One of the great advantages of traveling by car is being able to do everything on your own time, without worrying about schedules, itineraries imposed by the agencies, etc. Today we present you a delightful 8-day itinerary through Calabria… by car! Rady? Let’s go! Here at Your Travel to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
Lets go to know our Calabria?
A little more about Calabria
Each region in Italy is full of beauty, 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! Let’s go to our post of the day? Car itinerary in Calabria. Read also What Are The Ten Places You Must See In Calabria?
Traveling around Calabria by public transport or by car?
There are regions in Italy that are very difficult to get to know with public transportation (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 discovering the natural beauty of this region, practically untouched by traditional tourism. In relation to everything that can be visited, I advise you to go to the many links to find out more about the different locations in Calabria!
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).
- Check with your country’s Traffic Department which documents are required and the rates for issuing the IDP. If you chose to travel by car, be sure to read our Post “Driving in Italy“. It is very important to avoid winning fines for lack of information.
I will be writing an 8-day itinerary going through the most important and beautiful villages in Calabria, among them the towns that are part of the association “Club of the most beautiful villages in Italy”, which today consists of 217 towns throughout Italy, of those, ten are located in Calabria, as well as the most important maritime, religious and archaeological tourist spots. What Are The Best Wineries In Calabria?
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 route, which means sleeping each night in a different location; I know it’s not a very good idea to open and close bags all the time, but I think it’s worth it to always be as close as possible to the areas to be visited so the tour is less tiring. Basically we will be doing a complete tour of Calabria, starting and ending in Reggio Calabria. HOW TO FIND CALABRESE RELATIVES?
Regardless of where you arrive, Paola, Reggio Calabria or Lamezia terme, you will rent a car and leave for the first day of the tour, which will start in Reggio Calabria. Read also Enogastronomic Itinerary In Calabria
1) Car itinerary in Calabria? FIRST DAY
DAY 1 – Reggio Calabria, Sciila and Pentedatillo / 60 kilometers – We will start our tour visiting the museum of Reggio Calabria to visit the famous Bronzi di 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, examples unique to the world, I also recommend a brief visit to the city’s Cathedral.
Burgo Pentadatilo and Scilla
We will visit our first village, Pentadatilo: this village was abandoned in the sixties of the twentieth century, and what fascinates this village is the mystery of the place, known as one of Italy’s ghost villages. Want to know why? Go to see it yourself! Its exceptional scenic beauty will also leave you open-mouthed. Finally, we will end the day by visiting Scilla (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy), known as the “Venice of the South”, for the way the houses “support” the sea. Be sure to visit the Castle and dine on a typical place eating a dish made with swordfish! I suggest you to stay overnight in a B&B in Scilla or in a hotel in Reggio Calabria.
2) Car itinerary in Calabria? SECOND DAY
DAY 2 – Bova, Gerace and Stilo/ 207 km – Today we are going to visit Bova (one of the most beautiful villages of Italy), the capital of Greece area where they still speak a dialect derived from the Greek and where remains traditions of the East. Then continued to Gerace (one of the most beautiful villages of Italy), visit the Norman city par excellence, be sure to visit the famous Gerace Cathedral, one of the most important of Calabria. Continue to Stilo (one of the most beautiful villages of Italy), which certainly preserves the most important architectural jewel of the whole Calabria, Cattolica, small Byzantine temple, dating from the ninth century AD; is has square plan and Greek cross. I suggest staying overnight in a b & b or agriturismo in the area of Stilo.
3) Car itinerary in Calabria? THIRD DAY
DAY 3 – Squillace, Le Castelle and Santa Severina / 170 kilometers – 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 Santa Maria della Roccella. Continuing to visit the Castle inside the sea at Le Castelle, near Capo Rizzuto, be sure to stop to take some pictures of the wonderful coastline.
Moving ahead, we are now going to Santa Severina (one of the most beautiful towns in Italy), and that 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 suggest staying overnight at an agriturismo in the Santa Severina area.
4) Car itinerary in Calabria? FOURTH DAY
DAY 4 – Rossano, Corigliano and Sibari / 140 kilometers – Today we will visit Rossano with its old town with the important church of San Marco, one of the most important Byzantine works in Calabria together with the Cattolica, in Stilo. We keep going to Corigliano where we will visit the old town 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 suggest staying overnight at an agriturismo or in a hotel in the Sibari area.
5) Car itinerary in Calabria? FIFTH DAY
DAY 5 – 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 persecution by the Turks; continuing to Morano Calabro, where the delicate union of art and natural beauty makes this town one of the most beautiful in southern Italy. Continue to Aieta, with a visit to its historic center that still retains indelible traces of its glorious past. I suggest staying overnight at an agriturismo or in a hotel in the Aieta area.
6) Car itinerary in Calabria? SIXTH DAY
DAY 6 – Isola Dino, San Nicola Arcella, Cirella, Diamante and Paola / 90 kilometers – Today we will visit some of the most important and beautiful locations on the Calabria 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 Santo Francesco, in Paola. I suggest you staying overnight at an agritourismo or in a hotel in the Paola area.
7) Car itinerary in Calabria? SEVENTH DAY
DAY 7 – Fiumefreddo, Altomonte and Cosenza/ 172 kilometers – After breakfast we will leave to visit the village of Fiumefreddo, 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, 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, visiting its historic center, including the famous Duomo with UNESCO recognition; also, visit the the recently restored castle and remaining time visiting you can use to go to the Museum degli Enoltri, where you can get to know the history of the region through historical stages. I suggest staying overnight in a hotel in Cosenza.
Watch this video: Discovering Calabria with Ana Patricia: tour in Cosenza
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8) Car itinerary in Calabria? EIGHTH DAY
DAY 8 – 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 his castle and taste the famous “tartuffo” ice cream; then we will continue to Tropea, known as the Pearl of Calabria. After that, we can proceed to Capo Vaticano with a wonderful sea and pass by the Sant´Elia promontory where we will take wonderful panoramic photos of the Calabria Coast. Finally, we’ll return to Reggio Calabria. I suggest staying overnight in the Reggio area.
9) Car itinerary in Calabria? NINTH DAY – DEPARTURE!
DAY 9 – Departure – Yesterday’s tour was quite full, so I recommend leaving today for Lamezia Terme Airport or Reggio Calabria Airport or the train station and continuing our journey through this unique and enchanted land!
8 day car itinerary around Calabria
A little more about the Calabria Region
Unfortunately few tourists come to Calabria and this is due to the local geography that ends up making it a little difficult to get around in this region and due to the lack of information on the web in English (I am working really hard to change that!), in addition , the promotion policy of the territory is still little present in the USA/EU market, but mainly because people, when they come to Italy, have such a little time available (between 07 to 15 days) and end up prioritizing visiting the most famous tourist regions such as Veneto, Lombardia , Liguria, Tuscany, Sicily, Campania, and obviously Lazio with the eternal city “Rome”. YOU MAY LIKE: HOW TO GET TO CALABRIA?
The Calabria Region
This region is part of the south of the peninsula and 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, in my opinion what is most worth knowing is its heritage of medieval villages embedded in rocks, so often built overlooking the sea, to protect themselves against pirate invasions, or in places in the mountains where life still happens according to the rhythms of the seasons; so visiting Calabria means getting to know what is most authentic places among 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 Greece, meaning a land more important than the land of origin), the Romans, the Byzantines, Normans, Swabia people, Anjou and Aragon. And that is exactly why this land is so diverse and, also, that’s why that in each part of the Calabria territory we will find a different cultural and artistic heritage.
A Little more of the Beauties of Calabria
Car Itinerary in Calabria? Well, 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.
TRAVELING TO CALABRIA IS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE, BUT BEING A REGION WITH A SMALL TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE FOR FOREIGNERS, IT IS NOT SO SIMPLE TO VISIT THIS AMAZING PLACE WITHOUT ANY HELP, ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T SPEAK ITALIAN.
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