After suggesting you the places and things to do absolutely on the East Coast of Sicily, I have prepared the perfect itinerary for you to explore all the hidden beauties on the West Coast of Sicily.
Similarly to the East Coast of Sicily which is full of unforgettable places, a trip to the West Coast is one you will probably never forget and something to absolutely plan during your journey for your elopement in Sicily.
This itinerary obviously begins in the capital, in Palermo, a place that will stimulate and spoil all your senses. After the bustling city, the charming and peaceful medieval town with the fishing village of Cefalu is the perfect relaxing stop.
In search of one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, one must take a walkable road to visit the Zingaro Nature Reserve, and last but not least the grand finale of the west coast of Sicily must include the delicious local wine and a relaxed pace, lastly visiting Marsala and the instagrammable pink saltworks that will leave you speechless!
Palermo, a vibrant and colorful Capital
Palermo is the colorful and lively capital of Sicily. A city that has been a great navel of cultures and nationalities in past centuries and that still bears visible the legacies of these millenary passages; a place that will welcome you with colors, scents, flavors and sounds that overload your senses with a wonderful spirit.
Palermo is wild and rugged at times and undeniably lives by its own rules, so your visit will entirely feel like an adventure of the most exciting kind. You will find that Palermo is anything but the stereotypical tourist city with manicured alleys and expensive souvenir shops, but it still retains, thankfully, its authentic rebellious identity.
If you’ll choose for your elopement in the West Coast in Sicily you can choose to stay and celebrate your micro wedding in uber luxury and elegant Villa Tasca or one of the other venue I have in my portfolio in Palermo area.
Cefalu, the energy of relax
Just an hour’s drive east of Palermo, nestled peacefully between its natural bay and the imposing granite rock mass of La Rocca, there is Cefalù. It is a very small city but it contains an incredible amount of serene energy that recharges your soul.
In Cefalu you will immediately take on the slower pace and romantic atmosphere of Sicily. With its sandy beaches, narrow medieval streets and fabulous restaurants, this village is the perfect place for a romantic elopement and a family vacation.
After a day spent sunbathing and working on your Mediterranean tan, you can enjoy an aperitif in the main square in front of the Cathedral sitting on the stairs filled with medieval buildings, watching the world go by in slow motion.
Climbing the Rocca on foot can be a real challenge, especially in the hot summer months, but it’s an absolute must: the views are spectacular and you can also admire the walls of the ancient Saracen stronghold and the remains of a temple of Diana.
Directly south of Cefalù is the wonderful Madonie National Park with its enchanting villages and towns, its enchanting landscapes, its imposing mountains and some wonderful walks. If you come to Castelbuono for example, be sure to stop by the famous Fiasconaro pastry shop and try their delicious artisan panettone, also made for Dolce & Gabbana.
Zingaro Nature Reserve, the most spectacular beach
West of Palermo the coast becomes jagged, rocky and spectacular. The sea has shaped it into magical coves and imposing limestone stacks, which will surely take your breath away.
One of my favorite places is the Zingaro Nature Reserve. It extends along the coast for 7 km of beaches, welcoming the visitor in search of the truest nature. It extends between the town of Scopello to the south and that of San Vito Lo Capo to the north, the town known for its tradition in making another typical dish of the Western part of Sicily, the fish couscous, which is an example of the African influence on Sicilian culture.
The Zingaro reserve is undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of Western Sicily and its beaches are stunning. Cliffs drop into the blue sea, mountain sides rise steeply to a height of 1,000 meters, and turquoise coves dot the trails like brilliant sapphire jewels on a necklace.
If an elopement in unspoiled nature and unique Mediterranean landscapes is your dream, an exclusive and deeply Sicilian mood is in your strings, then one of our favorite venues, La Tonnara di Scopello, is made for you.
Marsala, an experience of Wine and Salt
This short journey into the beauties of Western Sicily ends in the Marsala area.
Marsala is famous above all for its wine, the sweet nectar of grapes nourished by the heat of the Sicilian sun and spiced by the constant winds of Africa. There is no shortage of excellent wineries to visit in this region, for unforgettable tastings and perhaps send home some cases of the nectar of the Gods as a favor for your guests.
One of my favorite wineries is Donnafugata. As evidence of their excellence is the fact that Dolce & Gabbana has chosen them to make their D&G rosé. Another prestigious winery in the region is Cantine Florio, belonging to one of the families that made the history of the island. For a wine tasting with a view, on the other hand, I suggest you visit the Cantine Fina. Sipping wine on its large balcony overlooking the Marsala landscape that melts into the sea can be a truly romantic experience at sunset.
The Marsala area is special in my heart also because it hosts a centuries-old craft that is still practiced: salt processing. You can witness this 3000-year-old craft for yourself by visiting the Mozia salt pans just outside Marsala. Although the windmills are no longer operational, everything else is still done by hand.
The salt water of the sea is trapped and walled up in the salt pans, where the sun can take effect and evaporate the water, leaving the salt crystals behind. You can visit all year round and watch the dazzling sunsets over the pink salt flats. Fabulous and highly instagrammable, a show that to define fascinating is an understatement!
As for the culinary highlights, Marsala has many local dishes you must try: one of my favorite Sicilian pastas, the busiate, is prepared here. It’s a delicious curly pasta, served mostly with basil pesto accented with almonds and tomatoes.
And to satisfy your greedy palates you must try cassatelle, a delicious shortcrust pastry filled with ricotta, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Marsala wine is used in the dough of cassatelle, making it special.
It is difficult for us to stop here because there are so many other incredible places that we could add to those absolutely must see in Western Sicily. To name a few – Erice, Monreale, Segesta and of course the Egadi Islands and Pantelleria – all absolute gems of the West Coast.