Calabria holidays 2020
Italy has given the world some of its favourite things over the years, including Renaissance art, beautiful food, palatable wines, fashion sense, stunning supercars, incredible history, impressive architecture and a passion for football. And of course, if it wasn’t for the exploring talents of certain Italians, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus to name just two, a lot of the world we know might not have been discovered in the first place. Which subsequently means we wouldn’t be able to immerse ourselves into the unique culture of the countries we like to take holidays to, year after year.
Like for example Italy itself, and in particular Calabria. Thankfully we’re as passionate about Calabria as Italians tend to be about most of the aforementioned, which is why we’re highlighting the very best bits here; and which you can savour yourself if you choose to take a cheap holiday to Calabria this summer in 2020. Located at the toe of the boot of Italy, and lapped by the splendid crystal blue Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, Calabria boasts immaculate beaches, beautiful landscapes and a timeless charm all of its own. It’s also known as ‘The Caribbean of Italy’ and is without question the jewel in the crown of the country’s coastline; and in terms of places to stay, destination-wise is virtually untouchable, when considering the choice of everything from traditional family-run establishments on olive farms, to exquisite boutique hotels and everything in between.
Why book Calabria holidays
Great national parks
Nature-lover? There are three lush national parks to explore in Calabria
Discover the best beaches
We love the white sand beaches of Tropea
Sample the local food
Sample the rich Calabrian produce including porcini mushrooms, bergamot orange & olive oil!
Lush natural wonders
You can hop on a boat to the gorgeous Aeolian Islands
Top attractions to visit
Riace Statues in Reggio, Stilo’s Byzantine Church & Norman Castle
Sailing is always on the cards in Vibo Valentia
Top resorts in Calabria
A holiday in Tropea ticks every Italian box. It’s a historic town of squares and lanes, where dramatic cliffs tower …From £226 per person
Renowned for its stunning natural beauty and historical importance, holidays to Capo Vaticano will welcome you to a charming area …From £196 per person
Catanzaro in Calabria, Italy …From £238 per person
Discover Zambrone Holidays With its vast stretching coastlines and scenic surroundings, there’s nothing quite like a holiday to Zambrone. Located in …From £239 per person
Reggio Calabria in Calabria, Italy …From £247 per person
Situated in the area that’s considered Europe’s Caribbean thanks to its beautiful beaches and fantastic climate, holidays to Lamezia Terme …From £235 per person
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Your guide to Calabria holidays
To those with little prior knowledge, the Calabria region of southern Italy provides a memorable getaway for those on the look-out for a destination which is a bit less tourist-y. Although British holidaymakers may not be au fait with the trappings of an almost Riviera lifestyle, that’s not to say Italians themselves aren’t; as Italians from far and wide annually descend on Calabria in high season knowing exactly what they’d be missing otherwise.
The beaches are where it’s mostly at in Calabria, with the vast majority of activities revolving around them. Calabria’s shores are long and sandy as well as pebbly and more secretive in nature. Spanning some 497 miles of coastline, other attractions in Calabria include the cultural draw of Isola di Dino’s Castello Ruffo’ which, according to legend was where Odysseus visited in Homer’s epic poem, ‘odyssey’. While elsewhere at Castello Aragonese there is the 16th Century Aragon fortress which was used to repel attacks from the Ottoman Turks. And as we mentioned above, art is very well starred in Italy, and Calabria is no different. Cue the famous Riace Bronzes which habitually pull in art lovers, and which are found on display in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria. Regarded as an important vestige of Magna Graecia, these bronzes feature an epoch that shaped the history of this region significantly. Notably these beautiful statues are said to represent two warrior heroes, and stand as a rare example of classical Greek sculpture.
So, these beaches then. Well, for starters the resort of Capo Vaticano is recognised as one of the top 100 beaches on the planet, and it’s not beyond the realms of anyone’s imaginations to see why when they see shores fringed with ancient trees and lapped by crystal clear waters. Located in the province of Vibo Valentia, the waters around here teem with fish, which goes a long way to explain the popularity of snorkelling and scuba diving in these parts. And if the sight of a cornucopia of fish doesn’t float your holidaying boat, then perhaps getting up close and personal with vibrant coral reefs and fascinating shipwrecks will have the desired effect.
What’s more, if you follow the twisting Via Grotticelle near Capo Vaticano’s lighthouse, visitors will unearth a selection of additional beaches tucked into the curves of the Tyrrhenian coast, the final one only reached by wading between the rocks. Maintaining a tranquil, crowd-avoiding beach vibe, why not instead head to Zambrone, which boasts long stretches of undiscovered and spoilt sands and intriguing landscapes to make for an intimate hideaway.
There’s no doubt that beaches are among Calabria's star attractions, with the Tyrrhenian coast's fragrant Riviera dei Cedri (so called thanks to its profusion of citrus trees) boasting a collection of stand-out beaches and resort towns. Together with Capo Vaticano, the resorts of Pizzo and Tropea are three of Calabria's most celebrated coastal draws, with the latter, town of Tropea particularly spellbinding; teetering on a cliff edge.
Most popular Calabria hotels
Your Calabria questions answered
Calabria is known for its delicious spicy food. Think local cuisine richly relying on fragrant garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and red-hot chilli peppers. So it comes as no surprise that the spicy ‘Nduja sausage is one of Calabria’s most famous foods!
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