Sicily West Coast
Fair Weather Cyclist
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Self-guided tour
Arrival in Scopello
Arrival in Scopello, a lovely, old hamlet (locally known as baglio from the arab bahal: courtyard) dating back to the 17th century. Around its small square you will find most of the houses and shops of the entire village. The old tuna fishery is situated few kilometers away onto a promontory overlooking the crystalline waters of the Tyrrhenian sea.
Only a few kilometers from the pretty village of Scopello, stretches the wonderful Nature Reserve “Zingaro”. You will have the chance to explore it on foot allowing yourself to linger on all the aromi and scents which this untamed landscape has to offer.
Trekking along its undulating footpath you will find yourself between two very different scenes: on one side the enchanting view of the Tyrrhenian sea, with its coves and bays (calette) where you can swim and snorkel in the limpid water, on the other, the vibrancy and colours of the flora and fauna typical of this mountainous environment.
After admiring the fabulous gulf of Castellammare, only few kilometers from Scopello, the first ride of this tour will allow you to explore the hinterland of the Sicilian countryside where olive trees and vineyards are in abundance. 25 kilometers into this landscape, alternating ascents to flat parts, you will reach the archeological site of Segesta, an ancient city founded by the Elymians more than 2500 years ago. From here, following secondary country roads, you will finally arrive in Trapani, known in Sicily as the city of Salt.
The options for today are very different one from another but both very attractive.
You may decide to visit Erice, an old medieval village perched onto its homonym hill rising 750 meters asl, which you can reach either by cable car or cycling. From Trapani 11 kilometers of hairpin bends separate you from its summit, where you can enjoy a stunning view stretching all the way to the Egadi islands.
Level of difficulty: easy by cable car; difficult by bike.
Or you may choose to spend a day relaxing in Favignana, the largest of the Egadi islands which you can reach by ferry or hydrofoil. It will certainly not disappoint you with its beautiful calette and its seafaring atmosphere. Favignaga is best explored by bike!
Today’s itinerary is completely flat as you will skirt the beautiful coastline the whole time. Windmills, salt pans and mounds of freshly extracted salt will be the backdrop to an unmatchable landscape. You will also have the chance to visit Mothia island, the ancient cradle of Phoenician- Punic civilization which can be reached by motorboat from the lagoon within few minutes.
Today’s stage ends in Marsala, a city famous for its homonym wine and for the landing of Garibaldi with his expedition of the Thousand.
Today’s stage continues along the enchanting Tyrrhenian coastline until it winds inland through the typical countryside of this parts of Sicily with its numerous vineyards and bagli (old centers of farming activities). It will end in Mazara del Vallo, seat of the most important Italian fishing fleet and located at the mouth of the river Mazaro which divides the town in two.
The Arab influence is so dominant as you stroll through the narrow alleyways of the Kasbah (Arabic quarter) with its bright colours and powerful scents, that you will be reminded of the African continent just across the sea.
After leaving Mazara, you will continue along a road which runs only a kilometer in parallel to the coast and will take you to the Nature Reserve “Lago Preola e Gorghi tondi”. Immersed in a valley, a series of small lakes of karstic origins will appear without warning. Anyone passionate about watching fauna and flora typical of a swampy habitat, will find this rewarding.
Riding on a hilly road in direction of Campobello di Mazara, you pass by Cave di Cusa, famous because from here all the material necessary to the building of the temples of Selinunte, was extracted. Only 13 kilometers further down the road you will have the opportunity to visit the archeological site of Selinunte, the ancient Greek city which will take you back few thousand years. Relax and swim at Selinunte’s beaches.
Depending on your personal preference and fitness, on stage 3, 4 and 6 you will can choose between two different tracks varying in elevation profile and/or distance covered.
The route follows mainly less frequented secondary roads. Most of the parts are flat, some are light uphill sections, but still easy to manage. This tour is suitable for all healthy persons with a little bit of bike practice.
- Accommodation as already mentioned
- Breakfast buffet or an extensive breakfast
- If half board is booked: every day a 3 course meal
- Welcome briefing (in english language)
- Detailed travel documents (route maps, route description, local attractions, important telephone numbers)
- Luggage transfer between the hotels
- Service hotline (in english language)
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Palermo and Trapani airport
- Transfers per person, min. 2 persons, to be paid at the time (prices for groups from 4 persons on request):
- Airport Palermo – Scopello € 35
- Airport Trapani – Scopello € 40
- Selinute –Airport Palermo or Trapani € 60