As this region of Italy has yet to be discovered by the masses, you’re more likely to find yourself sharing sand with the locals than other Brits. Away from the big cities like Reggio Calabria and Lamezia Terme, life is a rural as it gets – think traditional houses, and scenery worth snapping for Facebook.
There’s 500 miles of coastline in the Calabria region alone, so you’ve got plenty of opportunity to pitch up with an ice cream on a sandy beach. Sandwiched between the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, and the Ionian coast to the east, there are plenty of sunbathing spots on offer. Keen scuba divers will love Capo Vaticano, while history lovers should head to Le Castella, overlooking a 15th-century castle. Or, head to Santa Maria, where its warm waters feel almost tropical.
Italy and delicious dishes go hand-in-hand – and you won’t be disappointed in Calabria’s offerings. Olive oil production has taken place here for thousands of years, and there are plenty of must-try foods. These include ‘nduja, a spreadable, chilli flavoured pork sausage, and peperoncino, a hot pepper local to the region. Don’t miss Tropea’s sweet onions either – they’re believed to have healing properties.
This part of Italy boasts three protected landscapes across the region, including Sila National Park. There’s also Aspromonte in the south, where you can see views all the way to Mount Etna. These standout points in Calabria’s landscape are ideal for adventure-seekers, who can mountain bike, canoe, and horseback ride their way around mountains, waterfalls, and forests. And away from the national parks, sprawl out on the beaches, or wander amongst olive groves, lemon and orange trees.
There are Medieval towns and hilltop settlements scattered throughout Calabria, so stepping back in time to Italy’s ancient past is easy. At the National Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria, you can see the famous Riace Bronzes, two Greek warrior statues. Discovered at the bottom of the sea off Italy’s southern coast, they date back to around the mid-fifth-century BC. You’ll also find the Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Assunta in Cielo, which takes the title of the largest religious building in the area.
Standout views and a romantic rooftop bar set this hotel apart from the crowd. It’s no wonder it’s a TripAdvisor award winner.
The TUI MAGIC LIFE Calabria lines up a packed-to-the-rafters activity programme, lots of restaurants and a private beach.
At ROBINSON Apulia you can keep busy day and night, with everything from cookery classes to yoga sessions and parties on the beach.
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