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A holiday to live in colour


Boat trips along the Costa Viola


A boat tour with swimming included, in the most SUGGESTIVE coves of the Costa Viola, A sea of crystal clear turquoise waters with purple reflections, waiting to offer you intimate places to regenerate and relax.

"Everything is tinged with the different shades of the colour purple, giving life every evening, with its spectacular reflections, to an ever new vision."
(Plato, 4th century B.C.)
The area owes its name to a description by the philosopher Plato who, while sailing along this stretch of sea, was reportedly struck by the various shades that the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Aspromonte mountains and the surrounding landscape take on at sunset. In the evening, the colour is due to a play of light and refraction and to the melange of the green of the mountains looming over the sea and the various shades of the sea itself; the purple colour is reinforced by the gaseous sulphurous particles emitted by the ever-active and nearby Stromboli volcano.



Choose the type of excursion

gite in barca lungo la costa violacartografia antica costa viola

The Costa Viola stretches for about 35 km. Bounded by Cape Barbo in Palmi to the north and Villa San Giovanni to the south, the Costa Viola opens out into the Strait of Messina and owes its name to the particular colour the sea takes on in these parts, recalled in all the accounts of ancient historians. The morphology of the coastline is strongly incised by the western offshoots of the Aspromonte Massif, which plunge steeply into the sea, often with continuous terracing, leaving narrow tongues of pebbly sand between one slope and the next, as on the beach at Favazzina.

 The coastline, squeezed between the sea and the mountains, is dominated by high, jagged coastlines as well as pretty and suggestive ravines such as the 'Grotta dello Sparviero'. From Monte Sant'Elia it is possible to enjoy a superb panorama with the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands and the two active volcanoes Etna and Stromboli in the background. The coastal road crosses the slopes covered with Mediterranean scrub. The whole area is also characterised by terraced vineyards overlooking the sea. The beaches and the various coastlines are sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy and sometimes gravelly, dominated by the ridges of Aspromonte and Monte Poro, which plunge directly into the sea. The seabed is similar to a tropical seabed and its ecosystem is still intact. Rare colonies of black coral have recently been discovered near the coast of Scilla, while colonies of white coral have been discovered near Capo Barbi in Palmi. In front of the shores of the Tonnara di Palmi, there is the characteristic "Scoglio dell'Ulivo" (Olive Rock), so called because of the spontaneous growth of an olive tree. In particular, the beach of Seminara Cala Janculla was included in 2003 among the 11 most beautiful beaches in Italy by Legambiente. Moreover, part of the territory is included in the list of Special Protection Areas and Sites of Community Interest of the Calabria Region.

Along the Costa Viola, it is possible to spot cetaceans, dolphins, manta rays and, especially, from
From May to early August (the mating period), swordfish can be seen suddenly jumping out of the water.
Along the violet coast we can admire the olive tree cliff at the top of which an olive tree has grown, hence its name. 

The plant is an olive tree (Olea europea L.), class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophularikales, family Oleaceae, called a wild olive tree, which is quite common in the area. The age of the old plant can reasonably be given as several centuries.

The trunk and the plant itself constitute a kind of 'natural monument' that has always characterised the rock and given it its name. The plant is a natural "sculptural unicum", with a play of empty and full spaces, of light and transparency, formed by the particular intertwining of its branches, its roots and the same twisted trunk polished by time, embellished by the material shaped by nature, unchallenged for centuries, made of wind, salt, sun and rain.
On 31 December 1979, rocks fell from the top of the rock, breaking some of the plant's roots.
On 16 June 2012, the Palmese association Aura Loci secured the old plant and planted a sapling of the same species.

After passing Trachina beach, we come to Pietrosa beach, Leonida Repaci's favourite,
one of the most important essayists of the twentieth century in Italy. It was here that the writer sought inspiration for his works, spending entire days contemplating the landscape from a small terrace carved out of the rocks overlooking the sea.




After Trachina we will find the rocky cove of Rovaglioso, which divers know for
the Punta Prita dive, which is suitable for everyone. The more experienced divers who descend into the depths swim among colonies of Antipathes subpinnata, the rare black coral.
The bay of Rovaglioso (or Porto Oreste), set against a backdrop of prickly pears and orange blossoms, is linked to the myth of Orestes (son of the Mycenaean king Agamemnon), who is said to have regained his senses after diving seven times in these beautiful waters.

The Costa Viola boat excursion continues to the Baia delle Sirene,
which can only be reached by sea. Here, the water is very deep and has a colour
from blue to deep purple. Divers can enter the Caves of
Sirens' , populated by sea cicadas and thousands of shrimps.
The route continues towards the natural inlet of Marinella di Palmi.

Shortly before, in Motta, diving enthusiasts can explore the sea bed
the seabed rich in red gorgonians.

From here to Bagnara Calabra, the sheer coastline is reminiscent of the Cinque Terre, with its
the Cinque Terre, thanks to the terraces that until the 1960s were cultivated
were cultivated with Zibibbo grapes.

Today, almost completely abandoned, they are
by the wild goats that are easily spotted during a boat trip on the
during a boat trip on the Costa Viola.

Once past Marinella di Palmi, boats measuring less than 5 metres can slip into the Grotta
where you can admire the wonderful play of light created by the sun illuminating the transparent water.
transparent water.

After another mile of navigation you enter the bay of Pietra Galera, announced by some rocks in the middle of the sea where, it is said, prisoners captured during Saracen raids were isolated. At a depth of 4-5 metres there are some caves where sunlight penetrates, suitable for novice divers.
The Costa Viola boat trip continues to the Spiaggia del Leone (Lion's Beach), where the story of St Elia da Enna and Emperor Leo VI is intertwined.
After the Spiaggia del Leone(Lion beach), grotta delle Rondini (Cave of the Swallows), now inhabited by bats, can be seen.




Monuments and places of interest
For the municipality of Bagnara Calabra:

The Ruggiero Tower, with a truncated cone base surmounted by a cylindrical building, was built to defend against the incursions of the Saracens and the Turks, and the Emmarita Castle.


For the municipality of Palmi

  • the ethnographic museum in the Casa della Cultura Leonida Répaci, contains rich collections of traditional and everyday objects, typical costumes and handicrafts. Important for the number and variety of the exhibits, the museum is certainly an essential stop to learn about the world of Calabrian shepherds and farmers: the culture, traditional religiosity, beliefs linked to magic and popular art of this land.
  • Mausoleum of Francesco Cilea.
  • Parco Archeologico dei Tauriani "Antonio De Salvo", located in Taureana di Palmi, in the area where the ancient Bruzia city of Tauriana (or Taureanum) once stood.
  • the early Christian crypt of San Fantino
  • Sanctuary of Maria Santissima del Carmelo
  • Municipal Villa "Giuseppe Mazzini
  • Fountain of the Palms

     For the municipality of Scilla

  • the Ruffo Castle
  • Marina Grande
  • the Ruffo path, a stretch of the ancient Roman Via Popilia
  • the ancient village of Chianalea, known as the "little Venice of the South" because the houses, built on the rocks, overlook the sea and are separated from each other by small alleys that descend directly into the Tyrrhenian Sea
  • The Tremusa caves, of karstic origin, are rich in stalactites and stalagmites and their vaults are covered with marine fossils.