A beach dotted with wild flowers
In the heart of the Rizzuto Marine Protected Area, in the province of Crotone, lies the Baia dei Gigli (Bay of Lilies), a unique beach facing the Ionian Sea. It’s a four-kilometre stretch of sand that joins the promontory of Capo Piccolo with that of Le Castella, the only part of the reserve where swimming is allowed.
The name comes from the very rare sea lily, also known as narcissus, that grows wild in its dunes. A dense, cool pine forest lines the beach, with bushes of arboreal thyme, juniper, wild oregano and other typical Mediterranean flora. The seabed is fine, sandy and gently sloping, making it suitable for families with children, and is rich in protected marine fauna and posidonia, an aquatic plant that is an indicator of a high environmental quality.
The sea creatures vary depending on whether the seabed is sandy or rocky. Among the fauna are porifera, cnidarians and molluscs, and among the fish are groupers, mullets, damselfish and the colourful, subtropical parrotfish. The colourful seascape is ideal for snorkelling, which you can alternate with sunbathing and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.