The west of Sicily is very different from the ordered and industrious east. Whitewashed houses, palm trees, busy fishing harbours and sunburned lowlands seem more akin to Africa than Europe. Colonised by the Moors, western Sicily’s great appeal is its unique Arabic flavour that sets it apart from the rest of the island. There is much to incite the senses here, from working fishing villages to one of Sicily’s finest nature reserves, the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro. The capital Palermo is at its heart and, with its wonderful architecture and nearby must-sees such as Monreale, is a definite attraction. To the west of the capital lies the medieval hilltop town of Erice and the island retreat of Mozia. Further south are the magnificent ruins at Agrigento where the remarkable Valley of the Temples will not fail to impress. Much of Sicilian history was shaped along these western shores, and much is left that is ancient, including the magnificent ruins at Segesta, whose temple has remained virtually intact for 2,500 years.

Palermo, Sicily Palermo, Sicily

Palermo

A visit to the Duomo, an impressive 12th century cathedral housing the tombs of Sicily’s kings, is highly recommended. Other sights worth a visit are the Palazzo dei Normanni which contains the stunning Cappella Palatina where you can see wonderful mosaics; the Capuchin Catacombs (containing some 8000 mummies); the Archeological museum housing artifacts from Etruscan, Carthaginian, Roman and Hellenistic civilizations; and the Botanical Gardens, offering 30 acres of tranquillity within the city.

Palermo, Sicily Palermo, Sicily

Erice

Erice, located in the province of Trapani, is perched on top of Mount Erice at around 750m above sea level and enjoys superb views over the sea as well as eastern Sicily, Trapani, Marsala, and the Egadi Islands. This quiet, unassuming town, enclosed by defensive walls, has a maze of cobbled streets and passageways, medieval piazzas and courtyards that will enchant any visitor.

Erice, Sicily Erice, Sicily

Wine country

Sicily’s wine country lies to the east. The region was always known for its fine grapes, but it was the Englishman, John Woodhouse, who introduced the fortified wine business here in 1796, having already developed a similar product (Port wine) in Portugal. The early years of the 19th century saw the arrival of thousands of British troops in Sicily to support the armies of King Ferdinando I during his exile from Naples in view of the Napoleonic occupation of Italy. Many were based at Marsala. Soon other firms were to follow Woodhouse’s example including Ingham, Good and Whitaker and Florio. The grape-growing region extends westward toward Salemi, Segesta and Sciacca.

Vineyard, Sicily Vineyard, Sicily

Monreale

The Cathedral of Monreale, built in 1174 by King William II, is the greatest of all the monuments of the Norman kings in northern Sicily. While the outside of the cathedral is predominantly plain, the inside walls are adorned with stunning mosaics - reputedly one of the world’s largest displays of this art.

The Catherdral of Monreale, Sicily The Catherdral of Monreale, Sicily

The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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