The most beautiful beaches in and around Palermo
Palermo

The most beautiful beaches in and around Palermo

Today I’ll take you for a dip into the breath-taking waters of Palermo and Trapani, where I go swimming every summer, topping up my tan and enjoying a well-deserved break.

Palermo is the capital of the amazing microcosm that is Sicily, which was described as “a continent” in early 2021 due to its priceless historical and artistic treasures! Speaking of the wonders of Palermo, we’ve already told you about its famous theatre and endless gastronomic delights!

But when you need to escape from the city, the blue waves that connect Palermo to nearby Trapani will welcome you to their stretch of beaches and coves suitable for all tastes and budgets.

Continue reading if you want to know my favourite beaches and how to reach them!

beaches IN PALERMO

MONDELLO AND CAPO GALLO

About 10 km from Palmero city centre, you can find the renowned Mondello beach, a local favourite!

spiaggia mondello palermo

The gulf, about a kilometre and a half long, is sheltered by Mount Gallo and Mount Pellegrin, and surrounded by the greenery of Parco della Favorita. To reach it, you go down a beautiful road where you can admire amazing Art Nouveau villas. Splash around in its crystal-clear waters right next to the city!

HOW TO GET THERE AND WHERE TO PARK

You have two choices: leave your car in one of the four parking areas (Galatea, Mongibello, Tolomea, Palinuro and viale Aiace), where you can hop on one of the free Amat ferries that arrive every 10 minutes to take you to the beach ; or you can take the 806 bus from Palermo city centre.

SERVICES AND CATERING

There are plenty of bars along Mondello beach to have a nibble or a drink at. You can reserve a table on the website, at an average price of 22 euros for two sunbeds and a parasol, choosing whichever area or lido you prefer.

For real nature lovers who are not looking for comfort, there is also the Capo Gallo Nature Reserve at the end of the Mondello coast, near a small village full of bistros and small fish restaurants. You can get there in three different ways, two of which start at Mondello. But forget about bars and market stalls here, bring your own water and snacks, and get ready to reach your dream beach on foot!

riserva di capo gallo palermo

BAIA DEI FRANCESI

This is a small bay between Aspra and Capo Zafferano, about 20 km from Palermo. It’s a hidden gem, which can only be accessed through a private gate open between 8 am and 8 pm during the beach season. Walk down a steep slope alongside the locals’ homes until you find yourself stood in front of an idyllic view: a little beach with rocks, sand, pebbles, and a crystal-clear turquoise sea.

baia dei francesi palermo

I really recommend bringing everything you need so you don’t end up starving. It’s really worth the trip, even if you only stay for a few hours. Also, Arco Azzurro is a beautiful natural landscape and only a few minutes away on foot.

HOW TO GET THERE AND WHERE TO PARK

The easiest way is to take road 113 and then SP74, driving along the coast from Palermo and Aspra. Once you get there, you can just park on the road.

CEFALÙ

cefalu palermo

Now we’re leaving Palermo for Cefalú, a gorgeous medieval fishing village that has a unique allure. It has a world-famous Cathedral and lots of brilliant fish restaurants.

Cefalù is also known for its beach, which stretches out along its beautiful Promenade: it’s suitable for those looking for fun, who want to have their aperitif on a lively beach, where the lidos often turn into outdoor discos in the evening.

HOW TO GET THERE AND WHERE TO PARK

You can drive from Palermo along 70 km of the Palermo-Messina motorway, taking the exit after Buonfornello. You can leave your car in the Lungomare Giardina car park for a daily rate of six euros.

Another good option is the direct train for eight euros both ways, from Palermo central station, which drops you off at Cefalú central station in about 45 minutes.

SERVICES AND CATERING

Out of the many lidos on the Promenade, I’d recommend Lido Angeli del mare and Lido Apollo for having lunch or an aperitif as the sun goes down.

ISOLA DELLE FEMMINE

isola delle femmine palermo

This swimming area is about 20 km from Palermo and is named after the small island around 88 m from the coast, opposite the small town. It’s a protected natural oasis. There are beaches with facilities and rocky areas, but you can make use of the decks with bar areas, showers, and music.

HOW TO GET THERE AND WHERE TO PARK

Take the motorway to Trapani, and then the Capaci/Isola delle Femmine exit after 20 km. Parking isn’t difficult here: every lido on the promenade has its own private car park for about three euros per day. You can also park in the blue-line areas for 50 cents an hour. The train from Palermo is another option: it will take you directly to Isola delle Femmine station, very close to all the lidos.

SERVICES AND CATERING

I’d recommend two extraordinary lidos: Lido Miramare is the best if you love sand, want to rent a pedalo, or want to go to lively beaches and eat the freshest of fish.

Go to Rosa dei Venti if you’re dreaming about a crystal-clear sea that stands out against the rocks and the idea of comfy beach umbrellas and sunbeds not too close to each other, a young atmosphere, great music, and extremely friendly owners who offer aperitifs on the decks and make you feel at home, even gastronomically! I spend a good part of my summers in the city here!

BEACHES IN THE TRAPANI AREA

Let’s move a little further away to the Trapani area: when we Palermitans think of a trip out of town, probably the first places that come to mind are Castellammare del Golfo beach, Faraglioni di Scopello beach, and the Zingaro Nature Reserve.

Take the E90 motorway towards Trapani and, after 65 km, take the Castellammare del Golfo exit. From this point on, the world’s your oyster!

CASTELLAMARE DEL GOLFO

castellammare del golfo palermo

Once you take the exit, keep driving towards Playa.

Here you’ll find a golden, wide, pristine beach with good facilities next to Alcamo Marina beach. The seabed is shallow here, so it’s kid-friendly. All the lidos have their own car parks for five euros per day: all of them also offer showers, bar service and meals (often fish-based).

Another good point? The town is a great place to walk in the evening or have an aperitif looking out onto its little port.

Would you rather spend a day looking for great landscapes with a touch of local history and tradition? Then drive an extra 10 km on SS187 towards Scopello.

FARAGLIONI DI SCOPELLO BEACH

faraglioni scopello palermo

You will see the amazing cliffs in a small bay where an old tuna seller’s shop remains.

The beach is actually the shop’s concrete deck. Pay seven euros to park and seven euros to access the area, including a deckchair and a guided tour of the old shop.

Bring your own food and drink, because there are no lidos or bars at the end of your hike to reach the deck! But also be ready for an astonishing view.

Is a wild day more your thing? Then drive another 3 kilometres on the SP63 until you reach the mesmerising Zingaro Nature Reserve!

ZINGARO NATURE RESERVE

Last but not least, I have a magical place to tell you about: probably the clearest and brightest sea in all of western Sicily. Yes. I like to end with on a high note!

The name alone – Zingaro (gypsy) – makes you want to go on holiday. You can imagine yourself wandering from cove to cove across an untouched natural landscape. This is exactly what you will have the opportunity to do here. Leave the car at the South or North entrance, pay five-euros entry per person, put on your hiking boots and follow one of the paths that lead to each of the seven coves in the Reserve.

The most fascinating and popular cove is Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo, which is easily accessible from the North entrance after walking just 700 metres. Bear in mind that there are no bars, showers or refreshments available here.

riserva zingaro palermo

There are many other enchanting views between Palermo and Trapani, but I think I’ve chosen the right ones, because there’s already a glint in your eye! You’re already raring to go on holiday!You’re ready to book a flight with Volotea!

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