Sicily is a region rich in history, culture and natural beauty, and is an ideal destination for hiking and trekking lovers. There are many trails crisscrossing the island, from coastal to mountain trails, offering breathtaking views and the opportunity to explore this destination in an authentic and immersive way. Let’s discover with Sicilian Secrets some of the most famous and evocative hiking trails in Sicily.
The hiking trails in Sicily allow you to explore the island at a slow pace, listening to your body, moving small steps toward large horizons. Walking along the coast or inland, you can cross some natural areas, archaeological sites and wonderful villages where to stop and spend a few hours. Some of these roads may boast a long history, some of them date back to the time of Magna Graecia, some others were the routes used by pilgrims to undertake their journey to Rome, and others were traveled by saints and hermits who crossed Sicily in the past, thus becoming ‘holy’ ways.
Before setting off on your own walking adventure through the hiking trails in Sicily, it is important to be well equipped! A pair of comfortable shoes will be the best travel mate for several kilometers. Practical clothing with the essentials to adapt to sudden rains and a backpack with water, some snacks and of course a guidebook. For the rest…you just have to enjoy the landscape! Here are 5 ideas chosen for you by Sicilian Secrets.
Sentiero della Pace
The Sentiero della Pace (Path of Peace) is a path that starting from Cefalù is articulated in the Madonie Mountains, it is a hiking trail that, as the name suggests, gives the opportunity to walk in peace and regenerate body and spirit. Following this path you can reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Alto in the municipality of Petralia Sottana. This way is ok for everyone…even for less experienced walkers. Once you are close to Petralia Sottana, exactly in Cella, you will be able to face the so-called Regia Trazzera and continue on a small road, along which you may encounter gorse bushes and small saplings of blackthorn or mandolin pear. Before the ‘finish line’ of the Sanctuary, stop at Portella di Mele, where the ‘Instagrammable’ expanse of peonies and wild apple trees will catch your eye!
Cammino dei Mille
Among the hiking trails in Sicily, this one takes us back to the time of Giuseppe Garibaldi and his exploits. This route goes from Renda (Monreale) to Palermo ending at Palazzo Steri, in the capital city. Cammino dei Mille, endowed with both a historical and naturalistic identity, is 170 km long and crosses more than 12 municipalities in western Sicily. It is a slow and sustainable tourism project created by the Pro Loco of Monreale to promote the area and its beauty: it is a dedication to Sicily and its inland areas, those far from the sea and mass tourism.
The Ancient Sicilian Transversal
The current Antica Trasversale Sicula (Ancient Sicilian Transversal) is a path that connects 8 provinces, 55 municipalities, 6 archaeological parks, 47 sites of historical-archaeological-monumental interest and 7 nature reserves. These numbers say everything; it is a full immersion in the wonders of the island and is perhaps one of the most evocative walks in Sicily. It starts from Mozia, in the province of Trapani to arrive in Kamarina. Officially divided into 35 stages, it passes through Segesta and Entella, Enna, Lake Pergusa, the ancient via Selinuntina and the site of Pantalica, before arriving in Kamarina (Ragusa). Archaeological studies have found numerous crossroads that joined Kamarina to the major Greek, indigenous, and Punic cities of eastern and western Sicily, connections that were very useful for trade and travelers.
The Vie Francigene in Sicily
Among the hiking trails in Sicily we have to mention the so-called Vie Francigene, that is, historical-cultural and religious routes on country roads, used since the archaic world as communication routes and for the passage of animals. There are 4 itineraries to choose from, all based on nature, tradition and colored by the unfailing warm welcome of the locals.
The Magna Via Francigena stretches 183 km between the Golden Coast of Palermo and Agrigento, the Via Francigena Palermo-Messina is the ‘queen’ of all paths and takes hikers into the mountains along the expanses of the Sicilian Apennines, between the Madonie, Nebrodi and Peloritani mountains. The Via Francigena Fabaria, on the other hand, tells Norman history on the eastern cusp of Sicily. 300 km to connect Agrigento, Catania and the upper Simeto valley. Finally, the Via Francigena Mazarense is ideal for those who wish to combine culture and love for wine: get ready for walks between sea and land, villages, castles, archaeological sites and wine cellars!
Walking tour to San Giovanni degli Eremiti
Finally, for those who prefer an urban and not very long walking tour, the Walking tout to San Giovanni degli Eremiti is the perfect solution. In fact, we are talking about a route of about 10 km that starts from the Cathedral of Palermo and arrives at the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, passing through the most characteristic streets and squares of the city. The route offers the opportunity to discover the history and architecture of the Sicilian capital, one of the most fascinating and seductive destinations in Sicily.