0049 941 / 56 76 460

Sicily destinations for excursions Palermo


In the northwest of Sicily, lush green hilly landscapes alternate with gorgeous coastal sections. Not only fascinating nature attracts you to this special part of Sicily, but also its centuries-old culture, which is waiting to be discovered.

 

Sicily destinations for excursions Palermo


In the northwest of Sicily, lush green hilly landscapes alternate with gorgeous coastal sections. Not only fascinating nature attracts you to this special part of Sicily, but also its centuries-old culture, which is waiting to be discovered.

Riserva dello Zingaro – untouched landscape

It is conveniently located between San Vito Lo Capo and Scopello, the nature reserve with its rich flora and fauna as well as solitary bays and spectacular panoramic vistas.

Its Mediterranean vegetation is defined by olive and carob trees as well as dwarf fan palms. Ornithologists get their money’s worth, given the about 40 different species of birds in the park. Falcons, vultures, tawny owls and eagles feel at home there. Other animals found are, amongst others, weasels, Sicilian salamanders, racers, porcupines, bats and green lizards.

Our tip: Should you plan on a tour through the nature park, then take along enough water and supplies, because there are no drop-ins for refreshment. Swimwear might also come in handy.
Park your car at Scopello or San Vito Lo Capo, because the nature reserve can be explored only on foot. 

Skillful architecture at Monreale

In 1172, Sicily’s King William II started on a true masterwork of architecture on Monte Caputi, 7 km southwest of Palermo.

His reason for doing so is said to have been the apparition of the Virgin Mary he experienced one night in a place high above Palermo.

Back then, it was a really huge building site, which included a cathedral, a fortress-style complex of buildings, an archiepiscopal palace, a royal palace and a Benedictine monastery.

What has remained is the Arab-Norman cathedral with its cloister, which fascinates thousands of tourists every year.

Ancient Segesta

Segesta, about 70 km from Palermo, is a highlight for lovers of antiquity.

The Elymians founded the town in the 5th century BC on Monte Barbaro, 305 m above sea level, for protective purposes, because from there they were able to overlook the whole area. According to Vergil’s Aeneid, the Elymians were among those Trojans who, after fleeing from Troy, settled in Sicily while the others moved on to Italy. 

In 430 BC, the Elymians built the majestic Doric-style temple of Segesta. The Greek theater was built a little later. From its tiers of seats, you are granted a fantastic view of the gulf of Castellammare del Golfo and, in summer, you can enjoy the performances taking place in the theater. 

Nature reserve Monte Cofano

Should you spend your holidays at our holiday apartment Il Giuccu, then you are only a stone’s throw from nature reserve Monte Cofano. The nature park’s particular feature is its unique rock flora, which is found only in this part of Sicily.

There are various tours through the park. The somewhat lesser trained hiker and mountain biker might explore the area by following the trail along the sea.

Should you be more ambitious and more trained, then you should go up to the peak. Your efforts are rewarded by a breathtaking 360° panoramic view.

Our tip: In summer, we recommend a visit to the park in the early morning or late evening hours, because there is little shade along the trails.  

Erice  – Medieval times up close between heaven and earth

In ancient times, Erice was one of the three centers of the Elymians, besides Segesta and Entella. It was then that the town served as an important base during the first Punic War.   

The triangular layout of many buildings is evidence of the Elymians’ fertility cult linked to goddess Aphrodite.
 
During Norman times, the town was renamed Monte S. Giuliano, a fortress and town gates were erected.

Nowadays, when visiting Erice, you feel more like being taken back to prosperous medieval times, because there are numerous remains from this period, e.g. the impressive town wall as well as several churches and monasteries. Chiesa Madre, the main church which Frederick II had built in 1312, is particularly worth visiting.

The town, which is located on a plateau above the sea and offers fantastic views, is best reached by cable car or on foot from one of the parking lots outside of town.