Current as of: February 25, 2024 - 07:45

Secrets of Sicily Walk

Secrets of Sicily Walk Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Self-Guided Holidays
  • Destination: Italy
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    2 out of 7 - Leisurely / Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 13+
  • Trip Code: W07MR

Trip Overview

Discover Sicily’s sapphire waters, hidden sandy coves and unexplored islands

Starting at the Moorish village of Scopello, this seven night walking holiday allows you to uncover the secrets of one of the most remote areas of Sicily. The national parks and unexplored islands are the perfect place to appreciate the peace and tranquillity and explore the cultural highlights including ancient ruins, medieval churches and prehistoric caves.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of hotels
  • 4 days circular walking 
  • Low altitude and well-marked paths 
  • Self-guided holiday.

Highlights

  • Turquoise seas, coral-lined grottoes and unspoilt sandy beaches
  • Exotic Mediterranean flora; orange groves, dwarf palms and olive trees
  • Medieval churches, ancient villages and pre-historic caves
  • Stay in a traditional Sicilian farmhouse and cosy bed and breakfast
  • Fantastic bird spotting opportunities

Is This Trip for You?

The walks follow mainly stony coastal paths, with frequent small ascents and descents. There’s a good choice of walks at different levels on Marettimo. There may be some sections on uneven terrain where scrambling is required. The route is suitable for anyone looking for walks of 4-6 hours and confident with daily ascents/descents of up to 700m. Walkers don’t need specific hiking experience, however, good health and a reasonable level of fitness is required.

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:

http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi. They may wish to charge for this service.

Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age: 13

Itinerary

Secrets of Sicily Walk

Land Only

  • Start City: Scopello
  • End City: San Vito Lo Capo

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Scopello

Arrive at your hotel in Scopello where we brief you on your walking week before dinner. You spend two nights here.

 

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 2
Zingaro Nature Reserve

Wind your way up through asphodel, wild fennel, dwarf palm, pomegranate and citrus trees to amazing viewpoints overlooking the stunning coastline of tiny sandy coves lapped by sapphire waters.

 

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Activity hours: 3.5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Segesta, Trapani and on to Marettimo

Transfer to the 2,500 year old temple of Segesta and the marvellously preserved theatre, then continue to Trapani for lunch. Maybe try the famous granita before catching the ferry to Marettimo and the Marettimo Residence, where you spend the next three nights. Time for a short walk before dinner, choosing one of the restaurants in the old village (payable locally).

 

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Punta Libeccio Lighthouse Walk

A path through pine woods and across citrus-carpeted hillsides takes you from the east to the south west coast, with striking views from high above the village. There’s complete peace and quiet as you picnic by the lighthouse – look out for red kites and Bonelli’s eagles cruising the thermals – and gaze down at the sparkling waters and the Egadi Islands shimmering in the distance.

 

Distance covered: 9mi (14km)

Activity hours: 4.5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Levanzo

It’s a short crossing to Levanzo where a coastal path, bright with lilac scabious, leads past deserted stone farm houses and olive trees to the Grotta del Genovese – admire the marvellously well preserved 11BC cave paintings and engravings lining the cavern walls. The bay here is a good picnic spot. There’s time too for a dip in the pool or jacuzzi before your final evening meal in Marettimo.

 

Distance covered: 4mi (7km)

Activity hours: 3.5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Medieval Erice and onto San Vito Lo Capo

Return to the mainland and a transfer to the hilltop town of Erice with its winding marble streets, old city gates, medieval churches, ancient squares and stunning Norman castle. From here we take you to Baglio la Luna.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7
Monte Cofano

A scenic lift to the foot of Monte Cofano is followed by a gentle ascent through twisted olive trees with breathtaking views over the Bay of Bonagia. Descending, you reach an old tonnara (tuna factory) where nearby coves with sapphire waters are perfect for a dip. Then a cliff path fringed with red valerian and field gladioli leads into the village of Cornino for a late lunch before we meet you and take you back to your hotel.

 

Distance covered: 9mi (14km)

Activity hours: 4.5

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8
Leave San Vito Lo Capo

If you have pre-booked a transfer through Headwater, you will be picked up by taxi for the scenic drive of about 75 minutes back to Palermo airport in time for your flight home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels

Secrets of Sicily Walk

All your hotels are special in their own contrasting ways. In Scopello you stay at the Hotel Baglio di Scopello, complete with a shimmering outdoor pool. On Marettimo, your host, Fausto, meets you at the jetty with a luggage trolley (there are no roads) and takes you to his charming seafront residence (with pool and jacuzzi) just by the harbour. In San Vito Lo Capo you stay at Daniela’s cosy five bedroom B&B hotel and enjoy great sea views from the luxuriant Mediterranean garden.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs. Please call for further details.

Single supplement from £ 304

Food & Drink

Daily breakfast and 2 evening meals included.

Sicily’s typically southern Italian cuisine is interspersed with many more exotic dishes reflecting the island’s jumbled cultural past. Italian dishes like pasta alla norma (made with tomatoes, aubergine and grated ricotta) are often found on menus along with couscous (a north African speciality), or even pasta con le sarde (a pasta dish dating back to Phoenician times made from sardines, raisins, pine nuts, fennel, saffron, parsley and capers).

The Arabs introduced citrus groves to the island and a popular drink today is granita made with crushed ice and lemon. This was traditionally drunk with sweet bread dipped in it as a lunchtime snack by Sicilian peasants.
Fish is of course also abundant. Local specialities include pesce spada alla ghiotta (swordfish cooked with tomatoes, capers, onion, celery and potatoes) or tonno fresco alla brace (grilled fresh tuna).

Sicily is famed for its desserts. Why not try cannolo, a crunchy pastry tube filled with ricotta cheese and studded with candied fruits, pistachio and chocolate? Or cassata, the Arab influenced cake made with ricotta cheese, candied fruit and chocolate pieces.

Sicily is not traditionally famous for its wines, so it is surprising to learn that the island boasts one of the largest wine producing areas in the whole of Italy. Look out for the Etna DOC label and Corvo di Salaparuta. One of Sicily’s most popular wines is Alcamo Bianco – a soft white which goes well with fish dishes.

Transport

Luggage transfers between hotels are included and are subject to al least 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. Your transfers on the walking days, including the return ferry to Marettimo, are also included. If you have booked a flight inclusive package, your airport transfers are included.

Weather & Seasonality

Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach 30 to 35 degrees Celcius. The earlier and later departures are likely to be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived.

Weather Charts

Secrets of Sicily Walk

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in San Vito Lo Capo on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Hotel check-in times are normally from around 4pm.

We can book your flights from London to Palermo based on the following flight times:

Outbound – EasyJet from London Gatwick to Palermo 16:30/20:25

Inbound – Fly from Palermo to London Gatwick 21:00/23:00

Standard transfers: Standard return transfers are only included for flight inclusive bookings from Palermo airport at 20.25, and back to Palermo airport at 17.00. Customers booking a land only trip will be able to add arrival/departure transfers at a supplement payable in advance.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Scopello
Location end: San Vito Lo Capo

What To Take

Essential Equipment

Good walking boots
Small daypack for camera, guidebook, etc.
Water bottle to use when walking and sightseeing (2 litre)
Sun cream
Hat
Sunglasses
Waterproofs
Warm clothes

Optional Equipment

Walking poles
Swimming costume

Reading List

– DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Sicily
– Cadogan Guide: Sicily
– The Insight Regional Guide to Sicily
– Lonely Planet Regional Guide to Sicily
– Michelin Green Guide: Sicily

Practical Information

Passport

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 3 months left after the day you plan to leave the country (check the ‘expiry date’)
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left – check the ‘date of issue’)

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Italy

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.

Vaccinations and Health

Italy

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Local Time

Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz

Money

Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

There is no bank or ATM near Baglio La Luna so you should take enough cash with you to cover you for the first few days of your trip. ATMs are in general widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can’t get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches, dinners (where they are not included), local taxes (€6), snacks and drinks and any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy produce from local markets or shops and make a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting for €5-15 for lunches and €15-40 for dinners depending on what type of restaurant you eat in. Allow an additional €10 a day for any extras. Please allow €60 for entrance fees to Segesta, the ferry to Levanzo and the admission to the caves. Please also allow an additional €3 €5 per person for your visit to Zingaro Nature Reserve payable locally.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.