Tips / Travel

Travel post #5 | A weekend getaway to La Bella Sicilia (Beautiful Sicily)

Hey there my lovelies,

Welcome back to my Blog!

Well if you might have caught the couple of Snaps or IG pics I posted a few weeks ago, together with my family we organised a weekend getaway to Trapani, Sicily a destination which is very close to Malta and quite similar.

If you every been to Sicily you will know exactly what I mean, my first impression of Trapani was that it actually sparkled.  This was in great contrast to dirty and stricken Palermo which we passed through briefly on the way to Cefalo! I really love that the buildings gleamed in the sunlight, ornate carvings decorated the buildings, and I got the feeling as I walked through its streets that I had stepped back in time especially walking through Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

I loved that Trapani was surrounded by water. Our apartment was situated at the port, which is on one side of the city, whilst the beach is on the other. The beach side is quite nice and had lots of beautiful scenery one can enjoy.  In all Trapani was a great place to just walk around aimlessly and enjoy the sights.

Saturday early morning saw us driving for the first time in another country and we headed towards an almost 3 hour drive to one of the most beautiful coastal village in Sicily that is Cefalu which is situated on the northern coast of the island facing the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea. Relatively unknown this quaint fishing village is steeped in history and charm.  As you approach Cefalu your attention will quickly be drawn to La Rocca, or the “Rock” as it is referred to. This large rock formation casts a shadow on the village and makes for a very scenic backdrop to the community. There are some ruins remaining at the top of the rock that it is evident that at one time there was a presence on top of the Rock.

There is a path that leads to the top of La Rocca (which we did not venture in) that passes the ruins of the Temple of Diana along the way. The climb takes visitors up 290 meters and should take about 40 minutes or so. At the top is what is thought to be the ruins of a 13thcentury castle known as the Cefalu Castle. With its great view of the coast and the village below, the castle may have been a key to protecting the town and its harbour.

The Village of Cefalu sits directly on the coast and has what I think is one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in all of Sicily.  Not all beaches in Sicily are sand, many are rocky, but Cefalu has been blessed with fine golden sand that runs the length of the beach.  The beach, known as Lungomare, is easy to get to and is just a short walk from the town’s main road. There are numerous lidos up and down the beach that offer umbrellas and beach chairs for a fee. There are also public stretches of the beach that are free.

The focal point of Cefalu is undoubtedly its Duomo, which sits prominently at the base of La Rocca. Constructed in 1131 by the Norman King, Roger II, the Cathedral stands guard over Cefalu with its twin towers visible from anywhere in the village. Originally designed to double as a fortress, the cathedral resembles a fortified castle.

The old section of Cefalu is a maze of unique shops, cafes, and wonderful restaurants. It is here that you will discover the charm that makes this village so special.  Cefalu certainly has enough to do that would warrant spending a couple of nights here, especially if you are looking for some relaxing time at the beach interspersed with visits to the old section of town and its churches.

If you find yourself visiting Sicily be sure to consider a stop in Cefalu. Its warm sandy beaches, beautiful setting, and centuries of ancient history combine to make this jewel of the Mediterranean a wonderful vacation destination.

After spending a good afternoon in Cefalu we made our way back to Trapani, however, we did a pit stop in yet another amazing place in Sicily – close to Palermo and this is the beautiful Mondello – this place is amazing soft white sand, pastel coloured changing huts and shallow and amazing crystalline water.  I never imagined a place so beautiful so close to Palermo – Mondello is every beach lover’s dream!

If you’re holidaying during peak season, you’ll find when you get there that this beach is popular – with locals and tourists alike. The reason being, there’s something for everyone. The sand calls to the sunbathers, there’s water sport activities, so those in need of entertainment are catered for, and the shallow water makes it an ideal and safe spot for families. There’s also a great selection of restaurants and a small supermarket along and close to the beach, so you can enjoy a leisurely lunch, or keep your costs down if you’d rather grab a sandwich from the shop.

From the beach, you won’t be able to ignore the superb views of Monte Gallo, magnificently perched close by. Standing at 435m, it’s an impressive sight!  I really enjoyed the time spend in Mondello it was such a relaxing place even though it was oozing with sunbathers.

Our last full day in Sicily, saw us driving from Trapani to San Vito lo Capo, a trip that takes around 40mins, none the less the beautiful scenery is high on the agenda.  Driving towards San Vito lo Capo’s the weather was very dark around the mountains almost thought it is raining at the beach.  In fact when we got to the free parking lot it was really cold and windy however, we drove 40 mins to get there and we could not miss out to see for ourselves the fame of its beach.  I really liked this place however after Cefalu and Mondello it was hard to think that there could be anywhere else to top it off!  I did like though that as Mondello here the sea was turquoise blue too with very heavy waves due to the high force wind – I did not even think of swimming, seeing that me and rough sea do not do well.  On the other hand my little one had a blast jumping head on into the waves.  After a few hours here we were ready to head to Erice however, while having a coffee and my little one and my partner were swimming, the wind changed and out came the sun so we could enjoy a few more hours.

Last stop on Sunday was to Erice, the charming medieval city situated on a mountain looking down on Trapani.  Let me tell guys Erice is well worth a visit – it’s a spectacularly romantic city with tale to tell.  The cable car ride up is exceptional (try to avoid windy days 😦 as it does get a bit scary).

If you’ve arrived on a whim with no particular plan, you can easily spend a day or even two getting happily lost in Erice. If you like medieval churches, there are dozens. If you’re after jaw-dropping views to impress your Instagram followers, this is the place.  If you prefer staggering from café to café and eating insanely unhealthy food, you’re in luck: Sicily isn’t the place to go on a diet. There’s something about the altitude (I’m trying desperately to create some sort of scientific reasoning here) that makes every single cream-stuffed pastry in Erice feel justified.  There’s no shortage of cafés.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you can’t live on arancini, cannoli, and sfogliatelle alone. You can, and it’s glorious.

Last but not least you cannot go to Sicily and not snack on streetfood, the choice is vast from arancini (fried rice balls) to pastry goodies including the famous cannoli!

Hope you enjoy this post – I love remember all the amazing spots we got to see in just 4 days 🙂

Until next trip,

XOXO
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