Travelling Turtle

Places to visit in Calabria

If you are looking for an authentic holiday away from the usual tourist circuits, Calabria is the perfect place to visit. Personally, I know this land very well and it has been my summer holiday destination for several years.

In this article, I’ll take you through a virtual tour of the must-see places to visit in this wonderful Italian region, a list that promises to satisfy adventurous souls and culture lovers alike.

Why choose Calabria for your holidays?

Calabria is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, with enchanting beaches that stretch for kilometers. From the sandy beaches of Tropea and Pizzo Calabro to the secluded coves of Capo Vaticano and Scilla, here you will find a postcard-perfect coastline, ideal for relaxing, swimming and enjoying the sun. It also boasts a rich and fascinating history, reflected in its archaeological sites and ancient cities. Locri Epizefiri, with its well-preserved Greek remains, is worth a visit. Don’t forget to explore the historic centers of Reggio Calabria, Cosenza and Gerace, which tell stories of conquests, cultural exchanges and artistic influences.

Calabria is also famous for its tasty and authentic cuisine, which is based on fresh ingredients and intense flavours. Try traditional dishes such as ‘nduja, a spicy salami, local cheeses and delicious desserts such as the Pizzo truffle. Every bite will make you fall in love with Calabrian cuisine and its unique flavors.

What are the places to see in Calabria?

Villages and cities


Tropea, also known as “The pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea”, is certainly in first place among the unmissable places in Calabria. Winner of the “Il borgo dei borghi” award in 2021, it is a splendid town with a breathtaking panoramic view of the beach and the sea. Its fascinating historic centre, with its narrow streets, ancient buildings and the famous church of Santa Maria dell’Isola, is a place not to be missed.

Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea

The main beach, with its golden coastline lapped by a turquoise sea, is the perfect place to relax under the Calabrian sun. Looking out from the panoramic terraces, you will be able to admire a magical scenery and, on the clearest days, you will be able to admire the island of Stromboli on the horizon which will create an unforgettable setting for your days of relaxation.

Reggio Calabria

The city of Reggio Calabria, located at the end of the peninsula, is home to the famous National Museum of Magna Graecia. Here, visitors can admire the famous Riace Bronzes, two majestic bronze statues dating back to the 5th century BC. These works of art are testimony to the ancient Greek civilization which left an indelible mark on the history of Calabria.

Riace bronzes in Reggio Calabria

The seafront of Reggio Calabria offers an incomparable panoramic setting, with breathtaking views of the Strait of Messina, the Sicilian coast and even Mount Etna. Long walks under the shadows of the trees allow visitors to savor the relaxing atmosphere of the sea.

Strait Arena – Reggio Calabria


Scilla is a charming seaside village known for its Ruffo Castle as well as for the legendary monster of the same name which, according to ancient Greek legends, attacked sailors sailing the surrounding waters. Chianalea beach, with its colorful houses overlooking the sea, is one of the most evocative places to visit.

Pizzo Calabro

Pizzo Calabro is a picturesque coastal town famous for its Norman castle and the ice cream known as “Tartufo di Pizzo”. Enjoy a walk in the historic center and stop to admire the view from Pizzo beach.

Pizzo Calabro – panoramic view


Cosenza, the main city of northern Calabria, offers a combination of history, art and culture. The beating heart of Cosenza is its fascinating historic center, a labyrinth of medieval alleys, picturesque squares and ancient buildings. The Cathedral of Cosenza is one of the city’s architectural masterpieces that is definitely worth a visit.

Dominating the city from above, the Castello Svevo is an imposing fortress that bears witness to past glories and represents the symbol of this city. Built in the Norman period and subsequently expanded by the Swabians, the castle offers a panoramic view of Cosenza and the surrounding mountains.


Located on the Ionian coast, Soverato is a popular seaside resort with sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Enjoy the sun, take a stroll along the seafront and take advantage of water activities such as surfing and snorkelling.


Gerace, a charming medieval village located on a hill, offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Explore the cobbled streets, admire the Gerace Cathedral and visit the Diocesan Museum.

Gerace panoramic view


Nestled among the majestic mountains of Aspromonte, Pentedattilo stands as an ancient guardian of stories and legends, transporting visitors on a journey through time. This abandoned village is located on a rock formation with a unique shape that resembles a hand with five fingers. According to legend, the village was abandoned following mysterious events and tragedies, but its magical atmosphere still persists today, attracting visitors from all over the world.

View of the village of Pentedattilo

National parks

Sila National Park

The Sila National Park, also known as the “Green Lung of Calabria”, is a large area that covers the mountains of the plateau of the same name. Pine, beech and fir forests surround crystal clear lakes, creating an ideal environment for excursions, trekking and outdoor activities. Lake Arvo and Lake Cecita are just some of the gems that dot this enchanting landscape.

Pollino National Park

The Pollino National Park, shared between Calabria and Basilicata, is the largest national park in Italy. This vast territory offers a variety of ecosystems, including canyons, rivers and valleys. The heart of the park is dominated by Monte Pollino, which reaches almost 2,250 meters above sea level. Its towering peaks offer breathtaking views of the park’s vastness and beyond.

The gorges of the Lao river and the deep valleys make the Pollino landscape unique. Scenic trails lead through the gorges, offering a fascinating perspective on the power of nature. The rivers that pass through the park, such as the Raganello, are ideal for rafting and river excursions, while the waterfalls, such as that of San Nicola dell’Alto, add a touch of magic to the experience.

Aspromonte National Park

Echoes of the past resonate among the valleys and small villages of Aspromonte, where the first human settlements date back to the first millennium BC. The park preserves the remains of ancient civilizations, such as Greek and Roman villages, and fascinating medieval villages such as Bova and Gerace, where time seems to have stopped.

The park is home to flora and fauna of unparalleled richness. Among centuries-old woods, impetuous rivers and crystalline lakes, you can find over 2000 species of plants, including the laricio pine, the beech and the rare Calabrian broom. Wolves, wild boars, golden eagles and peregrine falcons are just some of the animals that populate this uncontaminated territory.

Calabria is a region full of hidden treasures and fascinating places to discover. Every city, village and natural area has its own uniqueness and beauty. No matter what your interest, Calabria offers a wide range of cultural, scenic and culinary experiences. Explore this wonderful region and be enchanted by its authenticity and beauty.