If you’re planning on visiting Sicily any time soon, here’s my personal list of best places to explore on the West Coast – hope you have the chance to see them all!
Top tips before you go: make sure you rent a car (Sicily is not big on public transports) and try to avoid July and August, when it’s crazy hot, super-crowded and more expensive than it should be.
An obvious start. The Capital of Sicily would deserve a whole week of your journey, but if you only have few days to spend there, make sure you visit at least some of these places:
The historical food markets: Vucciria, Ballarò e Capo – if you want to have a taste of the authentic Sicilian life, join a street food tour and learn more about local food, history and traditions.
Palermo’s Cathedral: an impressive and unique mish mash of different architectural styles that show a long history of dominations, additions and alterations throughout the centuries.
Mondello beach: one for the tan lovers. Potentially an amazing spot to relax and have a swim, but try to avoid high season (June to August) as the beach is covered in huts and enclosed areas, leaving you with about a square metre of sand available.
For top tips on where to spend your night out in Palermo, check out my list of best places to go for aperitivo.
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
If you love hiking and want to see some of the best beaches in Sicily, that’s the place to go. Zingaro Nature Reserve offers everything a nature lover can ask for: a 7km coastal walk, stunning views, hidden coves and caves, clear waters, rocky and sandy beaches and lots of plants worth an Instagram snap. It’s hard work getting there (especially on those 40°C Summer days), but it’s totally worth it! Once again, avoid July and August to ensure a crowd-free experience.
A beautiful medieval town built on the top of the mountain and overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Walking through its little stoney alleys is like travelling back in time and the view from the catsle is just breathtaking.
Saline di Trapani
Trapani itself is not a particularly attractive Town (though they have one of the best pizzerie in the world), but the surroundings are definitely worth a visit. Make sure you stop to at Saline (salt pans). If you are lucky enough you might even spot some flamingos! This area is protected by WWF and they offer guided tours every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – to book one, email email@example.com
The archaeological site includes a well preserved Greek temple and a Greek theatre, which is still in use. Every year a number of events take place in this area as part of the ‘Segesta Festival’. This year’s calendar has yet to be confirmed, but watch this space for updates!
Selinunte has one of the most impressive Greek archaeological sites, so it’s well worth a visit if you’re interested in history and natural beauties. Beach lovers will be able to enjoy the lovely coastal area of Marinella di Selinunte.
Don’t even bother visiting the town; it’s an architectural disgrace built where it shouldn’t have been built by people who clearly didn’t have any sense of aesthetics. Fortunately, thousands of years earlier, the Greeks came over and built a gourgeous Temple Valley that is still standing in all its beauty.
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If you’re a beach lover, Scala dei Turchi is another must see in Agrigento, with it’s white cliffs and sandy shores. It will feel like standing on the snow, except it’s 30°C!