Holidays in Santa Caterina are ideal for those who want to enjoy the sea or the mountain in a quiet, undisturbed and off the beaten track place. Particularly suitable for groups of friends with children who want to spend their holidays in a familiar and relaxed atmosphere, breathing fresh air and forgetting for a while of their busy city lives.
Thanks to its strategic location, halfway between sky and sea… between heaven and hearth, Santa Caterina offers a wide range of activities to spend an extraordinary and unusual holiday.
What to do in Santa Caterina? You just have to choose.
Santa Caterina is located at the foot of the Calabrian Serre mountains, which link the Aspromonte National Park to the Sila Piccola. You can’t miss the opportunity to hike through the woods up to the waterfalls of Bivongi or Valli Cupe, where you will bump into a breathtaking place… a wonderful masterpiece of art made up by a subtropical vegetation frame, with the extraordinary colour of the rock as the background for the water jump. Time to arrive: 30 min to Bivongi; 1 hour to Valli Cupe.
In 10 minutes (7 km) you’ll be able to reach the sea and enjoy the astonishing and almost desert white sand beaches, having the chance to bathe and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
If you’re looking for something special to enjoy yourself with your travel buddies, here are some fun activities you should definitely try:
Diving : the most famous tourist spot is the Captain Antonio wreck, a 90m long and 9m wide merchant ship, sunk in 1987 due to a strong sea storm near Santa Caterina.
Horseback riding : riding by the sea while enjoying breath-taking sunsets is a priceless experience.
Relax on the beach: among the coastal villages of the Ionian Sea, there are from 3 to 10-15 km of completely deserted beach, 50 to 150 m wide. The coast is varied, ranging from the extremely white granitic sand beaches to a rocky coast overlooking the sea, full of bays (freely accessible with a boat). The beaches are all free bathing and the beach clubs of the coast offer refreshment services like restaurants, bar, pizzeria but also disco for young visitors. Thanks to the beach service you’ll be able to rent deck chairs and sun umbrellas.
Staying in Santa Caterina also means rediscovering and revaluing the ancient flavours, the home-made natural cousine, with home-grown ingredients. Fresh fish and genuine products of the land, processed in full respect of the traditions of the past… Having the opportunity to taste the various recipes and local specialities from an ancient farming civilization, is a privilege that not anyone has.
You will end up in some Catojo (ancient cellars now used as taverns), toasting with an excellent local wine in the company of cheerful diners, delighting your palate with typical Calabrian products such as mostaccioli di Soriano Calabro, the cheese of Serre, the ‘nduja of Spilinga , the Tropea red onion, extra virgin olive oil and lots of other typical products.
If you are staying in Calabria you can’t forget to visit the National Museum of Magna Grecia in Reggio Calabria, where the Riace Bronzes are located: the two statues, found in 1972 near Riace, in the province of Reggio Calabria, are considered among the most significant sculptural masterpieces of Greek art, and among the direct testimonies of the great master sculptors of the classical age.
Shopping and nighlife
Half an hour from Santa Caterina dello Ionio (northbound), the small but well-equipped town of Soverato can offer everything from well-stocked jewellers to clothing stores of important brands, ice cream parlours, pastry shops, typical shops, superstores and many other types of commercial, restorative and recreational activities. There you can also find famous nightclubs overlooking the cliffs of Caminia and Pietragrande.