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Vendicari Nature Reserve

A nature reserve in Sicily

To the south of the town of Noto in the Siracusa Province is the almost 1500 hectare nature reserve and most important wetland area in Sicily, Vendicari. It is the most significant nature conservation area on the island and a paradise for migratory birds. More than 200 different bird species live on this abandoned strip of coastline together with the Sicilian pond turtle that can only be found in these wetlands and is now almost extinct on the island. Typical for this area are the small ponds and lakes in the coastal dunes, known as “Pantano” or “Pantani” in Italian.

An information stand shows visitors the way to the entrance to the nature reserve on the national highway Noto-Pachino. The area is a perfect place for bird watchers to explore, and you can either take a guided tour or get off the beaten trail on your own. Other notable sights in the reserve include the Torre de Vendicari, a look-out that was built in the 15th century, and in the summer months, the beaches around Vendicari below the mouth of the River Tellaro attract holiday-makers from the surrounding regions.