The Plemmirio reserve was established in 2004 and was named after the Greek historian Thucydides. In fact, it was he himself in 430 BC in his account of the Syracusan phase of the Peloponnesian war, who called this magnificent place Plemmirio. In fact, it was here that the battle between Syracusans and Athenians took place, which he himself recounted.
This is an ideal place to enjoy the crystal clear sea and relax on the beach between magnificent cliffs and traces of history. Just think that this coast was already inhabited since prehistoric times, in fact the remains of villages that have now disappeared have been found. However, the traces left by the Greeks and the Second World War are still visible today.
In this article you will discover a path to do on foot or by bike, which runs along almost the entire reserve . A walk in nature breathing the sea air, among wild flowers, dwarf palms, beaches, cliffs and crystal clear waters. The route is 6km outward and 6km back, for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes each way. The path is traced in clay and at the end of the page you will also find an interactive map of the route.
If you don’t feel like taking this long walk, you can also safely stop at the first stops and enjoy the beach and the view. The latter option is certainly recommended in the height of summer or at least in the hottest hours. Don’t forget to bring water and sneakers with you! Better to do the trail late in the evening, so that you can also admire the fantastic colors of the sunset and its play of light. To enjoy the beauty of the place it is not recommended to go on weekends, since the place is often crowded these days.
Discovering the Plemmirio Reserve – The path
The exact positions of the various stages are marked on the interactive map that you can find by scrolling down with the mouse.
1. Punta della Mola and Massolivieri Beach
Where to park
As soon as you arrive at Plemmirio, after parking at the spot indicated on the interactive map (you will find it at the bottom of the page), you arrive directly at perhaps the most fascinating spot in the entire reserve. Best to go early in the morning to be sure of finding a spot, as the parking lot is small.
Right in front of your eyes extends Punta della Mola with the ruins of what appear to be ancient houses. Instead, they are the remains of the “Emanuele Russo” naval battery of the Second World War. This place was chosen thanks to its strategic position, which in the event of an enemy attack, allowed the defense of the Great Port of Syracuse.
It was equipped with anti-ship artillery, machine guns, warehouses, office barracks and connecting tunnels . In the end, however, it was abandoned before the arrival of the enemies, so it was never the scene of clashes. Even today it is possible to enter the various outposts and take a dip in the past, even if it is very sad.
If you notice well, almost at the end of the tip, on the right and left there are like depressions in the ground, well this has nothing natural about it. Just think that since the times of the Greeks, the precious shell-shaped limestone blocks were extracted here which, once extracted, were transported to Syracuse by rafts. It was with these stones that the ancient temples of Apollo and Minerva were built, which you can still admire in Ortigia . Ortigia which among other things is clearly visible from here, a really nice view.
Massolivieri Beach and the Syloi
Near Punta Mola you will also find the Massolivieri Beach, a fantastic beach, bathed by a crystalline sea, overlooked by a splendid cliff .
On Punta Mola there are also the “syloi” that is large circular tanks dug into the rock in the Greek age, probably used for the storage of grain, then converted in Roman times into kilns for the manufacture of hydraulic lime.
2. White cliffs
The white cliffs are really worth a visit , also because only at this point, in the entire reserve, the cliffs take on this color. Among other things, they are only a 5-minute walk from the first stop on the route.
3. Rock of the Elephant
The path that leads to the Scoglio dell’Elefante takes much longer and during the journey you can admire the whole coast and the Mediterranean scrub that grows spontaneously in this place spared from wild overbuilding. Once you arrive, you can admire the Elephant rock, which descends sheer to the sea by drawing an arch . Its name derives from this shape, in fact it looks like an elephant head with a proboscis immersed in the sea.
4. Capo Murro di Porco lighthouse
Almost at the end of the route there is the lighthouse of Capo Murro di Porco, 20 meters high and active since 1959 . In clear sky conditions, its light can be seen for more than 30 km away.
Another peculiarity of this place are the geyser-like jets of water that take shape in the cliff . In rough sea and wind conditions, in fact, the water enters some cracks in the cliff, and then comes out at speed from the top, creating spectacular jets of water.
5. Lamba Doria World War II naval battery
Not far from the lighthouse are the remains of another naval battery, that of Lamba Doria , also built to defend the sea in front of Syracuse. This position worried the British, who planned the landing in Sicily through the Husky operation. Thus it was that a plan worthy of the best action movies was executed. In fact, to neutralize this stronghold, a unit of the English special forces was sent and secretly climbed the rocky wall of Capo Murro di Porco, considered by the Italian soldiers too high and steep to be overcome by the enemy . After neutralizing the sentries it was easy for the British to take over the outpost and the war equipment was blown up.
Where to eat and excursions
For lunch or dinner there is a good restaurant nearby, with a beautiful lawn complete with tables overlooking the sea and ortigia, the restaurant of Punta Maddalena . It is also possible to book excursions to Plemmirio, here you will find more information about it . Another good restaurant nearby is the restaurant l’Asteria Blu, with a nice terrace overlooking the sea and offers the possibility to rent boats.
Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general
Interactive Map of Plemmirio
Points of interest are marked in yellow. To locate yourself once in the area, click on the enlarge symbol at the top right of the map.
Typical dishes of Syracuse and its surroundings
The Plemmirio is part of Syracuse. Do you want to try the typical dishes of this area? Here you can find an article about what to eat in Syracuse and surroundings .