1. San Vito Lo Capo
Sicily stands synonymous with beautiful beaches. My personal favorite on this southern island is San Vito Lo Capo. This pearly white sandy beach is a 45-minute drive from Trapani. Once you get there, you might even believe that you ended up on a Caribbean island!
The color of the water varies from light blue to dark blue and the contrast with the gray brown mountains and cliffs that rise behind the sand create a gorgeous landscape.
Just as beautiful -or perhaps even more beautiful- is the ride to San Vito Lo Capo. Along the gently winding roads you climb and descend along dramatic coastal and mountain landscapes that more than justify a photo stop!
It’s best to rent a car when you go to San Vito Lo Capo. There are buses from Trapani but they are irregular, take a lot of time and the last bus returns quite early to Trapani…
2. Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
If you drive (or return) to San Vito Lo Capo you can also visit the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro. Here you can escape the many tourists who go and relax on the sandy beaches.
This nature reserve is characterized by its dramatic rock landscapes, unique fauna and flora and beautiful views over the ocean. Perfect for active nature lovers!
Try to snorkel around one of the many beaches, because the marine life around Zingaro is very beautiful. You can also of course enjoy the small, almost deserted rocky and sandy beaches that are scattered all over the nature reserve.
751 meters (2464 ft) above Trapani lies the medieval Erice. Characterized by the gray buildings, narrow streets of cobblestones and many churches and castles, this is a very nice day trip from Trapani. To get to this mountain top you can take a cable car from Trapani (€9), or by car along hairpin bends with impressive views uphill (parking costs €2 for the first hour, then €1 per additional hour).
In Erice there are some attractions that you should see. One of them is the Norwegian castle. For the rest there are many beautiful churches, the city wall, the phenomenal panorama of Trapani, the Egadi Islands and the salt pans around Trapani and Marsalla.
A tip for your visit: don’t forget to bring extra warm clothes! Because Erice is a lot higher than Trapani, it can get a lot colder here. And of course you wouldn’t want to freeze…
4. The Egadi Islands
One of the most things to do around Trapani is undoubtedly a visit to the Egadi Islands. This small island group west of Sicily has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. It consists of three islands: Marettimo, Favignana and Levanzo. Of which the last two are the most popular.
Favignana is the largest island, and this is the most ‘urbanized’ island. You can rent a bike or scooter and explore the beautiful island and make a stopover on one of the great sandy or rocky beaches. Some churches on this island are also very quaint, and provide some refreshment against the warm weather of Sicily.
Levanzo is a lot smaller and also much less touristy. From the moment you set foot on this island you’ll fall in love. The port of this small island enchanted me right away! Dozens of shades of blue illuminate the transparent sea, and the sloshing boats seem to float in the air. The white houses built on the cliffs complete the view. On this island you only find beaches with boulders, but is that really so bad on such a paradise island?
Marettimo is a lot further than the other two islands and is a favorite destination for nature lovers. You can make beautiful nature walks, and cool off in the clear blue waters that surround the island.
The Egadi Islands are undeniably a part of paradise!
5. The salt pans of Trapani and Marsala
A few miles from Trapani you’ll find the ‘Riserva naturale saline’ or the salt pans of Trapani and Marsalla.
These salt pans are actually large fields with water from which salt is extracted. In addition to these ponds filled with stagnant water, you can see feet-high salt hills and obsolete windmills that decorate the landscape.
The Trapani salt pans are already impressive, but if you have time I also recommend to visit Marsalla. The salt pans in Marsalla are a little bigger and more impressive. Moreover, you can also make a boat trip between the ponds or towards the Mozia island (€5 or €9 if you want to visit the museum). Along the way you’ll also get information about the extraction of salt in this region and you’ll get access to places where you otherwise are not allowed.
Several months per year dozens, maybe even hundreds, of wild flamingos land in the Riserva natal Saline (I saw them in the neighborhood of Trapani). You can’t get very close to these stilt walkers, but it still is a beautiful sight to see and hear these pink birds in such large numbers.
6. Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
It’s quite pleasant to spend a few hours in Trapani itself. There’s a nice atmosphere and quite some good restaurants, cozy shopping streets and the proximity of the sloshing sea. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many things to do. One that I do find worth visiting is the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo.
Between the sand colored houses and historic buildings of Trapani lies a majestic cathedral. It’s decorated with many small sculptures from the fifteenth century, but it’s especially the inside that is impressive. You would never expect this cathedral to be so huge when you just see it from the outside! Inspect the artworks, view the dome and be surprised.
Trips in Sicily
If you’re traveling through Sicily anyway, it’s better to book some things in advance. There are many day trips to do! Curious? Take a look here:
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.