Discover Tropea and Costa degli Dei

Mara Noveni | Live the World

May 29, 2024

On this journey, let's discover Tropea and Costa degli Dei in southern Italy. Tropea is the most popular and most visited resort on the coast in Calabria, famous worldwide for its crystal clear sea and "Caribbean" beaches that are part of the Costa degli Dei, and is nicknamed "the little Athens of Calabria". In fact, two centuries ago, the Count of Narbonne, an exile from the French Revolution, fell in love with this Calabrian town and compared it to the city symbol of the Hellenic culture. To understand the reason for this association, we have to go up to the historic centre, where we find signs of the past of this town, which was the crossroad of Mediterranean peoples and rich in local traditions. In this city of philosophers, musicians and artists, we are rediscovering the beauties left by the time of Magna Graecia and by the people who have been welcomed here over time.

© iStock / Paola Iamunno

Suppose you arrive in Tropea from Lamezia Terme airport. In that case, you can book a transfer in advance, you will have your driver waiting for you inside the airport, and you will avoid the long lines waiting for a taxi, thanks to your reservation priority.

The right place at any time of the year

In any season, this village, with its historic alleys and timeless charm, has a lot to offer and is always welcoming to its visitors.

During the spring and summer seasons, numerous initiatives and activities are available: at the tourist port, you can try various water sports (fly board, water skiing, wave board, etc.), you can fly parasailing or can take boat trips, with the possibility of snorkelling and diving. In spring, a trip to Tropea is the ideal activity for those who want to enjoy the place without the scorching summer heat and crowds of tourists. Fishing and excursions begin in May. If, on the other hand, you prefer to choose more peaceful activities, the offer in the historic centre suggests excursions dedicated to history and culture, art and folklore.

© iStock / Francesco Sgura

In summer, however, the beaches, the sea, total relaxation and good food make this location a real pearl to be experienced in all its beauty.

Even during autumn, Tropea has a lot to offer, as the temperature is very mild. Indeed, from the beginning of September until the beginning of November, the second Tropea summer occurs: with its mild climate, Tropea will be even more pleasant to discover.

And finally, winter, when spending a day at the beach, is one of the most special and rewarding experiences that this location can offer. The Christmas village is also set up during Christmas, which colours the historic centre with cultural itineraries, markets, and much more until Epiphany.

The Costa degli Dei

Tropea is located exactly in the middle of the Costa degli Dei, a beautiful 55 km long coastal stretch extending from Pizzo Calabro to Nicotera. On the Costa degli Dei, in addition to Tropea, other splendid places are certainly worth a visit.

The Costa degli Dei has this name because, according to some myths connected to the Greek polis of Hipponion (today's Vibo Valentia), in ancient times, the gods who chose it for its scenic beauty had their home. Its coasts and beaches evoke dream scenarios. In this stretch of coast, we find a crystalline sea unique in the world, white sand alternating with stretches of rock, the fauna and flora characteristic of the Mediterranean scrub. It is no coincidence that even the Gods chose it as their home, according to the legend: the beauty of the Costa degli Dei has managed to conquer Olympus and all of humanity.

© iStock / Roxiller

Tropea is one of the most frequented places by tourists. Ferries and boats depart from its marina for the Aeolian Islands. However, to find an oasis of peace, visit the beautiful Grotta Azzurra, which is located south of the last beach of TropeaCavaliere Beach. Its entrance is a small hole that can be reached by boat or pedal boat.

The Costa degli Dei is full of beaches and bays to dive into and enjoy picturesque landscapes. However, the most popular beach in Zambrone is Paradiso del Sub, which perfectly resembles the wonderful Caribbean beaches.

© iStock / Vercingetorige

An experience that I would recommend is a Capo Vaticano boat tour with snorkel & aperitif, lasting about three hours. This is a guided boat tour, departing from Tropea and sailing along the coast to Capo Vaticano. While sailing, you will experience the Italian summer spirit with music, dancing, and an included aperitif on board, while your captain will tell you the story of these magnificent places. The navigation will be interrupted to allow you to do some snorkelling, admire a variety of fish, and experience swimming in this wonderful sea.

© Get your Guide / unknown author

The views

Calabria is the queen of landscapes. In fact, the panoramas that can be enjoyed along the entire coast are numerous and breathtaking, looking out of a window, from a terrace, or even from a rock or a natural promontory.

© iStock / Paolo Gagliardi

The views on the most famous panoramas of Tropea are: Raf Vallone viewpoint, overlooking the sea of Tropea; Largo Duomo, just behind the Cathedral, overlooks the harbour and offers an incredible view; Largo Galluppi, also known as the scientific high school belvedere or Carabinieri belvedere; Belvedere della Villetta or del Cannone, famous for the spectacular sunsets that can be enjoyed from this point.

The historic centre

The historic centre of Tropea is entirely overlooking the sea. The promontory on which Tropea stands is, in fact, unique in its kind, with an enviable position, as it extends over a tuff cliff jutting out over the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The small historic centre stands on a hill between 50 and 60 meters above sea level, while the area of the Marina is located at the foot of the cliff adjacent to the tourist port. The ancient village represents the heart of the city and its strong point. It is divided in two by the Corso, with shops, restaurants and coffee shops, and is distinguished by the incredible panorama that can be enjoyed from the Raf Vallone viewpoint, a panoramic balcony overlooking the Gulf of Sant'Eufemia, the Aeolian Islands and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola. Among the alleys, you will be fascinated by the architecture of the noble palaces, churches and convents, witnesses of an ancient religious passion.


Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola

The tourist and religious symbol of Tropea, this sanctuary stands on a rock formerly surrounded by the sea. Dating back to the 6th-7th century, it was originally a hermitage for Orthodox monks, and later, with the arrival of the Normans, it became a Benedictine sanctuary. Its luxuriant garden opens up like a small Eden, and with its panoramic terrace, it offers its visitors an unforgettable spectacle which envelops the soul and spirit in ecstasy between sky, history and sea.

© iStock / chrupka

The Cathedral

Dating back to the 12th century, by the Normans, the Cathedral has a development with 3 naves in Roman style and is built entirely of yellow tuff and lava stone. During the 17th century, the building was transformed into a Baroque style and lengthened. Over the centuries, it suffered a lot of damage from numerous earthquakes and was restored several times. Inside is kept the icon of the Virgin of Romania, patroness of Tropea, dated around 1230 and of oriental origin. Particularly precious is the Black Crucifix of French origin, dated around 1600. The Cathedral is located in the historic centre of Tropea and can be reached along the main street. As already mentioned in Largo Duomo, in the square adjacent to the Cathedral, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the hills and the port.

© iStock / font83

Corso Vittorio Emanuele

Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the heart of the city and the centre of nightlife. The numerous restaurants serving local cuisine, the shops selling typical products and handicrafts, the coffee shops and ice cream parlours, the coral shops and the trendy boutiques attract thousands of tourists who, during the day and in the evening, experience the main street of Tropea and its characteristic alleys. Many historic buildings of the city overlook the course, just look at the ancient doors and decorations that represent the noble families of a bygone era. Going all the way along the course, you arrive at the Balconata, the suggestive view overlooking the sea with a wonderful view on one side of Isola Bella, below on the Mare Piccolo Beach, with its white sand and a crystalline and turquoise sea, and on the horizon the Aeolian Islands.

© iStock / diegograndi

Daily tours leave for the Aeolian Islands, so you can live an unforgettable experience by booking a Full Day Lipari, Panarea, & Stromboli Boat Trip from Tropea. The motorboat tour lasts a whole day, from morning to evening, stops on the islands of Lipari and Panarea for sufficient time for the visit, brings you face to face with the Stromboli volcano, circumnavigates Strombolicchio, and allows you to see the Sciara del Fuoco up close. In short, an unexpected experience but one that is certainly worth doing.

© Get your Guide / unknown author

Visiting the city of Tropea means taking a journey through time in art, culture, history and legends. Tropea is not only sea and enchanting beaches but a reality made up of intertwined traditions and cultures, with a thousand-year history that has left an incredible legacy to visitors from all over the world. An incredible experience awaits you to discover Tropea and Costa degli Dei. Do not miss this opportunity!

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