The Sicily West Coast is a beautiful, active location to visit for your next Italian adventure. There are so many things to explore and see for all ages, allowing you to enjoy a great vacation! Being an Italian island, Sicily is the perfect spot for enjoying a beach location with water activities, but also for hiking such as at one of the many nature reserves.
Sicily West Coast
So where is Sicily to start with? Italy is a gorgeous summer destination with Sicily being the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Famously known as the “boot” of the mainland Italy, you can easily get there by boat or plane. The capital city is Palermo, where many cruise ships also dock in at during their Mediterranean cruise routes. Sicily is well known for the volcano of Mount Etna, which is still active and is one of the highest active volcanos within Europe.
The island is larger than you may think, taking up to 4 hours straight to drive from one side to the other horizontally, such as from Marsala to Catania. Getting around the island is definitely best by car too, with lots of car rentals available from the airports or bigger cities.
Facts About Sicily
First let me share some nice facts about Sicily;
- The tallest active volcano Mount Edna is based in Sicily
- Delicious cannoli is originally Sicilian!
- Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean sea
- But it is actually surrounded by three seas; Tyrrhenian, Mediterranean Sea and Ionian.
- The local Sicilian language is still spoken here widely among the population.
Things To Explore and See In Sicily
Try Kite Surfing
The West coast of Sicily is known for its popular kite surfing spots, with the westerly winds from Spain heading over. This area is also very flat in the water (think knee-deep) that goes out pretty flat for a long distance. Making it perfect for kite surfers to explore along the area. You can find many kite surfing schools to rent equipment and learn at.
Visit The Weekend Market
A local market is always a delight to visit for some delicious fresh food and goodies. The place to visit is Trapani for the early Saturday market. As well as vegetables and fruit, it’s all about the fish. Here the fishermen come in early from fishing and the fish are directly on the tables for buying – super fresh!
Explore The Salt Flats
These picturesque location is interesting to explore and see. The salt flats can be found along the West coast between Trapani and Marsala. These days its not a huge production as there is not much demand, but its still popular locally with the local cuisine. There is also a museum at Saline della Laguna where you can learn the history and process.
Spot Pink Flamingos
If you are lucky, some of the salt flats are home to pink flamingos. As these cute pink birds have been migrating to the island of Sicily for years, the locals call them “sa gente arrubia” which means the pink folk. There are a few places in Sicily you can spot them, but for the West coast, the salt flats of Trapani is your best spot.
Walk Or Drive The Coast Road
Along the area of the salt flats near Masala to Trapani, you can walk or drive all along the coast. There is also a new cycle path for those who may have a bike with them. Its a great spot for a long walk or drive next to the waters edge as well as during sunset. Many locals also kite surf here, so its fun to watch them whizz by on the water with their colourful kites too.
Drink Local Sicilian Wine (And Visit A Winery!)
When in Italy, you will sure enjoy yourself if you drink wine. There are many choices for local Italian wine in Sicily. For the West coast of Sicily, I can recommend the Baglio Baiata Alagna Winery tour. Here they provided a tour and wine tasting of their collection. I can personally recommend the delicious red wine Lanni and the sweet white wine Zibibbo.
Hike In The Mountains
Sicily is a gorgeous place to hike one of the many routes. They are not always advertised so its sometimes a matter of just arriving at a location and finding a path to the top etc. Locations such as natural reserves are a great place as they always have a great route through the location.
We can personally recommend hiking a loop around San Vito Lo Capo. This beautiful location has a hiking route around the peak and along the waters edge. This was my favourite hiking spot on the West coast of Sicily. The circular route is also home to some cows, many lizards and beautiful flowers – a natures paradise!
Watch The Sicily West Coast Sunset
Watching a beautiful sunset is always nice in many locations around the world, so add it to your list for if you visit Sicily too. After a great blue sky sunny day you can expect a perfect sunset. Find a spot near the salt flats for a picturesque sunset, and take some local wine with you to make it extra romantic!
Visit Some Natural Hot Springs
Sicily has a few natural hot springs that you can research about and find via online sources. Most are small but if you enjoy hot springs, then it’s still worth a visit. There is one we can personally recommend, which is the natural hot spring of Segesta. Here there is a blue coloured water spring for dipping in and relaxing. It’s so hot that its amazing. Only locals were here when we visited, and there are a few more if you walk further and up the river a little. There is even one that goes into the rock, making it like a sauna inside.
I didn’t have any photos to share from the hot spring, but below are two photos when we walked to it from our parked car. Nature areas in Sicily sure are beautiful!
Trapani is a large harbour city located at the top edge on the West coast of Sicily. Home to around 68,000 residents, the city is mostly known for its exporting local products and fishing. There is also a great shopping area between Piazetta Cuba and Via Torrearsa. From Trapani there are many boats you can take here for visiting the Egadi Islands in the area, Marettimo, Favignana and Levanzo.
If you base yourself in Trapani, you are also in the middle of all the top things to do, including the nature reserves of San Vito Lo Capo and Zingaro.
360° Views At Erice Village
Just a quick drive from Trapani is Erice, a village at the very top of the mountain also called Mount Erice. On the way up there is a fantastic viewpoint of Trapani, but from the top you can see of course even more on a clear day. This historical village is home to under 30,000 people and there is a cable car that you can use if exploring by foot.
Our photo below shows the bottom level of the clouds with Trapani visible underneath.
Watch Military Jet Fighter Planes
There is a local military airport near Trapani that is very active for trainings. You can’t miss them when in the area, as they fly all over the area. The sound is always quite amazing too. While I visited, the local military base was training with the jet fighter planes on a daily basis. This was great to see from the area, which I could easily see from my rented location too.
Enjoy A Coffee At Castellammare del Golfo
One place that should not be missed during a visit to the West coast of Sicily is Castellammare del Golfo. This picturesque village on the way to Trapani from Palermo is the perfect spot to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat. The water is clear blue and the houses are very colourful. It’s enjoyable to walk here as well as down to the bay where all the boats are docked.
Interested with more of Italy? Check out our other locations and posts!
Summary Of Our Sicily West Coast Travels
Our visit to Sicily was a gorgeous one, being able to explore the West Coast by car was perfect for what we wanted to see. Sicily has so much to offer in total, but we can highly recommend spending some time on the West of the island. This part is also less touristic and so that makes it ideal for truly spending time with the locals and enjoying typical Italian life on the island.
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