WESTERN SICILY

Sicily is among the most populous regions of Italy, as well as the largest Mediterranean island, strategically located in a central position, roughly halfway between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal.

An interesting island, diversified and full of contrasts; everything is very intense in Sicily, the heat, the colors, the light, the wind and the aromas. Sicily has everything for which the whole of Italy stands out: sea, culture, history, architectural complexes and exquisite cuisine.

Its geographical location has historically made it a laboratory of cultures, which overlapped gradually integrating between them: Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Bourbon, to arrive, finally, to unified Italy by the Savoys.

From our point of view, at least if you do not have two whole weeks to visit Sicily at one time, the ideal solution is to concentrate on a part of Sicily, the western or eastern part, to fully enjoy the most popular destinations, and to indulge yourself then a second trip to continue discovering the remaining wonders that this island offers. We have decided to begin with the western region, simply because we would like to start from the capital of Sicily, Palermo, and from there propose you an itinerary which mixes white beaches and a turquoise sea, magnificent archeological sites, amazing natural reserves and uncontaminated islands.

Let yourself be guided by our experts who will advise you on the ideal holiday for you and your family or your friends, and indulge in the luxury of traveling on one of our chauffeured cars to move from one place to another without worries.

Palermo

Western Sicily

We could not fail to start visiting Sicily with Palermo: a true Sicilian jewel to explore, crossing every alley, square, market.

First Greek and Roman city, then Arab capital, later conquered by Normans and Swabians, this is Palermo, a place where the Arabesque and Norman preciousness coexist, the Baroque and Art Nouveau taste of monuments, palaces and theaters, but also of gardens and markets.

Begin with a visit of Palazzo dei Normanni, the oldest Royal residence in Europe, then to the Ballarò market, with its lively colors and animated like the Arab souks; and then stop at Teatro Massimo with its imposing neoclassical facade, and finally admire the Cathedral of Monreale, enriched inside with Byzantine mosaics.

For lovers of the sea and of beautiful beaches, make a stop in Mondello: crystal blue sea and white Caribbean sand make Mondello one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In summer it is very popular with bathers and it is almost impossible to find a place to relax, but Mondello is beautiful throughout the year.

Let yourself be tempted by the tasting of the famous ‘street food’ in Palermo, such as
the sfincione, a soft focaccia with tomato and caciocavallo, or the fried schiacciatine, made of  chickpea flour (panelle): you will eat unique delicacies from the world.

Erice

Western Sicily

Perched on the top of a mountain 750 m high and overlooking the Gulf of Trapani, Erice is a small and characteristic medieval village, with narrow paved streets, courtyards, small churches and lots of clean, fresh air, even in the height of summer. Thanks to its altitude you can enjoy a splendid 360 ° panoramic view: on one side the Gulf of Trapani, the salt pans, the Egadi islands with spectacular sunsets; from the other side the immense valley of Valderice, and the countryside of the hinterland.

The best way to visit Erice is to walk along its streets, be guided by instinct, get lost in its corners and savor the unique atmosphere of this village.

Trapani

Western Sicily

Trapani is undoubtedly a city with a millenary history, it even appears in the Aeneid and its origins seem to be mythological. Linked to Carthage, “historical” enemy of Rome, dominated by the Romans and Spain, Trapani still preserves the testimonies of this history that has seen a tangle of cultures and peoples in its land.

The historic center of the city is in fact full of attractions that deserve to be seen. The Palazzo Senatorio, the Cento Chiese, the Mura di Tramontana, are just some of the countless places to visit.

The Saline of Trapani are a fundamental part of the city as well: visiting this place you will be able to see how the salt from sea water was obtained (and is still obtained today). The Trapani Salt Mine museum also includes mills and antique equipment.

Marsala

Western Sicily

Marsala is a city of great charm, a stone’s throw from the center there is an enchanting coast which overlooks a crystal blue sea, ideal destination for those seeking an oasis of relaxation and recreation, as for sailing enthusiasts , kite and windsurfing, and for those who like to enjoy spectacular sunsets while sipping some excellent Marsala wine. Or if you prefer, take a bike ride along the coast of the Stagnone Reserve, to admire unspoiled landscapes and the splendid Saline with windmills.

For lovers of history and archeology, on the other hand, they cannot fail to be enchanted by the island of Mozia, an extraordinary open-air archaeological museum, where nature and history blend in a union of great charm and tranquility. Do not miss to taste the succulent fish or lobster soups, the couscous, the grilled Stagnone fish and many other delicacies, rigorously accompanied by excellent Marsala wines.

Egadi Islands

Western Sicily

The archipelago of the Egadi Islands rises in front of the western coast of Sicily and is formed by three larger islands – Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo – and a set of rocks and islets such as Formica and many others.

These islands are of great archeological, historical and naturalistic interest and, thanks to the mild climate and the spectacular natural landscape, represent a very coveted destination.

Ancient traditions, such as tuna fishing, pristine beaches and crystal clear water in which to practice scuba diving are among the main features of the Egadi islands that are part of the homonymous Marine Reserve, established in 1991.

Favignana is the largest island and has the shape of a butterfly, it offers splendid coves, caves and tuff quarries.

Levanzo, rich in archeological treasures offers magnificent backdrops for diving. Marettimo is the most wild and untouched. It is also called the island of caves, whereas Formica is the smallest one and hosts a lighthouse, a tuna fishery and old abandoned fishermen’s houses.

Sciacca

Western Sicily

Sciacca is famous to tourists mainly for the Roman baths, the Carnival celebrations and the ceramics, true pride of the local handicraft production; it is a place rich in points of interest starting from the numerous religious buildings scattered in the heart of the city, such as the
Cathedral, also known as the Mother Church, which hides so many treasures inside, or the Steripinto Palace, which offers to visitors the most famous facade of Sciacca in Catalan-Gothic style.

If you want to visit something unusual, the Caves of  Caricatore are a gem of Sciacca that not everyone knows and that is certainly worth considering during a tour to discover the city.
Used as a deposit for goods in general and mainly for grain, the Grotte include a museum which is still under development, but despite this, it is still possible to visit most of the tunnels present, in some cases even accompanied by a tourist guide.

Agrigento

Western Sicily

The Valley of the Temples is a mandatory stop when you arrive to Agrigento, it represents what remains of the religious heart of Akragas, important polis of Ancient Greece: after a period of tyranny, Akragas flourished as a democracy and was known for its high quality wines, for the typical olives of the territory and for the handsome horses.

It had a population of around 200,000 inhabitants in the 5th century BC, when most of its famous temples were built. It is perhaps the most fascinating archaeological site in Sicily, undoubtedly the most valued and absolutely visited, awarded with the recognition of UNESCO Humanitarian Heritage.

Amongst the numerous temples worthy of a visit, we point out: the Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved Doric temples in the world; the Temple of Hercules,  the first temple built in the Agrigento valley. Originally made up of 38 columns, today only 8 remain standing; the Temple of Castor and Pollux, also known as the Temple of the Dioscuri,  dedicated to the twins of Zeus. It is the most photographed temple of all, and a symbol of Agrigento.

Before leaving Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, give yourself some time for a stop at Scala dei Turchi: a white-scale limestone cliff that has been carved by the wind and the sea. The contrast between the whiteness of the cliff and the turquoise water will leave you breathless.

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