Italy: Calabria Self-Drive

  • Tours & Multi-centres in Italy

On this week long road trip you’ll explore Calabria's art, history, culture, beautiful coastline and mountainous scenery. Discover this lesser known region at your own pace, from the beaches of Capo Vaticano to the hilltop villages of the Pollino National park.

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
  • 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

Arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport and make your way along the impressive Tyrrenhian coast to the seaside town of Diamante. Settle in to your hotel and head for dinner.

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

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Diamante

The town of Diamante is known as ‘the city of murals’. Spend your morning strolling through cobbled lanes, lined with stone buildings and decorated with over 150 murals. The town was transformed into an open-air gallery by artist Nanni Razzetti who began Operazione Murales in 1981. In the afternoon, head south to Paola the birthplace of Saint Francis, the patron saint of Calabria. The town has attracted pilgrims for centuries to see the sanctuary that he and his followers carved out the stone. Visit the beautiful Basilica before heading back to your hotel in Diamante.

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

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Pollino National Park and Civita

Today you'll drive inland to explore the towns and villages of Pollino National park. Start with Morano Calabro with its red roofed stone buildings and Norman Castle before heading to the Aragonese Castle of Castrovillari. In the afternoon drive to Altomonte, a traditional town with winding streets that lead to the Gothic church of Santa Maria della Consolazione. As you head further towards Calabria’s Ionian coast, stop off at the hill top town of Civita, which dates back to the middle ages. Walk across the ‘devils bridge’ that crosses the Raganello Gorge, one of Italy’s deepest. In the evening, you'll enjoy a typical Calabrian meal at a restaurant in the historical centre of Civita.

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

Day 4: Scilla and Reggio Calabria

Head to the small town of Scilla beside the Strait of Messina. Visit the old town, Ruffo Castle, St Roccos Church and the traditional fishing village of Chinalea. Stoll through the narrow streets and watch as the anglers mend their nets and go about their daily work. 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 artifacts and relics from the surrounding region. After a long day of exploring head to your Hotel in Scilla to relax for the evening.

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

Day 5: Aspromonte National Park and Tropea

Drive east through rolling hills and forested landscape to Gerace on the edge of Aspromonte National Park. The ancient town is carved into the clifftop and is known as ‘the town of the hundred churches.’ Head to the old part, borgo antico, and you’ll find a warren of ancient stone buildings with pretty piazzas and a Byzantine-Norman Cathedral. On the Ionian coast, you’ll find the ancient town of Locri Epizephyrii, which was once 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

Day 6: Tropea, Pizzo Calabro and Capo Vaticano

Tropea’s old town is perched 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. Before you leave, head to the Piazza Republica to try some tartufo di Pizzo – a delicious coco covered ice cream made up of layers of hazelnut and chocolate. 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.

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

Day 7: Vulcano

To this day farming plays a significant role in Calabrian life. Today you’ll head out to visit a farm in Lamezia Terme. For the past two hundred years, the five hundred hectares of land have been worked to produce olives, grapes and citrus fruits. Explore the farm estate and learn about this rural way of life and enjoy a tasting of the wine and olive oil. 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, Dinner

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, near Diamante

★★★ La Magara, near Civita 

★★★ Locandiera, near Scilla

★★★★ Hotel Cannamele Resort, near Tropea

Your Food:Breakfast is included at each hotel and dinner when available. If the hotel does not have a dinner service, you will dine at a local restaurant.

Departure dates

Daily from May to October

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Total price from
£3032
per person from £758
Calabria Self-Drive
Tours & Multi-centres in Italy, Half Board
10/10/2020 - 7 nights
4 adults
From London Stansted
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