Could I imagine while selecting a flight to Trapani, that, apart from the port, busy town with chaotic traffic and a nice pedestrian zone I would find a tiny old town just few kilometers away and 800 meters above? Erice has very advantageous location: situated on a hill of 800 m above sea level, the town in the past was very well protected from enemy invasions. Nowadays it offers breathtaking panoramas on the sea shore, Trapani city and Egadi islands, saline fields and natural reserve Monte Cofano.
As you can imagine such position attracted people since ever. Historians say that the first humans who founded Erice, were ancient Elymians. Then it moved to Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Arabs, and Normans. All of them left a part of their culture in this place. We can only imagine what happened here during the dark medieval times and which secrets the speechless stones of Erice keep forever.
The church Matrice (chiesa madre) and the Trapani tower at the entrance to the town, both XIV century.
Nowadays Erice is tiny charming town with a lot of turists, who come here for a day or a half-day trip from Trapani. We were very lucky as in May there were not so many visitors and we enjoyed the empty town.
This town is an ode to stone.
Look at the road. I wonder how many people have left their footprints here so the stones are shiny and polished, as mirror.
A bit of green and shadow.
Cozy square in the center.
Specialty of Erice, handmade carpets with typical geometrical ornament.
And, of course, ceramic plates and bowls, as bright as the sun above the town.
Picturesque way uphill.
Here we are, the balcony of Erice. Breathtaking view is guarantied!
Just turn your head and you will get a perfect sea view.
A mount road.
We took a cable car to come to Erice. However, you may easily come either by car or a public bus. There is a big parking in front of the Trapani Gate. Although, at top season it will be difficult to find a place.
The view on the Monte Cofano and San Vito Lo Capo.
When in Trapani or Marsala I do recommend to come to Erice. This little town has special ambiance and it is great pleasure to walk alone the castle walls, loose yourself in the labyrinth of streets and enjoy the view!
How to get there:
Trapani-Erice cable car: Funierice. Round trip ticket for adults costs 9 EUR, for children between 3 and 16 y.o. the round trip will cost 4 EUR per person.
Bus connections: In case cableway is closed due to maintenance or strong wind, there is a bus company AST which has regular lines between Trapani and Erice. Departure is from Trapani port every 2 hours (approximately). Duration – 40 minutes.
If you go by car be ready to spend some time in the search of a parking slot. In high season it can be a nightmare. We took a cableway and left a car in a parking nearby. Be aware that the official parking is just in front of the entrance to the cableway. Do not put a car on a parking few meters away on the right – there is no security and some gypsy group is asking for 2EUR parking fee without providing any tickets.
Where to go:
Make a strall around the town. It is very tiny so you will be able to make a tour in couple hours. Definitely, go to the castle Castello di Venere. The best panoramic view on both the coast and the inland Sicily is there. The entrance ticket costs 4EUR for adults, if only to visit the territory of the custle. If you wish to visit the castle itself, museum, and the exposition Erice in the miniature, that the cost will be 12 EUR for adults.
You may also like to read other posts about Sicily: