Headwater - Secrets of Sicily Self-Guided Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W07MR
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 12

Trip Overview

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, mediaeval 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. Min age 12 yrs

Trip Highlights

  • Turquoise seas, coral-lined grottoes and unspoilt sandy beaches
  • Exotic Mediterranean flora; orange groves, dwarf palms and olive trees
  • Mediaeval 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?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
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:
12
Min group size:
2
Max group size:
6

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Scopello
End City:
San Vito Lo Capo

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Scopello

    You will be met at the airport to take you to your hotel in Scopello (40 minutes) where you will have a briefing on your walking week before dinner. You will spend two nights here at the traditional farmhouse.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Walk as little or as much as you like through the Zingaro Nature Reserve

    On your first day you can walk as much or as little as you like. 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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Optional shorter walk: 3.5hrs, distance 13km/8mi



    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 21 km / 13.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 3

    Private transfer to the temple of Segesta; catch the ferry to Marettimo.

    Take a private transfer (30 mins) to the 2,500 year-old temple of Segesta and the wonderfully preserved theatre. After lunch in Trapani to taste the famous granita - lemon, almond or even coffee flavoured - you catch the ferry (1 hour) to Marettimo, where you will stay for the next three nights, and arrive in time for a swim or short walk before your first dinner in the old village.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk through pine woods and citrus-carpeted hillsides towards the coast and up to the Punta Libeccio Lighthouse

    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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 5

    Ferry crossing to Levanzo; walk to the Grotta del Genovese

    It’s a short crossing to Levanzo where a coastal path bright with lilac scabious leads past deserted stone farmhouses and olive trees to the Grotta del Genovese - admire the 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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3.5
  • Day 6

    Return to the mainland; chance to explore the mediaeval hilltop town of Erice

    Today you return to the mainland and visit the hilltop town of Erice. Its smooth, winding marble streets reveal mediaeval churches, old city gates, ancient squares and a stunning Norman castle set against a backdrop of the entire north western shoreline. A private transfer takes you to Daniela’s charming little B&B near San Vito Lo Capo where you spend your final two nights.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Transfer to the foot of Monte Cofano and ascend; opportunity to swim before the transfer to the hotel.

    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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3.5
  • Day 8

    End San Vito Lo Capo. Take a transfer to Palermo in time for your return flight

    After breakfast, you will have a transfer (1 hour) to the airport. Alternatively, why not extend your stay with extra nights in vibrant Palermo. The capital city of Sicily, Palermo, is a unique urban melting pot, conquered numerous times by invaders, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. The 4-star Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa is a stone's throw from one of Palermo's main streets, the Via Vittorio Emanuele, which runs through the heart of the historical centre. The hotel is a stunning conversion of two historic buildings, with origins of the hotel dating back to the 16th Century convent of the Mercedarian Monks. There is also a luxurious spa, along with an elegant bar and restaurant to relax in.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

This trip features a number of special hotels. In Scopello you stay at a baglio style hotel, nestled between the mountains and the sea; on Marettimo, your host meets you at the jetty and takes you to the seafront 4-star residence featuring a pool and Jacuzzi, and near San Vito you stay at Daniela's cosy five bedroom B&B hotel and appreciate the fantastic 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. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £224.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 3 dinners are 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.

Transportation

Your airport and luggage transfers between hotels are included, subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. Your transfers on the walking days, including the return ferry to Marettimo, are also included.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Scopello 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, (transfer to hotel, 40 mins, provided).

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

Take advantage of a free transfer if you arrive for 20:25. Likewise, on the return journey a transfer will be arranged back to the airport at 17:00. If these times do not suit you then please make your own way to and from the start hotel. Alternatively, non-standard transfers are available at an additional cost.

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

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

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

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

There is no bank or ATM in Scopello 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 per person for your visit to Zingaro Nature Reserve payable locally.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake 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.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances 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.

On all trips

In 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 you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 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.

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; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, 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.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

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 www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, 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. Book with confidence: 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 monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.