The southeast and
its natural beauties
The south-east of Sicily is not only worth seeing because of the big cities and the sandy beaches, but is a region with a lot of intact nature, undeveloped hills, little industry
and some extraordinary natural beauties that incidentally also offer culture. An extremely rare mixture that enables a unique vacation.
Riserva naturale orientata Pantalica, Valle dell’Anapo and Torrente Cava Grande
The necropolis of Pantalica is one of Sicily’s biggest and encompasses more than 5000 chamber tombs. In 2005 UNESCO declared Pantalica, together with Syracuse, a World Heritage Site stating that „the sites and buidings of the Syracuse/Pantalica ensemble constitute a unique collection of remarkable testimonies of centuries of mediterranean culture in one place.“ Archeological findings are comprised of burial objects such as ceramics, weapons and local inhabitants‘ houshold objects and can be seen in Syracuse’s archeological museum.
A visit to the necropolis is possible from Ferla and from Sortino. Reaching it with public transpost is difficult, though. Buses travel from Syracuse to the site’s entry points.
Riserva naturale orientata Cavagrande del Cassibile
The Cava Grande del Cassibile ravine is one Sicily’s most beautiful natural wonders. Surrounded by an impressive landscape, the Cava Grande gives off a sense of calmness. It lies in the middle of a natural reserve 2696 hectare in size. Ample Macchia plants and huge plane trees dominate the scenery. The Cava Grande is really close to Noto and worth the days trip. Awaiting visitors is a 300 metre-high climb, which is definitely harder going up than down.
In recent years, the main entrances were often blocked due to rain, fires etc.
There are, however, inofficial entrances. In midsummer the natural swimming pools are filled with cool water and wonderfully refreshing.
The Monti Iblei, also called the Hyblaen Mountains, is a mountain range in the south-eastern Syicilian provinces of Syracuse, Catania and Ragusa. The name derives from the Siculi king Hyblon, who gave part of his territory to Greek colonists for them to build the town of Megara Hyblaea.
The limestone mountain range is at some points covered in volcanic rock and is streaked by deep canyons. The tallest peak is the 986m-high Monte Lauro to the south-west of the town of Buccheri. The rivers Tellaro, Dirillo and Cassibile are also born in the Monti Iblei.
Worth seeing are the baroque town Palazzolo Acreide, home to the excavations of the antique town of Acredi, and the Pantalica necropolis. Typical buldings for the area are the Dammusi, which were constructed around natural caves. A regional speciality is the miele di carrubo – a honey made from carob blossoms.