Walkers' World 
Guided Easy Walking and Sightseeing in
Western Sicily   2024


Day 1
Pick up in Palermo Airport at 5 PM and transfer by private bus to the tiny, seaside village of Scopello where we spend the next four nights.

Day 2   
Our bus takes us to Segesta, an archeaological site with spectacular ruins including a Greek temple that looks as if it were built yesterday although we learn it was actually constructed around 430 BC.  But Segesta dates back long before that. According to Roman mythology  the Trojan hero Aeneas stopped off in Sicily during his long wanderings from Troy and founded Segesta in the 12th century BC.  In the morning we walk in the canyon between Monte Barbaro and Monte Pispisia to learn about the vegetation of the area.
As we walk , we see stunning views over Segestal. In the afternoon we walk to explore the archaeological park with its Doric Temple and ancient Greek Theatre we admire the stunning nature of the mountain setting.

Morning distance 6 km  Total climb 190m   Total descent 200m   Terrain; woodland trails and dirt roads
Afternoon distance 4.5 km Total climb 190 m  Total descent 190m  Terrain  dirt path, rugged in a short section (option to use a local shuttle bus)

Day 3
Monte Cofano and Scopello
This morning we explore the lovely nature reserveof Monte Cofano which includes caves that have had human settlements since paleolithic times. The first part of the walk crosses part of a mountain known for its white marble. WE then reach the beach by an old defensive tower and an abandonned tonnara. From here the rest of the walk is easy on a picturesque coastal trail among endemic plants.

In the afternoon we explore Scopello which consists of a “baglio” (a  typical fortified structure of Western Sicily built around a courtyard and once used as the centre of an agricultural estate),  a small square with a church, a few houses and an ancient wood-fired oven situated in one of the narrow alleys. Scopello prides itself in the special bread that comes from this oven -  pane cunzatu - a delicious loaf seasoned with salt, olive oil, oregano, tomatoes, local cheese and anchovies and served hot. 

An optional short walk takes us to Torre Bennestra, one of a series of defensive towers located along the coastline.
Main walk; Distance 11.5 km  Total climb 350m  Total descent 350m  Terrain  mountain trail in the first part with occasional loose gravel and easy dirt track in the second part.

Optional walk; Distance 2.5 km  Total climb 100m   Total descent 100m  Terrain dirt road and stairway

Day 4
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
Adjacent to our hotel is the Nature Reserve of Zingaro on the Western coastline of the Gulf of Castellammare. This was the very first protected area established in Sicily when, in 1980, a big environmental protest march managed to rescue this piece of heaven from a planned motorway project.  Today, the reserve is pristine and beautiful with limestone cliffs above clear waters, small coves that can only be reached on foot, and an extremely lush and varied vegetation that offers a habitat for mammals and birds.  At the other end of the reserve lies the village of San Vito Lo Capo where, strolling through its steets, we see what looks like a piece of Africa in Sicily. Small and square whitewashed houses, private courtyards, jasmin and bouganvillea testify the strong Arab influence of this town. Although famous for its cous-cous, the gelaterias of the town are also note-worthy. The problem is to choose a flavour. There are so many it is hard to get past the five different versions of chocolate.
Distance 10 km  Total climb 230  Total descent 300m  Terrain mountain trail  partly easy and partly rugged

Day 5 
Erice    Today we explore a city of ancient origin but medieval in its present appearance.  Originally founded in the Bronze Age by the Elymians, an ancient people with their own not-yet-deciphered language, the town of Erice was populated by many peoples - the Sicani, the Phoenicians and later the Greeks.  Folklore even claims it was visited by mythological characters like Hercules and the Greek hero, Aeneas on his way home from the Trojan war. Like many Sicilian towns, Erice passed from one invader to another and each left their architectural calling cards and their cultural footprints.  Amongst the most visited sites are the two castles, Pepoli Castle and Venus Castle that was built on the site of the ancient Temple of Venus. Other attractions include churches like the Gothic Chiesa Madre built in 1314 and the Mediaeval Church of Saint John the Baptist. The maze of cobbled medieval streets is a pleasure to tour and the views are stunning but visitors are eventually distracted by Erice’s sweets. You have never tasted a cannoli like that of Erice with its fresh whipped riccota filling piped into crispy deep-fried pastry. After a day of walking a few calories don't matter! At the end of the day we  reach Marsala and check into our new hotel.
Distance 7.5 km   Total climb 350m  Total descent 350m  Terrain mountain trail with a few stairways

Day 6 
Marsala and Motya
This morning we explore the historic centre of Marsala which is famous, among other things, for the docking of Guiseppe Garibaldi and his thousand soldiers in 1860 as well as for its Marsala wine. Its archaeological museum hosts, among numerous remains from Phoenician to Roman times , a Carthaginian ship from the first Punic War.
We then contine to the 20sq km lagoon known as
Lo Stagnone, a haven for water fowl and nursery for fish and crustaceans. The production of salt in these shallow waters dates back to the Phoenicians and today some saline still produce salt using traditional methods from 2000 years ago.  A short boat ride takes us to Motya, a tiny island in the centre of the lagoon. Founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, Motya was an important and rich colony standing at the crossroads of the main commercial routes of the Mediterranean. Our walk  goes through the remains of what was once a city that was destroyed in the 4th century BC by the tyrant of Syracuse. Thanks to the Englishman Joseph Whitaker, from a family of Marsala wine merchants, the site was excavated in the 20th century.
Afternon walk  distance 4km  Total climb 15 m  Total descent 15m  Terrain  very easy flat paths

Day 7
An hour away from Marsala is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in all of the Mediterranean region. Founded in the 7th century BC by the Greeks, Selinunte stands on rolling green hills flanked by two rivers and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The park covers 270 hectares with over eight km of trails. Starting from the three Eastern Temples we walk through the Acropolis enclosed in its massive walls all the way to the Sanctuary of Malophoros. To see the entire park takes three to four hours of easy walking. Nearby, we find the Belice Nature Reserve with 3 km of beach ideal for a beach stroll before heading back to Marsala.
Distance 8 km    Total climb 120m  Total descent 120m   Terrain  easy on large dirt paths

Day 8  Departure  
Transfer by private bus to Palermo Airport arriving at 11.00
For anyone who is continuing to the Eastern Sicily holiday, arrangements will be made to take a local bus from Palermo to Catania Airport (about 3 hours). Cost of this is about 20 euros.

Western Sicily Western Sicily Itinerary
Western Sicily Cost Contact us and Booking
Frequently Asked Questions
Western Sicily Accommodation Walkers World Homepage