Sampieri is strategically located and can be a starting point for many different kinds of tours. There are so many things to visit in southeast Sicily, that you won’t need to venture much further.
You can easily reach the late-baroque cities in the Val di Noto area, such as Scicli, Modica and Ragusa for dinner, after having spent the whole day at the beach. Noto is 45 minutes away via motorway/highway, whereas trips to Palazzolo Acreide, Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania and Catania are better suited for day-trips.
Siracusa is about an hour by car, as is Caltagirone. If you want to venture even further, you can go to Piazza Armerina. If your stay in Sicily is long enough, consider spending a night in a hotel or a bed & breakfast near Etna so that you can go on a tour of the largest, most active volcano in Europe. You can even extend your trip abroad to Malta, a mere two hours by boat, with departures from the port in Pozzallo.
The sun, sea and sand are a stone’s throw from the houses on Sampieri’s main beach, as is the “spiaggetta” (another small beach) that you can easily reach within a few minutes via a relaxing walk along the coast.
If you want to try other beaches, there are plenty of possibilities. West of Sampieri, there’s the Playa Grande beach which stretches up to reach the mouth of the Irminio river, or you could go to the beach in Punta Secca if you’d like to dive into the sea in front of Commissario Montalbano’s house. If you head east instead, you can go to the beach of Maganuco, which reaches the center of the small city of Pozzallo. If you keep driving alongside the coast, you can see the rock formations on the beach of Cirica and the beach of Porto Ulisse, both unique, sandy beaches. Continuing on the same coast you will reach Portopalo di CapoPassero and its namesake island. It is there that the Mediterranean and Ionian seas meet, and the sand gets coarser and the sea ever more turquoise. “Seas the day” and head up the coast towards Siracusa, and visit Marzamemi, San Lorenzo, Vendicari and Calamosche, they are worth dipping your toes in!
Sicily doesn’t just offer wonderful beaches, but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. From the apartments you can easily walk to the Parco di Costa di Carro (a park) to do some light hiking and then swim in the coves among the rocks. The Pantani Longarini and the Oasi Faunistica di Vendicari are perfect habitats that host many species of birds year-round, including those who stop there during their migration from Africa. Cava d’Ispica is a “can’t miss” archaeological site, and if you hike in Cava Grande del Cassibile you can reward yourself with a dive into the cold waters of the “laghetti di Avola” (small natural lakes). The artificial lake of the diga di Santa Rosalia (Santa Rosalia dam) is yet another example of the charming nature locations Sicily has to offer.
Most of these places can be reached by bike via longer or shorter rides, however it is strongly suggested to avoid biking during the hot months of the summer. Sicily’s mild climate makes it a fantastic place to visit all year long.