Italy: Calabria Self-Drive

  • Tours & Multi-centres in Italy

Hiring a car and hitting the road, is one of the best ways to see Calabria. On this self-drive tour we’ve done all the planning for you so all you need to do is enjoy the experience. On this week long road trip you’ll get to discover Calabria's art, history, culture, beautiful coastline and mountainous scenery. Explore this lesser known region at your own pace, as you drive from the beaches of Capo Vaticano to the hilltop villages of the Pollino National park, stopping to see ancient castles and try tasty local foods along the way.

Tour highlights

  • Spend a week driving around Calabria at your own pace
  • Detailed driving directions and maps will suggest places to visit and interesting things to see
  • Stay in authentic hotels and bed & breakfasts
  • See the highlights of Calabria including Tropea, Capo Vaticano and the stunning seaside town of Scilla
  • Wine and olive oil tasting at a local farm
  • A rep is just a phone call away if you need them, meaning you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind

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Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Calabria

When you arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport, collect your hire car and drive along the Tyrrenhian coast to the seaside town of Diamante. You’ll have time to settle in to your hotel here.

Approximate distance travelled: Lamezia Terme to Diamante 120km / 1 hour 45 mins

Meals included: (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 2: Diamante to Paola

Diamante’s is known as ‘the city of murals’ – there’s over 150 you can see on the stone walls in the village. Nanni Razzetti began Operazione Murales in 1981 and transformed the place into an open-air gallery. Take a stroll through the cobbled streets to check them out. Later on, drive south to Paola. The town has attracted pilgrims for centuries to see the sanctuary of Saint Francis, the patron saint of Calabria – it’s up on the slopes overlooking the coastal town, carved out the stone, and is a beautiful place to explore.

Approximate distance travelled: Diamante to Paola 45km / 45 mins; Paola to Diamante 45km / 45 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 3: Pollino National Park and Civita

Set off inland, to explore the towns and villages of Pollino National park. Stop off in Morano Calabro, where the red roofed stone buildings are stacked on the hill in a pyramid. Weave your way to the top to see the ancient Norman Castle. Castrovillari’s Aragonese Castle dates back to the 15th century – have a look around to uncover all that history. In the afternoon drive to Altomonte – its winding streets lead to the Gothic church of Santa Maria della Consolazione. As you head further towards Calabria’s Ionian coast, stop off at the medieval hill top town of Civita. If you can handle heights, walk across the ‘devils bridge’ – it crosses the Raganello Gorge, one of Italy’s deepest. Tonight we’ve organised a typical Calabrian meal in the historic centre of Civita for you (half board only).

Approximate distance travelled: Diamante to Morano Calabro 75km / 1 hour 15 mins; Morano Calabro to Castrovillari 120km / 1 hour 40 mins; Castrovillari to Altomonte 35km / 35 mins; Altomonte to Civita 40km / 30 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 4: Scilla and Reggio Calabria

Head to the small town of Scilla beside the Strait of Messina. Wander down to the traditional fishing village, Chinalea - we could’ve sat on the shores all day just watching the clear sea while the fishermen mend their nets. Make your second stop at Ruffo Castle and visit the churh of St. Rocco. Drive further along the coast to Reggio Calabria, an elegant city with beautiful liberty style buildings. Explore the Roman Baths, Greek walls, Cathedral and the Museo Nazionale with its extensive collection of artefacts and relics from the surrounding region.

Approximate distance travelled: Civita to Scilla 240km / 2 hours 30 mins; Scilla to Reggio Calabria 20km / 25 mins; Reggio Calabria to Scilla 20km / 25 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 5: Aspromonte National Park

To reach Gerace on the edge of Aspromonte National Park, you’ll drive through rolling hills and forested landscapes. The ancient town is carved into the clifftop –it’s known as ‘the town of one hundred churches’. In the old part of town, borgo antico, you’ll find a warren of ancient stone buildings with pretty piazzas and the Byzantine-Norman Cathedral. Driving on towards the Ionian coast, visit Locri Epizephyrii – the town was home to a thriving Greek colony. Visit the National Archaeological Museum and explore the archaeological site to learn about the Greek civilization that once occupied Calabria. Drive back through the National Park to your hotel in the Tropea area.

Approximate distance travelled: Scilla to Gerace 95 km / 1 hour 15 mins; Gerace to Locri 15 km / 20 mins; Locri to Tropea 90km /1 hour 40 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 6: Tropea, Pizzo Calabro and Capo Vaticano

Tropea’s old town is right on the clifftop above the pristine white beach and clear blue sea. Take your time wandering the narrow cobblestone streets in the historical centre. If you’re feeling energetic make your way up the winding staircase built into the rock face that leads up to the 6th century Benedictine Monastery. After, head to the fishing village Pizzo Calabro and visit the Church of Piedigrotta, which is excavated into the limestone cliffs right above the sea. While you’re you should try tartufo di Pizzo, a delicious coco covered ice cream made up of layers of hazelnut and chocolate – the town’s famous for it. Start making your way back to your hotel in the Tropea area with a stop at Capo Vaticano to see the beautiful beaches and coves with rocky out crops of grey-white granite – it’s a great spot for a swim!

Approximate distance travelled: Tropea to Pizzo Calabro 30km / 45 mins; Pizzo Calabro to  Capo Vaticano 40km / 60 mins; Capo Vaticano to Tropea 12km / 20 mins 

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 7: Lamezia Terme

While you’ve been driving you’ll have noticed the agricultural landscapes, farming plays a significant role in Calabrian life, so we’ve organised a visit to a local farm in Lamezia Terme. For the past two hundred years, the five hundred hectares of land have been worked to rear cattle and produce olives, grapes, citrus fruits. You’ll be shown around the farm estate and learn about this rural way of life. While you’re here you’ll get to taste the wine and olive oil they produce. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful beaches of Tropea. Take some time to relax and soak up the Calabrian sun.

Approximate distance travelled: Tropea to Lamezia Terme 65km / 1 hour 15 mins; Lamezia Terme to Tropea 65km / 1 hour 15 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, Wine & Olive Oil Tasting, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 8: Calabria to UK

On your final day enjoy a hearty breakfast before making your way to Lamezia Terme airport for your flight home. Or choose to extend your stay for a relaxing few days by the coast.

Approximate distance travelled: Tropea to Lamezia Terme airport 60km / 1 hour 5 mins

Meals included: Breakfast

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Your holiday includes

  • Car hire with unlimited mileage
  • 7 nights’ accommodation on a half board basis (optional B&B reduction)
  • Detailed driving instructions, maps and suggested itineraries
  • Wine & olive oil tasting

Your holiday excludes:

  • Any extras, lunches, drinks and personal expenses
  • Parking costs (where applicable) 
  • Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites

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Hotels

Please note that these hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking. If these are not available, they will be changed to hotels of a similar standard and location.

★★★ Hotel Cristina, Diamante area (2 nights)

★★★ La Magara, Civita area (1 night)

★★★ Locandiera, Scilla area (1 night)

★★★★ Hotel Cannamele Resort, near Tropea (3 nights)

Your Food: Breakfast is included at each hotel. If you choose half board you’ll have dinner in the hotel restaurants. If the hotel does not have a dinner service, you’ll dine at a local restaurant.

Departure dates

Flexible daily departures from May to October

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Total price from
£2276
per person from £569
Includes £50pp discount
Calabria Self-Drive
Tours & Multi-centres in Italy, Half Board
08/05/2021 - 7 nights
4 adults
From London Stansted
Amend holiday details

Due to the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we may need to change or withdraw at short notice some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services to help keep everyone safe.

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