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Photo Diary: The First Week in Sicily

by Jessica

A few days after Seville it was time for my next holiday. This time together with Sander. We went to Sicily, an island of Italy, for two weeks. We enjoyed the sun and we tried to relax and see some beautiful places. We booked an All-Inclusive holiday at Sicily and stayed in Mazara del Vallo (west Sicily). The closest airport to Mazara del Vallo is Trapani.

It was a ‘chill’ holiday, which was something we needed. We didn’t only wanted to lay down on the the beach and do nothing, we also wanted to explore the island. Well, if you want to explore the whole island you need to choose for a road trip holiday, rent a car for some weeks and go from one place to another. We only stayed in Mazara del Vallo and we didn’t hired a car. If you do hire a car to explore the island, you should be aware of the differences between the Dutch and Sicilian driving. It’s very chaotic and the streets are small in Sicily. We were thinking about hiring a car for 1 or 2 days, but at the end we were chickens. I think it also would have been different if we needed the car for more than a week to explore Sicily. You do have to get used to the traffic and Sicilian driving, which means 1 or 2 days is a bit short for that. Instead of hiring a car, we booked some excursions so we were still able to see some other places and beaches in the North of Sicily (mainly the Trapani area).
I first wanted to post both weeks in one blogpost, but that would be too much photos in one blog. Maybe it’s now already too much and this was just one week, haha!

Our flight was early in the morning, but we had a stopover in Sardinia so it took more time to get there.

Here’s a view of the Salt pans between Marsala and Trapani. The pink colour reminded me a bit of Lake Hillier in Australia.

I never get enough of airplane views.
Finally at our hotel!
Time to relax!

I must admit: if you’re going to the North/West part of Sicily, don’t stay the whole holiday in Mazara del Vallo. The city centre is beautiful to see and to wander around, but you have seen it in one day. The beaches aren’t the most beautiful or most practical of the island. So I think spending one or two whole days in this town would be enough.
As you could see the city centre of Mazara is beautiful and it has a lot of colourful wall paintings.

Our first excursion was a boat tour to the Aegadian islands close to the coast of Trapania. The first island we’ve visited was the island Favignana. You can take a boat from Marsala or Trapani to get there. We took the boat from Marsala.
But first before we arrived at Favignana, the boat stopped so we could swim in this beautiful, blue and clear sea! Wow, it was so beautiful and so clear!
After the swimming, we continued to go to Favignana.
We had a few hours to spend on the island after we arrived, because after Favignana it was time to go to the next island: Levanzo. If you have more time to spend on Favignana I recommend you to rent a bike or scooter so you can explore more of the island.
The second and final island we’ve visited was Levanzo. It’s the smallest island of Aegadian Islands, but maybe the most beautiful. Cozy streets and a beautiful harbour. The island is mostly visited for the Grotta del Genovese, we haven’t been there. Besides the cave there’s not so much to do here, but it’s nice to wander around or just to take a swim in the blue sea!

Hi there!

Time to go back. 
The day after the island / boat tour we’ve visited San Vito lo Capo, about 40 km from Trapani. Google Maps said it would be a 1,5 hour drive from our hotel but it took our tour bus a bit longer than 2 hours. San Vito lo Capo is located in the North of Sicily, somewhere between Trapani and Palermo. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches of Sicily. 
When you’re at the beach, you don’t immediately think about Italy or Europe. The sand is white, the sea is crystal clear and so blue you might believe you’re on a Caribbean island. It was even more clear than the water I swum in at the boat tour the day before. I never seen such crystal clear water before. The only disadvantage were the sellers on the beach. Are they always there with so many? Maybe because it was still a summer holiday period?  It was also busy at the beach. I read it’s a popular beach for the Italians when they have holiday (which I can’t blame them).  Anyway, when we were laying down at the beach, one minute after minute the sellers kept asking us to buy their stuff. It was really annoying. In the afternoon, I think it was about 2 or 3 AM, it became quieter and we also found a peacefuller spot. So if you just forget about all the sellers, it’s a really beautiful Caribbean look a like beach.
The town itself is also nice to wander around. They have delicious ice scream and pizza! But hey, Italy is the country of ice scream and pizza! I ate the best pizza and ice scream here on this island during this holiday.
We also had pizza as lunch (why not) at restaurant Morsi e Sorsi restaurant. Cheap, big pizza and delicious!
If you look closely you see pink sand!

Bus view!

On Saturday we’ve went to the city Trapani by train. It’s easy to visit from Mazara del Vallo, because Trapani is the end destination.  At the end of our holiday we heard from other hotel guests that Marsala was also a great city to visit. Marsala lays between Mazara and Trapani. But when we found out our holiday was already over, maybe next time. Anyway, Trapani is also nice to visit. It’s bigger than Marsala but smaller than the capital city of the island: Palermo. It has beautiful streets and a beautiful coastline.

Couscous is also a big thing in Sicily. When we were in San Vito lo Capo they were busy with preparations for the Couscous festival.

So this was our first week in Sicily. On Sunday we hanged out at the pool and the beach, just a lazy day.

The second blog of Sicily can be read here.

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