Monte Cofano Natural Reserve in Custonaci, in the province of TrapaniDecember 16, 2014
The Natural Reserve of Monte Cofano, situated in the municipality of Custonaci (TP), is a protected natural area located on a promontory overlooking the sea, between the gulfs of Bonagia and Cofano. It’s an ideal place for hiking or mountain biking: you can reach the top of the mountain, which is about 659 meters high, and admire an unforgettable 360-degree panorama of the surrounding landscape.
The area is characterized by a low and rocky coast with pebbly beaches and cliffs overlooking the sea. On one of them, there is the Crucifix of Cofano, a picturesque chapel made of tuff and stone, which is also a pilgrimage destination every last Friday of March. Not far away is the Cofano’s Torre della Tonnara, dating back to the sixteenth century and the only one in Sicily having a star-shaped and square plant; it’s open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Other must-see attractions in the Monte Cofano Natural Reserve include the Gorgo Cofano, a circular and seasonal pool situated on the southeastern side of the mountain at a height of 247 meters, and the Grotta di Scurati, which is the location of a peculiar living nativity scene during Christmas time.
The place is obviously rich in flora and fauna. The Mediterranean ecosystem has allowed the proliferation of more than 300 species of plants, many of which are extremely rare, such as brassica drepanensis, the Monte Cofano sparrowhawk, the Bivona cabbage, the cornflower of the cliffs, the euphorbia of Bivona, the Linares saffron, the delphinium emarginatum and several wild orchids. Wildlife is instead characterized by the presence of many species of birds, such as the peregrine falcon, the common raven, the common gull, kestrels, buzzards and pigeons. There are also mammals (porcupines, rabbits, foxes, weasels and small rodents) and reptiles (Sicilian lizards, green lizards and vipers).
To reach the Natural Reserve of Monte Cofano from Palermo and Trapani, you shall take the A29 highway, exit at Castellammare del Golfo and take the SS 187 towards Trapani, until you get to the Custonaci crossroads. The reserve is managed by the Azienda regionale Foreste Demaniali and you may contact them at: phone +39 091 7906811, fax +39 091 7906801.