The miraculous birth of one of the most beautiful and famous beaches on the north coast of Sicily

A strip of sand that cuts the sea in two, starting from a rocky ridge at the top of which there is a sanctuary that attracts many believers every year. At the foot of the promontory, to further embellish this scenario, there are small lakes that change according to the tides. A unique scenario as only Sicily can offer. We are talking about the beach of Tindari within the Marinello Lakes Reserve.

Tindari is a hamlet of Patti and is located in the province of Messina, between Milazzo and Capo d’Orlando. The beach, known as Marinello Olivieri, is one of the most famous in the whole region both for its conformation and for the legends that are handed down about its birth and the sanctuary above it.

Looking at it from above, the beach looks just like a long strip of sand that divides the sea in two. Formed by fine white sand and, in some places, fine gravel, the beach is surrounded by a crystal clear sea and a thousand shades of blue. The seabed is shallow and sandy, even if in some places they are a little deeper. The same shape of the beach makes it bivalent: if on one side the sea is protected by the strip of sand and is shallower, on the other side it is more exposed to currents and the seabed is deeper.

To get to the beach you have to walk along the path that is inside the nature reserve. Since it is a protected area, it is not possible to park nearby. Alternatively , you can take a boat at the equipped beach that is located just after the reserve. Precisely for these reasons, the beach is not too crowded even in the months when there is a greater influx of tourists.

The Marinello Lakes Nature Reserve is home to the famous lakes, which were created from the artificial interventions carried out downstream of the Timeto stream. The lakes change shape according to the seasons and, above all, the tides. Their brackish waters are always warm and clear. Around the lakes, the beach is characterized by the presence of some sand dunes. The Nature Reserve was created due to the presence of a characteristic brackish lake-type environment with marine sands. The interior of the reserve is a stopping point for various species of migratory bird.

On the creation of this splendid beach, it tells of a legend according to which the formation of the strip of sand occurred in a miraculous way. It tells of a mother visiting with her child at the sanctuary located at the top of the promontory, which houses the famous statue of the Black Madonna of Tindari. The little girl would have fallen from the terrace of the sanctuary and then miraculously saved herself, with the waters of the sea that would have receded at the moment of impact, leaving the strip of soft sand that we still see today. The mother, initially skeptical about the miraculous nature of the statue due to the dark skin of the Madonna, after having witnessed the miracle and being able to hug her daughter safe and sound, would have changed her mind, becoming devoted to her.

The beach of Tindari can only be linked to the sanctuary above and the remains of the ancient Greek city. Tindari was founded by Dionisio of Syracuse in 396 BC. to be a colony of Syracusan mercenaries during the war against Carthage. The name derives from Tindaro, an ancient Spartan king. It is possible to visit the remains of the ancient city in the Archaeological Park, where the Greek theater dating back to the fourth century stands out, still in excellent condition. The Sanctuary of the Black Madonna is located in the position of the ancient acropolis: a position that at the time of the war with the Carthaginians was strategic to be able to spot enemies from afar and which today shows an incredible and evocative panorama to tourists and visitors.

To connect Marinello and the sanctuary of Tindari there is also a magnificent path immersed in the nature of the Mediterranean scrub, among prickly pears and brooms, full of panoramic points: the Foxtail Path. About a kilometer long, this route will show you the lakes of Marinello from above, while the panorama reaches Capo Milazzo on one side and the Gulf of Patti on the other. In the background, in the direction of the sea, the Aeolian Islands are clearly visible.

Crystal clear sea, history, legends, splendid lakes, uncontaminated nature… There is more than one reason why Tindari beach is considered among the most beautiful on the north coast of Sicily. All you have to do is discover them by spending a fantastic day in this Sicilian paradise.  

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