Andrew Montgomery

Western Sicily

Sicily's windswept western coast has beckoned invaders for millennia. Its richly stocked fishing grounds, hilltop vineyards and coastal saltpans were coveted by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Normans, all of whom influenced the region's landscape and culture. Even the English left their mark, with 18th-century entrepreneurs lured here and made rich by one of the world's most famous sweet wines, marsala.

Today this part of the island is very much an off-the-beaten-track destination, perfect for those who savour slow travel. There's an amazingly diverse range of experiences to be had here. Standout attractions include the ancient ruins of Segesta and Selinunte, the hilltop village of Erice and the Golfo di Castellammare, with its stunning juxtaposition of sea and mountain scenery. Adding to western Sicily's appeal are its unique local cuisine and proximity to Palermo and Trapani international airports.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Sicily.