After buzzing Palermo it was the time to visit calmer west of Sicily. Calmer only in terms of amount of tourists as it was the busiest day of the whole trip. It was good to visit some easy going places after hustle and bustle of Palermo despite the fact we really enjoyed this city.
Castellmare del Gofio
From Palermo we took motorway E90 towards Castellmare del Gofio. We passed exit to Mondello beach and airport. We’re told by few locals about Mondello but we didn’t have enough time to drop in. Catsellmare del Gofio in October was an oasis of tranquility but we guess it’s completely opposite during summer. Beach, little port, castle on the coast and narrow streets. It would be nice to stay overnight or a little longer to observe how local life goes on after season.
There is a short drive from CdG to Scopello. First we saw this little bay with turquoise water and sharp rocks rising above. There is remaining of a tuna processing plant. There is probably not many fish left in Mediterranean so no wonder it is not operating anymore. There is a small beach by the plant and to visit the area you need to pay entrance fee of 4 euro. Unfortunately again we haven’t been blessed with a longer stop. We have taken few hairpins up the road and we found ourselves in tiny Scopello. Little village with cobblestone square and few cafes around it. We were watched carefully by locals sipping coffees sitting on metal chairs on the square, probably thinking what we are doing here in October. Shortly after, we were admiring the view from Belvedered Faraglioni Scopello viewpoint. It is e perfect place for lazy day in a hammock with a book and glass of wine. As always under time pressure we couldn’t charge batteries for long enough.
On the way to Erice weather started to play a part but in the end it didn’t thwart our plans. If there is anything Sicilians do really well is building towns on top of the hills (not taking anything back from Granita and Cannoli!). Erice is situated 751m.a.s.l. and towers above Trapani. From Trapani to Erice you can take a cable car. During summer it could be the best option as there are not many parking places. Dawid was convinced he saw this amazing insta-shot with a city view probably taken from a tower. We started penetrating the city looking for a tower with a view. We found one quite quick by the cathedral – Duomo di Erice. Torre Campanaria de Duomo de’ll Assunta is the name of a tower. Very happy we paid 2.5 euro per head and we rushed upstairs. It turned out that it’s not that tower and not the view we are looking for, actually it wasn’t even the right town. Dawid mixed Erice with Ragusa so instead of spending fiver on a wine we climbed tower in Erice with mediocre view as obstructed by walls. Erice is a nice lovely town to just walk around. Many streets were completely empty in October and we had them just to ourselves. From the hill you have amazing view stretching across the horizon with Trapani on the first plan.
Saline di Trapani
We haven’t had time to visit Trapani but we’ve taken a detour to Saline di Trapani. Structure of shallow salt marshes where one evaporates sea water and produce sea salt. Surrounded by mills creates unusual sight looking more like Netherlands or Don Quixote country rather than Sicilly. The whole area smells distinctively and large pile of salt gives the air salty aroma. We haven’t seen any flamingos which apparently appear there from time to time.
Scala dei Turchi
Characteristic white cliffs attract hordes of tourists in summertime. It can get very crowded at sunsets as well. In fact southern Sicilly is very industrial and there is not many wow places. We would probably skip it if it wasn’t on our route anyway. We have stayed in lovely 100 years old beach house and our host Alfredo was amiable. Bottle of local white wine was a nice touch to welcome us despite the fact we have stayed only one night. Our accommodation was right on Majata beach. At sunrise which in October is after 7am we walked to cliffs. We were the only human beings there and few minutes after sun gone up the cliffs started to dance in streaks of morning light. As we think it is not a must but if you are passing by it is nice to pop in.