21681
Italy

Choose Your Pace: Hiking Western Sicily’s Dramatic Coastline

Meander glorious footpaths that transcend the ages, exploring medieval villages, traditional vineyards, beautiful landscapes and unparalleled cuisine in Western Sicily.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21681RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
650
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9 days
8 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Palermo, Transfer to Trapani, Check-in, Orientation
Trapani
D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On each hike, each group will be accompanied by a local expert and/or Group Leader. Each day, choose which route you would like to take from the hiking choices; there will be an easy, intermediate, and challenging selection each day. Water is included with every meal. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a plated welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Trapani & Erice
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 9 miles (15 km); approximately 1/2 hour one way. 3 hikes to choose from. Easiest: walking about 1.4 miles, approximately 1.5 hours, city streets and cobblestones. Intermediate: hiking about 2.7 miles, approximately 2.5 hours, elevation gain of roughly 820 feet. Challenging: hiking about 7 miles, approximately 4 hours, elevation gain of roughly 2,200 feet.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a typical European-style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: Boarding our private motorcoach, we’ll transfer to Erice together. Erice is set on a mountain high up at roughly 2,300 feet (700 meters) overlooking almost the entire province of Trapani. A perfect representation of a medieval community, it also enjoys mind-blowing views. The easiest group will set out on foot for a visit of Erice led by a local expert who will show us many of Erice's attractions along with educational commentary. Afterwards, we’ll have some time to explore independently before taking the motorcoach back to Trapani where we will meet the other groups later. The intermediate group will also enjoy a short expert-led visit of the town of Erice on foot, followed by the hike around the perimeter of Erice. The hike will take the group to some of the historical places of the town, such as where food and other supplies arrived. Along the way back to Erice, we’ll see the ancient rock churches and enjoy the spectacular view. The third, most challenging group activity, will also consist of a short, expert-led visit of Erice on foot, then continue with a hike along the Sentiero delle 3 Chiese, which will take the group to the three important churches of the “modern” times. The route will almost fully loop around the mountain before leading all the way down to Trapani. During the hike, we will soak in the beautiful view.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Trapani, we’ll have plated meals with water included.

Afternoon: After lunch, all three groups will come together for an expert-led walk through Trapani, during which we will learn about the city through educational commentary.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Castelluzzo & Mt. Cofano
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 15 miles (25 km); approximately 1/2 hour one way. 3 hikes to choose from. Easiest: walking about 2.4 miles, approximately 3 hours; leisurely walk on sandy beach. Intermediate: walking about 4.2 miles; approximately 3 hours; roughly 185 feet in elevation change. Challenging: about 6.3 miles; approximately 4 hours; roughly 831 feet in elevation gain/loss.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today, we’ll discover a remote corner of the island where we’ll immerse ourselves in nature. The easiest activity group will take an easy walk along the beach to the town of Castelluzzo. We’ll drive to the beach where we will get off to walk to town, accompanied by either our Group Leader or local expert. The intermediate and more challenging groups will continue the transfer by private motorcoach to Mt. Cofano. The intermediate group will enjoy a coastal walk of Mt. Cofano, which ends in Cornino, while the challenging group will enjoy a circumnavigation of Mt. Cofano.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Castellammare, we’ll have plated lunches with water included.

Afternoon: Free time in Castellammare del Golfo. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We’ll then rendezvous and transfer by private motorcoach back to Trapani.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Salt Pans & Marsala
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 19 miles (31 km); approximately 1/2 hour one way. 3 hiking choices, all with flat terrain. Easiest: walking about 1 mile; approximately 1.5 hours. Intermediate: hiking about 2.5 miles; approximately 2 hours. Getting on/off boat; about 1/2 hour roundtrip. Challenging: hiking about 4.9 miles; approximately 3 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Gathering aboard the motorcoach, we’ll transfer together to the saltpans, which have been in use since the Phoenicians created them about 2,700 years ago. The easiest group will enjoy an expert-led walk of the saltpans that includes a salt tasting. Meanwhile, the intermediate group will take a boat to Mozia Island for a circular walk on the island with a local expert, during which we will learn about the ancient saltpans. The challenging activity group will enjoy a longer expert-led walk on the saltpans.

Lunch: At a Marsala winery, we’ll have a plated meal.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll transfer to downtown Marsala where we will enjoy an expert-led walk through the town learning about its history and what it’s like now. Afterwards, we’ll return to the hotel via motorcoach.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Montevago & Selinunte
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 55 miles one way; about 1.5 hours each way. 3 hiking choices. Easiest: walking about 1 mile; approximately 1 hour. Intermediate: hiking about 3.3 miles; approximately 2.5 hours; roughly 1,100 feet of elevation gain. Challenging: hiking about 5.3 miles, approximately 3 hours in the morning and about 1.2 miles of easy walking on flat terrain in the afternoon; roughly 1,100 feet elevation gain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: All of us traveling together via private motorcoach, we’ll make our way to the farm of Montevago. The easiest activity group will visit the farm and take a short walk through the estate before settling in for a food preparation lesson. Meanwhile, the intermediate and challenging groups will walk in the countryside, around the farm estate led by a local expert.

Lunch: At the farm, we’ll have plated meals.

Afternoon: Then, we’ll all transfer together to the Selinunte area where the challenging group will walk along the beach at the mouth of the Belice River. Joined by our Group Leader, we will learn about the area through informative commentary. Concurrently, the easy and intermediate groups will go on an expert-led field trip in the Cusa Quarries, which is where ancient builders would gather the stone to construct the temples of Selinunte. Once all groups are reunited, we will enjoy an expert-led field trip through the Selinunte Archaeological Park before returning to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Zingaro Natural Park & San Vito Lo Capo
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 30 miles one way; about 1 hour each way. 3 hiking choices. Easiest: walking about 2 miles; approximately 2 hours; roughly 100 feet elevation gain/loss. Intermediate: hiking about 4.8 miles; approximately 3.5 hours; roughly 330 feet elevation gain and 185 feet elevation loss. Challenging: hiking about 6.7 miles; approximately 4 hours; roughly 1,300 feet elevation gain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Arriving together via private motorcoach to Scopello, we’ll enjoy a short stroll through the village before entering Zingaro Natural Park. The easiest activity group will enjoy a visit to Tonnara di Scopello, an old tuna fishing estate and now a museum where we will learn about the history of fishing in Sicily. The intermediate group will walk the coastal path of Zingaro. Much of the rugged territory is comprised of limestone that lends itself to the formation of coves and numerous caves. Vibrant colors grace the landscape throughout all seasons as the cliffs drop into the brilliant blue-green sea and other more gentle slopes invite adventurers to the pebbly shores. The most challenging activity group will walk the middle path of Zingaro, which, lacking a coastal road, is void of the sounds of traffic and provides the deep quietude of being outdoors. As we walk, we’ll feel the wind and listen to the waves while passing a few modest rural houses and admiring the lovely flora, such as the beautiful flowering genistas, palms, and holm oaks.

Lunch: Each group will have their packed lunches; the intermediate and more challenging groups will have theirs during their hikes while the easiest activity level group has theirs at the Tonnara.

Afternoon: Rendezvousing at a predetermined time and place, we’ll transfer to San Vito Lo Capo for a stroll in one of Italy's top beach resorts. Afterwards, we’ll relax and soak in the atmosphere on this beautiful Mediterranean beach. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Segesta Archaeological Park
Trapani
B,L,D
Hotel Vittoria

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 25 miles one way; about 1/2 hour each way. 3 hiking choices. Easiest: walking about 1.5 miles; approximately 1.5 hours; roughly 120 feet elevation gain/loss. Intermediate: hiking about 4.1 miles; approximately 3 hours; roughly 820 feet elevation gain. Challenging: hiking about 6.8 miles; approximately 3.5 hours; roughly 820 feet elevation gain. In addition, all 3 groups will walk 1.8 miles in the afternoon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once aboard the motorcoach, we will all transfer to the Segesta area where the easiest activity level group will get off to enjoy an expert-led walking field trip through the town of Calatafimi, located within the archaeological park of Segesta. The intermediate group will deboard the motorcoach at a different place and walk Mt. Pispisa with a local expert, also within the park. Picturesque and peaceful, we will follow paths through pine trees and other flora, occasionally getting the chance to admire the impressive temple of Segesta from a distance. The challenging activity group will get dropped off at another point for a hike through the gorge of Segesta, getting an intimate look at the gorgeous green surroundings as the mountains spill into the valley.

Lunch: At a local farmhouse, we’ll have plated meals.

Afternoon: Next, we will all join our Group Leader and local expert for a field trip as we explore the ancient onsite temple (430 – 420 BCE) and amphitheater at Segesta. An ancient city built by the Elymians, Segesta boasts a long and tumultuous history featuring everything from alliances with Carthage, a successful siege by Syracuse in 307 BCE, and ultimately a surrender to the Roman Empire during the First Punic War (264 – 241 BCE). We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy our delicious farewell dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. See your program’s “Transportation Information” regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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