Visit to the Capo Gallo Marine Nature Reserve, Sferracavallo
The sensation that one gets when visiting this enchanted place is that of being in the heart of the Mediterranean. To visit the Reserve you can use the entrance from the Barcarello seafront in Sferracavallo (5 minutes from Palermo Mare Holidays).
The first typical aspect of this Reserve is the continuous alternation of coves and inlets where you can take a regenerating bath. At the tip of the reserve there is also a meadow and an equipped hut near the sea where you can sunbathe and swim in a unique naturalistic environment.
This reserve is a protected area which is important because of its marine flora and fauna, its geological features and other aspects of particular interest. For example, among its numerous caves (including marine ones), one of the most beautiful is the Grotta dell’Olio which opens out onto the water, whose seabed is rich in fauna and colorful vegetation and houses the wreck of a Carthaginian ship with a load of amphorae.
Outside the cave, on the right of the entrance, there are a series of small caves with rock colored by the red algae and sponges that grow on them.
Proceeding on the wall to the left instead, you come across a huge rock arch with a vault upholstered in orange madrepore.
The Capo Gallo Marine Nature Reserve can be visited every day on foot or by bicycle to rent on site through the routes marked in the appropriate tables that describe the intensity of the colors and the landscape that you will soon be able to enjoy.
The Capo Gallo Reserve takes its name from the homonymous Monte Gallo which separates the two gulfs of Mondello and Sferracavallo, homonymous tourist-seaside resorts of the city.
The protected marine natural area of Capo Gallo-Isola delle Femmine is today a place of tourist interest and offers a series of paths to be discovered alongside the sea. Here is the list (see image above):
1. Piano dello Stinco Trail
The path starts from a forest gate, located halfway up the slope, which can also be reached by car from the road that from Via Tolomea goes up to the mountain. Proceed inside a coniferous forest and on the left beyond the valley you will see the remains of the Tower Amari, commonly called Dammusu. Once in Piano dello Stinco, the path continues along the entire plateau among Lentisk, Pine, Cypress, Carob trees, as well as Ampelodesma, Spiny Asparagus, Stracciabrache.
After passing the plateau it continues downhill and intersects with the path that descends towards Bauso rosso (path no. 2), turning left it continues to a basin where the path of the Coda di Volpe path ends and begins.
h= 2,00 min.= 00
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 3.130
1A. Semaforo (Traffic light) trail
It starts from a fork in path n°1 at an altitude of 457 m. approximately, and leads to the Semaforo, a building once used as a lookout point by the military and which could become an ornithological observatory in the future. Entering the building, the visitor will find a peculiar, laborious work: almost all the walls of the building are covered with mosaics created by a strange local character, called the hermit; already from the gate and along the entire path that leads to the building, traces of this work can be seen in the small mosaics that frame the figures of saints.
h= 00 min.= 20
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. Mt. 470
1B. Panoramic Point Trail
After the Semaforo path (n° 1a), at about 160 mt. you cross a second path along which, at times, traces of rabbits and wild boar tracks are visible. Further on it is possible to see a small whirlpool used as a watering hole by these animals; after a short climb you arrive on a plateau located on the top of the vertical walls overlooking the sea, where the visitor (in good visibility conditions) can see the Aeolian Islands, the island of Ustica and San Vito lo Capo with the Zingaro nature reserve.
h= 00 min.= 10
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 230
2. Bauso Rosso Trail
The route begins shortly after the gate of trail n° 1, it enters a valley among pine trees, cypresses, some eucalyptus and some holm oak trees higher up, proceeding to reach a clearing. The flora that has colonized the calcareous rocks is interesting: Erba Perla, Navel of Venus, Vedovina Trapanese.
After passing a first fork that leads to path no. 1, continuing on, you come across a second fork where the Piano dello stinco and Bauso rosso trails join in a single path up to the pool.
h= 1,00 min.= 50
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 1.227
3. Coda di Volpe (Foxtail) trail
This trail begins near the water puddle and continues downhill in a valley among pines, cypresses, ampelodesma and the elongated Penniseto. The route develops on a very tortuous track, with steep slopes.
The trail arrives close to the houses of Mondello near the Via Tolomea barred by a private gate.
h= 1,00 min.= 10
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 2.050
4. Pietra Tara Trail
It starts from the reception point, it develops between the coast and the slopes of Monte Gallo. The trail is characterized by several clusters of shrubs and bushes, such as arborescent Euphorbia, the Aleppo Ruta and groups of trees, Pines, Olives, Carobs.
Along the path it is possible to see an ancient Calcara, a tank called Urico, which has become a refuge for a hidden minor fauna and for the Emerald Toad. Once in the Puntazza bay, the path continues along a path between the rocks until it reaches Pietra Tara.
h= 00 min.= 55
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 1.150
5. Costa Sparavento trail
It starts from the Pietra Tara trail and develops along a track opened in the 1960s, among vegetation made up of Holm oak, Olivastro, Alaterno, the harsh and very tenacious Stracciabrache, the thorny asparagus and large groups of Ampelodesma. At about 1190 meters. the trail forks in two directions: one arrives near the Sparavento valley at the panoramic point, the other continues downwards and joins trail n° 5a on a plateau.
h= 10 min.= 30
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 1.560
5A. Seagull Path
The trail develops from a fork in the Pietra Tara path about 130 meters from the entrance and goes through American agave, pine, arborescent euphorbia plants, runs alongside a large masonry water tank and arrives in a plateau where it is possible to stop in the shade of pines.
h= 00 min.= 8
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 240
6. Trail of the Cavaddari
This path of great historical importance develops between the coast with its bizarre morphologies and the main Pietra Tara path from which it begins, ending at the Puntazza rest area. Along the short route, on some stretches, there are the remains of the paving that formed the path bordered by stone walls. In addition to the dwarf palms, the path is full of a variegated species of herbaceous trampling plants.
h= 00 min.= 10
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 320
7. Marinella-Faro (lighthouse) trail
It can be reached from Mondello, past the main square and skirting the town up to the small crossroads on the right. The path begins on a private road, barred by a gate and continues up to the Capo Gallo Lighthouse, currently in disuse, future Marine Biology station. The slope is full of numerous cavities and caves with great archaeological and palaeontological interest.
h= 01 min.= 05
TRAIL LENGTH Mt. 2.050
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