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.