Reflections on Walking Western Sicily

Pristine views across the town of San Vito Lo Capo | Scott Kirchner
Pristine views across the town of San Vito Lo Capo | Scott Kirchner

Reflections on Walking Western Sicily

We love hearing from our travellers who have had an amazing time exploring Europe. Even better when they share their best advice for future travellers' benefit.
Sicily is a trending destination in Italy right now, in part from the widely popular TV show, The White Lotus (which is definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it!). Sara has had Sicily on her list for quite some time and finally got to visit while on the self-guided Western Sicily on Foot tour.
Read on for Sara's top advice for walking Western Sicily.
Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily
"I had a wonderful experience in western Sicily. Everything went off without a hitch, making for a truly memorable experience. The hotels were lovely, the drivers reliable (and not too crazy behind the wheel!) and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Exploring the beautiful Fontana Pretoria in Palermo |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>

There's not a lot of English spoken so an app or phrase book is a good idea (unless you speak some Italian like me!). However, the people in the west couldn’t do enough to help and really appreciated my efforts in Italian.
Agrigento on the Mediterranean coast of Sicily

Antonino, my airport transfer, was at the airport waiting with an iPad with my name on it. He drove me to Mazara del Vello and we chatted in Italian all the way. He’s the kinda guy that when I said I didn’t understand what he’d said, he say it again really loudly :) But we got there - he was very helpful and had a great sense of humour. Highly recommend him. The other drivers were prompt and reliable too. It made for such an easy, and thus relaxing, holiday.
Azure waters of Western Sicily
It was hot. REALLY hot. I’m used to the heat, living in Brisbane, Australia, and it was hot last year in Portugal. But this was next level hot. But as Antonino pointed out to me - Western Sicily is very close to Africa and the hot dry air was straight off the Sahara. So I modified things. Lesser distances. The best time to do this walk would be from May to June, according to Antonino.
Sunset on the Magna Via Francigena in Sicily

The accommodation in Mazara del Vello was a lovely B & B. It was more like a boutique hotel. It seemed really fresh and clean and new. Each room was a particular colour. The whole place was lovely and colourful. The owner, Vito, was very helpful, as was Tomaso, his sidekick. And the breakfasts were lovely. Vito’s mum made the cakes and torts herself. Yum.
Walking through Piazza della Repubblica in Mazara del Vallo |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>
The B & B in Trapani was lovely too. It was a 300 year old palace. A bit run down, because it was so old, but lovely. The housekeeper would do my washing for me for cash in hand. The clothes were clean, dry, and folded by the following morning.
Zingaro Nature Reserve

Erice is a lovely excursion from Trapani. But be careful as the streets are slippery. I nearly stacked it about 8 times! Shoes with good grip are essential.
Exploring the island of Levanzo in Italy |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>
The ferry to Levanzo was easy to find and well worth it. Another day to explore Favignana too would have been nice. The water was so clear and so cool. A perfect antidote to the hot dry heat. Not really anything on the island to do other than walk and swim. There are restaurants and bars too.
Exploring the beautiful Lavanzo on the Aegadian Islands |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>
Scopello is lovely - but other than walking in Zingaro or swimming at the Tonnaro, there isn’t much else to do there. Zingaro has a map that you get when you pay your admission. The trails are graded from easy to difficult and adequately signed - I did the easy trail - which wasn’t THAT easy. There is nothing inside the park in the way of food or water, it’s essential to bring your own. The pension I stayed in was a nice place to stay with a real foodie vibe. Locally sourced produce for brekkie and homemade cakes too. You could smell them cooking the previous afternoon.
Exploring the beautiful wilderness of Sicily |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>
Only saw one snake - on the walk from Scopello to Zingaro. But it was well dead. A skeleton wrapped in skin. Just the way I like it!
Catching the train from Mazara del Vello to Trapani was pretty easy too. Passengers need to validate their tickets in a little wall mounted machine before getting on the train. No one tells you that. You’re just supposed to know.
Walking the sea side town of Mazara del Vallo |  <i>Scott Kirchner</i>

There was evidence of recent fires on the drive from Palermo to Mazara del Vello along the motorway. But there was also considerable evidence at Segesta and Scopello. Segesta is on a mountain top and the fires had encircled the mountain and climbed right up the mountainside to the boundary fence. A lot of the fences were burnt out, but it did not spoil the experience. Similarly in Scopello. There were signs of regrowth, but with no rain expected for a few weeks/months it's possible the blackened vegetation will be there for a while to come.
segesta |  <i>mandala</i>

Thanks again for a great travel experience in Sicily, Michele and UTracks! It was a lovely way to commence my long awaited Sicilian odyssey :)


Do you want to explore Sicily? Let us know in the comments section below!
Sicily, Sicily Walking Tour, Italy

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