Although “Isola” means “island”, Isola di Capo Rizzuto is actually a peninsula. However, it stands out along the Ionian coast of Calabria, as one of the most popular vacation destinations in the area.
The town of Isola di Capo Rizzuto is very tourist friendly – countless restaurants, shops, and bars, which welcome thousands of visitors every summer. The coastline is home to hotels, b&b’s, campsites and vacation houses. Although the Ionian coast of Calabria gives an overall impression of a land less taken care of, the area of Isola di Capo Rizzuto is always busy and offers a quality vacation experience.
The Marine Reserve of Capo Rizzuto
The Marine Reserve is a part of the coastline in Capo Rizzuto, protected by the state, due to the unique flora and fauna of the waters. It is officially divided into three zones: zone A is open only to scientific research; zone B is available for swimming, fishing, and boating, whereas zone C is a partial reserve – tourist groups are welcome, but underwater fishing is not. Regarding the tourist groups – guided tours are organized by boat, and it is probably the best way to explore the area and learn more about the Marine Reserve.
The 16th century Aragon castle of Isola di Capo Rizzuto gave its name to the village on the coast – Le Castella. The castle itself was fully restored in 2001 and stands in the waters of Gulf of Squillace, connected to the mainland by a sand rampart. It has become an icon of Calabria – you can often see it on “must-visit” lists. It is an impressive fortification both in size and beauty, with towers and high walls overlooking the gulf. We would recommend visiting the castle in the evening – with the beautiful evening illumination and the sound of waves splashing in the dark, it gives a fantastic experience.
The village of Le Castella is full of shops, bars where you can have an aperitivo and restaurants serving seafood. It is a nice place for a family vacation – there are lots of animation and entertainment for kids. There are also very nice hotels in the area.
Isola di Capo Rizzuto is only 30-40 minutes’ drive from Crotone, the main city of the province. It is also about two hours’ drive away from Sila national park and 1,5 hours away from Santa Severina and Carfizzi.