Monte Cofano, Sicily
San Vito Lo Capo
Monte Cofano, Sicily
Cofano to San Vito Lo Capo
Monte Monaco
Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily
Erice views
Monte Monaco
Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily
San Vito Crocus
San Vito Lo Capo to Monte Monaco

Secret Sicily


Walking short break to Sicily

A short nordic walking break to the island of Sicily easily ticks all the travel boxes and more! Enjoy 3 walks exploring the island of Sicily offering endless sea views, sandy beaches and sunshine galore. Immerse yourself in historic sites, nature reserves and Sicilian cuisine.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stay in 3* hotels in Castellamare del Golfo and San Vito Lo Capo
  • Zingaro Nature Reserve coastal walk and magical swim spots
  • Explore the ancient temple of Segesta
  • Ride a cable car to the hilltop town of Erice
  • Climb Monte Monaco then relax on the San Vito Lo Capo beach
  • Airport transfer and single rooms included
  • Small guide to group ratio
  • Services of two mountain leaders: an International Mountain Leader and Nordic Walking Instructor

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, ticks all the travel boxes and more! From tiny hilltop hideaways and ancient temples to magnificent piazzas and fabulous day hikes. Not forgetting that you are never too far from the best coffee, ice cream and incredible sea views. 

Our Sicilian walking itinerary visits the wild north-west coastline. We combine three walks, suitable for nordic walking, with exploring the sites, stunning beaches and colourful towns of this historic island. We visit two nature reserves; Monte Cofano and the Zingaro Nature Reserve or Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro which was Sicily’s first protected area. With lush green mountainside rising steeply up to 1000 meters above sea level, many secluded pebbly coves, and grottos opening inside limestone cliffs, Lo Zingaro is arguably the most beautiful untouched natural place in Sicily.

This trip is run with Samantha Armstrong and the WALX Team who are passionate about being active outdoors and believe that walking really is the way forward. Read all about Sam on our About Us page.


Itinerary

  • Today you will arrive to Palermo where your guide will meet you at the airport. For convenience we have arranged one single timed transfer from Palermo airport at 1230hrs to the coastal town of Castellammare del Golfo. The town was designed and built around the Arab-Norman castle and port and to be fully appreciated must be viewed from above.

    We will eat at one of the beaches before making use of our afternoon exploring the ancient temple and archaeological park of Segesta. This was one of the major cities of the Elymian people, an ancient people known for its culture and tradition descendant of the Trojans, but destroyed in 307BC. This beautiful temple is situated 304m (997ft) above sea level just a 20 minute drive away. On the site, the imposing still visible monuments and historic Ossuary of Pianto Romano reveal the key role that Segesta played in Sicily during the centuries of Greek and Punic occupation.

    We then return to Castellammare del Golfo to check into our accommodation the 3* Hotel Cala Marina.

  • Our first walk starts from Tonnaro Scopello, a delightful coastal village just along the coast from Castellammare del Golfo. Scopello, characterised by two sea stacks called the Faraglioni, is one of the oldest and most important tuna fishing stations (tonnara) in Sicily dating back to the 15th century.

    In Greek Skopelòs means rock - the likely origin of the place name. This popular beauty spot has become popular for day trippers and swimmers due to it's location being used in the film Ocean's Twelve and Inspector Montalbano TV series.

    From Scopello we enter the The Riserva Naturale Orientata dello Zingaro (Zingaro Nature Reserve) which was the first natural reserve set up in Sicily in May 1981. What makes this place so special is there isn't a coast road, so no cars or noise except that of the wind and waves. The reserve was actually created because thousands of citizens signed a petition which prevented the construction of a road connecting Scopello directly with San Vito Lo Capo. The vegetation is determined by the warm climate and even if it does not rain, there often are fog banks on the mountains, coming from the sea and bringing humid local microclimates.

    Within the reserve we have access to a network of trails that take in a breathtaking coastal trail passing the Naturalistic Museum, the Museum of Marine Activities, ancient settlements at the Museum of the Rural Civilization and a prehistoric grotto. Our walk through the reserve involves some rough ground and climbing through the olive trees and holly oaks to gain views across the mediterranean. At and the stunning Cala Tonnarella dell Uzzo we descend to the beach to one of the most beautiful coves in the Zingaro Reserve with crystal clear waters - so don't forget your swim suits!

    We will return back to Castellamare del Golfo for a second night where will sample one of their famous fish restaurants.

    Distance: 15.5km Ascent: 564m (1850ft) Descent: 564m  (1850ft) Walking time: 5 hours

  • Today we transfer around to San Vito Lo Capo taking about 50 minutes where we spend the next two nights. Imagine a town with a magnificent sandy beach, a traditional piazza, harbour and excellent selection Mediterranean restaurants in amazing surroundings.

    After a Sicilian coffee we start our second walk, the mighty Monte Monaco!

    Monte Monaco is a rocky peak and the northernmost summit of the Zingaro Nature Reserve. Though not very high it rises directly above the Mediterranean sea high above Capo San Vito, with an almost perpendicular rock face to the north, which gives Monte Monaco a tall appearance. Although it looks intimidating the trail up is actually a good steady path that climbs easily up the west side to a wide open pasture. A limestone pebbled trail then meets a cobbled road leading to a summit cross at 532m (1745ft).

    The views of San Vito Lo Capo beach and along the Golfo di Castellamare coastline are fabulous and are well worth the effort. Your guide will decide whether to descend back the same way or take the eastern trail down and around to link back to San Vito. Either way you will reach the long sandy beach that the town is famous for. After a swim and obligatory stop at one of the many gelaterias we check into the 3* Hotel Ghibli. Tonight we plan on sampling one of the local delicacies couscous and fish!

    Distance: 10.5km (6.5 miles) Ascent: 625m (2051ft) Walking time: 4-5 hours

  • Monte Cofano is one of the most well-known mountains in Sicily. Just seeing the mountain from afar is a joy in itself. The mountain is a natural curtain between the Gulf of Castelluzzo to the east and that of Bonagia to the west. It is a beautiful natural corner of Sicily and perfect for nordic walking!

    We begin our final walk from Cornino bay, a sandy inlet with crystal clear waters once home to the ancient fishing village of Custonaci. An easy trail known as the 'Pass by the Sea' circumnavigates the mountain offering splendid landscape and stunning sea views all the way. Along the trail we find the well situated Tonnara Tower, the San Giovanni Tower, the crucifix cave offering views back to San Vito and it's extensive limestone cliffs loved by rock climbers.

    One of the special features of the reserve is the karstic phenomena which is the erosion of the limestone rock by the sea. The rock on the surface forms small peaks and troughs so under the water there are submarine caves. Nature lovers will especially like the dwarf palms and rock cabbage and various types of wild orchids. Do keep a look out for porcupines and the Sicilian lizard!

    To complete our walk we make a short climb to a pass before descending back to Cornino where we can enjoy a drink and swim before leaving for Trapani-Erice.

    A trip to this part of Sicily is not complete without visiting Erice, one of most beautiful villages in Sicily. Erice is a medieval town, situated high on a hill above the town of Trapani accessible by cable car offering wonderful views over the sea and Egadi Islands. We enter via a city gate where you immediately feel it's grandeur. Narrow winding streets, castles, towers and the views are well worth the visit. There is a small archaeological museum containing some finds from the area.

    At the heart of the town there is a lovely piazza. It's a great place to stop for a meal or refreshments. Do sample one of the marzipan biscuits for which the town is justly famous. Gift shops with locally made crafts and ceramics are tucked around every corner so an ideal location to buy some souvenirs.

    We return to San Vito for our final meal and overnight.

    Distance: 11.5km (7.2 miles) Ascent/Descent: 350m (1148ft) Walking time: 2.5-3 hours

  • Today is departure day. After an early breakfast your guide will drive you to the airport.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 

Accommodation


  • For convenience we have included a return airport transfer from Palermo airport (the capital of Sicily) to Castellammare del Golfo taking about 35 minutes and back from San Vito Lo Capo taking about 1 hour minutes. The flights the transfers will based around are:

    Tuesday 14th May 2024 Easyjet Departing Luton 07.30 Arriving to Palermo 11.30

    Saturday 18th May 2024 Easyjet Departing Palermo 11.10 Arriving Luton 13.15

    If you would like to be included in this transfer from Palermo please contact us before booking your travel.

    If you would like to extend your trip with time in Palermo or elsewhere in Sicily and need further advice please contact us for details.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Sicily in late spring is just about perfect – hot enough for sunbathing, but still pleasant enough to walking and sightseeing. Lying towards the south of the Mediterranean, the island is one of the hottest places in Europe in May with average high temperatures of 24-26°C.
     
    Sea temperatures around Sicily range from around 15.5°C in the winter to approximately 26°C degrees in the summer.
     
     
    The walks on our itinerary are based around sea level and can be very exposed to the sun. There is often little shade or water available on the trail so it's important to have the capacity to carry enough water for your walk and plenty of suncream.
  • When packing for a hiking trip in the mountains it's important to have the appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. 

    Equipment 

    • Walking shoes
    • Walking Poles
    • Rucksack – 20-25 litres, ideally with a chest & waist strap 
    • Rucksack liner/cover - to keep contents dry 
    • Water container - bottle/hydration system 

    Clothing

    • Waterproof Jacket - essential
    • Waterproof Trousers - we reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if necessary, or to ask you to miss a day if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - walking trousers that allow free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat 
    • Warm hat 
    • Gloves 
    • Base layer - such as t-shirt/thermal tops 
    • Fleece jacket/top 
    • Socks - technical walking socks
    • Duvet jacket/warm second layer
    • Thermal leggings - optional, and only needed if a cold day

    Comfort

    • Sunscreen - this is essential and a total ‘bloc’ is useful
    • Lip salve 
    • Sunglasses – essential as the sun can be extremely strong in the mountains
    • Toilet/tissues - plus a few biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash
    • Swimwear

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters 
    • Painkillers/Anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Re-hydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray

    Documentation

    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Euros

    Additional Items

    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries - soap/shower gel
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • Head torch, useful if room sharing
    • 1x Medium size kit bag/holdall/suitcase

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit 

    The walks on our itinerary are based around sea level and can be very exposed to the sun. There is often little shade or water available on the trail so it's important to have the capacity to carry enough water for your walk and plenty of suncream.

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • On this trip we will be staying in two hotels. For the first two night in Castellammare del Golfo rooms are all based on single occupancy. In the second hotel in San Vito Lo Capo the rooms are based on twin rooms. So when booking as a solo traveller the second hotel will be based on sharing a room with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. The single supplement for these two nights is £110.

  • Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.

    Note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.

    This trip is run with Samantha Armstrong and the WALX Team. Sam is a Summer Mountain Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader, holds the National Navigation Tutor Award, as well as essential credentials such as First Aid Certification, Enhanced DBS, and insurance. Read more about Sam on our About Us page. 

  • As your luggage will be moved along the route we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons, the most important of which is food waste. In general our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks rather than throw away items from the picnic lunch which we would supply.

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout the day. Buying snacks and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills.

    If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. Each evening you can order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market. In all cases we would ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks the evening before you depart, and not in the morning when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you are vegetarian his is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet contact us

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    Due to rising temperatures in the summer months some mountain huts are having to restrict water usage. Which may mean that you are unable to shower in some mountain refuges.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.


What's Included

  • Trip organisational fees
  • Half board accommodation based on single rooms in Castellammare del Golfo
  • Half board accommodation based on twin rooms in San Vito Lo Capo
  • The services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader and their expenses
  • The services of a Nordic Walking Instructor / Mountain Leader and their expenses
  • Return airport transfers to/ from Palermo
  • Accommodation taxes
  • Transport throughout the itinerary
  • Entry to the Segesta Archeological site
  • The Trapani-Erice cable car
  • Entry to the Zinagaro Nature Reserve

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Lunches
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Moderate

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1395
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 5 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 532m (1745ft) 
Countries Visited Italy
Meet In Palermo, Sicily
View all Walking Holidays

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
Read More

Related Articles