Summer in Palermo can be very hot which is why Palermitani invented Mondello.
Originally a fishing village, in the 20’s Mondello became an aristocratic summer resort town but today it’s beloved by all-comers, mainly locals and just a few tourists, for its gorgeous 1.5km-stretch of fine white sand, Liberty style villas, beach clubs and lidos.
Fly into Palermo and after a very short drive you’ll arrive in your brand new boutique hotel a few steps away from a fine sandy beach.
Kick off your week on board of a dinghy to swim right away in the turquoise waters of Mondello and wait for the sunset over a glass of Tasca d’Almerita sparkling rosé and panelle (a must of Palermo’s street food). The Mondello dining scene is super interesting. From the popular trattoria with tables outdoors in the piazzetta to a brand new restaurant in a private villa hangout for in-the-know locals, there’s a lively evening ahead.
Early risers, it’s time for a fantastic swim and after your first Sicilian breakfast head to downtown Palermo. Well, beyond its many stereotypes, Palermo is a unique city. All the populations who have crossed the Mediterranean over the centuries have conquered her. She, the beautiful one, let herself be loved and marked with a unique mixture of artistic remains. Your guide will navigate you through historical treasures and vibrant markets where you can witness why Palermo is number 5 in the world for the street food. Yes… it is fried.. and the arancina è fimmina (is female). We’ll talk about this…
Either spend the afternoon by the pool or on the sandy beach and in peak season take advantage of our access to Mondello’s most exclusive beach club and avoid the crowds. After soaking up the sun and relaxing in the hot tub on your outdoor terrace, go out for dinner at Bye Bye Blues.
The next day take to the sea again, this time to explore the east coast of Palermo. Porticello, Aspra, Capo Zafferano, plenty of swimming in turquoise waters. Lunch ashore with freshly caught fish by the fishermen of Aspra and once back at the hotel a dip in the pool might sound good. Head out for dinner in a neighbourhood not far from Mondello in a seaside spot much loved by the locals.
Three days have just flown by and this morning you’ll drive west to Segesta to admire its Doric Temple magnificently standing alone on the top of a hill and the Greek theatre overlooking an unspoilt countryside. The Ancients were good at choosing where to build their theatres !
Having had your fill of beauty continue your drive to Trapani harbour and catch the ferry to Favignana, the largest of the three Egadi Islands off the western coast of Sicily.
Think 3 small islands for locals and long-stay regulars surrounded by a protected marine reserve.
Your home in Favignana will be a small chic hotel with stunning sea views and stylish rooms converted from restored fishermen’s cottages.
There’s a magical moment in this pied-dans-l’eau retreat and that is lounging by the private stretch of sand at sunset, a glass of white in hand, before dining on the terrace.
It’s no secret that a wonderful way to experience the islands is by boat. We’ve included tomorrow a skippered speedboat to discover Favignana’s pristine bays and swimming in the turquoise waters of Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra and Bue Marino. Light lunch will be served on board.
CYCLING TO THE VINEYARDS
After a day by the sea set out on a afternoon bike tour and take in the beautiful scenery. The island being mostly flat, cycling is the most popular way to get around the island. Stopping at a unique vineyard with sea views you’ll taste some interesting Sicilian wines and walk through the rows where poseidonia, a marine plant, is blown by the wind providing the soil with unique nutrients.
If you happen to be here at the end of August we’ll involve you in the one-of-a-kind grape harvest which begins at first light and after harvesting the grapes you’ll help the winery staff load the grapes onto small fishing boats to take them to the main winery near Trapani for vinification.
Having got a taste for cycling around, today head to the Stabilimento Florio to see a trove of amphorae and rostrums and get a real sense of the fascinating history of the local “mattanza”. An ancient method of catching giant bluefin tuna during their spring migration from the west coast of Africa, la mattanza was carried out in Favignana until 2007.
Rich in marine life and with a number of remains and shipwrecks, these turquoise waters were the theatre of one of the most legendary battles in the history. The final battle of the first Punic War was fought here in 241 BC and many artifacts still lie on the seabed.
LEVANZO & MARETTIMO
On your final day you’ll sail out to the little picture-postcard island of Levanzo. After snorkeling in its clear waters, and an ice-cream at the boat dock, you’ll go far back in history to the Cava del Genovese to see the graffiti and the rock paintings dating back to the Paleolithic times.
Or ask your captain to sail off to Marettimo and its dramatic coastline. Named the Dolomites in the sea, and sharing the same rock as the famous Italian mountains, Marettimo has precipitous dolomitic cliffs plunging into the sea and several spectacular grottos to swim in.
Almost untouched by tourism, this fishermen’s island is an authentic hideway. Make your way to the Bar Tramontana for a granita and lunch on a menu dictated by what the fishermen have found in their nets. Don’t miss the lobster soup if available.
The present itinerary and the suggested accommodation are just examples to give you an idea of what your customised trip may look like. Get in touch to design together your very own trip to Sicily.
when to go
where will you stay
MONDELLO, UNICO ART BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Hosting a small private art gallery, the hotel collects and exhibits in the halls and the rooms contemporary artists’ works that can be admired and purchased.
Your home in Favignana will be a nice boutique hotel with great sea views. A lovely small family-run hotel which has been fashioned from restored fishermen’s cottages. Surrounded by decked sun-drenched areas, the whitewashed hotel blends original architecture with beautiful linen, cherry parquet floors and bathtubs carved out of rock.
About ISLAND HOLIDAYS Way of Travel
Who doesn’t love summer island vibes. From the Aeolians to the Egadi Islands and Pantelleria, the islands off Sicily are scattered around the blue Mediterranean sea, offering stunning landscapes, lovely villages, amazing properties and some of the best Italian food.
Here at Sicilian Journeys everyone has his own favourite isle and we escape there any time we can for a weekend with friends or a family holiday. There is no doubt that by the end of your island-hopping you’ll find your favourite and will want to come back again and again.