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5 Days in NW Sicily

Which San Vito lo Capo hotels are on sale?
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Spello, Italy
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117 posts
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5 Days in NW Sicily

I know 5 days is too little for Sicily, but when we moved to Umbria for a year, we promised ourselves we'd get to Sicily, and this is the only time we've been able to do it with the children's school vacations. And I figure a taste of Sicily is better than nothing, right? So our family of 5 is arriving on May 10th.

We fly into Trapani, and given our short amount of time, we'd like to settle somewhere close so we dont' waste too much time in transit. I considered staying in Trapani, as I've read nice things about the center, but then I realized this is our only beach vacation this year, and ideally we'd settle in a spot with a great beach.

San Vito Lo Capo sounds amazing, but it sounds like it might be shut down since it's not tourist season? If we stayed in Trapani, we were going to head over to Favignana, but would that have the same problem?

Any ideas of a place we could go (we can rent a car), easy driving distance of Trapani that has lovely beaches, and a town that feels real, and not shut down because it's May (we're okay skipping points of historical interest in favor of lively town with great beaches)? We'd love to witness Sicily people and town life that we've heard so much about. If it's better for us to drive a distance to get what we're looking for, we're willing to do it, but would prefer staying within easy reach of Trapani.

Any ideas?

Michelle

www.ilbelcentro.com

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Welcome to Sicily ilbelcentro even if for only 5 days, and yes, a taste of Sicily is better than no Sicily at all!

Although the swim season begins in Sicily in May, the seas are chilly and the beach season with services won’t begin until June, so you may reconsider a beach-stay base, since beach resort towns are not prime in May.

There’s a beach in Trapani town near the historic centre, and although a beach located in town is a convenience, it’s not the best beach in the area.

If the weather were to cooperate, you could enjoy the beaches at San Vito Lo Capo and also Favignana, and weekends might even bring some residents to the beaches depending on the weather.

San Vito Lo Capo is located an hour’s drive up Sicily northwestern headland, so it’s less than ideally positioned for touring and exploring and San Vito Lo Capo would add hours to your drive each day for sightseeing.

The area around the Golfo di Castellammare is depressed, often littered, and although the seas are beautiful, the beaches are dirty.

Scopello is a charming hamlet beyond Castellammare del Golfo that you might consider, but because Scopello is so small and becoming a bit tourist-oriented because of Lo Zingaro nearby, you wouldn’t experience the same real-town feel that Trapani would offer. Scopello’s beaches are lovely, but pebble!

Marinella di Selinunte is a salty working fishing town near the Greek ruins that you may consider.

Although further afield from Trapani (about 1,5 hours), Sciacca would offer what you’re seeking.

Sciacca is a genuine working Sicilian fishing town with many beaches nearby. Sciacca is also a good base for exploring Sicily’s southern coast as well as its western coast.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g580230-s2/Sciacca:Si…

SCIACCA'S BEACHES & BEACH SERVICES:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g580230-c173921/Sciac…

Vacation in Trapani:

tripadvisor.com/…34616773

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

Spello, Italy
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117 posts
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2. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

This is fabulous Vagabonda, thank you so much! The sense I get from reading your response, is that formulating a beach vacation in Sicily in mid-May is probably not the best idea. Therefore, we'd be better off basing ourselves in a town of interest, with beaches in striking distance, in case conditions (timing, weather) are favorable. Is that right? In which case San Vito Lo Capo isn't a great idea, since we'd be so far from areas of interest if the beach didn't work out.

Sciacca looks fascinating, though from reading the links you posted, it looks like we'd need to drive to beaches. So I'm wondering if that sort of evens out Trapani and Sciacca, since we'd have to drive to beaches for both towns? Reading about Sciacca's vibe was marvelous, but I'm wondering if there is something specific about it that makes it appealing for you? Or is it that the beaches around Sciacca are lovelier than the beaches around Trapani? You are absolutely correct that we want a "real town" feel.

Should we look at Marsala, since it has access to the same beaches as Trapani?

Finally, do you have any places you would recommend staying in Trapani or Sciacca (or Marsala if you would think that is a good choice)? There are 5 of us, which is sometimes tricky (though my 6 year old is small), and we particularly love staying in places with outdoor space.

I am so incredibly grateful for your help, I feel like I've already narrowed my focus, which is making me feel much less overwhelmed.

Michelle

www.ilbelcentro.com

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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3. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Prego ilbelcentro,

You are correct that formulating a beach holiday in Sicily in mid-May is not the best idea. That’s not to say you couldn’t base in proximity of beaches, and if the weather were to cooperate, you could certainly enjoy walking a beach and sunbathing, but the seas would be chilly for swimming, and full beach services wouldn’t be up and running until June.

So yes, basing in a town of interest, or a town that’s well positioned for touring and exploring would be a better base than a beach resort town, and if that town were in striking distance of a beach, even better!

So for those reasons, San Vito Lo Capo isn't a great idea this early in the season.

Unless you were to stay at a beach resort town, you’d be driving to beaches from any base town. True that Trapani is an exception with a beach within the city, but it’s an hour’s drive up to San Vito Lo Capo for a really nice beach from Trapani. Beaches aren’t far from Sciacca and there are many good beaches near Sciacca.

Trapani and Sciacca are both local towns, but feel so diefferent. Although Trapani isn’t touristy, and it’s a fishing village at heart, Trapani is awakening to tourism with its proximity to Birgi. Although Trapani’s historic centre is charming, Modern Trapani is not attractive.

Trapani:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g2440601-i25385-k6…

Sciacca is a picturesque seaside fishing town, and also a bustling ceramic centre. Piazza Scandaliato is Sciacca's living room - http://goo.gl/DYDtA

…michelin.com/web/destination/Italy-Sicily-S…

panoramio.com/map/…all

Marsala doesn’t really have access to the same beaches as Trapani, and Marsala isn’t as convenient as Trapani since there’s no autostrade. Marsala’s historic centre is charming, but Marsala’s outskirts are unattractive.

Trapani or Masala:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g494955-i9813-k639…

Really Trapani or Sciacca would both offer the opportunity to experience local life.

Consider that Trapani is nearer Birgi. And also consider which town would be more convenient for your intended day trips.

Best regards,

Vagabonda

Spello, Italy
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117 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

This is so helpful, thank you. We're looking at basing either in Trapani, or at a place with outdoor space around Trapani. I think that corner of Sicily has plenty to keep us happy, and since one of the things we all really want to do is go to Favignana, it makes the most sense. I'm already dreaming of Zingaro Nature Preserve. Trapani itself may not be perfect, but really, what is? I think we'll have a ball, thanks so much for the generosity of your time.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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5. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

It's been a pleasure ilbelcentro - Trapani should serve you well and it's the more convenient option, especially if considering Favignana.

You would surely sample genuine Sicilian life in Trapani, but carefully research basing outside Trapani. You would not enjoy the same experiences gleaned from a town, and depending on the location, it may not be as attractive.

Buona Fortuna!

Vagabonda

Montreal
2 posts
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6. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Vagabonda, your advice is always on point re Sicily. any advice where to eat in Sciacca? We'll be there for 10 days and looking for trattorie and just great food and gelato!!!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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7. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Grazie Maria105Montreal!

There are many excellent retaurants and trattorie in Sciacca - Ristorante Hostaria del Vicolo has earned its reputation, but also Porto San Paolo, Trattoria Mokarta, La Lampara, Pizzeria Conte Luna....

tripadvisor.com/…42463728

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187892-i344-k5263…

M.A.T.E.S in Caltabellotta is worth a visit AND Lustru di Luna in Siculiana Marina.

Enjoy Spizzulio, Kalos, or Il Re di Grigenti in Agrigento, and Ristorante Oceano Mare at the beach, but AVOID Ristorante Kokalos.

Enjoy!

Vagabonda

Brisbane, Australia
4 posts
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8. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Hi Vagabonda, I am new to tripadvisor and would love to pick your brain on a trip to Sicily in Early August!

My Partner and I arrive in Sicily, Palermo Airport at 7am on a Friday, and are due to fly back out to Paris on the following Thursday. We have our flights booked from Rome - Palermo, but have not actually got our flight from Sicily to Paris booked yet, however there is a flight that leaves about 8pm on the Thursday night we would like to get, which leaves us with 5 nights in Sicily Area.

I am after any advice on how best to make our time in Sicily work, while getting to see everything but also have some relaxation time. We are wanting to spend most of our time near the beaches where possible, and were thinking of heading down Amalfi Coast way, but it seems like it might be a lot of travel. I

What would be your best advice to see the most beautiful beaches of Sicily? This is the first trip we have planned, and I must admit, I am getting a bit confused!

Thanking you in advance!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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96,988 posts
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9. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Hi Sarah P – I’ve also responded to your other posting.

Do you plan to hire a car?

August is hot and the peak of peak season, so it’s the most crowded period at the coast and also the most expensive.

Sicily is a 2-week itinerary, so with only 5 nights and flights to and from Palermo, focus on Western Sicily.

Perhaps consider the lovely beaches on Favignana, and then also San Vito Lo Capo.

Although San Vito Lo Capo is located an hour’s drive up Sicily’s northwestern headland, you could visit Erice and Segesta from there - Where to stay for a family holiday in Sicily:

tripadvisor.com/…47687389

Where to go in Sicily?:

tripadvisor.com/…13523165

You might also consider Scopello as a base – Scopello is a mere hamlet, but ideally positioned at the juncture of the A29, and a base in Scopello would also offer the opportunity to explore the beaches at Selinunte and even further afield around Sciacca.

SCIACCA'S BEACHES & BEACH SERVICES:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g580230-c173921/Sciac…

The seas are beautiful around Scopello and Scopello is the gateway to Lo Zingaro (reserve), but the beaches are pebble.

http://www.scopello.org/lecalette.htm

tripadvisor.com/…17890257

tripadvisor.com/…17975169

Selinunte is a viable base as well and conveniently located at the A29 and SS115, so a convenient position for exploring Sicily’s western and southern coasts, and even easy access from Palermo's airport via the A29.

Stay on Sicily at least a few nights if you’d like to see Western Sicily’s top attractions – Erice, Segesta, Selinunte....

But you would probably best enjoy the beaches on Favignana -

http://www.favignanaweb.it/DoveAndare.asp

http://www.egadivacanze.it/favignana/spiagge

lecasetteafavignana.it/spiagge-favignana.php

The superb beaches in Sicily, Italy:

thinksicily.com/guide-to-sicily/geography-of…

Vagabonda

Brisbane, Australia
4 posts
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10. Re: 5 Days in NW Sicily

Hi Vagabonda, Thank you so much for your help!! Yes sorry I did post twice as I wasn't sure how to fully utilise tripadvisor!

We love the look of the Favignana beaches, but scopello area also looks amazing.

We don't plan to hire a car for the time we are there no, hoping to mostly utilise buses, trains, boats etc.

We do not have our flights booked out of Palmero so would be able to fly out of any airport, even the Catina airport if we were to end up on that side of Sicily.

Would you possible be able to suggest a rough itinerary for our time there? Anything is much appreciated!!