Tips For A Great Holiday In Trapani, Italy april 27, 2022 – Posted in: Italy, Travel – Tags: Holiday, Italy, Sicily, Trapani, Travel, Weekend Breaks
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Why you should visit Trapani
Trapani is a port city in Sicily with about 70,000 inhabitants. The city is located on the west coast of Sicily, where it is lies on a small peninsula with the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the other. The Mediterranean is synonymous with swimming and beautiful sandy beaches, but Trapani is also a perfect starting point for day trips to the many sights of Western Sicily.
If you love seafood, you can enjoy a great meal at one of the many restaurants on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele shopping street. In the evening, the street buzzes with life, where both tourists and locals meet for a stroll up and down the street or a fancy cocktail.
Continue all the way out to the harbor where you can enjoy the sunset over the many fishing boats that testify to strong fishing traditions that are still maintained. South of the town are the vast salt pans, which you can also get an impressive overview of from the small cable car that takes you up to the medieval town of Erice, located up on the mountain and awaiting your visit.
The history of Trapani
When you arrive in Erice, the relationship between the town here on the mountain and Trapani suddenly becomes very clear. The port city of Trapani was the suburb of the outstanding Erice, which was protected up here. This was where the important monasteries and administration buildings were located, and this was where one could seek refuge from the enemy. Erice was well protected with its steep mountain slopes and fortifications, and even today, apart from the cable car, there is only one other way up the mountain.
And there was good reason to fortify the city! Throughout its history, Sicily has been occupied, besieged and inhabited by Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Moors and Normans – just to name a few. You can read more about the history of Sicily here: Sicily – in Britannica.com.
Trapani was heavily bombed by the Allies during World War II, and when you walk around the city today, it is difficult to find traces of the many different cultures. Instead, the city stands out with its baroque architecture, telling the story of a wealthy period in the city’s history in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the city had its heyday. Here the city abounded with shipyards, where the many ships carried the coveted salt, tuna and Marsala wine out into the world.
Day trips from Trapani
Trapani is a good starting point for day trips to the many exciting tourist attractions in the area. In addition to the sights in Trapani, we can also recommend day trips to the medieval city of Erice, the Egadi Islands, Palermo, the Temple of Segesta and the Phoenician community of Motya, which you can read more about by clicking on the links.
The bus system in Sicily can be difficult to find your way around. There is not only one operator, but one for each route, and it takes some time to find the right one. At each day trip destination, we have therefore made a detailed guide on how to get there by public transport. At some of the bus and train companies, you can take advantage of the Omio app, where you can buy tickets for routes all over Europe.
When is the best time to visit Trapani?
The rhythm of the day in the city tells of an island accustomed to high temperatures in the middle of the day. From lunch until late in the afternoon, the city is deserted, and the locals only arrive when it is time to endure being outdoors again. In July and August the city is unbearably hot and you can see temperatures for Trapani here.
We visited Trapani in late April 2022 and the weather was just perfect. The bathing water was still icy cold, and only the most insistent tourists went for a swim. On the other hand, the air temperature was absolutely perfect to see all the sights we had planned and also to hike the steep mountains at the Segesta Temple without risking our health.
We had packed both a winter jacket and swimwear, but only needed the first one. The spring evenings are cool after sundown. During the day the weather was fine in the cities, but cold and windy out on the islands and up in Erice. Here we explored wearing long pants and jumpers, so pack a little of everything.
Where to stay and good areas in Trapani
There are three areas you can choose to stay in when you visit Trapani: the old town, the new town and then in the medieval town of Erice. The old town is where it all happens with the shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele as a lively center. The new district is where the locals live in the smaller roads going in all directions from the long shopping street. Here you are also close to the best beaches. Erice is located on a mountain, making you dependent on the cable car, but in return yo have an amazing view over Trapani and the Egadi Islands.
On Booking.com you can see the hotels and holiday apartments in Trapani, and below you can also read our recommendations for Trapani. Please do your own search on Booking.com for a good hotel in Trapani right here:
Recommendations for an apartment and a hotel in Trapani
Being in Trapani for a week, whe had the time to have both a city break and a beach holiday at our time in Trapani. The first days we stayed in an apartment in the center of the old town right by Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The restaurants, harbor and sights were right below our window, and it was nice to have your own kitchen.
During the week we moved to the relatively new and really nice beach hotel Punta Tipa, where the photo is from. Trapani is not (yet) patched up with beach hotels, and in fact Punta Tipa is one of the only ones. It is located just before the best beach in Trapani (at the university) and with the most beautiful view over the city.
From the hotel there are about 10 minutes walk up to the new town and 30 minutes to Torre dell’Orologio in the old town. Trapani is an expensive city to park in, with prices from 1 euro per hour inside the city center, but Punta Tipa is with its free parking spaces a good hotel for you who is renting a car and want to use Trapani as a base to get out and see a lot of sights in the area. Read more about the hotel by clicking on the links or photo.
How do you get to Trapani?
Just south of the city is Trapani-Birgi Airport. From the airport you can take a taxi to Trapani, costing you about €30. You can also take the airport bus, which departs right in front of the airport and stops again in Trapani center close to the train station. In April 2022, the airport bus was €5 and you can buy tickets on the bus with cash or cards.
How many days do you need to see Trapani?
To begin with, we had only booked four nights in Trapani, but when we started researching for attractions and sights in the area, we agreed that this was not enough. We therefore hurried to rebook our flight so we had a whole week instead.
But even with seven nights, we still took off from Trapani with the feeling that we had only seen at a fraction of all what Sicily has to offer – so we will definitely be back! However, a week is fine to see the main sights in and around Trapani.