are abundant, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers. Lastly, Calabria is famous for its warm hospitality, where locals make visitors feel like part of the community.

What are the best places to visit in Calabria for outdoor activities?

For outdoor enthusiasts, Calabria offers a plethora of options that promise adventure and natural beauty. Here are some of the best places in the region for outdoor activities:

  1. Aspromonte National Park: Ideal for hiking and trekking, this park offers numerous trails that take you through lush forests and past stunning waterfalls. It’s also a great spot for bird-watching.
  2. Sila National Park: This park is a year-round destination offering skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the warmer months.
  3. Dino Island: A must-visit for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, the waters around this island are crystal clear and rich in marine life.
  4. Le Castella: This coastal area is perfect for water sports like windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  5. Gambarie: Located in the Aspromonte mountain range, this area is great for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
  6. Maratea: This coastal town offers excellent opportunities for sailing, diving, and snorkeling, along with beautiful beaches for relaxation.
  7. Tropea: Known for its stunning beaches, it’s a great location for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the sun.
  8. Pizzo: Another coastal town where you can enjoy water sports, including jet skiing and parasailing, along with exploring caves along the coastline.
  9. Scilla: Famous for its beach and the mythical sea monster, Scylla, it’s a great place for swimming and exploring marine life.
  10. Catanzaro Lido: This beach destination offers kite surfing due to its favorable winds, making it a unique spot for outdoor activities in Calabria.

Each destination offers a unique set of outdoor activities, making Calabria a versatile region for those looking to combine adventure with stunning natural landscapes.

Explore hidden gems for an authentic Calabrian experience, blending untouched natural beauty with a rich cultural heritage.

Where should I go for the best Calabrian food?

Pizzo is renowned for its Tartufo, a delicious ice cream dessert. Tropea is another culinary hotspot, famous for its red onions and seafood dishes. Both towns offer a taste of authentic Calabrian cuisine.

How do I get around Calabria?

The region has a well-connected public transportation system, including trains and buses. However, renting a car offers the most flexibility, especially for those looking to explore less accessible Calabria destinations.

What are some lesser-known places to see in Calabria?

Calabria is a region rich in hidden gems that often escape the tourist radar. Here are some lesser-known places in Calabria that are worth exploring:

  1. Stilo: Known for its Byzantine church, La Cattolica, this small town offers a glimpse into Calabria’s rich history and architecture.
  2. Gerace: A medieval town with well-preserved structures, including a Norman castle and a Romanesque cathedral. It’s a step back in time.
  3. Squillace: Famous for its ceramics and pottery, this town also has a historic center with narrow lanes and a beautiful cathedral.
  4. Civita: Known as the “Village among the Rocks,” it’s famous for its Albanian heritage and the stunning Raganello Canyons.
  5. Pentedattilo: Almost abandoned, this town is perched on cliffs shaped like five fingers, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
  6. Bova: This town is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Greek-Calabrian language and offers a unique cultural experience.
  7. Locri: Known for its ancient ruins, including a Greek theater and temples, it’s a must-visit for history buffs.
  8. Capo Vaticano: While not entirely unknown, it’s less crowded than Tropea and offers stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  9. Palmi: Located in the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria, this town offers beautiful beaches and is a gateway to the Aspromonte National Park.
  10. Badolato: A medieval village that has been revived by an influx of international residents, offering a unique blend of local and global cultures.

These lesser-known spots offer a more authentic Calabrian experience, from untouched natural beauty to rich cultural heritage.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in Calabria

Calabria is a region that defies easy categorization. From the sun-kissed beaches of Tropea to the haunting beauty of Pentedattilo, from the culinary delights of Pizzo to the natural wonders of Sila National Park, Calabria offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that cater to all kinds of travelers. It’s a land where history, nature, and culture intertwine in the most unexpected ways, making it one of the most beautiful places in Italy.

Calabria has something to offer whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a foodie. Each destination is a chapter in a larger story that invites you to explore, taste, and marvel. It’s not just a travel destination; it’s a tapestry of experiences that will leave you richer in spirit and full of wonder.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book that ticket, and set off on an unforgettable journey through Calabria’s beautiful places. Your adventure awaits, and it promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.

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