- Immerse yourself in the local culture by learning how to cook like a true Calabrian.
- Take an eerie night tour of Stromboli (a volcano located off the coast of Tropea) to see the red lava sparks erupting from the volcano.
- Spend an afternoon lazing in the sun on Tropea's stunning beach.
- Enjoy a coffee or gelato at a cafe in one of the rustic piazzas.
- Go for an afternoon drive through the countryside tucked in behind Tropea (around Brattiro) for some beautiful scenery.
Tropea exceeded all our expectations. We really didn't know what to expect on the drive in, but wow, were we glad we had booked three nights here! Tropea has everything - an absolutely stunning beach to swim at, fresh local produce (you can't really go that wrong at any of the restaurants spread through the centre), bustling piazzas, and let's not forget the unbelievable way the buildings are stacked upon the cliffs. It is also close to the nearby seaside towns of Scilla and Capo Vaticano, and on a clear day you can see the Stromboli Volcano from the beach. Tropea is famous for their super sweet red onions, which you will see hanging everywhere through the main streets so make sure you try them while you're there.
In Italy Tours
Booking a cooking class in Calabria is an absolute must! In Italy Tours has a range of cooking classes / foodie tours available for whatever your style, but make sure you book ahead to ensure you don't miss out! It is run by Tania who is an absolute delight; she organises everything from the tour itself, transport directly to/from our hotel, to making sure that we were all having a good time. It honestly felt like we were surrounded by old friends! The wine kept flowing, the food was incredible, we picked up some fantastic cooking tips, and had a great time getting to know Tania, the family, and the other travellers in our group. Highly, highly, highly recommend!
For a truly unique experience sign up for a tour of Stromboli by night. Stromboli is a volcano located off the coast of Tropea; on a clear day you can see it on the horizon. The advantage of the night tour is that you can clearly see the red lava sparks erupting form the volcano. Many tour companies offer a tour to Stromboli combined with a visit to the Aeolian Islands.
Eating + drinking
Local specialty: red onions
Anyone visiting Tropea must try the region's red onions - you can't miss the hundreds bags of them hanging in the streets. These onions are incredibly sweet and are significantly more juicy than other red onions which adds an interesting flavour to many of the local pastas and other dishes. You will even see red onion marmalade selling on the streets of Tropea.
Where to stay?
There are many places to stay right in and around Tropea's city centre depending on how much you're prepared to spend. We stayed at New Paradise, which wasn't anything special, in fact, it provided very basic accommodation (but we barely spent anytime at the hotel and so weren't really bothered by it). However, it is only a 5 minute drive from the centre, has a magnificent view of Tropea's old town, is family-run and all staff were really lovely, and the onsite restaurant was actually rather good. So for 60 euros p/night, we couldn't complain!
Day trips from Tropea
Drive 90km (1.5 hours) south to Scilla, a beautiful fishing village in Calabria. The main focal point in Scilla is its fortress situated situated above a very relaxing beach. The town is littered with seafood restaurants that serve deliciously fresh seafood from Calabria; Swordfish is its specialty. From Scilla, Sicily is only a stone's throw away and you can easily see the Sicilian coast from the beach. If you have time, don't be afraid to take the skinny country roads that sit behind Tropea all the way to Scilla. The countryside in this area is what you imagine the Italian countryside to look like. Picture perfect!
2. Capo Vaticano
Capo Vaticano is only about 20 mins up the road from Tropea. It is known for its emerald beach, which is consistently named in the top 100 beaches in the world for its calm crystal clear water.