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The Gulf is characterised by numerous areas of natural beauty which deserve to be visited. Castellammare is the ideal departure point from which to reach the most beautiful seaside locations on the west coast, stretching as far as the famous white sands of San Vito Lo Capo.One of the most notable sites in this area is the Zingaro Nature Reserve

Zingaro Nature Reserve

The Park offers visitors breathtaking scenery, both in springtime freshness and on the hot and luminous summer days. The Reserve stretches the length of the splendid coastline, with sheer drops onto the sea, between the territories of Castellammare del Golfo and San Vito Lo Capo.

In this, the first Nature Reserve to be established in Sicily, immersed in vegetation characteristic of the Mediterranean, amongst olives and dwarf palms (the dwarf palm, symbol of the reserve, appeared spontaneously in the undergrowth of the park, nourished by the ferrous red soil, typical of the area), you can wander along narrow pathways which lead to the sea. There are walks for all tastes and age groups : the first takes about 20 minutes, the second, around one hour and the third, about one and a half hours.

Sito di riferimento : www.riservazingaro.it

Faraglioni of Scopello and Tuna

A favourite destination for nature lovers who wish to immerse themselves in a crystal sea surrounded by ancient rocks encrusted with caper plants and barbary figs. The Scopello sea is the ideal place for subaqua enthusiasts (trips are also organised on site) where only a few metres from the banks a seabed of rare beauty can be discovered. It can be reached from Balestrate by taking the Statale 187,direction Trapani then the exit at 32.4 km.

Scopello Town

Scopello doesn’t only mean seaside : in the high mountainous regions you can find Scopello (from which the seaside area takes its name), a little village established around the end of the C18th built around an open court on the site of a previous Arab settlement. Only a few hundred metres from the village stretch the golden sands of Balestrate a golden strip of land on which parts of open beach alternate with lidos equipped with restaurants, pizza parlours and play areas for children.In the summer period, football and volleyball tournaments are organised as well as dance evenings and beach parties such as the classic Nights of San Lorenzo (10th August) and August Holiday (Ferragosto, 15th August) often ending in a beautiful moonlit midnight swim.

Guidaloca Bay

Between Castellammare and Scopello, running along the coast, is a long white pebble beach, on which stands a cylindrical C16th tower. Characterised by the white stones and coloured pebbles on the shoreline, the Bay of Guidaloca is the ideal destination for those wanting a pleasant bathing place without the “inconvenience” of sand. The possibility of hiring pedal boats and to amuse oneself with water games further enriches all that this seaside resort has to offer.

San Vito Lo Capo Beach

At the furthest point on the western coast stretches 3 km of golden sand and a crystal sea which equal the most desirable seaside paradises of the South Seas.The seabed slopes gently towards the open sea making it a perfect bathing place even for children. For those, on the other hand, who prefer the rocks to the sand there is a wide choice of locations with numerous possibilities of bathing and at the same time taking in the magnificent scenery.The coastline permits one to walk only a few metres from the breakwater. The characteristic bazaars and little markets amongst the low white houses complete the scenery. Not to be missed is the cous cous, the traditional local dish, and for the enthusiast the “Cous cous Fest” the gastronomic and cultural event which takes place every year from the 19th–24th September.Cooks from every area in which cous cous is traditionally eaten take part in a huge competition. In this way, for 4 days the area is transformed into a “village” where you

Temple of Segesta and Greek Theatre.

The Temple of Segesta is one of the most perfectly preserved examples of ancient monuments.It rises alone on a crest surrounded by a deep valley overlooked by Mount Bernardo and Mount Barbaro, on which the Theatre is situated. Built in 430 BC it is an elegant Doric structure with harmonious proportions of rare quality.

Theatre – Built in the C3rd BC in the Hellenistic period but under Roman domination, the theatre comprises a perfect, vast semicircle 63 metres in diameter situated on a rocky slope: the steps face towards the hills behind which, to the right, the gulf of Castellammare can be discerned. Every year, in summer, the theatre comes to life and fills with spectators ready to enjoy, in a timeless moment, the tragedies and plays which fascinated ancient peoples.

Erice town

Erice is an ancient Phoenician and Greek city of unforgettable beauty situated in a well-defended position at 751 metres, on the peak which bears the same name, surrounded by a high plateau terracing the sea.Defended by bastions and walls, the city is a maze of cobblestoned alleyways. Erice has two faces : one bright and luminous in the hot summer season, and another in winter when, enveloped in cloud, the town gives the impression of belonging to a timeless space.The medieval atmosphere, the fresh air, the beautiful pine forests which surround it and the small local businesses make it one of the most popular tourist attractions.It is accessible both by car and by Trapani funicular railway, enabling you to take in the magnificent scenery.

Segesta Therms

Recommended for treatment of skin, locomotive and respiratory disorders, the thermal cures include : mudbaths, inhalations, thermal pools, aerosols and hydromassage. In the vicinity of the “hot river” only a few kilometres from the temple and Greek theatre of Segesta, several therms are to be found. The Gorgo therms rise from the inland of Calatafimi at its limits with the territory of Alcamo, (tel 0924-23842). The Segestane therms are to be found in the Ponte Bagni area (0924-530057). We advice to go there