24 September 2017

Suitcase. Sunseeking In Sicily - Part 1

From fields of lavender to unlimited gelato. After Provence I made my way over to sunny Sicily in the south; you know, the rock that is kicked by Italy's famous boot! Having travelled solo for a week, it was time for a trip with friends, I met 3 of my best on this wonderful island and so the adventures began...

We flew into Palermo and with merely 5 days to explore we settled on sticking to the north-west of the island so we could really see it properly. Our base? Castellammare del Golfo. Compact in size yet brimming with authentic Italian personality, I quickly fell in love with this village.

Its inhabitants speak little English and its roads are more what I would call tracks or pavements, but that only increases its charm.

During our time in Sicily we pretty much subsisted off gelato, pizza slices and cannoli. Not the most well-rounded diet I must say, but certainly a delicious one! What we lacked in nutrition we made up for in exercise... SO much swimming and walking kept us hungry for more!

Day one we hired a little boat and took a trip up the coastline of the Zingaro Nature Reserve. Home to several pristine bays that are easily accessed by water, yet require some serious hiking by land (more on that later), we felt totally in our element. Some basic boat driving skills are required, but I'm sure you'll manage!

We hopped between the bays, each more beautiful than the last, alternating between sunning ourselves on the deck and diving into the cool depths when we felt too toasty.

The water, ever-inviting, appeared to wink at us with every ripple.

At some of the larger beaches we found many locals, who told us they visited the beach every day with their mates and who, as it turned out, were more than happy to oblige for a photo!...

On our way up the coast we stopped in at Scopello, a tiny village on the coast with two remaining sea towers that used to be used for defence. It certainly is a sight to behold with its crumbling walls and ancient foundations.

Day two and we decided to take the same route, this time by land, hiking the Nature Reserve. Somewhat akin to the Cinque Terre trek, this route stretches 7km along the coast.

Mountains loomed above us with sheer cliffs that dropped swiftly into the ocean, and dotted amongst these rocky outcrops were the bays we had explored the day before by boat.

With a path that stretched out endlessly ahead of us and 35 degree heat upon our backs, after an hour we abandoned our trek in preference of a sparkling blue bay. And when it looked like this, could you blame us?...

There's more to come from Sicily...

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Photos by Krissie.