Calabria itinerary by car
Hello dear readers! I participated in Mala para Dois magazine with my first post: “Uma viagem segura, conselhos para quem vai pela primeira vez a Itália!!” (“A safe trip, advice for those going to Italy for the first time !!”) And now we also have a section Car travel in Italy – Example of Tours, and every month I will write and give an example of a car tour in a region of Italy. Did you like the idea? So be sure to follow me !! And let’s go to our Post? Calabria itinerary by Car ? Read here our July article in Mala para Dois Magazine !! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Each region in Italy is full of beauties, so if you have been in Italy and visited the classic tourism made by art cities like Rome, Naples, Capri, Florence, Siena, Verona, Venice and Milan, take the opportunity to be inspired by my articles !! I’m sure I’ll make you fall in love with this wonderful country! Read our July post: Small advice for people going to Italy for the first time ! and meet the Mala para Dois community! My first section opened (obviously) was with my region, Calabria. Let’s go?
Lets go to know our Calabria?
Why visit Calabria by car?
There are regions in Italy that are very difficult to visit with public transport (trains and buses) and, to get to know them, you really need to have a car. Calabria is one of those regions. With a car, you can visit the towns that are lost among the mountains, as well as discover the natural beauty of this region, practically untouched by traditional tourism.
How will our itinerary be?
I will be writing an 8-day itinerary going through the most important and beautiful towns in Calabria, among them the towns that are part of the association “Club dei Borghi piú belli d Itália”, which today consists of 217 towns throughout Italy. Of these 217, ten are located in Calabria, as well as by the most important maritime / religious / archaeological tourist targets.
On average, this itinerary has a minimum of 60 kilometers and a maximum of 240 kilometers per day depending on where you choose to sleep. I advise you to do it in the form of an itinerant tour, that is, sleeping each night in a different location ; I know it’s not a great thing to open and close your bags, but I think it’s worth it to always be as close as possible to the areas to be visited so that the tour is less tiring. Basically we will be doing a complete tour of Calabria, starting and ending in Reggio Calabria.
Regardless of where you arrive, Paola, Reggio Calabria or Lamezia Terme, you will rent a car and depart for the first day of the tour, which will start in Reggio.
1) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 1
1st DAY – Reggio, Scilla and Pentedatillo (60 kilometers): We will start our tour visiting the museum of Reggio Calabria to know the famous Bronzes de Riace statues, two magnificent works of art, dated around the 5th century BC, examples of ancient Greek sculpture, belonging to the transitional period between the archaic Greek sculpture and the ancient classical style, unique to the world. I also recommend a brief visit to the city’s Cathedral.
Continuing to visit our first town, Pentadatilo, which was abandoned in the sixties of the 20th century. What is fascinating in this town is the mystery of the place, known as one of the ghost towns in Italy. Do you want to know why? Go and visit it! Its exceptional scenic beauty will also leave you open-mouthed. Finally, we will end the day by visiting Scilla (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), known as the “Venice of the South”, for the way the houses “lean” on the sea. Be sure to visit the Castle and dine on a typical dish made with swordfish !! I advise staying overnight in a B&B in Scilla or in a hotel in Reggio Calabria.
(Source: Explore Calabria)
2) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 2
2nd DAY – Bova, Gerace and Stilo (207 km): Today we will visit Bova (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), capital of the Greek area, where today they still speak a dialect derived from Greek and where traditions of the East are maintained. Then continue to Gerace (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), visit the Norman city par excellence, be sure to visit the famous Cathedral of Gerace, one of the most important in Calabria. Continue to Stilo (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), which certainly preserves the most important architectural jewel in all of Calabria, Cattolica, a small Byzantine temple, dating from the 9th century AD, with square plan and Greek cross. I advise staying overnight in a b & b or agritourism in the Stilo area.
(Source: Jonny Wild)
3) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 3
3rd DAY – Squillace, Le Castelle and Santa Severina (170 km): Today’s schedule includes several stops. First we will pass through the Archaeological Park of Squillace, visit the park and the archaeological remains of the wonderful Basilica of Saint Mary “della Roccella”. Continuing to visit the Castle inside the sea at Le Castelle, near Capo Rizzuto, be sure to stop to take pictures of the wonderful coastline. Continuation of the trip to Santa Severina (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), with I am totally in love with, known as the “stone ship”, be sure to visit the Baptistery, one of the main works left by the Byzantines to the territory and its Castle that it is considered one of the most beautiful in southern Italy, fully restored, revealing 1200 years of history !! I advise staying overnight at an agritourism in the Santa Severina area.
(Source: Explore Calabria)
4) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 4
4th DAY – Rossano, Corigliano and Sibari (140 km): Today we will visit Rossano with its historic center with the important church of Saint Mark, one of the most important Byzantine works in Calabria together with the Cattolica de Stilo. Proceed to Corigliano where we will visit the historic center and its wonderful castle completely restored where you will be dazzled by a wonderful panoramic view. And finally, we will stop in Sibari, one of the most important cities of the Greek period, where we will visit the archaeological museum that will tell the story of this wonderful and unique civilization! I advise staying overnight at an agritourism or in a hotel in the Sibari area.
(Source: Borghi d’ Italia)
5) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 5
5th DAY – Civita, Morano Calalabro and Aieta (125 km): Today we will visit Civita (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), a village of “Arbëreshë” origin founded in the 15th century, thanks to the Albanian populations that were fleeing persecutions from the Turks. Continuing to Morano Calabro (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), the delicate union of art and natural beauty makes this town one of the most beautiful in southern Italy. Continue to Aieta (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), with a visit to its historic center that still retains indelible traces of its glorious past. I advise staying overnight at an agritourism or in a hotel in the Aieta area.
6) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 6
DAY 6 – Isola Dino, San Nicola Arcella, Cirella, Diamante and Paola (90 km): Today we will visit some of the most important and beautiful locations on the Calabrian coast, such as Isola de Dino, San Nicola Arcella. Do not miss the famous Arco Magno, Diamante with its graceful historic center and finally, as the last stage of the day, we will visit the Sanctuary of Saint Francis of Paola. I advise staying overnight at an agritourism or in a hotel in the Paola area.
(Source: Paolo Verduci)
7) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 7
7th DAY – Fiumefreddo, Altomonte and Cosenza (172 kilometers): After breakfast we will leave to visit the village, Fiumefreddo (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), an ancient medieval village, protected by walls with small alleys, ruins and towers. The panorama around the village is of inestimable beauty. We will continue our trip to Altomonte (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), located at the foot of the Pollino National Park, visit its old Church, which testifies to its long and fascinating history. Finally, to complete the day, we will arrive in Cosenza, one of the most important cities in Calabria, visit its historic center, including the famous UNESCO-recognized Duomo, the recently restored Castle and, if time permits, we will visit the Enoltri Museum, where you can get to know the history of the region through all the historical stages. I advise staying overnight in a hotel in Cosenza.
8) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 8
8th DAY – Pizzo, Tropea, Capo Vaticano, Palmi and the promontory of Sant Elia / Reggio Calabria (231 kilometers): We will end our tour visiting one of the most beautiful coastlines in Calabria (and Italy) passing through Pizzo, where we will visit its castle and we will taste the famous “tartuffo” ice cream. Then we will continue to Tropea, known as the Pearl of Calabria, Capo Vaticano with a wonderful sea and we will pass by the Sant´Elia promontory where we will take wonderful panoramic photos of the Calabrian Coast. Finally, return to Reggio Calabria. I advise staying overnight in the Reggio area.
(Source: Explore Calabria)
9) Calabria itinerary by Car – DAY 9 (END OF TRIP)
DAY 9 – Departure: Yesterday’s tour was quite full, so I advise you to leave today for Lamezia (airport) or Reggio Airport or the train station and continue our journey through this unique and enchanted land !!
A little about Calabria…
Unfortunately few tourists were in Calabria and this is due to the local geography, which ends up making it a little difficult to get around in this region, and also due to the lack of information on the web in English. Be sure to check out my blog, as we are improving this issue. In addition, the territory’s promotion policy is still little present, but mainly because tourists when they come to Italy have little time available (between 7 to 15 days). With these factors, tourists end up prioritizing the most famous tourist regions such as Veneto, Lombardy, Liguria, Tuscany, Sicily, Campania, and obviously Lazio with the “eternal city”, Rome. Read our post: What are the 10 places you mus see in Calabria!!
This region is part of the south of the peninsula and it has a mountainous territory between the Adriatic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its wonderful beaches are popular tourist destinations, not only for Italians, but for Europeans in general. Although the region prioritizes the promotion of its maritime locations (so often built with a view of the sea, to protect against pirate invasions, or in places in the mountains where life still happens according to the rhythms of the seasons) in my opinion what is most worth visitind is its heritage of medieval villages embedded in rocks. That is why visiting Calabria means getting to know the most authentic of the Italian people!
I cannot fail to remember that Calabria, like all of southern Italy, was populated by different peoples: the Greeks (people who called this region Magna Grecia, meaning a land more important than the land of origin), the Romans, the Byzantines, Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragones. And that is exactly why this land is so diverse and in each part of the Calabrian territory we will find a different cultural and artistic heritage! In relation to everything that can be visited, I advise you to go on my Blog Your Travel to Calabria, to learn more about the different locations, O.K?
How to get to Calabria?
1) How to get to Calabria? BY AIRPLANE
The best way to get to Calabria is by air. There are 3 airports in Calabria, but here are the most used:
- Lamezia Terme International Airport: this is the most important airport, including direct flights from other European countries, in case you are not arriving from Rome or Milan: www.lameziaairport.it/
- Reggio Calabria Airport: with several arrivals and departures from Rome and Milan: www.aeroportodellostretto.it/it/
Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILAN?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER?
2) How to get to Calabria? BY TRAIN
Another great option is to arrive with the train. From Sicily and all Italy there are several connections that will connect you to the city of Paola in the province of Cosenza or to Reggio Calabria in the province of Reggio. To give you an idea of the time you will spend traveling, see below:
- From Rome (5 hours to 9 hours) and Naples (4 hours to 6 hours), from Messina in Sicily (less than 1 hour).
- To buy tickets you can go directly to the Italian railway website www.trenitalia.com/ or directly to the train station.
Did you know?
Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of rail transport. Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?“. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
3) How to get to Calabria? BY CAR
Another option is to take this tour directly by car from another Italian region, such as Sicily, Campania or Puglia. The A3 motorway is the backbone of Calabria and connects the region with Naples and Rome.
If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
Don’t know where to rent the car?
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Would you like to visit the beautiful Calabria?
Calabria extends to southern Italy, a mountainous territory between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. After the Greeks came the Romans, the Byzantines, the Normans, the Swabians, the Angevins and the Aragonese. Precisely for this reason, this land is so diverse and in each part of the Calabrian territory we will find a different cultural and artistic heritage!
Find out more about this region through my other blog made especially for my Calabria “Your Travel to Calabria“
Calabria itinerary by car? In conclusion, dear reader, explorer of the world or to the thousands of Calabrian descendants from my Brazil, come and discover the beauty of Calabria, I am sure that this land will know how to prey your heart, as it did with me so many years ago! I want to end this article by defining Calabria as the tip of the boot (Italy is known geographically for the shape of a boot), but mainly as a springboard for Sicily, one of the most visited regions in Italy and also our goal for next month !! And have a nice trip !!! See the August magazine here!
If you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier:)
Did my post help you? If yes, make sure to leave your comment below, but if you still have questions, just leave them as a comment below and I will reply, O.K.?